My family loves hitting up local markets when visiting a new city to get a flavor for the area. On a recent visit to Rochester we had the opportunity to visit the Rochester Public Market.
The Market opened at its current location in 1905 and has been a year round institution every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in Rochester. Mixing fresh produce, artisanal cheeses and meats, crafts, food vendors, cheap plastic toys and numerous other niche specialties, the Rochester Public Market is a melting pot of ethnic backgrounds bringing a diverse crowd of visitors each week. For an added bonus, the Rochester Public Market is open year round!
You can easily spend hours at this massive market. Visiting feels a bit like other major urban markets, such as the Hay Market in Boston, but with a slight tinge of the bizarre like feeling of walking through a Central American market. The smells are intoxicating as you pass the dried herb and spice vendors and your palette melts at some of the prepared food tables.
One of the most famous stops at the Market is Juan and Maria’s Empanada stand “Home of the Highly Addictive Spanish Foods”. Along with the 10 different made from scratch empanada’s, Juan and Maria serve various other rice and bean dishes and fresh fruit drinks. My hungry family got lucky and actually found empty bar stools and dined on the best breakfast empanadas we’ve ever tasted.
The Market is such an institution in the City of Rochester that supportive residence have formed a Friends of the Market that offers tours of the Market’s past and present.
When visiting Rochester, make sure to bring a cooler and stock up on foodie delights at the Rochester Public Market!