Cheesecake Factory, Zingerman's, Union Woodshop: Rochester Wants You!

When a Rochester Patch reader shares the restaurants he wants to see in his town, more than 100 of his neighbors chime in with their opinions. From White Castle to Red Coat Tavern, here's what's on Rochester's Restaurant Wish List.

"If I could bring any restaurants to Rochester, it would be the Fleetwood Diner, Zingerman's and Big 10 Burrito, all in Ann Arbor."

So stated Rochester Patch blogger David Gifford in a post on our Facebook page earlier this week. 

Our Facebook fans were quick to offer up THEIR wish list for restaurants they want to see in Rochester and Rochester Hills; more than 100 people responded.

Zingerman's, the Ann Arbor bakery and deli institution, took the top number of votes; the Cheesecake Factory, which locations in 36 states — but none in Michigan — came in a close second. 

A Curt Catallo restaurant (like Clarkston Union, Union Woodshop or Vinsetta Garage) also ranked high on the wish list.

Other notables: The French Laundry in Fenton, Red Coat Tavern, Potbelly, Cracker Barrel, Sagebrush and Pizza Bob's. 

Two people voted for a German restaurant, and one said we have too many restaurants in town as it is. 

Here's a look at all of the restaurants that made the list; what's your vote? Add it to the comments below.

  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Slows
  • Seva
  • Manuels Taco Hut (Allen Park)
  • Zumba
  • Fazoli's
  • The Root (White Lake)
  • Cork
  • Amantea (Garden City)
  • A Polish restaurant
  • Moe's
  • Tap (Atlanta)
  • Carmines Italian
  • Rudy's Real Texas BBQ
  • Sonic
  • Chick Fil-a
  • Primanti's
  • Apovini's
  • Carinos
  • Prickly Pear
  • Old German
  • Mexican Fiesta and Antonio's
  • El Azteco
  • Beltline Bar in Grand Rapids
  • Grand Lux Cafe
  • Ashley's
  • Casa Nueva Restaurant and Cantina in Athens, Ohio
  • Melting Pot (Troy)
  • Cafeteria-style restaurant
  • Herbert's BBQ (Franklin, Tenn.)
  • White Castle
  • The Big Salad
  • Bubba's (Traverse City)
  • Food Dance (Kalamazoo)
  • Crispelli's (Berkley)
  • A breakfast place like Yolk (Chicago); Toast (Lincoln Park); Fido (Nashville); Broken Egg (Florida)
  • Frontera Grille
  • Gordon Biersch (Arizona)
  • Foodcraft (Hampton, Va.)
  • Halo Burger
  • Angelo's Coney Island (Flint)
  • Hickory Park (Ames, Iowa)
  • Jersey Giant
  • Pizza House  (East Lansing and Ann Arbor)
  • Harvey's (Saginaw)
  • Skyline Chili
  • Fuzzy Taco (Texas)
  • Sweet Tomatoes (salad restaurant)
  • On the Border
  • Harvey's (Canada)
  • Pancheros
  • Smash Burger
  • Lelli's
  • Blue Nile (Ferndale)
Amanda Wilson December 03, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Don, I was not on this thread to complain about Rochester, merely to suggest that there are those of us here who would enjoy cheaper fare. Nor did I assert that I was the only one with personal problems, ffs I have NO idea what part of your sphincter you pulled that one out of. I was speaking on behalf of all of us in Rochester who aren't the "director of the Hermitage Gallery", and don't have an ivory tower from which we speak down to those beneath us. And seriously, you're going to put aside the problems of those in Rochester who are barely getting by in favor of the woes of business owners and landlords? I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm as hardcore conservative far-right leaning, Rush Limbaugh loving as they get...but when families are going through tough financial times (which will likely only get worse, thanks to the sheep that re-elected the Stalin look-alike sitting in the White House), it's hard for us to push past that and focus our concern upon the small business owners that don't cater to us anyway. I think I irk you because you have assumptions about me that simply aren't true. Whereas you irk me because you are insufferable. Touting your job title and pridefully displaying the fact that you are on a first-name basis with certain restaurant owners? I'm guessing that everywhere you post on the internet, the first thing that you do is make sure everyone is fully aware of your standing in the community, career, and connections. Not getting enough affirmation at home?
David Gifford December 03, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Amanda, that one closed downtown.
David Gifford December 03, 2012 at 03:39 PM
If you are on a budget, I would recommend Georgio's Calzones! The large one is huge and very filling. It is their best kept secret!
Kristin Bull December 03, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Thanks, everyone, for your comments - I agree there are so many great restaurants in Rochester, and I love that this started out as a fun discussion about "what could/might be," from fast food or upscale dining options. We'll see if any of the restaurant owners out there are listening to potential Rochester patrons! Thanks, also, to those of you who have tried to keep this discussion on track; remember, it's not about personal attacks.
David Gifford December 03, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Despite the fact that one can fix meals cheaper and healthier at home, we all have a desire to dine out and have our meals prepared for us. One of the unfortunate truths about dining out though is that most times value does not equal healthy and healthier food made from fresh ingredients often costs a lot more. Even fast food is expensive now! Through investigation out of necessity (budgeting while paying off school and credit card debt) my wife and I have found that you can eat at many of the restaurants in the area on a budget. Many places offer specials on different nights and some even have free kid days. You just have to know where to look. To name a few: Penny Black-kids eat free on Sunday with the purchase of an adult meal, Bravo-$3.95 happy hour appetizers (big enough for a meal) between 5-7 and 9 to close (bar area only), Rojo- $1 taco Tuesdays (chicken or beef), King's Pizza for best value (online specials). You may never see a Waffle House or a Rally's in Rochester due to the high rent and the crowd the area is trying to cater to, leaving those who make less out in the cold or stuck with less desirable options.. Some of my favorite restaurants you would never see in Rochester like Allidin's and The Polish Village Cafe in Hamtramck (good and cheap) and The Bucharest in Detroit (good and cheap) and they are in some not so nice areas compared to Rochester.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »