12 Best Cafes In Rochester, New York

cafes in rochester
Sin Yee
Sin Yee 
| 6 min read

Rochester, New York is undoubtedly one of the best cities if you are looking for good coffee places. The coffee culture is expanding so ever rapidly in the city, and we can see a lot of new cafes popping up. If a cuppa coffee is part of your everyday routine and you are tired of the usual Starbucks, or if you are a freelancer looking for a nice and cosy spot to do your work at, we have amazing recommendations for you. Book a stay in a vacation rental or a hotel with pool soon and check out these must-try cafes in Rochester, New York!

1. Equal Grounds

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Looking for a cozy place where you can chill with your friends while enjoying a cup of joe in Rochester? Check out Equal Grounds Café. This coffee shop in Rochester, NY, features comfortable indoor and outdoor (weather permitting, of course!) seating, a great place to hang out and chat with the gang. You also get to enjoy free WiFi and many available outlets for your devices, perfect for those looking for a cozy spot to work.

More than just the space, Equal Grounds is where you can grab tasty hot and cold beverages including coffee, tea, smoothies, milk, juice, and soda. Aside from the refreshing drinks, the café also offers wraps, sandwiches, salads, and sweet treats.

Equal Grounds

Address: 750 South Ave, Rochester, NY 14620, United States

Website: Equal Grounds

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 10pm; Sat - Sun: 9am - 10pm

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2. Ridge Donut Cafe

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Starting tomorrow-Every Monday if you buy a dozen you will get 2 donuts for *FREE*. -This will be while supplies last and it doesn’t include fritters, hand cut, or specials!!

Posted by Ridge Donut Cafe on Sunday, January 9, 2022

For some of the best donuts and coffee combo in the city of Rochester, Ridge Donut Café is where it’s at! This family-owned and -operated café has been around since 1977, making it one of the oldest cafes with that homey taste and feel that you won’t find in chain donut shops.

Ridge Donut Café offers donuts, cookies, pastries, brownies, muffins, and other sweets fresh from the kitchen every day. Drink options include hot and cold coffee, frappes, and smoothies, all made from the freshest ingredients. It’s also a favorite brunch spot as it offers filling meals and sandwiches.

Ridge Donut Cafe

Address: 1600 Portland Ave, Rochester, NY 14621, United States

Website: Ridge Donut Cafe

Opening hours: 6am - 4pm (daily)

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3. Ugly Duck Coffee

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Ugly Duck Coffee had its humble beginnings as a multi-roaster pop-up espresso bar before nestling in its permanent home on Charlotte Street. The interior of the cafe is clean, modern, and very straightforward. It is very much like telling the world that the staff treats their coffee very seriously. The place partners with local, regional, and national coffee roasters, ensuring that the coffee they use comes from high-quality and sustainable sources. Different roasts are used for different types of coffee to highlight the best taste of the beverage. Aside from coffee, the menu also consists of fresh bakes from partner bakeries, specialty beverages like chai tea, and the trendy turmeric latte. If you really love the concept of Ugly Duck Coffee, feel free to check out cute merchandises or bring some of its special roasts back home.

Ugly Duck Coffee

Address: 89 Charlotte St, Rochester, NY

Website: Ugly Duck Coffee

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 8am - 5pm

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4. Fuego Coffee Roasters

Fuego Coffee Roasters is a cosy cafe located on Woodbury Boulevard in downtown Rochester. It used to sit at 45 Euclid Street until it outgrew its former location and had to make a move to the current location back in October 2018. That move was the right choice though because since then, the place had tripled its seating capacity and expanded the menu. That means more people can get to try the specialty roasted coffees that are sourced from different regions around the world. The new cafe is spacious and bright and has a very cosy atmosphere. If you have that extra time in the morning, you would totally want to find a corner in the cafe to enjoy your coffee. For freelancers who are working from home and need a new space to gather new inspirations, Fuego Coffee Roasters is the place to go.

Fuego Coffee Roasters

Address: 1 Woodbury Blvd, Rochester, NY

Website: Fuego Coffee Roasters

Opening hours: 7am - 8pm (daily)

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5. Cafe Sasso

Park Avenue in Rochester is a very unique neighbourhood with a lot of local boutiques, bars, and cafes. Cafe Sasso is one of them. It’s one of the best cafes in Rochester with very chill and laid-back vibes. The wall decorations show it all—check out those one-of-a-kind abstract artworks by local artists. If you really like them, they are also available for purchase. You can totally feel the character and personality of the cafe, especially when it transforms into a cocktail bar in the evenings, featuring special blends. Those coffee-based cocktails are truly out of the world. Also, here is a very good news for the vegans. The venue serves delicious, savoury vegan dishes and desserts from its local partner restaurant too. Just approach the friendly staff and ask them about their vegan offerings!

Cafe Sasso

Address: 739 Park Ave, Rochester, NY

Website: Cafe Sasso

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 7am - 10pm; Sun: 8am - 9pm

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6. Pure Imagination Cafe

It might be a new kid on the block, but Pure Imagination Cafe has already garnered a cult following since its opening in August 2019 on Buffalo Road. This community- and family-oriented cafe serves up different coffee, tea brews, and soups every day. Also, there is a decent selection of food on the menu that caters to different dietary requests. If you have kids, you will be delighted to know that the management built a special play area for the younger ones while the adults can sit back, relax, and enjoy their time in the cafe. Aside from the usual coffee selections, be sure to check out interesting specialty drinks like the Snickledoodle and Dark Chocolate Pistachio Latte.

Pure Imagination Cafe

Address: 2997 Buffalo Rd, Rochester, NY

Website: Pure Imagination Cafe

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 6:30am - 9pm; Sat: 7am - 8pm; Sun: 8am - 5pm

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7. Leaf & Bean Coffee Co

Leaf & Bean Coffee Co was founded all the way back in 2003 in Chili, Rochester, by a father-and-son duo. In the past decade, they have built a following among the local coffee community and are still standing strong! Coffee is sourced from different regions around the world, and the cafe roasts them locally to ensure the freshest quality of its coffee. If you are not in the mood for coffee, the menu also features an array of tea blends—ranging from your usual English breakfast tea to unique herbal blends like pomegranate, pear, and ginger. The food menu looks pretty impressive too, with your usual breakfast bagels, sandwiches, and salads. Indeed this cafe is the perfect place in Rochester to get your daily caffeine dose and healthy, nutritious breakfast.

Leaf & Bean Coffee Co

Address: 3240 Chili Ave #21, Rochester, NY

Website: Leaf & Bean Coffee Co

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 6:30am - 9pm; Sat: 7:30am - 9pm; Sun: 8am - 5pm

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8. Glen Edith Coffee Roasters

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Glen Edith used to be a hotel overlooking Irondequoit Bay in Ontario, but it closed down in 1996. The Glen Edith name was then revived by a group of friends when they found the old hotel sign in an antique shop in 2009. They loved the history of Glen Edith so much that they started operating a cafe under that name in 2015. They felt that by making a point to understand and learn about the origins of their coffee beans, it helps to ensure an ethical and sustainable coffee source. By roasting the coffee locally, it also creates a sense of togetherness within the local community. The cafe is equipped with a full espresso and pour-over bar too, much to the delight of coffee enthusiasts.

Glen Edith Coffee Roasters

Address: 23 Somerton St, Rochester, NY

Website: Glen Edith Coffee Roasters

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 7am - 8pm; Sun: 8am - 8pm

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9. New Roots Coffee House

New Roots Coffee House is located on Long Pond Road in Greece, New York. Like it’s name, the exterior of this cafe is literally a quaint little house. Stepping inside, you will feel instantly relaxed with the cosy and laid-back ambience. The owner of New Roots Coffee House has a peanut and tree-nut allergy, which is one reason why she went into the cafe business. She aims to serve food for everyone, including those with severe food allergies—ensuring that they can step inside the cafe without any worries and feel safe about what they put into their mouths. Check out the breakfast sandwiches (available in gluten-free options as well) that come with a variety of toppings and the freshly baked pastries too.

New Roots Coffee House

Address: 1273 Long Pond Rd, Greece, NY

Website: New Roots Coffee House

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 7am - 9pm; Fri: 7am - 8pm; Sat: 8am - 5pm; Sun: 10am - 4pm

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10. New City Cafe

New City Cafe is located on Parsells Avenue, and it serves the Beechwood neighbourhood. Unlike the usual cafe businesses that strive to sell good coffee and food, New City Cafe made it a point to give back to the local community by employing, training, and mentoring local youths in a mission to empower them. If you are a tourist, you are so going to get an authentic local Rochester experience in this cafe, since the staff sources its food selections by partnering with local restaurants and bakeries. Nobody says no to grilled cheese sandwiches, and New City Cafe has a few different varieties of them—ranging from the classic ones to vegan versions that are made with vegan mozzarella and cashew macadamia nut chevre. It sounds delicious already, right?

New City Cafe

Address: 441 Parsells Ave, Rochester, NY

Website: New City Cafe

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7am - 6pm; Sat: 8am - 5pm (closed on Sun)

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11. Cha Chat Cafe

Cha Chat Cafe is slightly different from the other cafes on this list because this is an Asian-inspired cafe. Although it serves coffee, what it is really famous for are boba/bubble teas and crepes. The place offers a selection of crepes. Besides the usual sweet varieties, the savoury crepes also come in unique Asian-inspired flavours like teriyaki chicken. If you are looking for healthier options, the menu offers a variety of traditional Chinese teas such as pu-erh and rose jasmine tea.

Cha Chat Cafe

Address: 1455 E Henrietta Rd, Rochester, NY

Website: Cha Chat Cafe

Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 11:30am - 7pm (closed on Tue)

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12. Founders Cafe

The owner of Founders Cafe is very passionate about making and serving food to friends and family. That passion was the reason for the existence of Founders Cafe. He wanted to bring that love to the locals in Rochester by using the best ingredients he can find. It is also good to know that the staff purchases most of their ingredients locally, making themselves responsible for the sourcing of fair-trade, organic coffee and teas. The food is made from scratch every single day. Give the sandwiches, paninis, and soups here a try because they seem to be the crowd’s favourites!

Founders Cafe

Address: 13 S Fitzhugh St, Rochester, NY

Website: Founders Cafe

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7am - 5pm; Sat: 9am - 3pm (closed on Sun)

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Rochester is a coffee haven

cafe-coffee-shop-building-restaurant-pillar-coffee-machine - Must Link to https://coffee-channel.com
Source: Photo by user Coffee Channel used under CC BY 2.0

The coffee scene in Rochester is bustling, and there are endless options for you to choose from. Supporting the local coffee shops is also another way to give back to the community since a lot of them dedicate their businesses to doing that. Looking at how a lot of cafes are being more conscious about their food sources is truly heartwarming. So, when you are in Rochester, remember to check out these cafes while giving yourself a treat with some good-quality food and coffee.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Sin Yee is a small-business owner, freelance writer, and content creator. At Basic Theory, she specializes in crafting all-natural, synthetic-free skin and body care products. Beyond her business,...Read more

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