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J. Ryan's

Not Rated.
J. Ryan'sJ. Ryan's

22 Reviews
Reviews: 22
Visits: 37
Avg: 4.2
pDev: n/a
Taps: 69
Bottles: 30
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

253 E Water St
Syracuse, New York, 13202-1121
United States
phone: (315) 399-5533

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: John on 11-20-2009

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 22 | Visits: 37
Reviews by Roguer:
Photo of Roguer
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

A - A step above dive bar, a step below a good Irish pub. Relatively small, but friendly service.

Q - The burger I had was good, but not great. The beer was great.

Ser - Very good service, and when the bar gets busy, the bartender keeps up well. Never did table service, so I can't comment on that. No problem getting a beer (or two or three), quick delivery on the food, and an unsolicited offer for beer samples. Kudos.

Sel - 69 beers on tap. Oh, you need more? Plenty of classics, and plenty of beer I simply cannot get back home. Yeah, maybe Flower Power flows like water in your neck of the woods, or Devil Dancer is the new sliced bread, but I was pretty damn thrilled at the selection. Not just a lot of beer; a lot of GOOD beer.

F - Again, decent, and consistently so. Nothing wrong with the food, but it's a step shy of great.

V - Beer prices were reasonable. Sandwiches looked a bit pricey for pub grub, but the burgers were surprisingly priced pretty low.

Being a non-local, I can hit this place up every day and still try a new brew. The price of the burgers means I won't complain about having my dinner there, either. Some very good beers at a reasonable price.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of -MK-
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Best place in central ny to get a beer, and the food is excellent barfood. Great boom boom shrimp and awesome nachos - the burgers and wings are too bad either. As for the beers, about the best prices you could hope for, and always an awesome selection that is in season.

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Photo of funckmasterflex
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Great selection. 69 on tap, and always rotating to something new. Lately they have had some very interesting beers. Femme Fatale, Mission Gose, full stack, Bon Bon & other Singlecut's, a Dogfish Head night with 60, 61, 90, & 120. And a huge stone takeover a couple months back. Always keeping the selection interesting, with an excellent staff & bartenders.

 357 characters

Photo of AMCimpi
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of ilthik
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

The variety of beers available here is incredible. I've never counted them, but there are at least 50 beers on tap at any time. Prices are reasonable. Never tried the food.

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Photo of Cooker_stp
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of craftaholic
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of DannyBoyDD
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Soloveitchik
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of Klor
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

I really like the atmosphere and the selection that they have on any given day.

79 characters

Photo of mklisz
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Dave_Treat
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Really enjoyed my visit. Excellent section of locals and us favorites. Prices were excellent. Staff was extremely friendly. Food was excellent; tried the nachos and steak sandwich, recommend both. Will definitely try again on my next visit to Syracuse.

 252 characters

Photo of Eweimer1
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Edward19
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

This bar offer's a great selection for very reasonable prices. I like that the bar offers a smaller portion size than the regular 16oz draft - It saves on price and abv especially if you are driving. The beer is always fresh and I have never been disappointed with the quality of the product. They offer a menu with your typical bar food. I recommend the bam bam shrimp it goes great with a nice ipa. They offer a wide variety of styles of beer. In this era of hop craze their selection of ipa's is the largest which is definitely not a bad thing. Overall, if I am looking to drink craft beer this is the establishment that I will go to - great price for what you are getting. I have never left J Ryan's disappointed.

 717 characters

Photo of MadScientist
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of mikecampbell411
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of hopsalot57
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of brianmandell
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5

I'll keep this short. Good bar with a decent atmosphere. The food is serviceable. The beer selection is outstanding and certainly a highlight in syracuse. The bartender and service were also excellent. The bartender made suggestions and gave me tastes of multiple items I was interested in including founders sweet repute and backwoods bastard. They have some of the national standards as well as harder to find brewers in this area such as Jacks Abby and dark horse. There are also multiple taps each for bells, firestone and Avery. Bottle selection is minimal but with over 60 taps there is something for everyone.

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Photo of Baab200
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of BeerBucks
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of rhubyrhod
3.51/5  rDev -16.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5

Decided to check this place out on a trip though the area after reading about it here.

A: It's ok. Not horrible, but if any finished basement from the 80s and a Ruby Tuesdays had a baby, this would be the result. They had a pool table, a TV or 2, and that's it. I didn't come here for the atmosphere, but the people there were very friendly. It's a neighborhood joint with a side of punk.

Q, S, S: all good to very good. The beer selection was good, but after reading the reviews, I expected a little more. People rave about this place. I had a flower power which was tasty, and a Petrus Brown, which was a delight to see here, so kudos for that. Service was very good.

Overall good value, but I don't get what all the fuss is about.

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Photo of MVotter
4.9/5  rDev +16.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

First time at J Ryans, Syracuse. I had heard that the beer menu was excellent and I was NOT disappointed!

We were there with a large party after a Syracuse/Villanova basketball game. We combined some tables, ordered some pitchers of Middle Ages IPA, and others in our group (including yours truly) wanted to sample a variety of brews and ordered pints.

I had a nice fresh Flower Power IPA, to start and a Founders Breakfast Stout arrived a little bit ahead of my sandwich...which, by the way I order with beer battered onion rings, the best I've ever had.

The atmosphere, as mentioned by previous reviewers, is fairly laid back. The music never gets so loud that you can't talk to the people you came to share time with, and when they played a live, circa 1989 version of The Wheel, by the Grateful Dead...I was SOLD!

If you're in Syracuse...don't miss it. 69 beers on tap...excellent food and plenty of space! Actually it reminded me of a 1/2 or 3/4 version of The Sunset Grill and Tap, Boston, MA.


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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

One of the most overlooked bars in Syracuse, it is in my opinion the only one that approaches what Clark's used to be, though in a different vein.

J Ryan's is located right on the edge of downtown Syracuse, on the edge of Hannover square, and is only a couple blocks from the Erie industrial/commercial strip and the slightly rundown James St. residential area. the location does afford it plenty of parking, however- There are free street spots available on the block every time I've been there, and that's pretty often.

Inside, it's a pretty typical American pub, tile floor, low ceiling, pool table, etc. with enough stained wood and brass to give it a marginally classy feel. Small-ish, but there is a large brick patio that is available during the relatively short periods that the weather in Syracuse is amenable. There's almost always a thorough mix of ages and backgrounds present, and it doesn't often get overly crowded like a lot of other places popular with the college crowd. They also do quite a few special events and beer tastings.

The selection here is great- they have three or four macros to satisfy the odd customer, but the other 60+ beers on tap are always rotating and usually from at least 40 different breweries. The turnover is surprisingly fast, and they generally have 5 or so new beers every week, if not more. I've never been there and not seen something I havn't tried before. The only drawback is that their beer menu isn't always up to date- luckily the servers usually mention it. They also have a cooler full of bombers to go, and there's almost always a cask ale available, usually something tasty from Middle Ages. I do have to say, though, that they sometimes "run low" after a big holiday or Syracuse Beer Week, and you'll only see 45-50 beers available while they replenish their stock.

Most importantly- they serve each beer at the temperature it was meant to be drunk, which is shockingly rare in my experience. I can't even say how much this impressed me after having to explain to a waitress at another Syracuse "beer bar" that I was waiting for my icy imperial stout to warm up when she thought I didn't like it.

The staff is exceptional, and there has been more than one occasion that I've gotten a free pitcher of one of my favorite brews for no particular reason. Free pitchers can be a dangerous thing, indeed. Otherwise, service is generally quick, the bartenders are attentive, and they always know more than you wanted to hear about the latest offerings. The kitchen staff is almost as good, and you'll often have your food in 10 minutes, never more than 20.

The food is quite good, but pretty simple. Fish sandwiches, burgers, wings, nachos, etc. The big plus is that the most expensive thing on the menu is $8.00 and the kitchen is lightning fast.

For the selection and service, this place is CHEAP! $2/2.50 daily specials (there are always two), $10 craft pitcher specials, $4 cask pints, cheap food, and free pool/darts on Sunday/Monday all add up to me getting to try more beer and hang out for hours. Most of the draughts on the menu are in the 4-6 dollar range, which I would consider average for Syracuse, but free samples and free "accident" pours are in abundance.

Overall- It's pretty chill, pretty cheap, and the staff are excellent. All of that would be nice without the stellar beer selection and genuine appreciation for what they are serving. Definitely my favorite hangout/tasting bar in Syracuse.

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J. Ryan's in Syracuse, NY
93 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.