Center City: the Best Places to Check Out Around the Liberty Pole

Landmark Society |  Website

Landmark Society | Website

Rochester's Downtown scene is in a period of rebirth. With new developments (Tower280), renovations (Legacy Tower, The Metropolitan, & The Sibley Building), and existing residential areas (The Temple Building Lofts), you can't deny it's changing - and growing - for the better.

With the Liberty Pole being an iconic landmark of our city, and at what some would argue to be our city's true center, we want you to know what is available. Whether you are a visitor at one of our city's best hotels (Radisson, the Hyatt, and the Hilton Garden Inn), you are a long-time church goer at Grace Road Church located in the Temple Building, a student at the Eastman School of Music, or if you are a newly minted resident in one of the cool lofts, here are the best places to check out when you are around the Pole.

Abilene Bar & Lounge

Reconnect Rochester |  Website

Reconnect Rochester | Website

Map It: 153 Liberty Pole Way

A quaint little neighborhood bar/live music venue serving up great drinks from a friendly staff. On warmer days enjoy the patio and definitely check it out during Jazz Fest!

Connect with Abilene: website, facebook, twitter

Bar Bantam

Bar-Bantam.jpg

Map It: 1 South Clinton Ave

Located on the first floor of The Metropolitan, Bar Bantam is open for Breakfast and Lunch (Monday-Friday) as well as Dinner and Drinks (Wednesday-Saturday). Menus change seasonally and you’ll find plenty of gluten-free and vegan options.

Connect with Bar Bantam: website, facebook, instagram

Branca Midtown

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Map It: 280 E. Broad Street

This new restaurant located at Tower280 not only offers authentic Italian Cuisine, but a full Italian Coffee Bar. Pop in for lunch, dinner, cocktails, or even just an espresso.

Connect with Branca: website, facebook, instagram

Center City Terrace + Lounge

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Map It: 125 E. Main Street

If you're looking for your new favorite summer night spot, check out the Center City Terrace + Lounge on the 4th floor of the Hyatt Regency Rochester. Grab a drink, order off their Pub Plates menu and enjoy a beautiful and unique space in downtown Rochester.

Connect with CCT+L: website, facebook, instagram

Drifters L.B.

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Map It: 155 E. Main Street

Steps inside the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown you'll find Drifters Lounge & Bar. Yes, it might be a restaurant in a hotel, but that doesn't matter. For a peek inside check out our post from September, Drifters LB: not your Average Hotel Kitchen.

Connect with Drifters: website, facebook, instagram, twitter

Java's Cafe

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Map It: 16 Gibbs St.

A long time Rochester favorite, this cafe serves up your favorite lattes and drinks but also great sandwiches, baked goods, granola and more. It's always busy, it's always good.

And while you're at it, check out the calendar for the Eastman School of Music - you never know what free concert might be happening just next door. Or in the warmer weather pop over to Yogen Fruz just across the street.

Connect with Java's: website, facebook, instagram

RIT City Art Space

RIT-City-Space.jpg

Map It: 280 E. Main Street

New to the City Center neighborhood is the RIT City Art Space that opened on the ground floor of Sibley Square. The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday from 1-5pm and will feature new exhibitions monthly!

Connect with RIT City Art Space: website, facebook, instagram, twitter

Stromboli's Restaurant

Stromboli's |  Facebook

Stromboli's | Facebook

Map It: 130 East Ave

From their Breakfast Stromboli, to pizza, salad, pasta and more, Stromboli's on East Ave has so many options you won't be able to decide, they even have vegan options.

Connect with Stromboli's: website, facebook

Unter Biergarten

Map It: 120 East Ave

In the former home of Victoire, you'll now find Unter Biergarten. Having just opened in February and serving up their Bavarican Cuisine (that is Bavarian/New American), Unter Biergarten has already become a Rochester favorite. Check them out for lunch or dinner and don't miss their selection of Wurst from Swan Market, the Loaded Bavarian Tots, and well, everything else on the menu.

Connect with Unter Biergarten: website, facebook, instagram


Other Areas to Explore

Rochester Parks |  Website

Rochester Parks | Website

St. Joseph's Park

Just North West of the Pole you'll stumble upon some Rochester History at St. Joseph's Park. This former Catholic Church almost burnt down entirely in 1974 and thankfully the Landmark Society along with the City of Rochester and some other groups and organizations worked hard to restore and preserve what remains. This is perfect for a picnic or an afternoon of exploring.

Map It: Pleasant St & N. Clinton

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Grove Place Neighborhood

Tucked behind the YMCA on E. Main and Press Coffee you'll find Grove Place. If you're looking to "step out" of the city and wander, this is the perfect place. This neighborhood is said to be "the oldest continually occupied residential neighborhood in Downtown Rochester" and we think you'll love it's charm, art, and architecture.

P.S. all of the places listed are around a quarter mile or less from the Liberty Pole - that is definitely walking distance!

Post was originally written in 2017 and has been updated since!


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Drifters LB: not your Average Hotel Kitchen

flatbread-drifters.jpg

For a minute, let's forget you just stepped inside a Hotel. You're here for lunch or dinner, do the surroundings matter?

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Is there a wait to be seated? Or maybe you're waiting for the rest of your party to arrive - take a seat.

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Party of six? No problem...

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Party of four? Even better and hey - you may get lucky with a party of 2 in these fancy booths (can you say date night?)!

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Take in your surroundings while you peruse the menu. It really doesn't feel like dining in any other hotels we've ever been into.

the rochesteriat

the rochesteriat

Ahh, wings! Can't decide between two different flavors - no need to pick - have both.

the rochesteriat

the rochesteriat

What about a perfectly cooked steak?

the rochesteriat

the rochesteriat

Or a burger. We swear, there really is a burger under there somewhere.

We got a tiny peek into the kitchen where everything is cooked to order with locally sourced ingredients. We've also heard rumblings that the Chicken & Waffles are a must.

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Stop down and we know you'll agree - this isn't your average hotel kitchen. And the best part? This restaurant (and hotel) is a part of the revitalization of our Main Street. Localites and visitors alike at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, have a great option to eat and experience our city.

Drifters LB Details:
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Our city has so many great restaurant options, we often find ourselves deciding what type of cuisine we want first just so we can narrow down our choices! Follow along with the Rochesteriat on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.