The Rose and Crown

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The Rose and CrownThe Rose and Crown
Very Good
35 Ratings
The Rose and CrownThe Rose and Crown

Type: Bar, Eatery

547 Emerson St
Palo Alto, California, 94301-1608
United States

(650) 327-7673 | map

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Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-19-2005

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Ratings: 35 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by jwjon1:
Photo of jwjon1
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

This place looks AWESOME from the outside. It exudes originality and charm. And it's location is phenomenal, and it doesn't at all fit the landscape. +1 to that!

Step inside to be greeted immediately by a bathroom. At least now I can save a few words and not have to ask that question. Turn right. What's this? An overly well lit English pub where you can actually see every single detail in the joint and can't hide the worts on your nose from the one or two (if you are lucky) Stanford chicks in the crowd? Man, whatever happened to dimly lit pubs where you at least stood a chance until you walked under your first street light? There goes that whole cool vibe from the outside thing they had going for them.

Seriously, you could land a plane in the runway brightness that is the interior of this joint. It just felt odd. Not to overdo it, but dim the lights a tad, maybe throw a candle here and there, and the awesome exterior is matched w/ an equally inviting interior. Wouldn't take much. But they are far from there now.

Beer list is alright. In early Dec 2011, many Palo Alto Brewing beers, an Elder, hats off to a Bockor Rouge... but this is now three bars I've seen it featured out of five visited this week alone in the Bay Area so I can't give them much credit there... and a few other ho hum taps. The "Executive" Bottle list was interesting enough: $300 Utopias, $100 Raspy XI ($100... Really? Ouch!), Raspy XIV for $25, FW XV for $35, and an '05 Anchor Xmas Mag for $150 (I'll sell you one of mine for $12... the price I paid for it, and despite my storage costs, I'll still feel like I came out ahead!) among a few others. Then the standard (?) Black Xanthus offering, for $21. Maybe I'm over analyzing, but I'm laughing on the inside at the fact that this is on the board in the town that made it famous. At least, in the town where it's most famous BA made it infamous.

All in all, blahhh. Which is to say average. Place could be really, really cool in spite of a less than stellar but more than adequate beer list. But it's not quite there. Props to the bartendress: she was engaging and knew her craft.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BigGingDrinker
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Geoffq
4.41/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
3.9/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of avwrite
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of fortes
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of rdespain
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of brywhite
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of arcman001
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Jonstopable
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of rflips86
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of flexabull
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Stopped in here before a Stanford game.

Small "British Pub" style place, some seating outside as well. Looks like a soccer pub, because they had a bunch of soccer stuff on the walls.

Service was ok. There was one girl working, it was fairly busy, but she seemed to make it by quickly enough so we weren't sitting around waiting for her. She was a bit standoffish when my friend complained about his $8 tulip of Belgian IPA not being very good. (he was right, I tried it and would have been upset if I paid $3 for it). However, she did eventually make it right and gave him a different beer.

Selection was pretty good, they had quite a few taps, no real standouts, and a nice, but quite pricy bottle list.

Quality was a mixed bag, the Palo Alto brewing beer I tried was average at best, but the pint of Sierra Estate made up for it.

Didn't try the food.

Prices were high, and not really clearly marked.

Ehhh... Not a great place, nothing special, and would probably pass on coming here again.

 998 characters

Photo of leschkie
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Since I live in Silicon Valley, the Rose & Crown is probably the best option for those in the South Bay. Located in the heart of Palo Alto, parking can often be a bitch especially at the end of a workday. I'm particularly fond of the atmosphere since I'm a soccer fanatic...always a match on the tube. Similar to City Beer Store, the place usually doesn't start to fill up until around 6pm or later. Mostly IPAs on tap from local Cali breweries gives me a chance to support the beer-makers of my home state. Their taps rotate so fast that the only way to keep up with what they have is to follow the R&C on Twitter. End of every month they feature a specific brewery and bring in 3-4 quality selections from that brewery. I've been there during Firestone, La Trappe, and 21st amendment night. Plan to attend Ballast Point night next week. The food is decent. Traditional English pub food that I'd have to go out of my way to find somewhere else. Staff and locals are very friendly.

 981 characters

Photo of Gambac
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Try keeping up with Rose & Crown on Twitter - damn near impossible. Seems like their kegs rotate so fast, but all of them are high quality.

Historically, this was just that "English pub" in downtown Palo Alto, but definitely should be on any beer-lovers list. The rotating taps always lend a wild card aspect to things, but the standards (including Pliny) are all incredibly solid - even had The Abyss on tap at one point.

The food is decent; nothing outstanding, but complements the beer very well. The bartenders know their stuff, but I'd stay away from bottle recommendations - a bit too pricey for me

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Photo of bradybeer
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 2

Went here a few weeks ago on a cold rain filled day. I was the only one there and was able to speak with Rachel the bar keep who was great. I had a pint of Pliny and some 1/2 pints of Bare Knuckles Barley Wine from Triple Rock and Congrats Orange beer from Moylon's.

The atmosphere is olde England (not that I been there) but it is what I think I would find if I did. They had about 12-15 taps with many local crafts and better imports. They have alarge bottle collection with the last three years of Firestone Aniv. beers, etc. Great selection at good prices.

Rachel was the bomb-very smart in the beer realm and a pleasure to speak to and to have as a beer guide.

Food not so good-but I would try again. If in PA this is a must visit-period.

 746 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

On a recent trip to the Bay Area, this was my main event. I was meeting my collegue Ricardo from Brazil at this bar, as it was near the hotel he was staying at. It was a Thursday night, and the crowds would slowly build up through the night. We walked in right before 8:30, and we were lucky to find two bar seats next to each other. A good crowd was on hand. The interior is somewhat intimate, well lit. A collection of English football scarfs hung from the ceiling. All in all, I enjoyed the vibe.

A good tap selection overall, bettered by a more geeky bottle selection. Offerings like Drake's were available on-tap, bottles like J.W. Lee's, Westmalle Dubbel, Eclipse - Evan Williams, Red Poppy Ale, and Cascade Kriek offered. Standard shaker pint glassware for most of the beers, though we did receive some Allagash footed glassware and saw another group receive Westmalle chalices for their Westmalle beer. Our first round was splitting a bottle of Red Poppy Ale. Round 2 involved splitting Eclipse - Evan Willams. They we ordered a Hophead Red (bottle) and Drake's Amber (tap) together and split those.

Even sitting at the bar, it took some time to get the bartender's attention. The food came out at an okay pace. I ordered bangers and mash; bangers get a big thumbs up, the mash seemed more like it made of instant mashed potato mix. I was hungry, so I cleaned my plate.

Given the scarcity of good beer places in the south Bay Area, the Rose and Crown is an easy recommendation. The mix of beers available will make any beer drinker happy. It did for us. After me and Ricardo left, we exchanged beers, and that ended the night for both of us.

 1,654 characters

Photo of djmichaelk
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Rose & Crown in Palo Alto, one of the places I always visit when I pass through San Jose.

Atmosphere is okay; it's a pub-ish looking place but in the middle of a college town (near Stanford), so lots of geeks and their friends. I happen to be a geek, and like their company, so that's a plus in my book. Definitely not a meat-market.

Beer quality and selection are definitely good for the area, although if they were in the city it'd be another story. Bartenders are friendly and personable, at least they were to me. Surprised to hear that they won't serve cask over the weekend since it's too much trouble. Disappointed on that one.

Haven't tried much food from there, although what I did try was overpriced and of average quality.

I've had some great beers here -- Angel's Share, Parabola, Supplication, and of course Pliny are highlights. Usually plenty of quality to choose from, although last time there they were out of Pliny and several others (on a Saturday afternoon!). And you never know what you're paying until you get the check, though, which can be painful.

Overall, it's a can't miss -- but ask how much each beer is first.

 1,147 characters

Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Stopped in here for a light meal and some drinks with friends during a recent visit to CA.

This place is an English pub that doesn't really sell English beers. As soon as you walk in there is an L shaped bar with several chalkboards listing the draft and bottle selection. To the right and around the corner of the bar there are several tables for dining. It has a traditional pub atmosphere with a few televisions with soccer playing as well as a dart board or two. Very laid back with a semi-hipster younger crowd.

The bartender was the only person working in the front of the house. All food and drink was ordered through him and he brought the food to the table. He was friendly but overall the service was average.

The food was traditional English pub food but was good and not expensive. As far as beer is concerned, the selection was very good with a lot of Belgian, german and local craft offerings. The lists seem to rotate and they had quite a few rarities including FW13 and Anchor Our Barrel Ale magnums(for $150!).

Overall this was a fun place for a casual dinner with a great selection of beers. I would definitely go back if I was in the area.

 1,164 characters

Photo of mlaroche
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

They have a great selection of Belgian beers for a British pub. Also have a bunch of good craft beer selections and a cask option. They also have the standard British pub beers.

The service is slow and not very attentive. If you like being left alone, you'll like it here. If you want someone to recommend beers and make sure your glass is always full, this isn't that place.

No pitchers. No liquor. Keeps the crowd a bit more laid back. Not many college kids or wine snobs.

Burgers are OK, fish and chips are pretty good, and my wife likes the Ploughman's Lunch (different cheeses and pickles and tomatoes). But you shouldn't come for the food.

 649 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

I've been going here on-and-off since 2005, but in 2009 I started going a lot more as the place improved and started catering to craft.

Outside of Tuesdays (trivia night), it's generally not too hard to grab a seat or table.

The bar service is decent, and the food, English pub fare, always comes out fast. It's pretty mediocre grub, though.

They have a wide selection of taps, including a list of staples and a rotating list. Kasim has really been stepping up his game lately with the acquisition of various hard-to-find beers. As I type this, I'm looking at a lineup that includes Sculpin, Victory at Sea, Supplication, and Blind Pig.

My major complaint -- and this is a big one -- is that the pour sizes and prices are not labeled. The standard beers are usually $5.50 to $6.50 a pint, but I've also received 10oz pours of Bourbon Angel's Share ($9), Supplication ($8), and Goose Island Matilda ($8.50). That's pretty steep; with tip, I'm getting $10 beers on a regular basis.

On average, food and two beers (plus tip) runs me $30.

These days I go once every couple of months. Pretty sad for a place that is within a mile of my house. It's not attractive from a value standpoint.

 1,194 characters

Photo of alfrantzell
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

I emerge from my cocoon. Hair damp and matted, eyes crusted shut with the residue of sleep, I slither to the local drinking establishment to suckle its taps. They don't mind me, b/c of their hospitality and b/c of my many hook-like appendages. This is the Rose & Crown.

TIP: hold your breath in the pedestrian tunnels from Caltrain to downtown. They reek of urine and defecant. Sorry about that.

For those uncomfortable in Palo Alto's upscale environment, R&C has an alleyway fenced off to which you can bring your drink. Six or so rotating taps and the occasional cask keep things interesting - Ommegang Rouge, Sculpin, and Abacus have all made appearances. As a bonus, the menu discloses neither the volumes of the drinks nor the prices so that every time you order you get a nice little surprise.

TIP: avoid Tuesday night unless you like the involuntary frottage caused by the massive pub trivia crowd.

Those unable to subsist on hops and malt alone can order from the wide variety of solid food available - everything from breaded dishes to battered dishes to fried dishes. When the kitchen is closed you may import your own food. The Pizza My Heart adjacent will satisfy even the most discerning grease fetishist.

TIP: often and generously.

Secreting alcohol from my pores, I skulk back to my nest by the light of a waning moon.

 1,339 characters

Photo of Bang34
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I checked this place out a couple of weeks ago after seeing it here on BeerFly. I have to say I have been back a couple of times since and I really like the place.

They definitely have one of the best craft beer selections on the Southern Peninsula. 21 beers on tap and a rotating cask. When I first walked in and saw they had Pliny on tap I knew it was an above average place.

They have a nice selection from Belgian lagers to California IPA's. Once I was in there and a patron asked, "how can an English pub not have Guinness on tap?" The owner was bartending at the time and said, "Because everyone else does, and we have better stuff anyhow."

The service has always been good, and ready for conversation. It seems they have a nice regular crowd, including a mix of Stanford Grad Students, local professional and folks who just like good beer.

I haven't tried the food yet, though I hear the Fish and Chips is good but that is what everyone says about any British pub worth its salt. I have also seen many come in for the burgers, availble with a choice of English cheeses, Stilton, Mild and Sharp Cheddars.

I have also noticed that Darts seem to be a favorite among many of the patrons. So if you can throw, you could probably find a good game.

For the time being, family obligations have me residing in Palo Alto, and I think I will be spending a good part of my time off at the Rose.

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Photo of John_M
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Review of beerfly didn't show a lot of options in the San Jose area, and although reviews of this place have been up and down, it still sounded as if it might be worth a try. After stopping by today, I confess I'm scratching my head a bit about some of the negative reviews.

The R&C is a very small pub, located just off of Emerson street, immediately adjacent to a parking lot. The address says Emerson street, but it's actually a bit off the street, and initially I was concerned I had the wrong address.

Upon walking in, the R&C consists of a smallish L shaped bar area, and then three or four more tables and chairs in the back area. The place is really pretty small, with an additional 4 wooden picnic tables outside. The vibe is very laid back and informal, with old wood, beer plaques, and soccer decorations throughout. There is also a TV over the bar area and I thought this a great place to hang out, watch some baseball on the tube, and enjoy a beer or three. Draft selections here consist of 21 different beers and one cider. It also appeared as if they had a hand pump for cask beer, although it was not in use this partciular day. The selection here was flat out outstanding, consisting of the likes of Union Jack IPA, Racer X, Blind Pig, the current full sail brewmaster reserve scottish ale, and 5 or 6 interesting Belgians (depending upon whether or not Stella qualifies). They also had three different beers from Spaten (including the pils, which I see all too infrequently). There were also around 45 or 50 bottled beer selections, and I was impressed by the fact that the only BMC swill in the place was bud lite in bottles.

The bar tender appeared to be the owner/manager of the place, and he was quick, courteous and pleasant. Interestingly, there was a group of homebrewers in attendance this Sunday, and I gather the ownership here is completely cool about allowing them to hold their meettings here, sample their latest experiments, and just hang out.

I guess prices were a bit on the high side ($4 for a ten ounce glass of Union Jack and Blind Pig), but considering this place is located right in downtown Palo Alto (just a block down the street from the original Gordon Birsch), I really felt there was little to complain about.

Didn't try any food (though I was tempted to try the house deviled eggs), which seemed to consist of typical Irish/English fare (fish and chips, bangers, shepherds pie, etc.).

I don't get it. This place is way cool with great beer and an easy going laid back vibe. Without doubt this would be my local pub if I lived in the area, and it struck me as a welcome oasis from the pretentious affluence of downtown Palo Alto. I'll certainly be back.

 2,709 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

One of the few decent watering holes on the peninsula, Rose & Crown has really stepped it up in the past year. 20ish rotating taps include local, Belgian, German and English craft beers. The local beers tend to steal the show, and the recent inclusion of Russian River draft offerings and a rotating cask bump the selection up from good to great. Atmospherically, it's cozy and quaint; an easy place to get comfortable in for a few pints. The food is good from what I've tried, which is admittedly not much. Service has been great 9 times out of 10, and Kasim, the owner, is a rather nice dude. On the whole, R&C is well worth a visit, and has the potential to be a genuinely great beer bar.

 691 characters

Photo of Bubba83
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I guess after a visit and 2 South Bay BeerAdvocate meetups it's time to give this place a review.

The atmosphere is warm and relaxed unless you go on a tuesday trivia night, don't go on a tuesday unless you're into the super loud and crowded trivia thing with Stanford students.

Overall quality of what they are trying to achieve is good, but like others have said the execution is where the place could improve tenfold.

I've only had service from the same guy all three times, and I have been unimpressed all three times. Seems like he doesn't want to be there, and he is certainly slow.

The selection is pretty good, with a nice selection of rotating taps. Most of those are hard to find local craft beer. Keep your eyes peeled for: Racer X, Pliny the Elder, Double Rocket Ale, Drake's Hopocalypse, Full Sail Old Boardhead, and other stuff. They also have a nitro for stuff like Old Rasputin once in a while. The selection is pretty great for the area, but on the broad scale of things it's just good.

The food is just okay. But I wouldn't expect much better from a little british pub either. I have yet to try the fish and chips but will make sure to do that next time.

Value is reasonable for draught craft beer, not sure about the other stuff as I am not interested in buying bottled beer at a pub.

Special props do go to Kasim for allowing the local BeerAdvocates to meet up here once a month.

2/20/2010 - Editing the selection to 4.5 since they have been routinely pulling in some really great stuff in the last few months. Keep it up guys, selection and quality are what matters most to me! I am also upgrading the food to a 3.5 after trying their fish and chips, pretty good.

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The Rose and Crown in Palo Alto, CA
Place rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 35 ratings
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