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59 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery

1104 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, New York, 14222-1226
United States

(716) 886-1449 | map

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Ratings: 59 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of Tomkob11
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

Photo of mark5692
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Good food, wouldn't say great, but they have a wide selection of foods that are all good. You won't have a bad meal here. A very wide selection of draughts that don't include too many basics like Labatt or Bud, just a great selection and wide variety. The service is friendly and the atmosphere is great. It is dark and cozy with a positive vibe. Used to go 3/4 times a week and I miss it. Can't wait to go back.

 412 characters

Photo of Glenn_Cole_BTBC
4.81/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Iamjeff6
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of eflynn2
4.73/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Classic bar in a great location with great food.

48 characters

Photo of BvilleBrewGuy
4.09/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of liamt07
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of spark3148857
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Danny511
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of beerhan
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of bgeisel
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of generallee
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of ecrawley
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of timmy2b
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Been going to Cole's for years. Food is great, everything, from brunch to dinner to chicken wings. Draft list rotates very well and they do a good job of keeping some local beers on the list most of the time. The bar is long, but there is only six feet of room behind the bar stools and a lot of the time the people who end up at the bar are not very welcoming to you ordering a beer around them. Bartenders are slow at times and do not know a great deal about the beers(rotating taps so I understand). Most of a time its a great place to go for a drink and some food, but the bar can be very crowded and that is my only real complaint.

 636 characters

Photo of Dee13
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of vermilcj
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of EdFlynn
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This is my favorite bar and restaurant in Upstate NY!!! Perfect location on Buffalo's hippest and best neighborhood with a college theme. Incredible draft beer selection and bottle selection. Love this place because 45 year old conservative wife slightly uncomfortable with the hip bar. I cannot say enough about this place. If I lived in this neighborhood I would be there Thursday through Sunday.

 398 characters

Photo of sliverX
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Very popular bar with the beer and non beer crowd alike. Likely the best American craft tap list in the area. At times can be overwhelmingly busy and hard to get a beer at. Servers run from knowledgable to clueless as you would expect. Food is slightly aboe average "pub" food. Expect to see a lot of suits and their "dates". Usually a slightly older crowd compaired to Goodbar. Never a bad choice as there's always something new to tick.

 438 characters

Photo of PeerlessMark
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The first beer bar I've tried in Buffalo, compared to places I've been in Ontario this was stupendous. A whopping 35 taps and a massive 100+ bottle list left me in awe of my options.

Luckily our server was extremely and let my buddy and I try a few samples before we each settled on the Brooklyn Brewmaster's Reserve which went amazingly well with our meals. Food was solid and tasty and went down a treat.

We'd hoped to try Blue Monk that afternoon but it doesn't oapen till thee. Seems it is the same owners who manage both Coles and Blue Monk.

We sat in the bar area and its a sweet, dusty place with a definite emphasis on the beer but the food is no joke either. I'll be back often.

 691 characters

Photo of cratez
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Cole's is a must-visit beer destination in Elmwood Village. It has an awesome Cheers-style ambience with a large, busy bar adjacent to some wooden tables and booths and a bright, open dining room. When we first came on a Sunday afternoon, we were seated with a bunch of college kids who seemed to be grabbing their hangover breakfasts. The atmosphere was quite loud, almost raucous, but we rolled with the punches and ended up having a great time. Second visit was much more laid back, we sat at the bar and received quick, affable service from a middle-aged man who knew a lot about the brews he was pouring.

Beer selection is 35 taps and a massive 100+ bottle list of mostly U.S. micros. Over two days I had Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA, Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale, Bear Republic Old Scouters Barley Wine, and Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet Black I.P.A. on draught and Green Flash West Coast IPA in the bottle. The bartender also gave me a small sample of Harpoon Island Creek Oyster Stout.

Unfortunately the food was mediocre: my eggs were overcooked, the hash browns were soggy, and my girlfriend's salad had way too much goat cheese in it. However, Cole's is simply a fantastic place to drink in with the best selection of American craft beer that I've encountered thus far. And similar to Blue Monk, its lively and approachable vibe appeals to beer geeks and non-beer-drinkers alike. We really enjoyed ourselves here and we'll be back on future trips to Buffalo.

 1,460 characters

Photo of alexkeil
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

If you're visiting Buffalo and want a great meal, great beer and selection, and an authentic Buffalo experience this is the bar. The building used to be the show room for the Pierce Arrow Auto company, makers of what used to be the American luxury car. The bar has been around well before my time and the people that drink there reflect that: it is a nice mix of young and old. The beer selection is contained in its own menu: there are many choices in both bottle and draft. There isn't much for parking: the street or a small parking lot in the back. Bathrooms are clean and recently remoldeled. The food is excellent, it is a mix of burgers, sandwiches, pastas, and whatever the chefs have dreamed up. Excellent for a meal, to watch the Sabres game, or to sit at the bar and sample beer.

 790 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.75/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Cole's was my number-one beer stop during our short time in Buffalo. My wife and I stopped there on a cold Sunday afternoon after touring the nearby art museums. The city outside looked dead, but Cole's was very much alive and going strong.

I don't know what to think about the decor/atmosphere. It is warm and cozy, great for spending a chilly Winter day. But it also feels a little old and ratty, like the mothballs have not been swiped since they opened in 1934. Booths are comfortable and roomy, but the bar on the other side seems to be perennially packed.

They have 32 beers on tap listed on the menu- a nice list, but not a single one I would go crazy over or about. Highlights were Southern Tier Net'Ra Gal, Lost Coast Double Trouble (can't get this downstate) and Sierra 30th Grand Cru.

There is also stuff by Stone, Ommegang, Harpoon, Great Divide, Bear Republic and some Belgians like Chouffe and Lindemans. It was listed as "winner of the the best beer list in Buffalo 09-10", but I was in Harrisburg the day before and selection at that shitty dead town was way better than here.

Service was fine. I had read many complaints about this issue here on BA, but I had no problem. Server was efficient and just good. Not super friendly, no smiles. But fine.

Food is pricey (although not as expensive as in The Blue Monk), and not very good. Just bar comfort food, unfitting for a somewhat upscale joint like this. My Reuben sandwich was tasty, but I mean, it's a Reuben. My wife's crab cake was nasty. Buffalo is not famous for crab cakes, is it?

I give them 3.5 in quality because their beer list was not updated, and the prices were wrong. They were out of Oak-aged Yeti (printed in the list), and they were out of Southern Unearthly (listed on the chalkboard).

A small goblet of Lost Coast Double Trouble was listed as $5 but was actually $6- a whole pint goes for eight dollars. At least the server honored the prices wrongly printed on the menu.

All in all, Cole's is worth trying once. Maybe twice. But it is too expensive for what you get and the selection is not that amazing. I think next time I'll go to Mr. Goodbar next door for cheaper beer, or to Blue Monk for pricier but better food and beer.

 2,229 characters

Photo of Stoutman88
2.7/5  rDev -36.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 5 | food: 2

the place has a good vibe. It looks nice and seems college friendly. The beer selection was great. They literaly have a beer for everyone. They have more craft beer than a craft beer store. Food wasn't impressive, found better food in crappier bars. Food wasn't so much of the issue. The service is what turned me off to the place. They take forever to even place a drink order. It took a half hour to even order food. Time wasn't such a big deal but the way we were treated was worse. The server barely paid attention to us and talked down to us. The table next to us, where two men in three piece suits were treated like gold. There is nothing wrong with treating wealthy customers good, but working class men should be treated well too. Im definatley choosing a different bar next time, perhaps Mr. Goodbar nextdoor

 818 characters

Photo of excalibur
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

The bar is nice, but the dining room is large and loud(perhaps it was the table of 10 ladies next to us). I thought the older bartender was a bit arrogant, but the younger guys were very friendly. Personally, I thought the draft beer list was large(about 20) but nothing outstanding. I ordered a southern tier hop sun and was disappointed by the lack of complexity, but their harvest ale was very nice. We asked for 2 bottled beers from their extensive list but they were gone. We were somewhat let down but overall it wasn't a bad place.

 538 characters

Photo of djmichaelk
4.09/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Visited Cole's during a business trip a few days ago.

It's in the middle of a college strip, so lots of activity in the area. Parking is painful, as others have mentioned, but I always seemed to luck out with the pay lot behind the building.

The place has its design down pretty well -- pub-style bar on the right, restaurant with booths and tables on the left. Nice mix of people, including college kids and some older folks in the bar, and people of all ages in the restaurant. Mostly wood trim and pleasantly dark in the bar area.

The real draw here, and the main reason I drove across town specifically for this place, was the selection. Large list of taps and bottles. Highlights for me were Stone 14th, Flower Power, and Duvel Green on tap, and Saison du BUFF and Brooklyn Black Ops in bottles. Plenty of quality to choose from, and not much crap.

My only real complaint was with the service. The bartender at my end took a long time to get to me, and was one of those guys who takes, processes, and cashes out one order at a time. It took me a full 5+ minutes to get my first beer. And more than once I had to explain and describe to him what beer I was ordering -- he didn't seem to have much knowledge of the beers that he was serving. Disappointing, although it helped that he had a sense of humor about it and had no problem running to the back more than once to find something for me.

Prices were a bit on the high side -- I paid more there for a glass of Stone 14th than I did today for a bomber in a store, which I find to be silly.

Overall, this place is well worth seeking out. I'll be going back next time for sure.

 1,642 characters

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Coles in Buffalo, NY
Place rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 59 ratings