Are you craving a hearty meal that will leave you satisfied for hours? Look no further than Rochester's famous garbage plate! This unique dish is a local favorite and has been enjoyed by Rochesterians for generations. In this ultimate guide, we'll explore the history of the garbage plate, where to find the best garbage plates near me, and how to make your own at home.

What Are Garbage Plates?

Garbage plates are a combination of several different foods piled high on a plate. The traditional plate includes two cheeseburgers or hot dogs, macaroni salad, home fries, and a variety of condiments such as onions, mustard, and ketchup. However, there are many variations of the plate, including vegan and gluten-free options.

History of Garbage Plates

Garbage plates were first created in the early 1900s by Nick Tahou, a Greek immigrant who owned a small diner in Rochester. The original plate consisted of a mixture of meats and sides that were thrown together to make a hearty meal for customers. Over time, the plate evolved to include more traditional burger and hot dog options, but the name stuck.

Where to Find the Best Garbage Plates Near Me

If you're looking for the best garbage plates near me, Rochester is the place to be. There are dozens of restaurants and diners that serve up their own unique take on the dish. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Nick Tahou Hots - The birthplace of the garbage plate, Nick Tahou's is a must-visit for anyone looking to try the original dish.
  2. Dogtown - A popular spot for locals, Dogtown serves up a vegan garbage plate that is just as delicious as the original.
  3. Bill Gray's - With locations all over Rochester, Bill Gray's is a convenient option for anyone looking to try a garbage plate.
  4. Tom Wahl's - This classic diner is a Rochester institution and serves up a plate that is true to the original.

Making Garbage Plates at Home

If you can't make it to Rochester to try a garbage plate, don't worry! You can easily make your own at home. Here's what you'll need:

  • Ground beef or hot dogs
  • Macaroni salad
  • Home fries
  • Chopped onions
  • Mustard and ketchup

Cook the beef or hot dogs on a grill or stovetop, and cook the home fries according to your preferred method. Layer the beef or hot dogs on a plate with the macaroni salad and home fries. Top with chopped onions, mustard, and ketchup. Enjoy!

Garbage Plates Near Me: FAQs

Q: Are garbage plates gluten-free? A: Traditional garbage plates are not gluten-free, but many restaurants offer gluten-free alternatives.

Q: Can I get a vegan garbage plate? A: Yes! Many restaurants offer vegan and vegetarian options for their garbage plates.

Q: Are garbage plates healthy? A: Garbage plates are definitely not the healthiest meal option, but they are a delicious treat that is worth indulging in once in a while.

Q: What's the best way to eat a garbage plate? A: There's no right or wrong way to eat a garbage plate, but many people prefer to mix all the ingredients together for the perfect bite.

Q: Can I get a garbage plate outside of Rochester? A: While garbage plates are primarily a Rochester dish, there are a few restaurants in other parts of New York and other states that serve up their own versions.

Q: How did garbage plates get their name? A: The origin of the name is a bit of a mystery, but it's believed that the name comes from the mixture of different foods that are piled on the plate, resembling a pile of "garbage."


Garbage plates are a delicious and unique dish that is a must-try for anyone visiting Rochester. Whether you're looking for the original plate or a vegan alternative, there are plenty of options to choose from. And if you can't make it to Rochester, you can easily make your own garbage plate at home. So go ahead, indulge in this Rochester tradition and enjoy a hearty meal that will leave you feeling satisfied for hours.

So, what are you waiting for? Try searching for "garbage plates near me" and head to the nearest restaurant that serves up this signature dish. You won't regret it!

By Raied Muheisen 0 comment


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