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Fiddler's Hearth Public House

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

21 Ratings
Ratings: 21
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.05%
Taps: 20
Bottles: 0
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

127 N Main St
South Bend, Indiana, 46601-1608
United States
phone: (574) 232-2853

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @fiddlershearth

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 21 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of styleisking
4/5  rDev -7.2%

styleisking, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of nzmpetrie
5/5  rDev +16%

nzmpetrie, May 23, 2014
Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -7.2%

ejimhof, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of Tiburon
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%

Went in on a Sunday night. They had a five piece Irish band jam session going, and it sounded pretty good. Plenty of craft beer on tap, w 3F, Bell's, and a bunch of others. I had fish & chips, which was two pieces of lightly breaded cod and fries wrapped up in a piece of the South Bend newspaper. It was a bit greasy, but I like it like that. My wife had the salmon and Irish mashed, and she enjoyed it immensely. Atmosphere was cool, w a bunch of Irish paraphernalia on the walls. Our waiter was pretty smooth, and said he had been in the states for eight months.

Tiburon, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.59/5  rDev -16.7%

Amyliz4 and I stopped by this spot over the Christmas holiday along with some family. The atmosphere is fairly laid-back with an Irish Pub sort of feel. Quite casual and not terribly crowded, though it was a weekday afternoon. The server was quick and responsive, though info on the beer was a little bit lacking. Still, pretty good. Plenty of quality beers on draft, focusing mostly on Indiana locals. A good amount of British and Irish imports as well. Despite good quality, the menu was rather limited and nothing was too exciting, though I was quite pleased to try new Indiana breweries. Pricing was reasonable for everything.

Thorpe429, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of thebeerisgood
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%

This is one of my favorite hangouts to go to for the last few years. The food is pretty authentic, as is the atmosphere, but the main reason I go is for the great beer at a reasonable price. Just the past week, they have had taps from ommegang, 3 floyds, bells and others. When KBS comes out, they have it very quickly and this is where I got to get some. The bar manager is a super cool guy and knows what beer is going to draw people in. This place can be packed in the evenings because it is a tad small, so try to go a little early on the weekends if you can.

I definitely recommend this place!

thebeerisgood, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of betsona
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%

I have been coming to Fiddler's off and on since I turned 21 (4 years), but it was not until the last year that I became a regular. It is the sort of pub that treats its regulars well and bothers to learn your name. It is this touch that makes Fiddler's more than just a nice pub. The selection is always improving it seems from just the locals (FFF, Bell's, Founders, Dark Horse), larger crafts (Stone, DFH) and traditional Isles beer to more exotic and interesting beer. Last night on tap, were Mojo, Monk's Cafe Flemish Red and Fade to Black Vol. Two. While Notre Dame students do venture to Fiddler's, those that appear are normally interested in good beer and do not diminish the atmosphere. At times it gets loud, but never too loud. The place does get packed, and there have been a few times where I couldn't get a table. Really my only complaint. Overall, if you are in South Bend, Fiddler's is well worth a visit. Best draft selection in town.

betsona, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of SuperNova777
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

This has been my main stop for a decent brew every since I got into craft beers years ago. Always a great time when i go here; Taps are always changing, really good at get allocated 1/6 barrels or cask as well, Jeremy their bartender is a very knowlegable beer geek, live music, and all around comfortable. With Notre Dame being in town we allways have a bunch of yuppies talk about being irish or keeping traditional alive...well this is probably the closest to ireland you will get in South Bend. I will be going to this place for a long time and hopefully my son will too. Great Place All Around

SuperNova777, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of Bung
4.05/5  rDev -6%

Stopped here the week before Memorial Day.
Woody, open Euro public house feel inside. Slow, but semi-knowledgeable service. Many people hanging out there almost looked like they could have been paid to dress the way they were and sit in the bar. Bunch of patrons came in and played Irish type music, just had a jam session I guess.
Solid Irish style food with some modern variation to jazz up some of the dishes. English/Irish heavy selection of beer, but a nice rotating selection of micros. Had the Letter of Marque Porter, interesting hoppy porter. Plenty of hoppy selections as well. Apparently they get some good smaller batch stuff from the mid-west as well. Looks to be about the only bar worth stopping in in South Bend.

Bung, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%

I have never been to Ireland, but Fiddler's Hearth is what I imagine it would be like if I was able to travel there. It is a quaint place with easy chairs facing a fireplace, and long tables and benches for seating. Over the numerous times that I have been there, I have always had interesting conversations with people at the tables or bar. It is a very kid friendly place, in fact my 4 year old and I sit in front of the fire and read books after our meal. They make a mean hot chocolate with shaved chocolate and whipped cream for him.

They have close to 18 taps including a hand pull which is what I love. Over my visits, they have had Bells Porter and Two Hearted, Three Floyds Robert The Bruce, Clipper City Imperial Octoberfest, as well as others on the hand pull. The rest of the taps include a nice mix of Euro imports and US craft beers- not a single macro on tap here. Special release beers have included Bells Batch 9,000, Founders KBS, Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree, and others.

They also have special events including High Gravity night about twice a year and just recently had Tax Relief night featuring Schlafly Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, and a Schlafly cask IPA that had never previously been kegged or bottled.

Their menu covers food from all seven Celtic Nations and they have a daily fish and chip bar that is wonderful. My personal favorites are the boxtys and galettes.

Service is good and I've always been served with a smile. Music is featured seven nights a week and is usually local and traditional.

Fiddler's Hearth is definitely a public house where anyone can go at anytime of the day and gather for a good drink.

gratefulbeerhead, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of mrhighlife
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%

This place is a hidden gem for beer and whiskey lovers in Northern Indiana. It is by no means a "destination" for beer like the Hopcat in Grand Rapids or The Map Room in Chicago but it is a must stop if you are in South Bend. If you live in the area it is the best we have.

they have about 20 taps and zero domestic light lagers. They generally have something from Three Floyds, Bells, Founders, Dark Horse, and some belgian draft like Chimay, Delirium, and Gouden.

The Food is outstading for what it is, Irish comfort food. It reminds of the way grandma would make it. Simply Outstanding!

The service is good and very nice, although sometimes they seem to be a bit under staffed.

All of they prices were very reasonable.

mrhighlife, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%

This place is great, really the big draw for me is the atmosphere. Just a nice little Irish pub with some great beers on tap. Had a Founder's Centennial IPA and Old Raspy tonight, and boy were these good. The Centennial was definitely fresh, in all likelihood from the recent release of this beer, which is a good thing IMO. Service was great, selection was decent with some Delerium Tremens, Delerium Nocternum, Centennial, New Holland Mad Hatter on cask, Chimay White, Old Rasputin, etc. Nothing mind blowing, but noting bad for the area/any beer drinker (if you can't be happy with Raspy, then what makes you happy?). Haven't had the food, but have heard it's above average to good, and the value wasn't bad at all. Ran specials on draft beers that made my 12 oz. Raspy $3.50. That's a pretty good deal in my book. Check it out.

LordAdmNelson, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of Twerp28
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%

The furnishings are old. It's more cluttered than a toddlers play room and more cramped than a tin of anchovies. It's dark. It's loud. It's probably the best place to eat and drink this side of Chicago.

Fiddler's doesn't try to be a pantomime Irish pub. They have the macros and some micros from the Isles and abroad, they serve typical Irish pub fare like shepherd's pie and curry, and often host Celtic bands. Be that as it may, Fiddler's knows their tribe. Constantly rotating Bell's, Founder's, Three Floyd's, always peddling the local suds. This place has really helped to grow the Notre Dame Irish culture, and has given regional microbrews a stage in South Bend. Graciously they have given neighborhood bands, a literal stage, be they Celtic or whatever. Nearly every night there is live music, whether planned or not. It can be very busy, and as such some nights there is only standing room and an eternity before you get your beer. It's completely worth it though.

If you can get past the the gnarly aesthetics, and sitting next to a stranger. Fiddler's has soul, and they have it in spades.

Twerp28, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

I definitely plan on returning here whenever I'm in town. It has a nice rustic atmosphere. On a cold rainy day the fireplace is very welcome. The wall are decorated with the local sports team and firefighter memorabilia, along with Old World maps and crafts.
The food is Celtic in nature and has names of the like. I tried the seafood stew and loved it. There was a football game on (guess what team) and the whole place was focused on it. The kitchen staff was really into it and that provided some good entertainment. The staff is friendly and service is quick.
For beer selection they have some regional beers that are nice. That day's special was Alpha King on tap! This is a sure winner.

DesMoinesMike, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%

I have been going to Fiddler's for a while and am just now getting around to reviewing this place.

I have always enjoyed myself with Fiddler's. I know that sometimes it can be packed up also sometimes it can be very open with a lot of room for movement. This also has a great deal to do with school in session or a football home game.

The food selection is good and there is something for everyone on it even if they didn't know what they wanted to begin with. The quality of the food here is exceptional with everything always coming out looking very original amd not coming out of a pan of pre-made batches.

The beer selection is always on changing on tap. This is always a nice thing for the people who live here and look forward to what they are going to be getting. For the people who are from out of town this can sometime suck because they think this is only what they have. In the past I have seen things like Founders, FFF, Great Lakes, Bell's, Chimay, and many many others come and go and come back again.

Overall this place is my personal choice for where to head to when you just want to get a good beer and some good food.

alleykatking, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of youngblood
3.9/5  rDev -9.5%

I visited on 12/27/08. I wasn't quite sure what to think. I was already in a pissy mood because I was missing a friend's bachelor party (missed a case of duvel and Rocky Patel cigars). When we arrived, the place was packed. There were 8 of us and we knew that we would have a long wait in order to sit down. I made myself useful and perused the drink list. It was pretty unimpressive. Since this is an irish pub, the focus was primarily on macro british isle beers. (Not a fan of many of those). I was pleased to see Bell's Two Hearted Ale and Kalamazoo Stout on tap. I stuck with both of those most of the night.

Since the place was very crowded, the noise level was quite high. I am not fond of high noise levels, but I survived. The main attraction that evening was an Irish revival band called Kennedy's Kitchen. They made the evening. Fantastic mix of originals and irish folk songs.

That evening I had their fish and chips. It wasn't fantastic, but fish and chips are never fantastic. I tried a friend's shepherds pie and that turned out to be fantastic. I wish that I would have ventured out on my food ordering more as I have a feeling that food is where this place shines.

Overall, it was a pleasant experience. I wouldn't make a habit of going there by any means, but it was an excellent way of passing a Saturday night.

youngblood, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of jtothamo
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

The Fiddler's Hearth is a family favorite. My wife and I sort of stumbled upon it while walking around downtown South Bend while doing some holiday shopping. After our first experience, we made it a point to make weekly visits to the Fiddler's Hearth. The drink selections are great. The food selections are superb (there aren't too many places in Indiana that do fish n' chips right...and the FH does that, complete with the newspaper wrapping). Don't mess with any thing outside of the Irish traditions menu. We've had a lot of fun at the Fiddler's Heart...drinking and enjoying conversation, food, music, and more with friends and family. If you're in the South Bend, this Public House is worth a visit. And, you won't get overwhelmed with the typical college crowd!

jtothamo, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of JToad
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%

Finally got around to review this place. As far as South Bend goes, this is the place to drink beer. With rotating taps of Great Lakes Blackout Stout, Three Floyds Alpha King, Chimay Trippel and a bunch of Irish beers, this is awesome.

Jeremy the bartender knows his shit, and is very friendly and informative.

Its hard to get a beer here sometimes, due to the crowd, but on a slow night its awesome. On Thurs. they have Bell's night. And they still have some HopSlam to tap this Thurs, so I know where I will be.

Good times, good beer, Love it.

JToad, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of aforbes10
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%

I deleted my old review and am writing a new one for freshness, since the place has changed so much in the past 3 years or so. This is a cosy, popular Irish pub in the middle of south bend, where its always warm and friendly. Food is delicious and inspired (i recommend the rarebit and Sean's Irish Mess). Beer always changing and very good, esp. in the last year or so. Chimay, lots of Bells, Brugge, Founders, Stone, Rogue, Dogfish Head, 3 Floyds all rotate through, along with a number of more pedestrian British and Irish imports. The BEST place to go in south bend for a nice beer and a relaxing night with friends.

aforbes10, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of kdoc8
3.53/5  rDev -18.1%

Fiddler's. I've spent so many great evenings at Fiddler's. It's been the scene of several birthdays, several miscellaneous, celebrations, several study or reading sessions, several quiet beers with friends. It has a very interesting atmosphere that can change quite drastically depending on the day. For example, there are open-mic nights on Wednesdays and bands can come through on weekends that pack the house and make for a great, fun, loud atmosphere, complete with Irish step-dancers on tables. However, at other times it can be almost empty and you can just sit and play one of their many board games or read a book or have quiet conversations. It all depends on what you want, but for both, it can be a great place.

They have a pretty good and extensive beer menu...my typical choice was usually Guinness (which is also listed as an appetizer). Lots of Irish and British choices, but also some locals on tap, like Bell's Two Hearted. They have a good menu for a carnivore, but not too much to offer a vegetarian, unless they eat fish, in which case the favorite is fish-n-chips. I usually got a Shepherd's Pie which was great and filling. The one thing to be aware of with Fiddler's is the service is EXTREMELY glacially slow. If you go in there with a large group, you will be there for at least 3 hours.

kdoc8, Mar 14, 2007
Photo of shivtim
3.88/5  rDev -10%

Fiddler's is probably my favorite bar/pub in the South Bend area. The selection is decent to good, with 14 on tap. There are the ones you'd expect for an Irish pub, namely Guiness, Harp, Smithwicks, Murphy's Red and Stout, Bass, Newcastle, etc... but there's also a few locals (they usually have two or three Bell's beers on tap). I like the atmosphere a lot, it's laid back and great for just hanging out. You can also sit outside. The food is really good (I recommend the Irish Stew or the Boxty) if a bit pricey. Go in the early afternoon for cheaper lunch prices. There are also drink specials on various nights, with cheaper pints to be had. Service is average, and varies by day and server. Live entertainment is usually everyday except tuesday, starting at 9PM or so, and at noon on Sundays.

*update, March 2007* after seeing the above review, I thought I'd add some to this post. I've been back to Fiddler's multiple times in the past few months, and it doesn't seem to have changed at all. Same great beer and food (the curry and chips are extra tasty, currently Bell's Porter and Two-hearted on tap), and same spotty service as always. Half the time I get a 2 for service, half the time a 4.

shivtim, Jul 10, 2006
Fiddler's Hearth Public House in South Bend, IN
94 out of 100 based on 21 ratings.