To Consume

Chocolaterie Stam

IMG_0682One of the places you’ll pass by on your winding way through the sky-ways from your hotel to the conference center is Chocolaterie Stam.  Specializing in chocolate for over a century you can pick up multiple goodies to bring back to your co-workers who aren’t able to attend.  Because what person wouldn’t want a box of bonbons?

In addition, the Rochester branch also features a Gelato counter with a myriad of flavors.  Stop along your way and grab a small cup (or large) to take back to your room after a long but radically awesome day of conferencing.

To Consume

The Half Barrel

Half BarrelThere’s a lot out there for beer lovers and wine drinkers, but what about if whiskey is your go to?  Have no fear because at The Half Barrel there are over 400 bottles from which to sip.  Overwhelmed by that number?  Don’t worry, they’ve also developed 30 unique whiskey flights to tantalize your taste buds so you can be sure of something spectacular.

Lest you think that whiskey’s all they do, The Half Barrel also features a robust American-style fare menu with offerings ranging from their Hawaiian flatbread to a Blackened Salmon Sandwich to their Wild Game Cottage Pie.  Located on the corner of Historic 3rd Street and 1st Avenue, it’s a great place to wet your whistle.

To Do

Rochester Trolley Tours


Stay the weekend in Rochester and hop along on a Trolley tour with Rochester Trolley & Tour Company!  There are quite the variety to choose from, but here are some highlights for the time you’ll be visiting:

Visit the site for current tours and times.

To Consume

Forager Brewery

forager library
The Library at Forager Brewery

One of the most popular recent additions to the restaurant scene in Rochester, Forager Brewery was founded in 2015 by community-spirited co-owners and specializes in wood-fired pizza and award-winning craft beer.  Most of the decor was foraged from local barns, shops, and businesses, and much of the food is locally-sourced.

In addition to food and beer, Forager hosts numerous music events both on their indoor and outdoor stages, features pop-up restaurants, provides a bike repair station, a Little Free Pantry (people leave and take non-perishable food and household goods; all items are free for the taking), and they’re even open early for you to stop in and grab a cup of joe at their coffee bar.


Located just outside of downtown (1.4 miles from the Civic Center to be exact), Forager is definitely is worth the five minute drive, ten minute bike ride, (see: Nice Ride), or 25-minute walk.
To Do

The Last Covered Bridge

Just north of Rochester in the town of Zumbrota lies the last covered bridge in Minnesota.  Spanning the Zumbro River, which itself runs through much of SE Minnesota, the 120-foot bridge was built in 1869 and cost the whopping amount of $5,800.  It’s present location is about 1000 feet from where it was originally, but it now is the cornerstone of Covered Bridge Park which boasts a children’s play area, a picnic area, and the Zumbrota Public Library for a neighbor.

If you’re traveling on US-52, do yourself a favor and stop off for a visit.  Grab some lunch at Bridget’s Cafe or a caffeine fix at the Coffee Mill, then pop over and see the bridge.  Don’t forget to stop in a say hello to the great library staff at ZPL!

To Consume

Victoria’s Ristorante & Wine Bar

Since moving to it’s current location in the Kahler Building, Victoria’s is consistently popular with the downtown lunch crowd. Voted “Best Italian Restaurant” in Rochester for the past 16 years, Victoria offers an extensive menu of comforting Italian dishes.
If you don’t have time to sit down, stop by the adjacent Victoria’s Express for affordable – but still delicious – salad, soup, pasta and pizza to go.
To Consume

Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria

IMG_0935Rochester’s home a few great Italian places but it’s most recent addition is Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria.  Opened in 2016 by former Kahler Grand chef Pasquale Presa,  this family run NY style pizza joint is just on the edge of downtown and has become a local favorite.   Offered by the slice or you could get a whole pie, there’s a little something for everyone.

But pizza’s not the only thing they’re serving up.  The menu features calzones, stromboli, focaccia “barese”, and a case full of La Dolce Vita goodies including cannolis, panna cotta, and tiramisu.

Oh, and did we mention they deliver?  In red, white, and green striped Italian FIATs no less.