Let’s deal with first things first. As soon as you are seated comfortably in the Rochester Cafe, whether you’re there for breakfast or lunch, ask for a slice of Vermont Maple Cream Pie. And ask them to bring it right away. The graham-crusted smooth cream flavored with local syrup (and, yes, extract, but added with a light hand) comes topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of maple sugar. It’s fantastic! Share with your tablemates, if you must. You won’t regret this one bit of self-indulgence.
The Rochester Cafe opened for business in 1985 but it seems much older than that, probably because the building goes back to the J.H. Trask general store from the mid-1800s. The building has seen a pretty fair cross-section of the business of life over the years: it once was a room for carding wool, a drug store, ice cream parlor, granary, bank, town library, dentist office, beauty parlor, pool room, barber shop, funeral parlor, apartments, and video shop. And then the café (they also run the gift shop next door).
They get a pretty good mix of tourists and locals here. Some can be found sitting at the 1940 soda fountain purchased from the Liquid Carbonic Company, others are in big dark-wood booths or on bentwood chairs at the free-standing tables. There are also a couple of tables out on the porch.
The menu, like all menus in thriving Vermont eateries, recognizes that the 21st century has arrived. There are lattes and mochachinos, goat cheese and spring mix here and multigrain bread for your tuna melt there. It’s for breakfast that we recommend The Rochester, particularly for their pancakes served with local maple syrup. Blueberry cakes are well-dotted with the fruit, and the cakes themselves have a wheaty flavor that satisfies. You can also enjoy those cakes topped with bananas, fresh strawberries, or nuts, or plain for that elemental hit of wheat-butter-maple. Of course, eggs and bacon and sausage are available in all the usual breakfast permutations, and a few that include the likes of fresh spinach or some of that goat cheese.
Oatmeal is served with dried cranberries and walnuts, with your choice of maple syrup or brown sugar on the side. Ultimate Bread Pudding makes a wonderful breakfast. The Cafe’s croissant dough bread pudding gets a scoop of ice cream, candied pecans, whipped cream, and a drizzle of caramel. We can also endorse the berry pies, if they have any the day you visit. Pie to start your breakfast, and more pie at the end? Go ahead, we won’t tell.55 North Main Street Rochester VT 05767 802-767-4302 Rochester Cafe’s Website Rochester Cafe on Facebook