Are you looking for a truly unique culinary experience? Look no further than the garbage plate, the ultimate Rochester, New York delicacy. With its roots dating back to the Great Depression, this hearty dish has become a beloved staple of the region. But where can you find the best garbage plate near me? In this article, we'll explore the history of the garbage plate, its key components, and the top places to find this local delicacy.

What is a Garbage Plate?

The garbage plate is a classic Rochester dish that typically consists of a combination of the following:

  • Macaroni salad
  • Home fries
  • Baked beans
  • Meat (such as hamburger, hot dog, or chicken)
  • Onion and mustard
  • A variety of toppings, including hot sauce, ketchup, and cheese

Despite its name, the garbage plate is a delicious and filling meal that has become a symbol of Rochester's unique food culture.

The History of the Garbage Plate

The exact origins of the garbage plate are a bit murky, but most agree that it was first created by a restaurant called Nick Tahou Hots in the late 1910s. The dish was originally called the "Hots and Potatoes," and it consisted of a hot dog on a bed of potatoes.

Over time, the dish evolved to include additional ingredients such as macaroni salad and baked beans. The name "garbage plate" is said to have originated in the 1950s, when a customer ordered "one of those plates with all the garbage on it." The name stuck, and the dish has been known as the garbage plate ever since.

Garbage Plate Near Me: Where to Find the Best in Rochester

If you're looking to try the best garbage plate in Rochester, you won't have to look far. Here are some of the top places to find this local delicacy:

Nick Tahou Hots

As the birthplace of the garbage plate, Nick Tahou Hots is a must-visit destination for any Rochester foodie. The restaurant has been serving up plates since the 1910s, and it's still going strong today. The original location on West Main Street is a bit of a dive, but the food is worth it. Be sure to try the "sauce," a spicy meat sauce that is a key component of the garbage plate.

Dogtown Hots

Dogtown Hots is another popular destination for garbage plates in Rochester. This restaurant offers a variety of different plates, including a vegetarian option that features a veggie burger patty. The hot sauce here is particularly delicious, so be sure to ask for extra.

Steve T. Hots & Potatoes

Located in the suburb of Henrietta, Steve T. Hots & Potatoes is a favorite among locals. The restaurant offers a variety of different plates, including a "chili dog plate" that is particularly popular. The portions here are generous, so come hungry.

Mark's Texas Hots

Mark's Texas Hots is a classic Rochester diner that has been serving up plates since the 1950s. The restaurant is known for its generous portions and friendly service. Be sure to try the "country plate," which features a mix of home fries, macaroni salad, and baked beans.

Tom Wahl's

Although Tom Wahl's is primarily known for its burgers, the restaurant also offers a pretty solid garbage plate. The "waste plate" features your choice of meat, as well as macaroni salad, home fries, and a choice of toppings.

The Distillery

The Distillery is a sports bar and grill that offers a variety of different garbage plates. In addition to the classic plate, the restaurant also offers a "pulled pork plate" that is a fan favorite. The portions here are huge, so come with an appetite.

Bill Gray's

Bill Gray's is a popular Rochester chain that offers a variety of different plates, including the classic garbage plate. The "cheeseburger plate" is also worth a try. Be sure to ask for extra hot sauce if you like it spicy.

Garbage Plate Near Me: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the best meat to get on a garbage plate?
  • The most common meats to get on a garbage plate are hamburger, hot dog, or chicken. It ultimately comes down to personal preference.
  1. Is the garbage plate gluten-free?
  • Unfortunately, the classic version of the garbage plate is not gluten-free due to the inclusion of macaroni salad and home fries. However, some restaurants offer gluten-free versions of the dish.
  1. Can I order a garbage plate to-go?
  • Absolutely! Most restaurants that serve garbage plates offer them to-go. Just be aware that the portions are large, so you might need a few extra containers.
  1. How spicy is the hot sauce on a garbage plate?
  • The spiciness of the hot sauce varies depending on the restaurant. Some places offer a mild version, while others crank up the heat. If you're not sure, ask your server for their recommendation.
  1. Is the garbage plate a healthy meal?
  • Let's be honest: the garbage plate is not exactly a health food. However, it's a delicious treat that is worth indulging in from time to time.
  1. Can I make a garbage plate at home?
  • Absolutely! There are plenty of recipes online that can guide you in making your own garbage plate at home. Just be prepared for a bit of a mess in the kitchen.


The garbage plate is a beloved Rochester dish that is a must-try for any foodie visiting the area. Whether you're looking for a classic plate or a unique twist on the dish, there are plenty of restaurants in the area that can satisfy your cravings. So why not head out and explore the best garbage plates near you? Your taste buds will thank you.

Now that you know all about the garbage plate, it's time to go out and try one for yourself. Remember to ask for extra hot sauce if you like it spicy, and be sure to bring your appetite. Happy eating!

By Raied Muheisen 0 comment


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