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Blue Monk

Not Rated.
Blue MonkBlue Monk
BA SCORE
100
world-class

76 Ratings
Ratings: 76
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: n/a
Taps: 32
Bottles: 77
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

727 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, New York, 14222-1638
United States
phone: (716) 882-6665

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: JAramini on 10-04-2010

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 46
Reviews by LittleDon:
Photo of LittleDon
4.55/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

A near perfect place for beer and food. One of the best I've been to.

I was excited when I found this place on BA. Great beer and food menu. I was not disappointed when I got there. I'll start with my only negative experience at Blue Monk. It was loud. Really loud. I could bare hold a conversation with my colleague on the other side of a two top. Aside from that, everything was top notch. Interesting two story location. The vibe was a mix of young and old BAs. Lots of folks at the bar downstairs. Mostly people standing a few deep, but also a small number of tables. There were additional tables on the second floor. The night I was there was Stone Cask Night, with five beers to choose from. The waitperson was extremely helpful in our moments of beer indecision. There were an additional 27 taps, so this was no small feat. To add to this, the food was excellent. I had the Delerium Tremens mussles which came in a rich broth. The meal was finished with meatballs stuffed with blue cheese and seasoned with caraway. If I every make it back to Buffalo, I'll definitely make it back.

More User Reviews:
Photo of eflynn2
5/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

For beer lovers this is ground zero yet they are not arrogant and still provide great service.

Photo of Wingalls
4.69/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Awesome spot. It gets slammed so service can be a tad slow, but it's not because the staff isn't trying their hardest. Amazing food to go with amazing beer. Expect to spend ~$17 for a great burger and a beer.

Photo of Steffanie
4.33/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Definitely worth the wait. Go here, you won't be disappointed.

Photo of Gunboat82
3.4/5  rDev -25.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 1.5 | food: 4

I must have caught them on a bad day -- 13 out of 32 taps were devoted to Bell's, and they had a poor selection of stouts. Don't rely on the Web site tap list, as they rarely update it. The atmosphere was good, and the food was slightly better than the usual pub fare.

Photo of madnismo
4/5  rDev -12.5%

Im giving the bar and beer selection a 4 ONLY. The food and sous chef suck balls! She cant cook, the fish was under cooked. the burger wasnt even cooked, i ordered medium rare it wasnt even rare..she argued about it to me...and over cooked the mac & cheese. she really sucks...If you are looking for a beer, great place though!

Photo of jwjon1
3.02/5  rDev -33.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

In Buffalo on business, and as per usual, sought out a highly rated bar for after work beers.

Walked in and was immediately hit in the face with the stench of stale beer. Not a great first impression, though it did take me back to my college days. Grabbed a seat at the bar and studied the tap list, being immediately greeted by a bar tender who was very nice and patient. The tap list was decent, with a large number of Belgian beers (no surprise). What was surprising was the lack of locals. One Community IPA, and a Southern Tier on nitro. Nothing on the list really screamed must try, or even, can't find this most places, so went with the Community.

My second impression was even more of a disappointment than my first: my pint tasted like the line hadn't been cleaned for some time. I can't tell you the last time I had a pour from dirty lines, but the rancid taste is unmistakable.

I had planned on enjoying a few beers and eating dinner here, but I was so turned off with the apparent lack of hygiene of the place that I went elsewhere after one beer.

Given the great reviews of the place, I'll assume I just caught them at a bad time. I was definitely unimpressed.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.51/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The best beer bar in Western New York. Nestled right in the heart of Elmwood Village.

Everybody knows about Blue Monk, so it gets a bit crowded. With good reason- the beer selection is outstanding. It's sort of got a Belgian beer bistro feel to it, and there's always some good Belgians on tap, as well as occasion 3F and Cantillon bottles, but the selection is so much more than that. They carry great local microbrewery Community Beer Works all the time, have some great Southern Tier, Ithaca, and Ellicotville local brews, has other great US craft breweries of every kind and location, and then a ton of other international beers from countries most beer bars don't even touch. I've had a smoked imperial stout from Iceland (Lava) a big, beefy porter from Finland (Sinebrychoff) a tasty IPA from Sweden (Dugges High Five!) and an earthy Italian saison (Nuova Mattina). Lots of Evil Twin on tap most of the time as well. One of the most varied and inventive tap lists I've ever seen. Incredible that this place exists in Buffalo!

The food is good, but typically expensive. They have all of the usual Belgian beer bar food suspects- pommes frites, mussels, etc, etc. Only had food there once and I enjoyed it.

The beer is expensive, but understandably so. Some of the kegs had to have been hard to acquire. Their bottle list is very pricey, but I've never dabbled with it. Pricey is somewhat ok if you can order Cantillon, though, so there's that.

Must stop. Go now!

Photo of EdFlynn
4.81/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Best Belgian / Gastropub in Northeast!!!! Tried Monks Café in Philly and others In NYC but Blue Monk is better for atmosphere, location, menu and outdoor/café experience. Much better service/attitude than Monk's Café (not rude and cute waitresses) and food is aligned with beer. Blue Monk is part of Buffalo dynasty for restaurants with Coles, Brennans and Liberty Hound.

Photo of rhubyrhod
4.61/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

We stopped through Buffalo on a long driving trip from St. Louis to Nantucket, and I wasn't too excited about our options given the first few exits we tried. Then I hit up the always-reliable beeradvocate review section. Man, were me my wife and I super pumped about finding this place. FIrst off, it's set in a very nice part of Buffalo, sort of older established nice homes, very well maintained with a bohemian of vibe about the area. Very cool, lots of little shops, young and old people walking around, etc. Reminded me of a neighborhood you might find in Chicago.

Anyway, this place rules. Very laid back with an open-air front, a few covered tables outside, seating on the ground floor and some upstairs.

The major focus on the beers is towards belgians, light and dark, many saisons and pilsners, a few porters, stouts and browns, and 5-6 IPAs, and just as many IIPAs. Overall a great beer selection, something for everyone. We sat at the bar, and the two women behind the counter were very friendly, knowledgeable about the beers, offered plenty of samples, and just made the vibe that much more enjoyable.

The food is also outstanding. There's is a slight bend to European-style pub food, 4 types of mussels (the red curry ones were excellent), frites, a few(!) duck confit options, amazing duck poutine, dude next to us had a burger that looked phenomenal, and the rest of the menu seemed pretty solid.

Overal, A+, we would absolutely go back. If you are in the area or just driving through, I would make a concerted effort to stop by and grab a seat at the bar, grab a pint and order anything on the menu.

Photo of sliverX
4.29/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Likely the best tap list in the city for imports and especially sours.
Very limited menu but I have never been disappointed in my orders. Slight issues with my gluten free partners meal once but was remedied with a round on the server. We waited almost an hour for food that was then made with gluten rich toppings she specified to not be on the salad and the kitchen tried to get away by just "scrapping" them off. She said she won't go back but I'm not against it.

Mixed experiences with servers knowing their beers and being clueless to beer but if you're here you should have a clue what you're looking at anyway.

Gets a bit packed and way too hip on weekends. Have witnessed many a crushed dream of some bro all shored up looking for sloots and ordering a Bud Light ...
This is not a cheap date kind of place, is a small "room" and can be busy but the taplist makes you ignore all of that.

Photo of Gmanofleisure
4.98/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I've lived in Buffalo for a while, and Blue Monk has been one of the most welcome additions to the area in a long time. I guess it starts with the beer - so you can expect 30 high quality on tap in addition to an outstanding bottle list. Selection is a nice balance of American craft along with Belgians and others.

Service is outstanding. With just one exception, the bartenders are friendly, fun, quick, and totally happy about sharing their beer knowledge with the customers. The rest of the staff is also super! Barbacks, wait staff, and management is the best our area has.

Being vegan, I can't comment on too much of the food, but can vouch for the vegan frites, which are the best. My family likes the mussels and duck reubens.

We like attending the almost weekly tasting events- always introducing a new beer to the area or focusing on a certain style. Now that its warm, the beer garden out back enhances the space. Definitely ranks high among beer pubs I've been to anywhere.

Photo of Spiderbeerman
4.69/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

This is a great stop for all of you beer connoisseurs. It was a crowded happy vibe that permeates the place. The wait staff is helpful and fun and the food is fabulous. This a great place to hang out after work or later in the night. In the Elmwood Village it is convenient to other bars and restaurants, but once you're here you might as well stay.

Photo of Michael_D
4.23/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

I really like this place. Can usually score a few beers here that you won't be able to anywhere else. (served normally in tulips or snifters, depending on the beer).

It's a little pricey to get dinner and some beers, but with the quality of food and the selection of beers, it's ok.

It gets really packed on Friday and Saturdays, but the rest of the week is reasonable. Service is hit or miss, but as stated before, the beer and food make up for it.

Photo of vonnegut21
4.58/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Let me start by saying my biggest issue with Blue Monk is that I live 5 hours away. Seriously, if I was a local, I would be here multiple times a week.

The atmosphere is great. The bar is an excellent mix of beer geeks, young professionals, hipsters and families. The bar is always high energy and the back picnic area is a nice place to relax.

The quality is second to none in Buffalo. The selection is great. There are 30-35 taps, mostly Belgian, some extremely tough to find in Upstate NY. There are a handful of non-Belgian offerings, mostly local which are also excellent (Pumking is a staple in the late summer/fall).

The food is also very excellent. Easily the best food I've had in Buffalo. The frites fried in rendered duck fat are incredible. Even staples such as mac and cheese are given excellent treatment at Blue Monk.

If you're from anywhere near the area, make it a point to stop here. The best bar/restaurant in Buffalo, bar none.

Photo of gabedivision
4.73/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

A Belgian themed beer garden located in the heart of the Elmwood village, tons of beer on tap, some are always there (delrium, maudite and such) others change quite often. Excellent bottle selection, all types of sours and bitters and trappest beers. All beers are served in appropriate glassware, bartenders and servers are knowledgeable about most of the beers. The food is excellent, very bistro. It is definitely pricy but it is also impossible in Buffalo to find 80% of these beers. Great bar great food, almost impossible to not be elbow to elbow in there however, the bar area is small and always packed.

Photo of sdj5
5/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place is truly wonderful. They have only the best and rarest beers on tap for your enjoyment. They feature Belgian offerings, but are surely not limited to one style. The last time I was there I had Evil Twin Yin Imperial Stout from Denmark and my friend had Delerium Tremens. I want to get there to try Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier! They have a ton of taps and they change all the time. Worth the time, worth the money. It can become very crowded because it is such a popular destination on Elmwood.

Photo of korguy123
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited Leap Day with my fiancee for dinner.

It was fairly quiet and we were greeted not only by the bartender but our friendly hostess. We were seated immediately and our server was over in seconds with waters and a friendly hello.

The draught and bottle menu is quite extensive and unfortunately the Stillwater Two Gypsies I wanted was out of stock. My second choice was a kriek that was served in a champagne bucket. The server was a little taken aback when I wanted only one glass (my fiancee can't drink alcohol)

I ordered the Thelonious Burger (medium) with chips and it was fantastic. My fiancee ordered the Poutine and we both agreed it was a tad dry but she enjoyed it anyways.

The atmosphere was comfortable and we actually found parking right in front of the building.

Will definitely be returning.

Photo of mendonjoebeer
4.38/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Went for lunch with my wife on a friday at 1:00. I was afraid it would be too crowded, but not so. We we seated right away and service was prompt. The food was very good. We had shrimp bisque,their frites,a grilled cheese & a blt.

The draft selection provided many good choices. My wife had a Blanche de Chambly and I had a Bear Republic Mach 10. Both 12oz servings in proper glasses. Unfortunately, they were out of my next 2 choices on the list- Vitus & Van Honsebrouck Kasteel Rouge, but there were many other choices to keep me happy. I finished with a nice German Heffe that I cannot recall the name of. The online draft list is very up to date.

They had a sign out front stating they would be having a fresh cask of Flower Power at 5:00, but we could not stay that long- bummer.

We will return fore sure

Photo of buffaloipa
4.63/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I feel very fortunate to both live and work cose to this jewel of a tavern. The atmosphere is very nice, though space is limited on busy nights. Great selection of not only Belgians but also many American, European and Canadian craft breweries as well. There are some rarities available here that we just can't find elsewhere in WNY. A nice element IMO is that there is only one television and it stays off unless there is a Sabres or Bills game on. Refreshing to be able to talk to folke in a bar in Buffalo for a change.

The staff behind the bar know their stuff and are always happy to talk beer and provide a sample to taste before dropping $8 on a brew. (Prices are high but worth it IMO)

My last visit I had an Evil Twin Yin RIS (Denmark) to start and then a Weyerbacher Quad (US) with my order of mussels. Both beers were outstanding (and very strong :0 )

The food that I have ordered in the past includes the Duck Frites (fantastic) the Mussels (also delicious) and an Elk Burger (not as fond of that one but how many chances to order Elk do I get?).

I definitely recommend this place to anyone in Buffalo or visiting. It's a great addition to the Elmwood Strip's variety of restaurants, bars and shops and a beer lover's heaven.

Edit: Changed my atmosphere to a 5 as I was thinking of the former occupant of this spot, Merlin's. Perhaps the diviest of dive bars. An amazing reuse of the spot.

Photo of atomeyes
4.88/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

We were in Buffalo to go to a Sabres game and, when killing time, we decided to go for a pint or 2 at Blue Monk. The name rang a bell after I'd quickly read the Buffalo board ages ago. I said to my wife "let's go inside and see if they have anything worthwhile on tap."

I forgot that we weren't in Toronto anymore; never mind "worthwhile"! The tap selection was amazing. 30 taps available an I could have easily had 20 of them. The choices range from area-ish microbrews to Belgian must-haves to Belgian hard-to-gets.

I have no qualms paying $8 for a larger tulip glass of a nice Belgian beer. They're hard to get. We're not talking about Monday Nite Molson Canadian $1 Pints. So while its on the expensive side, I expect to pay for quality and selection.

The staff: our bartender was incredibly nice, as was the other gent with the beard who was working behind the bar. Its always great to be able to saddle up to the bar, drink great beer and talk beer with the staff.

I'm hoping that I've converted my wife to being a hockey fan. It gives me a good excuse to do a road trip to Buffalo for another Blue Monk visit!

Photo of dogfishandi
4.65/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

finally visited the blue monk for the first time the other day and needless to say i was quite impressed. kind of a small layout, but a very nice atomosphere. a nice bar area that seats maybe 20, up a few stairs and there is maybe 10 or so tables to eat at. a small balcony area that sits maybe 5-6 with a bar top overlooking the bar and direct view to the one and only tv in the house is the best spot IMO. a nice beer garden out back for the summer months. lots of nostalgic old brewery signs, mostly belgian, and a nice collection of rare (empty) bottles along the top over the bar.

i believe 30 or so taps that are full of mostly harder to find belgians, as well as some american and europian beers. they always seem to have something impressive on tap that isnt available locally. a decent selection of funky beer. a very impressive bottle list, but those can get very pricey. everthing is served in appropriate glassware.

all the bartenders and staff that i encountered seemed very knowledgable and were eager to talk to a fellow beer nerd. did not have to wait long to order a drink despite a full house on a friday night.

i did not try the food yet, but everyone i know that has, has had nothing but good things to say about it. more than one person has recommended to me the duck frites fried in duck fat and served with selection of super tasty sauces.

everything here is a bit pricey, but they put out a very quality product and its worth every penny. always pretty packed on the weekend, youll prolly wait a while to get a seat to eat, but its an easy wait considering all the great beer and the wonderful atmosphere. the night i visited they had a small ithaca tap takeover which included flower power and cascazilla on cask and brute on tap. unfortuantly they were out of the cascazilla, but the brute was a real treat. i look forward to many more visits and im very eager to sit down to a nice meal here. highly recommended, the best beer bar in buffalo.

Photo of HopNelius
4.68/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The Blue Monk! One of the reasons that I moved to the neighborhood I did was proximity to this jewell of Buffalo. Great beer selection, a rotating 30 taps with a list of them on a huge chalkboard adjacent to the bar, list's prices and ABV as well which is nice because that's what I want to know and a lot of bars don't put it out there. Belgium themed place, tons of Belgium beers but also a nice variety of American Craft breweries. the selecdtion is always roatating. Mellow scene. Food is fantastic. They have French/Belgium fare a true gastropub menu. The Duck Fat Frites are amazing and accompany that with dipping sauses such as bacon mayonaise. They also have very good mussells that are cooked in various beers.

Photo of ng85
4.63/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Love loooove LOVE the Blue Monk on Elmwood, totally our fav place. The beir garten in the back brings back a lil nostilla from when we lived in sunny Germany...lol! tap selection is totally impressive, always start with a Tremens when we get there, then move onto another menu item. Duck fries are a hit as well. Wifey and i have frequented this brew joint ince it has opened and love it, they also serve the beer in its proper glass. I rate the Blue Monk Buffalo, NY an A+ even though my brother in law hates it....bc hes a budwiser man....lol

Photo of OneWildRover
4.4/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

This is a wonderful place to have delicious food, with an unbelievable beer selection. I've been here a few times now to eat, and the food is amazing. The only downfall is that it's kind of small. In the winter months, the place fills up. Aside from that, they always have unique specials, and regular dishes on the menu. The staff there is very friendly, and helpful. The beer selection is the best in Buffalo. Although the beer is a bit on the pricier side, it's worth it. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone looking to have a good brew, and delicious food.

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Blue Monk in Buffalo, NY
100 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.