Nick Tahoe’s Garbage Plate


Quintessential greasy spoon experience in Rochester, New York

Buffalo is famous for its wings. New Orleans offers the cherished po’ boys. Philly is synonymous with cheesesteaks. Baltimore is the go-to for crab cakes. Each city often has its own culinary claim to fame. Rochester, New York, joins the ranks with Nick Tahoe’s Garbage Plate, crowned as New York’s most indulgent dish by Pair it with beer, and you’ve got the pinnacle of comfort food.

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Nick-Tahoe-garbage-plate Nick Tahoe's Garbage Plate

Nick Tahoe’s Garbage Plate

The original Garbage Plate and its variations can be enjoyed at Nick Tahou Hots, founded in 1918. From the start, the Rochester dish included fried potatoes, baked beans, and various meats, sauces, and condiments.

A typical dish has a base of home fries or French fries, macaroni salad, and baked beans, often with a hamburger or hot dog sitting on top with mustard, onions, and hot sauce. It comes with bread and butter on the side.


Garbage Plate

It didn’t initially have a trashy name. It was originally called Hots and Potatoes, or “Hots and Po-tots” to regulars, the first ones were served only with hot dogs, cold beans, and home fries. In the late 1950s, the restaurant started serving burgers with the Hots and Potatoes.

The modern name evolved from customers not knowing what to call it. Locals asked for the plate with all the “garbage” on it. In the mid-1980s college. Students started calling it that too. The restaurant fought the use of that name, not finding it suitable for food.

But in 1992, realizing the name wasn’t going away, Nick Tahou trademarked it. And it’s been the garbage plate ever since.

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Nick-Tahoe-garbage-plates Nick Tahoe's Garbage Plate

Copy Cats 

Imitations of the Rochester landmark, under different names, are widespread in the area. The names include Trash Plate, Pond Plate, Plat de Refuse, Compost Plate, and Garbage Empanada. I’ve even seen imitations as far west as Buffalo. And although imitation may be the highest form of flattery, let’s be certain. Nick Tahoe’s Hots in Rochester, New York is the original.

Nick Tahoe’s is located at 320 W Main St, Rochester, NY 14608. (585) 436-0184

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  1. Ken Fitzsimmons

    Neil Cavuto of FNC channel mentioned Nick Tahoe’s restaurant at 4:30pm after eclipse on Monday. He said Nick Tahoe’s was a wonderful place as he went there many times over the years with his father. I can’t wait to go there, maybe I’ll plan a trip there soon!!

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