Heartland Brewery and Rotisserie - Empire State

very good

39 Ratings
Heartland Brewery and Rotisserie - Empire StateHeartland Brewery and Rotisserie - Empire State

Type: Bar, Eatery

350 5th Ave
New York, New York, 10118-0110
United States

(212) 563-3433 | map

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Ratings: 39 |  Reviews: 27
Reviews by jwc215:
Photo of jwc215
4.05/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Located at the bottom of the Empire State Building, this location is easy to find and easly accessible. It has two floors. The top floor (the floor with the entrance) has tables on the right and a fairly large bar on the left. The bottom floor is located on the bottom of a large set of staris. The bottom floor is quite large with spacious tables and another fairly large bar. Both floors are well-lit with music playing in the background.

My friends and I sat at the bar on the top floor. (though I did note the bottom floor, esp. because that is where the bathroom is. The waitress was very friendly and helpful. While she wasn't overly knowledgeable about beer overall, she was very knowledgeable about the beers on the selection. She offered free samples when we wanted to try something, and served quickly and efficiently.

A dozen beers were offered. A half dozen were regulars and the other half were seasonals. The regulars included an IPA, an Oatmeal Stout, a Red Ale, a Light, a Czech Pils, and a Wheat. Another Wheat was in the seasonal (which included an interesting line-up of herbs that was rather tasty. (The waitress explained that they just ran out of the Black Lager.) The prices were $6.75 for a pint, $4.50 a half-pint, and $8 for a 23 oz. The seasonals and the Oatmeal Stout were about a half dollar more.
My overall impression of the beers was that they had a nice flavor, but very mild. They seemed easily drinkable, making this a very good intro. to craft beer, but they were tasty enough to be enjoyed by veteran beer-drinkers. Of the ones I tried (samples of several and pints of the Oatmeal Stout, the Red and the IPA), nothing wowed me but they were still all decent (except maybe the Scotch Ale, which seemed a bit "off", but it's tough to say from just a sample - my friend said that it did get better as it progressed, and he likes that style). They all poured with a decent head that left plenty of lacing. They were all served a bit too cold in a chilled, though not frosted, glass. They offer clear-glass growlers, and though we bought two, I forgot to take note of the price.

For food, we ordered a mix of different appetizers that we shared. They were all pretty good. The menu offers a range of bar-type food, and, of course, the rotisserie.

This is worth bringing a "newbie" to, or stopping in if in the area. It's also worth stopping in during a "pub crawl", or if you want to take home a growler of craft beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

Photo of micromaniac129
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of LoveStout
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of LutherBrau
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of misternebbie
4.36/5  rDev +14.1%

Photo of bcgeiman
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of njbusa
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of bigkingken
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

Heartland Brewery is a small chain of brewpubs located throughout New York City. My hotel was a scant half-mile away from the location in the Empire State Building, so that’s where I spent the majority of my last night in the city.

It’s pretty much exactly what I expected from a touristy chain in Manhattan. The rooms (multiple) are gigantic and glitzy. Everything is extremely well-polished and overstated. There’s a ton of televisions, a lot of lights, and a lot of decorations to distract the eye.

The food sucks. I ordered a buffalo burger with some fries not expecting much, which is exactly what I got. The bun was a bit stale; the burger was overcooked and tasted like it had been frozen in patty form for some months. The fries were unexceptional. It might have even been sub-Applebee’s-standard.
The beer was also less than impressive. I ordered a flight, which came with all of their year-round brews and the choice of one of their current seasonal offerings. I do appreciate the vast variety and sheer number of rotating taps. However, none of them would be able to stand out in a crowd of other mediocre brewpubs from across the country.

At least the styles were discernable.

One awesome thing I will say about this spot, which is probably true of any spot in Manhattan, is the people. I sat next to an interesting couple arguing—the man with a thick Irish accent—for several hours about their relationship. I sat next to an interesting Cornell graduate student and struck up an interesting conversation on the economics of being a PhD student. When he left, an interesting older Italian man looking to open businesses in New York practiced his English with me and invited me to stay in his villa on the Italian coast. A random Swedish girl ordering a drink thought it was odd I was drinking alone and invited me to sit with her and her male companion.

It was an interesting night at least, even if everything else was average at best.

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Photo of paulish
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of robebo44
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of bsm80x
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of duceswild
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Stopped in here the other day as the Ginger Man and Rattle and Hum which are both very close were packed. Restaurant was fairly crowded and seemed to be mostly filled with tourist which makes sense given its location within the Empire State building.

Quality and selection of the food was decent, typical basic bar food though priced like it is a premium item. They had about 12 taps on when I was there and a number of them seemed interesting. You can get tastes of them for about $3 each. They also offer half pints which is nice.

Service at the bar was good. Food was delivered pretty quickly after ordering. Beers and water were refilled quickly.

Overall it was a decent fall back option for me, though given the location there are many other better places around if beer is solely your focus. Also don't expect it to be cheap. Realize it's in tourist location but $16-18 for a basic burger is pricy.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3

18th Jan 2013: I liked this place: and yes I was obviously a tourist.

I had 10 hours in New York, so my wife and I decided to walk along Broadway through Times Square, see Macy’s, turn onto 34th and look up at the ESB before taking 5th Ave up to Central Park (via Central Station and other touristy bits). When we walked away from the ESB along 5th Ave and turned for the view and photo shoot: my wife noticed the brewery.

It was almost 12:00 so we walked back and went in. We sat on the ground level with very few others, watching street life: downstairs was empty, but very impressive, clean, tidy and different (to me anyway). Ground level is fine too and the beers I tried were OK: the Red Rooster Ale being the best for my taste buds.

We didn’t eat. Staff were friendly and happy to talk about beer or whatever. All in all a pleasant spot to while away an hour to rest your feet before tramping around the city again.

 932 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Six locations in NYC. Out of the three I've been to, my favorite is the Chophouse at Times Square (43rd between B'way & 6th). This one is in the Empire State Building, and I've been there a few times. Like it's sister establishment, pretty cllassy joint, nice casual atmosphere, tasty homebrewed beer, pleasant seasonals, and good good food. Each Heartland is set up differently as thus has a different atmosphere. The Empire State location has two floors (including a basement), and is a bit busier than the Times Square locale, I think. As with the Times Square locale, I'd imagine that really serious beer pursuers wouldn't bother with this place too much, but I think it's definitely worth hitting up the Heartland when you're in the city. Again, a little on the pricey side, but not too bad.

 796 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The best thing about this location is its location. The worst thing about this location, is also its location.

This is the one in the Empire State building, and Heartland must turn a lot of dollars here due to all of the tourists in queue to visit the observation deck. Who knows if they're really profiting though as the rent must be sky high.

So, it's not really a place that you'd go and hang out in for a pint after work, although I'm sure people do; and it's really busy during the day on weekends which normally means a wait even to get a seat at the bar.

As for looks, it's pretty open and bright, which is nice; but it's also a little more 'common' than your standard Heartland. It doesn't have the more modern feel of the Union Square location, nor the nicer appointments of some of the other stores. Still, it's pleasant.

The food and service are pretty much the same as the other locations, and the beer IS the same as the other locations. I'd rank it second to last in their chain overall, but there's not much else in the very immediate area (stones throw) so why not?

 1,087 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Let me start by saying, it's not a bad thing that this place caters to tourists. In fact, it's a bit of fresh air after being in the city inundated with hole in the wall eateries, with some being clean and others not so much, while avoiding national chains.

It does have that Applebee's/Chili's feel to it, but I won't knock it cause it knows what it wants to be, a place that doesn't feel high and mighty.

The server was attentive, he knew what was on-tap for their seasonals and had his own opinion on them.

They had about 5-6 regular beers on-tap and about 3-4 seasonals as well, for a typical brew pub that's more than enough selection, although most seemed to be a variation of some golden ale.

I ordered a couple different pints, while not exceptional, were more than adequate for a hot summer day of walking in the city.

Can't say too much about the food since I had only ordered onion rings, they were good, but not enough food to judge on.

For being a tourist, I enjoyed this place more than enough to go back again. Easy to find, not too pretentious, prices are reasonable and they have their own beer. I didn't see any facilities where they brew on-site, which might explain the "beer bar" status, but it's not unheard of to have their beers brewed elsewhere, especially since they have more than one location in NYC.

 1,334 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Fairly large and central safe location. Staff was good here, its a tourist spot and room for easily 250 people, and it was filling up after work. Beer quality and seasonals have picked up, much better selection. Nice very long bar to sit at.A good turnover of beer so its fresh. Not reputable as the best place to eat in town, its a possible stop if you are in Manhatten for more than a couple days, and have already gone to the Rattle 'N' Hum and The Ginger Man. Prices not bad for beer in NYC. Big windows so you see and are seen here.

 537 characters

Photo of TheDeuce
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Heartland Brewery in Empire State Building...

Another Heartland I've tried, this one is at the bottom of the Empire State Building. Nice decor, old beer memorabilia, tanks on the bottom floor, top floor is nice not as cluttered as their other restaurants. Packed with tourists.

Food is fine, just as it was before. I recommend the buffalo burger for something different. As far as beer, I've tried all the normal beers so I tried two seasonals, an amber and a bock, both were decent. Server was very nice.

Overall, still incredibly touristy but not bad, not bad by any means.

 580 characters

Photo of mechamifune
2.9/5  rDev -24.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 2

Noticed this place after my wife and I had walked out of the empire state building, so we stopped in for lunch.

As a whole I found the place pretty underwhelming. The waitstaff was pleasant enough, but not particularly interested in doing the job. As was previously stated, their knowledge of the beer didn't seem to go beyond what was written out on the menu.

The beer itself was very average. The IPA, which I still found to be relatively bland, was probably the best out of the few i tried.

Food was average, some of it to the point where it felt processed. That probably wouldn't have bothered me so much if I wasn't paying as much as I was for it.

As a whole, it was like many other things in manhattan, overpriced. That much I expected, but I was at least hoping the beer would compensate for it, which it did not.

So if you simply must visit a brewpub while visiting manhattan, i guess go for it, since nothing was outright bad. Otherwise, i'd suggest trying out some of the other endless food options in the area.

 1,028 characters

Photo of jjayjaye
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Located on the ground floor of the Empire State building. I arrived just before the lunch crowd started pouring in. I didn't know that there was an upper floor...i didn't wander around much. The lower area is large and open and the bar is large as well. Filled with an interesting array of memorabilia. The wait staff was eager and knowledgeable, yet had a bit of an attitude. I've had several of their beers before at two other locations...this time i had a couple of pints of the Indie 500. The food was good, if not a little on the pricey side. I had the Buffalo Burger (13.50) Grilled free-range South Dakota bison with homemade BBQ sauce...it was a tasty and filling order. The atmosphere was reasonable, but i was a little annoyed when the elderly German couple beside me were 'man-handled' to a smaller table for two by the staff when there were plenty of tables around. Another fine place to find a quality craft brew in NYC.

 933 characters

Photo of HamFon
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Visited 6 August 2008 (Wednesday) at 6PM. Large restaurant and bar area, beer is not brewed here, but there are still some tanks and fermenters on display for show. Vegetarian nachos were very good+. Wings also very good+. Bar service was excellent. Herb spiced chicken tenders also very good+.

Beers typically above average, with two (Indie 500 Pale Ale on nitrogen, and Empire Premium Beer) standing out as very good.

BEERS (sampler of 8-4 oz beers for $16.95) - see detailed ratings at www.BuildABeer.org.

 510 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

This location is an easy find as it's literally located in the Empire State Building. There are two floors to the restaurant, with the upstairs having more of a New York Deli sort of feel and the downstairs leaning more toward a more traditional restaurant/almost Cheesecake Factory-esque vibe.

Stuff on tap is almost always very fresh and tasty and served in proper glassware, and selection generally falls in the 8-12 range, with two thirds of those being regulars and the other third or so being seasonals. The regulars are your typical Light, Red, Pale, etc but they are all fairly good, especially the Oatmeal Stout which is a favourite of mine. Seasonals are usually a bit more daring.

The food is what I'd call typical bar/brewpub food (burgers, chicken, calamari, etc) and it's okay but not overly impressive. Service is generally friendly and at least passingly knowledgeable (if not a bit better) about the beer they are serving, and a few folks are generous with allowing you to try samples first.

Overall, save for The Ginger Man, the immediate area is fairly dead in terms of good craft beer if I am not mistaken, but even if it wasn't I'd still stop in here again. It's not perfect and certainly a bit touristy thanks to the location, but it's solid enough across the board.

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Heartland Brewery and Rotisserie - Empire State in New York, NY
3.82 out of 5 based on 39 ratings.
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