I’ve partnered together with some fabulous members of Social Fabric to bring you our favorite places to eat across the U.S., Canada, and even the U.K. This post will cover only my area- Rochester, Minnesota. But look for another post soon with the complete list of recommended restaurants covering all areas.
I’ve lived in the Rochester area for 13 years and my family has developed a list of our favorite places to eat out. It should be apparent, but obviously this list is unique to my family. Everyone has different preferences, taste buds, and tendencies. Since we are a family of five with small children, most of my choices are family friendly. I have not visited all the restaurants in Rochester, but based upon my experience these establishments standout from the rest.
I’ve ranked the restaurants in order of preference. I won’t keep you guessing as to our family favorite, but instead will start with #1:)
****************BEST RESTAURANTS IN ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA ***************
1. Whistle Binkies– Since it opened, this restaurant has been my family’s favorite. Whistle Binkies is a local Rochester creation and certainly not one to be missed. This restaurant is really a southeast Minnesota’s version of a Scottish pub. The beer list is long and the food is great, but what makes my husband come back on a weekly basis is the Noi’s Egg Roll Salad and $2 Bloody Mary’s on Saturdays.
The atmosphere is entirely child friendly and during the winter months has an especially comfy feeling with an inviting warm gas fireplace. Currently there is a North and South location, but my family prefers the North pub. There is no question the free popcorn is the best in town. Good luck trying to only eat a handful!
2. Twigs– This restaurant is known for their hot rock grilling, but that is not my favorite aspect of this local destination. You have to order the Parmesan Crisps. I don’t know how they do it, but they are slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Dipped in marinara or ranch sauce they are divine. I’ve never had anything like them. I’ve also had a variety of the small plates and they are also fabulous. This could be the only place I’ve ever ordered rutabaga! It’s marvelous! While you can bring children this place it is definitely best for date night.
3. Dunn Bros Coffee– Back when we only had one kid, my husband and I would visit Dunn Bros. on an almost weekly basis. The breakfast and coffee is fabulous. The atmosphere is inviting and represents a typical upscale coffee house experience. The only negative is that it is so popular finding a table on a Saturday morning can be a bit of a struggle. And while this location is technically child friendly, three high energy little boys are a bit too much for the laid back atmosphere. Instead this coffee house has become our morning date location.
4. Baker’s Square– This restaurant certainly isn’t high class, but it is definitely one my family’s favs. Baker’s Square reminds me of the type of restaurants I visited as a child. I always order breakfast. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, I always want breakfast food:) All three of my boys gobble up the funny face breakfast in this kid friendly environment. Baker’s Square never fails delivery comfy foods to the masses. Plus on Wednesday each entree purchased receives a free slice of pie. How awesome is that?!
5. John Hardy’s Bar-B-Q– I have to add this barbecue restaurant to my list purely for my husband. He loves John Hardy’s. I can’t deny the barbecue is definitely tasty. However if you like to visit a restaurant for the experience, you might be left wanting more from this hole-in-the-wall. It’s grungy, it’s greasy, it’s definitely a guy’s place. That being said, please order my food to go and I won’t complain:)
6. Indian Garden– To say I love Indian food would be an understatement. My favorite place to enjoy the pleasant mix of curry and cardamon is in Milwaukee, but since that is not convenient, my Rochester go-to place is the Indian Garden. Yes, of course you can order off the menu. But I find when eating Indian food the buffet is the best. What a great way to sample new foods without any risk of an entire meal.
7. China Star– The best Chinese take-out in town. My husband and boys could eat the Won Ton Soup and Beef Lo Mein multiple times a week if I let them. My personal favorite is a Black Pepper Chicken which technically isn’t on the menu, but they are kind enough to make for me when requested.
8. The Redwood Room– I’ve only eaten at this popular intimate restaurant on a couple of occasions, but The Redwood Room is a unique Rochester experience. With cozy seating, dimly lit atmosphere, and live music this restaurant is definitely not kid friendly. This is a great date night destination, but you’ll want to arrive early as it is very popular.
Make sure to visit back soon for an amazing list of the best places to eat across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.!