East Rochester is a village in suburban Rochester, in the Finger Lakes region of New York. While it's often overshadowed by the more picturesque villages around Rochester, it's a tight-knit community with few big chains and a lot of little gems waiting to be discovered.
Despite the prominent presence of the train tracks through the village, no train stops here any more. You'll need a car if you're going to visit East Rochester.
The most convenient access from the southeast and northwest is Interstate 490. Eastbound, take exit 24 for Commercial Street. Westbound there is no exit 24; take exit 25 and cross 31F to get to Commercial Street. Either way, you'll find yourself on East Rochester's main commercial strip.
From the southwest, State Route 153 comes from Pittsford, going through the western portion of East Rochester toward western Penfield. From the east, State Route 31F is the best option; it forms the southern border of the village. From the northeast, Five Mile Line Road (perhaps via State Route 441) intersects with Linden Avenue, which runs through the northernmost part of the village.
East Rochester can be very difficult to get around by car. The CSX train tracks divide the village, resulting in a lot of dead ends as only two roads actually cross the tracks: Washington Street (State Route 153) and Lincoln Road. You'll need to make your way to one or the other if you need to get across. Just to make things more interesting, the main drag, Commercial Street, is discontinuous; West Commercial ends at Main Street, only to pick up again as East Commercial on the other side of a business complex.
In short, navigation is a pain if you don't have a route mapped out in advance. Make sure you have a good map.
- Playerz Zone, 349 W Commercial St, Ste 1320 (Piano Works Mall), Playerzzone2019@gmail.com. Th-Su 4PM-11PM. This 4,000-square-foot space in Piano Works has 40 screens ready for all of your electronic gaming needs. With both PCs and latest-gen consoles, you can practice, compete in tournaments, or just play for fun. There's no cover charge, so if you just want to watch that's fine too. If you get hungry or thirsty, a bar menu is available with sandwiches, wraps, and quesadillas, along with inventive alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails. $5/hr/player, spectators free.
- Rochester Pinball Collective, 349 W Commercial St, Ste 2965 (Piano Works Mall). Th 3PM-11PM, Sa 5PM-10PM. Just up the stairs from Playerz Zone is another gaming space, this one the successor to the Silverball Saloon that operated down the street until the pandemic forced its closure. Now that establishment's pinball machines, along with machines from other local collectors, are housed at the Piano Works. All of the machines are set to free play, so once you pay the $20 cover, you're set for the day. They've got machines from several different eras, as early as the 1950s, right up through new releases. Non-alcoholic drinks and snacks available for purchase. $20.
- Piano Works Mall, 349 W Commercial St (west of Washington St). This is a strip mall without much to recommend it above any other strip mall, except that its location is rather unique. It is actually a former piano factory that was converted into retail and office space.
- Bell Racquet Sports (Piano Works Mall), ☏ . M-F 9:30AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-3:30PM. One of the East Coast's largest racquet specialty shops. Racquets, shoes, apparel and racquet services (including stringing, customizations, etc.). Over 1000 racquets for tennis, squash, racquetball, paddle sports, badminton.
East Rochester is sometimes considered the Rochester area's "Little Italy", with over half the residents having some Italian ancestry. As such, there are a couple of very good Italian restaurants in town.
- Lemoncello Italian Restaurant & Bar, 137 W Commercial St, ☏ . Restaurant: daily 11:30AM-10PM; Lounge: daily 4PM-2AM. Lemoncello combines the Italian food for which East Rochester is famous with the unexpected atmosphere of a jazz lounge. The popularity of the place tells you how good the food is; this is no corner pizza joint. Gluten-free pizza and pasta is available. $20-$30.
- The Northside Inn, 311 N Washington St (corner of Linden Ave), ☏ , fax: . M-F 11:30AM-2PM; M-Th 4:30PM-9:30PM, F Sa 4:30PM-10PM, Su 4PM-9PM. Simple but very good Italian entrees in a classy but not too formal atmosphere. Don't expect innovative dishes here, but rather old favorites carefully and deliciously prepared. Seating is closely packed but well isolated for an intimate feeling. $10-$30.
- Perlo's Italian Grill, 202 N Washington St (south of Linden Ave), ☏ , fax: . M-Sa 4PM-10PM, Su 4PM-8PM. $10-$20.
While East Rochester isn't necessarily known as a destination for nightlife, West Commercial can get a little lively during the evenings, thanks to Lemoncello's jazz lounge. It's still one of the very few suburban places you can find live music every night.
There are no hotels, as such, in East Rochester, although there is one just north of the village and several others in surrounding areas.
- Courtyard by Marriott, 1000 Linden Pk (off N Washington St, just south of State Route 441), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Like all Courtyards, this hotel was designed to provide a scenic and comfortable stop for business travelers, but it has plenty of amenities for leisure travelers, too. A mini-bistro in the lobby is outstanding both for breakfast and whenever you need a bite to eat; its pizza, sandwiches, soups, and salads are both innovative and tasty. Free wireless Internet, large work desks, indoor pool. $140-$170.
Fairport is just a short trip down Route 31F, as is Pittsford (New York) along Route 153. Penfield is just to the north, or you can take I-490 into the city of Rochester (New York), just a few miles away.