About ZZest Cafe & Bar

1190 16 St SW
#600
Rochester, MN 55902
View Larger Map

Modern Plates . Craft Cocktails . Local . ZZest.com.



At ZZest we feature products that are small batch, artisan created, and handmade following traditional family methods. We source local farm raised ingredients as often as possible, fly in fresh seafood from the coasts, and fully utilize the ingredients that are at their seasonal best.

Our Cafe is small, and, it is very, very casual -- the focus is on the food. We do take a few dinner reservations but we save most of the tables for walk in, just to keep it relaxed. So put on your favorite jeans and a comfortable sweatshirt and enjoy an elegant meal without having to count the silverware.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary American

Hours of Operation:


Dinner
Monday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm



Brunch:
Sunday Brunch and Sunday Supper: (occasional)

Cross Street:
Apache Dr. SW

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(507) 424-0080

Website:
http://www.zzest.com/

Catering:
You can pick up, or we can deliver, platters ready to serve and to be enjoyed by friends and family. From artfully presented cheese boards to savory charcuterie plates that can just be set out in advance, how easy is that?! Pasta salads, fresh mozzarella, smoked salmon, pork sliders will keep your guests happy all evening.

Contact LeeAnn@ZZestmarket for details

Check out party platters.

Parking Details:
Plenty of free front door parking.

Executive Chef:
Justin Schoville

Private Party Facilities:
Rent ZZest for your private party on Sunday or Monday nights. We can seat 50 people, or, have a casual cocktail party for 75.

Private Party Contact:
LeeAnn: (507) 424-0080

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:

Here's the calendar: event calendar.

ZZest Cafe & Bar Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.7

ambience

4.6

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

100% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (17)
Fit for Foodies (16)
Creative Cuisine (14)
See All
Tasting Menu (12)
Neighborhood Gem (12)
Special Occasion (12)
Romantic (12)
Local Ingredients (12)
Cozy (11)
Good for Birthdays (10)
Open Kitchen (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (9)
Casual (9)
Good for Anniversaries (8)
Notable Wine List (8)
Quiet Conversation (7)
Modern Decor (7)
Worth the Drive (6)
Fun (6)
Good for Groups (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Great for Outdoor Dining (5)
Great for Brunch (5)
Seasonal (4)
Tapas (3)
Late-night Find (3)
Authentic (3)
Pre/post Theatre (3)
Healthy (3)
Great Beer (2)
Business Meals (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Organic (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Bar Seating (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Waterfront (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
People Watching (1)
Spicy (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Live Music (1)
Historic (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Sort By:
S
180 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

vip
 (Des Moines)·Dined 5 days ago

Great fresh ingredients, the fish was great.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 15, 2017

3rd time we've been at ZZest and will continue to go. As it is now February, can't wait for warmer weather and the great outdoor seating.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 14, 2017

Took wife out for a meal. Friendly staff with excellent communication skills explained each course and paired wine with enthusiasm (but not uncomfortably so as some do), and made you feel knowledgeable about the meal, which was excellent. 10/10 would dine again.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem, Modern Decor, Romantic, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 4, 2017

We had very good reviews from friends, and that proved to be the case when we went. Our food was prepared well, the flavor of each item was terrific, the service was attentive without being obtrusive. The portions sizes were perfect. And try to leave for dessert, especially the creme brulee. The menu varies so another visit is definitely in the future. It was a special occasion, my wife's birthday, and instead of the usual badly sung "happy birthday" song, they presented a nice gift to use on our next visit .

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Casual, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on February 4, 2017

phenomenal food with great service. definitely one of the best places in town.

Tags: Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 29, 2017

The food and service were outstanding. Very cool ambiance. The mushroom pasta was phenomenal. We will definitely be back.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Open Kitchen, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 28, 2017

I'm always impressed with Zzest and this dinner was no exception. My favorite restaurant in Rochester. Thanks for another delicious meal!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 15, 2017

Food was amazing! Service was top notch. We will definitely be back. The bloody Mary was also finominal!

Tags: Great for Brunch, Good for a Date, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 11, 2017

It was quiet when we arrived but yet no one got our drink order til much later. Even after we ordered our drink order was not delivered til after the appetizers. We were there on a Tuesday night so it was so quiet, there was no excuse for the poor service. The server didn't check in with us or asked if we wanted dessert, just left it on the table. I still tipped the 20% out of habit but when I left I realized I probably shouldn't have.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service1
value3

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 6, 2017

Once again ZZEST exceeded our expectations. The avocado toast was special, and the short ribs were perfect. This is by far the best restaurant in Rochester.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on December 23, 2016

Excellent again!! Love to eat at ZZEST! Hope to come back again soon.

Tags: Modern Decor, Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

vip
 (Cleveland)·Dined on December 22, 2016

Best restaurant in Rochester. The tasting menu was creative and fantastic.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on December 20, 2016

Always love this place. The food is very chef driven. Flavors and textures are very balanced. One of my favorite places.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Gluten Free Options, Special Occasion, Romantic, Cozy, Great for Brunch, Handcrafted Cocktails, Open Kitchen, Bar Seating, Tasting Menu, Disabled Access, Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation, Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on December 10, 2016

My husband and I love this restaurant! The food is always delicious and we love that the menu rotates. They usually have 6-8 dinner options that change depending on seasonal and local sourcing. We love their cheese selection and the servers are always very helpful with tasty pairings. It is definitely our favorite place in Rochester!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries, Seasonal, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on December 10, 2016

Everything was excellent except the server was not able to answer multiple questions about the menu. More training before being on their own please.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 10, 2016

We entertain family, friends and clients frequently and ZZest has consistently been our main go to restaurant in Rochester. The menu changes frequently and always offers excellent and flavorful choices. Jerry and LeeAnn are gracious hosts and Jason is an amazing mixologists and sommelier. The wine and drink offerings are sure to please!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on December 3, 2016

Zzest is one of our favorite spots. The food is always excellent. The portions are always perfectly sized. The wait staff is well-informed. The bar is inventive. The ambience is casual and welcoming. Make a reservation.

Tags: Special Occasion, Tasting Menu, Notable Wine List, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Open Kitchen, Great for Brunch, Great Beer, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 19, 2016

We did the chef's tasting and were very impressed! This place is a Rochester gem and I highly recommend it. The best meal I've had in quite awhile!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 12, 2016

Fun place to go for sharing food, great drinks and a nice atmosphere. As vegetarians, we shared several appetizers, including the tasty scordalia and white bean dip, 2 types of salads, and the pasta entree, which was plenty of food. The drinks were creative including my wife's favorite, the smoking fox, which includes smoky Lagavulin scotch! Luckily we had a corner table so noise wasn't much of an issue there!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Tapas, Great Beer
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 11, 2016

We've been hitting this place, heavily, since our first date! the staff are outstanding - they are attentive but not intrusive, know the food and are capable of recommending wine or pulling in the sommelier to do so. Jason, the sommelier, is the epitome of humble teacher and generous guide. He knows his stuff and hasn't steered us wrong a single time! He's treated us to some very special wines and we deeply appreciate it! We go back to Zzest sometimes just to watch and interact with the line cooks! those guys are also very interactive and know their stuff, and cook like demons! I can't say enough about ZZest - tasty, creative food, great plate presentations, fantastic, dedicated staff! We especially like the outdoor patio - open in warmer times - overlooking the Zumbro River. A lovely combination of ambiance, great food and great staff! No - I'm not a shill for ZZest - we just keep getting pulled back!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Casual, People Watching, Neighborhood Gem, Late-night Find
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 8, 2016

Lovely evening with a great friend recovering from surgery.

Great food and wine. Comfortable, quiet surroundings.

Friendly wait staff. Will visit again :)

Tags: Casual, Quiet Conversation, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 6, 2016

You run out of duck confit and beef by 12:30 last Sunday Brunch. Overall ok

Thanks

Tags: Great for Brunch, Waterfront
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 5, 2016

First visit and will return. Loved the menu and the vibe!

Tags: Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Hot Spot, Authentic, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 5, 2016

Great ambience paired with delicious food and locally sourced food makes this a gem of a find. Great for a date night or drinks with a friend. The chef's tasting is an absolute must if you are going for dinner. When you compare the cost to the other entrees, for just a few dollars more you can try something unique, special, and fun! The Pinot Noir list is really great. I haven't been disappointed with a wine from this venue. Thanks for a great evening! We will be back.

Tags: Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Open Kitchen, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 3, 2016

Always a nice dining experience.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 27, 2016

Zest was fantastic as usual. The avocado toast is awsome. We always always have a great time there. Best restaurant in Rochester.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 27, 2016

Delicious as usual. We had the pork belly over parsnip purée with kale salad and the beef short robs over sweet potato purée. Both were spot on.

Tags: Cozy, Modern Decor, Good for Groups, Casual, Authentic, Bar Seating, Open Kitchen
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 26, 2016

Food was delicious, service was attentive but not intrusive. Overall a wonderful dining experience.

Tags: Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on October 21, 2016

The restaurant and staff never cease to impress! Loved it!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 8, 2016

Chefs tasting menu was amazing. Excellent wine pairings as well.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 2, 2016

ZZEST is our favorite place. They never disappoint. I can not say enough about the avocado toast, very special.

Tags: Cozy, Great for Lunch, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch, Bar Seating, Modern Decor, Happy Hour, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem, Great Beer, Casual, Fun, Open Kitchen
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 2, 2016

I like the remodeling that you did to the inside of the restaurant! We, however, sat outside as it was a great day and the patio was so nice! Wish you had more vegetarian options. Overall, it was a good experience, and I would return.

Tags: Cozy, Waterfront, Modern Decor, Sunday Lunch, Fun, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on September 30, 2016

The new sommelier, Jason, is excellent and definitely raises the level of sophistication and dining pleasure! Our friend loved the chefs tasting menu. Scallops were perfect and marlin dish robust.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 28, 2016

Fish should never taste fishy. The marlin they served had a fishy taste. Never should be served.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 24, 2016

Pleasantly surprised by a cozy atmosphere, along with different and delicious food, and great service!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 23, 2016

My first visit to Rochester. I was extremely pleased with the dining experience at Zzest Quality food/drinks and the staff was very personable and knowledgeable. I already told friends that this would be a place you wouldn't wanna miss when in Rochester.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 23, 2016

Where do I start...cozy atmosphere, FABULOUS staff, and wonderful tasting food. We had the "chef surprise" and we were not disappointed. It was easy to visit with our friends and we did not feel rushed to leave.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Local Ingredients, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 11, 2016

We had Sunday Brunch a ZZEST, and it was GREAT. The avocado toast is the best. The staff is super friendly and very attentive. My only complaint is that the Sunday Brunch is only once a month.

Tags: Fun, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Happy Hour, Great for Brunch, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Casual, Cozy, Local Ingredients, Open Kitchen, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 10, 2016

My husband and I enjoyed our dinner at Zzest and thought the food was some of the best we've had in Rochester. The service throughout dinner was fine - nothing great, but not terrible. We then ordered the trio of ice cream scoops for dessert and had to ask twice before it was brought out at least 30 minutes later. We weren't in a rush and it wouldn't have been a big deal, but our server was rude and but a damper on what was otherwise a good experience.

Tags: Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Kansas City)·Dined on September 10, 2016

Always interesting. The starters/small plates are always outstanding.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on September 9, 2016

Food and service superior. Small table near window...arm pit to armpit with adjacent table ruined the night😕. If you get this table ask to be reseated.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 4, 2016

Amazing food.

Excellent services.

Drinks were outstanding.

Best restaurant in the rochester area IMHO.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Local Ingredients, Pre/post Theatre, Cozy, Vegan, Special Occasion, Great for Brunch, Great Beer, Great for Lunch, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on August 27, 2016

I had a wood fire pizza, which was the best, I had so far in the Midwest.

The chocolate pudding dessert I had, was just amazing.

My friends, also enjoyed the meals they choose.

The staff was extremely friendly. We sat outside, and it was just beautiful.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Paleo Friendly, Fun, Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on August 18, 2016

A great place to spend some time with a loved one or folks from out of town. The menu is always changing, but the quality remains the same. Great cocktails and an excellent selection for plates and meals. You can't beat a tall PBR to cap the meal off, either!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on August 15, 2016

Zzest was outstanding as usual. They are the best restaurant in Rochester. Our favorite place to dine. The Avocado Toast is fantastic. The service was great. Highly recomend.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Hot Spot, Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on August 10, 2016

The service was outstanding and they managed to create a beautiful outdoor setting at a strip mall. They are known for their meal of the day as well as cheese and charcuterie. We just had an appetizer and pizza. The pizza was average.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on July 29, 2016

My wife's salmon was perfect. My lamb was good, but didn't need the whole "stew" complement; please think of your "meat-and-potatoes" guys.

Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on July 26, 2016

BBQ carrot salad and braised lamb pasta were excellent - well done chef! Our server was friendly & helpful - his wine and food recommendations were spot on.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on July 26, 2016

Came alone being in area on business. Sat outside on the patio. The ambiance of the prairie and the various seating options made the evening. Hard to believe you are in a strip center. The salmon was very good as were the cocktails and service. I am sure to go back.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on July 26, 2016

Great gorgeous drinks. Something for everyone, from 4 star takes on the classics (Manhattan, gin and T) to wine and these gorgeous tall frosty fairy-colored beverages. Interesting cheese and charcuterie board selected by the frommelier (Just made that up I think - like a sommelier for cheese). Went light so I had the gem lettuce salad - excellent, hubs had some meat thing, mom had a home-made pasta, daughter had a frosted tinkerbell aqua drink in a tall glass that required an ID- drink had funky spike-shaped leaf in it that made it edgy - and nibbled on the cheeses and Marconi almonds. Bar seems to have picked up speed, which is a good thing!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.