It's going to be Ok Chipotle fans, wipe your tears, they're not shutting down entirely. The "fast casual" dining chain is closing all of its 1900+ stores for a few hours on Monday, February 8th in order to hold an all-employee powwow of sorts, a national, linked-via-satellite meeting with the Chain's top executives to discuss, well, what else, their recent bouts fighting E. coli, Salmonella, and the norovirus in some of their stores nationwide (luckily none here in ROC).
Now, if you're a fan of the College Town location, you have the option of walking right across the street where you can find Moe's Southwest Grill and get just as good of an experience (I believe) with FREE chips and (multiple choices of) salsa with every order - or go to the Moe's on East Avenue and enjoy the pulse of the city. Oh, and by the way, did you know that kids eat FREE on Mondays after 4pm?
But what if that's just not acceptable? Aside from the chainy-stuff, we want you to consider the small, local places where you can get fresh, quality ingredients and a great experience - and you may just find yourself a new hangout.
With that said, let us help you find 8 (local) Spots Where To Get Your Comida Latina Fix...
Some say this is one of the best places for Spanish food in Rochester, a mix that includes the flavors of Mexico, South America, and even across the big pond in Spain. Where better than to dine on the beautiful Park Avenue in the city, and they "offer a vacation through food". Dorado's prices may be a little bit higher than you'll see in a Chipotle, but without question this "vacation" will be a lot cheaper than buying those airline tickets.
Standouts: All of the sauces, salsas, and proteins are made in-house including their house-made guac from fresh hass avocados. Look for daily specials on the menu.
690 Park Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607
This is truly Puerto Rican food at its finest. We may not be talking burritos here, but you need to spice your life up a bit and try something new anyways. From breakfast and the bakery, to an inexpensive menu of empanadas, subs, and even a popular fish fry, this tiny shop is located just one-block down from the Cub Room and McCann's Meats, so we know you know the area.
Standouts: One of the things Georgie's is known for is its Cuban sandwich, which has been voted Rochester's Best Cuban in recent years. Pick up some quesitos and pastelillos for dessert while you're at it.
857 South Clinton Avenue
Rochester, NY 14620
Hot Rosita's Grill
Located in the City Center on Main Street, Hot Rosita's caters to the demanding downtown lunch crowd of lawyers, county employees, and office professionals. Here you'll find those huge "bangin' burritos" that you're used to getting at Chipotle, but don't confuse the two - Hot Rosita's uses the freshest of ingredients made in-house by owners Chris and Arnie, two young guys who know good burritos.
Standouts: Due to all the supply downtown for that fickle lunch crowd, prices on the menu are kept on the inexpensive side. But don't expect to go at all hours - this place is only open 11a-2:30p, Monday thru Fridays. If you're demanding more, you won't have to wait for long - they're developing a food truck soon-to-be-launched!
Hot Rosita's Website
17 East Main Street
Rochester, NY 14614
Foodies will tell you, sometimes those little hole-in-the-wall places pack the biggest punch in terms of flavors. That's the case with John's Tex-Mex. Located in the Southwedge, this place offers good food, cheap prices, and a quaint atmosphere. In the summer, additional seating can be found on the outside patio of sorts.
Standouts: JTM has a vegetarian/vegan friendly menu, they offer a pre-meal delicious set of chips and salsa, and they were just named on Yelp's Community Blog as one of the Top 100 Places to Eat in Rochester. Congrats!
Juan & Maria's Empanada Stop
Owners Juan and Maria are originally from Chile, and have been serving the Rochester community for over 15 years at the Public Market. Like the name suggests, empanadas are their specialty in addition to authentic Spanish fare. Just a note, similar to Hot Rosita's, you may want to call ahead - limited hours at the Public Market keep the demand high.
Standouts: On beautiful days in the summer, the Public Market is a bustling center of activity and surprises. Stop by Juan & Maria's to enjoy the tastes of the neighborhood, but be prepared because this is the self-proclaimed "Home of Highly Addictive Spanish Foods".
Juan & Maria's Empanada Stop Website
Rochester Public Market
280 North Union Street
Rochester, NY 14609
In a brightly painted house located almost across the street from Boulder in the Southwedge, La Casa offers a wide range of Mexican-American food, fun drinks, and a beautiful outdoor patio in the warmer months. They do a good job in keeping a rolling Live-music selection on Fridays and Saturday evenings, so patrons are encouraged to make reservations to ensure a smooth experience.
Standouts: In addition to the music, there's a wide range of specials that are offered on slower days such as $2.50 tacos and $5 margaritas (all day)...you can get updates by checking their Facebook.
La Casa Instagram
93 Alexander Street
Rochester, NY 14620
Salena's is a popular Mexican restaurant located in the Village Gate section of NOTA. With a good sized restaurant that will hold small even large parties (there's a separate party room), the free chips and salsa, full bar, and wide selection of entrees are enticement enough to draw even the most discerning Chipotle customers in.
Standouts: Looking for a little more selection than just salsa's to taste? Salena's offers Tequila Tasting Classes for those wanting to get wild across the border, or at least in NOTA that is.
302 N Goodman Street
Rochester, NY 14607
Located on Monroe Avenue in a cluster of fast-food joints and casual restaurants, Sol Burrito sticks out by offering slow-roasted beef and pork (in-house for 14 hours!), marinated chicken, and fresh guac, salsa, and sauces they say is made EVERY morning.
Standouts: The prices are inexpensive and they deliver with a minimum order of $10 plus a service charge. Not a bad thing when you don't feel like trekking out to the 'burbs for Taco Bell.
Sol Burrito Website
521 Monroe Ave
Rochester, NY 14607
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