The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star.  ——— Brillat-Savarin


… to your [very own] neighborhood gem. We might be a small contender in the restaurant world, but we can pack a lot of punch in our little space. Here, the chefs can cut loose with creativity and passion, putting out our truly amazing modern plates. We flip grass fed beef burgers, mix together foie gras meatballs and create three-course chef tastings every night. Our new bar is hip and cool, and we enter the craft cocktail scene with as much passion as we put into everything. And, all done with our (and your very own) local talent! Our roots began with a tiny market and have expanded into a full on café and downtown lunch counter. Now we are three, with the Café and Bar as our favorite child. Read more about our evolution here.

Dinner Reservations ?

Call 507-424-0080

We do take reservations!  (Even though we like to save tables for walk-ins, just to keep it relaxed and spontaneous.)

Monday through Saturday 4pm – 10pm

Patio season: As soon and as long as possible! (Sorry, no reservations for the patio.)

Sunday Brunch:  Seasonal, Fall & Winter 10am to 2pm




*We can only take reservations up to 12 online, but if you have a larger party we can probably accommodate you! Give us a call!

For more options, please call us, 507-424-0080


(We Are) Local Talent

Passionate. Self Starters. Hungry.


General Manager. Executive Chef. Avid Golfer.

Justin started his culinary career as a dishwasher at a small breakfast restaurant in his hometown of Dodgeville, WI. He soon moved up the ladder and became a sauté cook and the Sunday pancake master. Although he was comfortable in the pancake life, he knew there was more out there.  [Read More]



Operations Manager. Halloween Aficionado. Musician.

What can I say. Every store needs a backbone and that wonderful task is mine! I love to hear Stef’s voice yelling, Aaaaadam!  [Read More]


Executive Sous Chef. Best Friend. Princess.

My name is Stef. I am an ambitious and determined girl! When I first realized that I’d found my passion for cooking, I pursued my dream and enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu at Brown College. [Read More]


FOH Manager. Photographer. Actress

(More coming soon …)


CEO. Owner’s Husband. Good Shot.

I started washing dishes when I was 15 years old, in Rochester’s Perkins Restaurant. Today, I have mastered many of the toughest dishwashing techniques. In a quest to be promoted to line cook, I left my dishwashing job at age 16, and started to cook at the, now defunct, Embers restaurant. [Read more]


Owner. Eater. Drinker.

I really can’t remember not thinking about food. Actually I like thinking about cooking food too. I was interested early on. In grade school my mom worked part time and in the 60’s that wasn’t very usual. She needed help when she got home from work and gave me a couple of recipes cards to get things started.   [Read more]

The Bar

Shaken. Stirred. Crafted.

Our bar team consists mostly of Jason. He came home from college a year ago Christmas, helped out and never went back! College education is so over rated… right? He has tons of enthusiasm, charisma and is a super fast learner!  [Read More]


Smile. Smile. Smile.

The job that probably changes leading ladies/men most frequently. But nevertheless they come ready to run, laugh and serve. The current cast includes: Andrus, Todd, Laura, Kimberly, Owen, Hunter, Maddie, Gabriela.

The Rest of the Crew

Talent. Tattoos (some). Trained.

The backbone of our amazing food, the cogs in the wheel that keep us going. In the kitchen:  Chefs, Jasmine, Michael, Josue, David, Jeff, Chad, Back of the House: Evelio.

Come On, Find Us!

(On line, yes, but of course we're way more fun in person)

1. ZZest Café & Bar

1190 16th St SW #600
Rochester, MN 55902

Tel.  507-424-0080

Tuesday–Saturday 4pm – 10pm


Gift Cards

Of course we have gift cards! They’re accepted at all of our locations — the Café & Bar, the Lunch Counter and the Market. AND the newest newbies Porch! We’ll send your card to you in the mail — and they usually come pretty fast. Too easy!

ZZest Café & Bar: Your very own neighborhood gem.

ZZest Market: Your local source for small batch and quality ingredients.

ZZest Lunch Counter: Kind of like a food truck, only in a skyway.