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Best of Rochester 2018

Hello, CITY readers. It’s time to reveal the results for Best of Rochester 2018, our own “Showcase Showdown,” if you will. It’s been quite the contest to get this far: More than 12,000 contestants gave us their best and final answers in our Best of Rochester readers’ poll, spanning 100 different categories.

Throughout the year, CITY reports on notable players in the Smugtown game, and this poll is your opportunity to tell us who and what should be in the limelight. You have in front of you an expansive look into Rochester’s rich cultural scene, with over 400 recommendations provided by proud locals like yourself. Think of it as a guide that will have you covered from morning ‘till night, with suggestions for everything from the best bagel to the best after-hours hangouts.

The game isn’t over. In fact, it’s just beginning. Now is the perfect time to take a chance on fresh experiences that your city has to offer. Maybe it’s finally time to sample that new restaurant you haven’t been to yet, check out that little-known festival your friends have been raving about, or take your family somewhere different for some weekend fun.

Beyond the final poll results, this issue also has humorous outtakes from readers’ primary ballots, and of course, our annual critics’ picks. This time around, James Brown, Frank De Blase, Kathy Laluk, Adam Lubitow and I cast our votes in alternative categories you can’t find in the poll results, and there are three additional picks you can only read at rochestercitynewspaper.com.

If you want to voice your thoughts on the readers’ poll, suggest a new category, or give us any feedback at all, comment on this article at rochestercitynewspaper.com, or find us on Twitter and Instagram (@roccitynews) and Facebook (facebook.com/CityNewspaper).

In This Guide...

  • Were you there? Photos from the Best of Rochester 2018 party

    CITY Newspaper held its Best of Rochester party in the Village Gate atrium on Tuesday night, October 23. Nominees gathered to celebrate, dance, and mingle while sampling some of the finest food and drink that Rochester has to offer.


    BEST BIKE SHOPPark Ave Bike 600 Jay Scutti Boulevard, (585) 427-2110; 3400 Monroe Avenue, (585) 381-3080. parkavebike.com


    BEST NEW BAR/CLUB The Spirit Room 139 State Street. (585) 397-7595; facebook.com/TheSpiritRoomRochester


    BEST LOCAL ACTIVIST GROUPOut Alliance 100 College Avenue. (585) 244-8640; gayalliance.org


    BEST PIZZA Pontillo’s Pizzeria Many area locations. pontillospizza.com

  • Best Answers

    [ OUTTAKES ] BY CITY READERS Off-the-cuff, sometimes off-color responses to our Best of Rochester 2018 Primary Ballot WE’RE AWARE (Best Source of Rochester Pride) “You know it's Wegmans.”


    Best Breakfast Sandwich: Fair Pour Café’s 'The Jammy Sammy'


    BEST LOCAL ORIGINAL BANDJoywave @joywavemusic; joywavemusic.com Stavo | The Stedwells | Teagan and the Tweeds