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McSorley's Old Ale House

Not Rated.
McSorley's Old Ale HouseMcSorley's Old Ale House

90 Ratings
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 18.41%
Taps: 2
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

15 E 7th St
New York, New York, 10003-8001
United States
phone: (212) 473-9148

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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 76 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Todd
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%

No this is what I call a bar! Sure it might only serve two beers (light or dark), but it's not so much about the beer as it is the experience and flavour of this place. First off, seriously, there are only two beers, but what a concept (hence the high-ish rating)! You get two 10oz mugs for $3.50, and you get them very quickly. True session beers, and tasty as hell ... which would explain why we stayed for 8 rounds.

Atmoshpere wise ... this is an oldschool bar from 1854, and it looks like nothing has changed. All of the wood is dark, and worn, with a worn floor and saw dust thrown all over it. Our server, dressed in their laid back, but sharp uniforms from another time, had been working there for 40 years. The guy didn't miss a beat and entertained us with some amazing jokes. Food was real basic, which I love ... some soups, sandwiches and a cheese plate, which by the way is highly recommended. You get a pound of cheese with sliced onion and a package of crackers. To boot, each table hosts some spicy UK style mustard.

I could go on and on about this place, but I'll end this with ... if you are in NYC, seek out this place, but enter it with an open mind and take it for what it is, not for what you think it should be.

Todd, Mar 31, 2003
Photo of Jason
4.4/5  rDev +20.9%

WARNING!!! If you look like you don't belong there then don't go in ... it was obvious from the start that Todd and I would not have a problem with this place and the bartender actually turned out to be a great guy when he noticed we did not have a bug up our ass like half the wannabes that came and went.

This place more than deserves to be here on BA, this is an old style beer bar. Old meaning established in 1854 and they only serve two beers, light or dark … no wine or hard stuff, no promo bar crap and the like. Some of the old pictures showed that they had Beamish, Carling and Ballantine India Pale as well as the light and dark. Both the light and dark were mild yet very thirst quenching. The service was perfect as we never had to wait for a beer, the food was perfectly fine … simple in a way and was fitting for the beer that they serve there. A must if coming to NYC and a place I will go back to so I can spend more than just a few hours.

Jason, Mar 14, 2003
More User Reviews:
Photo of misternebbie
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%

misternebbie, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of Will_Rivera
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Will_Rivera, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of Sellen
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Sellen, Jul 24, 2014
Photo of JKIPA05
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

JKIPA05, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of MarkSansone
5/5  rDev +37.4%

MarkSansone, May 13, 2014
Photo of KornWallace
4.74/5  rDev +30.2%

This place is simply an institution. Light or Dark are your only beer options and they are both fantastic. You don't come here for the food, just the beer and the atmosphere, both of which are top notch. This place is traditional down to the saw dust on the floor a must go to for anyone who enjoys a bar with an old style.

KornWallace, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of nycsportster
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%

Pick light or dark! One of the oldest bars in NYC, McSorley's is famous for its men only policy up to 1970. Saw dust floor and relics everywhere, it's a time capsule of a by gone era. The beer comes by the fist fulls, and goes down quick. Get used to making new friends, as no chairs go unused. Unless you are a fan of cheese and onions, grab a slice before hand.

nycsportster, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of paulish
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

paulish, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of sirsteve42
3/5  rDev -17.6%

sirsteve42, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of thefokus
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

thefokus, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of NYR_Rob
4/5  rDev +9.9%

NYR_Rob, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of patm185
4/5  rDev +9.9%

patm185, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of -NESTO-
4/5  rDev +9.9%

-NESTO-, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of seanchai
4/5  rDev +9.9%

seanchai, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of FrankJCurtin
3.75/5  rDev +3%

FrankJCurtin, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of LagersAndAles
4.75/5  rDev +30.5%

LagersAndAles, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of rev_jimmy
4.48/5  rDev +23.1%

I work a few blocks north of McSorely's. I am a traditionalist and McSorely's is the real deal. It has been around for 150+ years. The stuff on the walls isn't kitschy, it is really old. Pepe, the bartender, has been there for decades and is great at initiating first timers.

McSorely's serves two beers, their light and their dark. I only get the dark. Someday, I'll try the other one. For $5.50 two pints. In NYC, that's a steal. Being kind, the food is pedestrian at best. Do not expect a great menu. However, it is passable and it is cheap.

As for the beer, it is very drinkable. Have two and you will want two more.

rev_jimmy, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of morebeergood
3.37/5  rDev -7.4%

Third stop on a recent NYC pub crawl. First time visiting here, so we went out of way to swing by. It's worth it, this place is cool. Talk about a place with tons to look at! Doesn't look like it changed since 1860. It just reeks old NYC, and I loved it. Sawdust on the ground. Two choices of beer: light & dark. Two mugs of beer per order. Waiters wear uniforms. Just crazy that a place like this survives. For lovers of nostalgia, you have to visit here for a beer.

morebeergood, Sep 27, 2013
Photo of brewsclues
4.36/5  rDev +19.8%

"Good Ale. Raw Onions. [No] Ladies."

People who have visited McSorley's: Abe "Lincoln Logs" Lincoln. Teddy "Don't Call Me Teddy" Roosevelt. Boss Tweed. Peter Cooper. Winston Churchill. e.e. Cummings. Me.

McSorley's: grimy, dirty, historical, raw, hug-you-bar-neighbor, sing-songs-with-strangers, play flip cup with servers, be good or be gone, raw onions, buy beers in multiples of two, sawdust since the eighteen-seventies, wishbones for doughboys that never came home, graffiti from the great depression, and two solid sessionable ales. Come for the experience, stay for the experience.

brewsclues, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%

A landmark above all landmarks. No, this is not a spot for beer. Technically, it shouldn't be in the BA database. But there is no place that carries as much history as this one. Keep an eye out for Houdini's handcuffs at the base of the bar. And if you haven't been back to McSorley's in some time, the wishbones had to be dusted off per the health department. So, there will be no dust bunnies clinging to them, and a few less as they crumbled upon cleaning. This place is history for the eyes.

Oh yeah. Burp Castle is just down the street.

RblWthACoz, Aug 30, 2012
Photo of aeibrean
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%

First of all I have to preface this review by saying I am bias toward this place. I have been going here since I was in nappies/diaper. My grandfather brought me here before my first birthday. I have been a regular ever since. Mind you they did not serve me for 18 years.
This is the original beer bar/brew-pub. They only serve their own brew. They are the oldest continuously serving bar in North America.
The ales are first rate. It is very difficult to find a superiour Irish ale, dark or light. It is however the atmosphere that draws me in. You enter alone & never leave without making a friend. You stand @ the bar or sit @ a table & chat. That is what this place is for & has been for 160 years.Since 1860 every Gouvernor of N.Y., Mayor of New York, & President of The United States has been through these doors. Popes & Kings as well. Winston Churchill (sic) & Brendan Behan (sic) both drank here. Not @ the same time.

aeibrean, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of Neorebel
3.14/5  rDev -13.7%

In my opinion, McSorley's is a must see if you have some time to kill with a group of friends hanging out near the lower east side. I was going to a concert at Webster Hall in the evening and took a detour here. The atmosphere is awesome - The oldest saloon in New York! There's tons of authentic old memorabilia adorning the wall, as well as pictures, articles, badges, etc. You really have to see it. The place has a lot of historical significance. The old wooden tables are scratched to hell and there is sawdust all over the floor. Not TVs or music to distract you from your present company, just loud conversation going on everywhere and bustling staff. Don't try to engage the bartenders much - the place is always super busy and I'm sure it's hectic to keep the beer flowing. The beers are very cheap - choose from either 'light' or 'dark,' and you receive 2 small mugs for $5. They are unpretentious and straight forward beers, but definitely a huge step up from PBR or Coors Light, etc. It's a great 'man's type of place' for a reunion with old friends and other such occasions.

Neorebel, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of Rassilon
1.54/5  rDev -57.7%

McSorley's? They should change their name to McSurly's to accurately represent their staff.

The staff of jerks will take advantage of you and treat you like crap. The 2 choices of beer are okay at best. Be sure that you follow the tradition of the place: when you order a beer, you get two smaller glasses full of the beer that you ordered. Do not ask for one of each. That will piss off the surly staff even more. Maybe treating customers like crap is their gimmick.

Worth visiting once for its history as it is the oldest bar in Manhattan.

Rassilon, Jul 02, 2012
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McSorley's Old Ale House in New York, NY
83 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.