The Old Toad

The Old ToadThe Old Toad
The Old ToadThe Old Toad
Bar, Eatery

277 Alexander St
Rochester, New York, 14607-1920
United States

(585) 232-2626 | map

View: Place Reviews | Events
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 70
Photo of wiseguy142
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

There's a lot to say about this place. Praised as one of Rochester's most successful restaurants, it's a great stop on A-Street that isn't mostly $7 red bull and vodkas and grinding up on bitches (yep. that's what A-street is). That have a good, varying selection including their own house beer from Custom Brewcrafters along with some local and non-local casks, American craft beers and some imports. A lot of the imports stick to the British theme, which is cool because I don't think as many people buy bottled British specialty beers.

One major complaint, said by about everyone who goes here, is the timing of the service. Sometimes it takes forever to get a beer. The area up by the bar gets really cramped easily and it doesn't seem like the bartenders really care about expediating things for their patrons. That being said, I've had some very friendly waiters who were great to talk to and knew a lot about beer. I think the entire "only hiring British servers/bartenders" is a little strange. It's like going to a circus filled with 20-something British dudes.

The selection isn't as good as the Tap and Mallet and prices are more expensive. But it's a good getaway from the rest of A-street and probably the best bar in that area.

 1,245 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The Old Toad is one of my favorite bar/pubs ever. I recently discovered it (last year) and it is like an addiction now.

The place is carpeted with a decent amount of seating. There is enough room at the bar for about 8 people to stand/sit comfortably. There are booths scattered around the bar/dining room and a couple of tall tables with bar chairs in the dining room too. The music rarely becomes loud and the Beatles adorn various parts of the walls. There is a sitting room secluded from the rest of the place but it is usually occupied unless you go there late afternoon or really late on a weeknight.

They pride themselves on being an "authentic British pub", which is actually as close as it gets for a small town like Rochester. Actual British students work at the pub as interns, although the menu isn't completely British. Still, a great menu, albeit a tad pricey.

The bartenders and waitresses are very well mannered and knowledgeable with regards to the beer. Although it may take a tad longer than expected to be served food if you're sitting in the dining room, it's still decent.

They have 3 taps that always have local craft brews and a number of import taps. I believe there's always one cask too. They have a beer menu of the different imports and it is one of the most extensive exotic beer lists (for a bar) in Rochester. Westmalle, Rochefort, Lindemann's, Fuller's, Old Speckled Hen, Samuel Smith, Orval, Unibroue, Chimay, La Trappe (KoningsHoeven), Sierra Nevada, Kasteelbier, Gulden Draak, to name a few. The bartenders know how to properly pour and use the correct glassware as well.

Overall, this is a place I have spent a few evenings in and hope to spend many more.

 1,697 characters

Photo of fingerlaker
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Introduced to it by my friend Tim, a NAVY cop who goes here whenever he is in the Rochester area.

The atmosphere is incredible. Contrived, but still trying to be as authentic as possible. I love "The Queen's Room." EVERY member of the staff is from England, which is flippin' rad.

The beer supply is good, with cask ales avalible but not anything special. They have rotating stock, so it is never the same beer twice. They once had Hop Wallop!

The bottled beer selection includes Ommegang and Belgian brews.

Love it, but the prices are terrible.

 549 characters

Photo of Tut
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2

It's been two years since I reviewed The Old Toad, and I'm still amazed at the number of people who think it's really like an authentic British pub. Having just returned from five weeks in Scotland and England(my 9th trip there over the last 15 years), I can assure you that it's as authentic as a Disneyworld version of a British pub. It's no more real than the many fake Irish pubs all over the US.
I'm also curious what standards are being used by those who claim the Toad is the best bar in Rochester. Have they ever been to the Tap & Mallet?? The selection of beer is larger and much more interesting and varied there and the food beats the Toad's hands down. Come on people - in what way is the Toad better?
I've been going to the Old Toad periodically since the early 90's. Back then it was one of a very few places to get good beer in Rochester. I've not been back since the Tap & Mallet opened because I consider the Tap to be a much better bar. It has a more interesting draught and bottle selection.

The Toad does have 2-3 cask ales and makes an effort to keep them interesting but other than that I'm not very impressed with their beer variety.There's always something I can enjoy, but it's not a particularly great selection.

Having British staff is fine but this place is a far cry from an "authentic British pub" as they bill themselves and those on this site who rave about the Toad's authenticity have obviously never experienced the real thing in the UK. Yeah, they have many of the stereotypical pub trappings and the bar itself was brought over but it totally lacks the feel and atmosphere of the real thing. It's like the kind of "English Pub" you'd expect to find at Disney World. The food is mediocre and nowhere near the quality or variety available in a good English pub.

The bottom line is I can't think of a single reason to go there instead of the Tap & Mallet, especially since they're fairly close to each other.

 1,962 characters

Photo of penguinjive7
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This will definitely be THE place that I go to form now on when I go to Rochester. Nice, cozy, British pub atmosphere with very nice and accommodating staff. Very nice selection of brews on tap, cask, and especially in bottles. They also have a nice selection of hard ciders, which are extremely tasty. All of the brews served are done so in all appropriate glassware the tables away from the bar are bussed and cleaned often.

I didn't get the chance to try any food there, but I am sure I will make a return visit soon and can update that aspect when I do. Definitely a must visit when you are in Rochester.

 609 characters

Photo of lefchr051
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

My favorite place to go in Rochester. Great beer selection on tap, cask and in bottles. Great authentic British food. Beer prices are about average as other bars selling quality beer. The best deals on beer here are the cask ales, usually around $5. The food tastes great and is priced low(usually about $10) for a meal, that will easily fill you up. Very friendly atmosphere of a authentic british pub in upstate ny, with british exchange students as waiters/waitresses and bartenders.

A highly recommended stop if your in the Rochester area.

 544 characters

Photo of blitz134
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped here last weekend. Interesting place, its kind of a British themed pub, randomly laid out with tables and booths scattered throughout many rooms. Kind of a musty place. Not overly busy on a Saturday night. There did seem to be a local, regular group up at the bar.

Lots of good beer options scribbled on some chalkboards. Two cask beers on, which my entire group partook in. I had a Lagunitas Imp. Red which was amazingly fresh smelling. Good mix of other beers too from England and elsewhere.

Go here with a group and enjoy hanging out. Ask the bartenders or the waitstaff for games that they have. We partook in several games of Jenga. It seems that many folks don't realize they have games to play, and people seemed jealous that we had the game we did.

Good service from one of the new, English guys (Tom?); he was aware of our Jenga game and kept his distance when he needed to. Beers were slow to come up though, but we were entertained enough.

Another good chill spot to hang out and have some good beers.

 1,024 characters

Photo of adamette
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

We loved this place! My wife and I felt like were were in an English pub at the Old Toad. Part of the ceiling (near the wall opposite the bar) is starting to collapse and there was some strange sort of perfumy smell throughout but otherwise it is a charming wood furniture English pub staffed by college students from England. Our waiter explained that all of the servers there are in town for 12 month stints learning the trade and that he had been there for only one month. He is from Liverpool and he had the accent that confirmed that. He was patient with all of my questions about the Beatles and the Psychedelic Furs. The style and presentation of the decorations were very appropriate. Images of English stars and singers, a few clocks which show "London Time" and plenty of those metal beer signs including Belgians, American Micro Brews and Brewery Ommegang along with the expected English Beer signs and coasters. Bar seats only about 12 but it is a great wooden bar with 3 banks of taps. There are about 4 distinct rooms in the Old Toad. Possibly the most distinctive is what I referred to as the "Queen Room" in which there is a portrait of an English Monarch and it looks like a living room with couches and chairs and a carpet I believe. I spent a lot of time looking around and my waiter along with two other waiters were very patient with me as I asked questions about where they live in England and could they point it out on the map on the wall. There is certainly a "homey" feel there.
One negative is that upon our arrival I asked for a draught list. Our waiter said "we don't have a list since the taps change so often." I was a bit frustrated since I had looked online before our visit and I was looking forward to ordering certain beers. I had forgotten their names, however, and needed the list to remind me. I took a look at the taps and ordered the Old Toad Nut Brown Ale (really a great, appropriate, English tasting beer brewed elsewhere for the restaurant) before discovering that the updated draught list appears above the bar. Again, he said that he had only been there one month but that would have really helped.

Atmoshphere. See comments above. I loved this place.

Quality. Very good. Even though it has a "homey" feel it is not unclean or anything.

Service. Good and they were extra patient with us as well.

Selection. Really good. Not the greatest but really good. There are about 15 taps, at least one cask and about 100 bottles in a wide range of countries...all quality beers as I recall from browsing the bottle menu (it is separate!).

Food. Very good. Wife had shepard's pie and I had a curry pork and both were very "English" as well as tasting very good in their own right. I can recommend going to dinner there for sure.

Value: Pretty good. My $4.75 Nut Brown Ale and two dinners for $27.00 before tip. It was reasonable.

Notes: Really good impression of this place. I would not drive 4 hours simply to go back to this place (that is how far away that I live) but anyone in the area for another reason could do a lot worse than the Old Toad.

 3,095 characters

Photo of Homebrew42
4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The Old Toad is my favorite beer stop in Rochester. The atmosphere is very warm and friendly and it feels like my home away from home. The bar manager is extremely knowledgeable about beer and is always willing to make suggestions, offer samples, or just discuss whatever is on tap. She also goes out of her way to contact breweries all over the country in order to get rare, hard to find, or unique items, both on draft and on hand pump.

The Toads specialty is cask conditioned ale, so if real ale is your thing, then this is the place to be. They always have three hand pumps going at any given time with a good mix of local, out of state, and imported offerings, and every Friday at 7 pm they have "firkin Friday" when they gravity pour a specially brewed firkin. They also have a very extensive bottled beer list, and a vintage beer fridge that always has a nice mix of vintage English barleywines among other things.

The food is usually very good, rather typical British pub food, with an occasional surprise that is excellent. Service can be a little slow sometimes, especially when the place is crowded, but most of the staff are hospitality students from abroad and have little experience waiting tables, so it's understandable. That being said, service always comes with a smile and a friendly conversation.

All things considered the Toad is not the cheapest place in town to get a pint, nor do they have the biggest selection on earth. But if you're looking for a comfortable atmosphere, friendly, knowledgeable people, rare and unique offerings, a great cask ale selection, and all around world class beer, then this is the place for you.

 1,652 characters

Photo of mdumont
4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I am a huge fan of The Toad.

The atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming. Most times I've been there the waiters/waitresses will sit and chat for a minute with you and just in general "shoot the shit" They run various weekly events including Curry Nights, Roast Dinner Specials, two trivia nights, Firkin Fridays, etc.

The quality of food & beer here is excellent. The food, for the most part, is traditionally British and there is a wide selection of beers including frequently changing specials and beers on tap.

The service has always been good since I've been going there although it can get a bit slow during more popular events.

The waiters and waitresses are all from Britain and are working at The Toad as part of a internship/study abroad program. This gives it a much more authentic feel.

All in all, my favorite place in Downtown Rochester to go out for dinner or drinks and I've had no unpleasant experience at the Toad.

 942 characters

Photo of tlinner
4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Feels like somebody's living room more than a pub, but in a very good way. The homey feel, complete with a genuine "sitting room" with green leather sofas and a painting of Queen Elizabeth above the fireplace, translates into a great drinking atmosphere. The stock is top-notch, with an amazingly varied tap display and a bottled beer menu more than twice the size of a regular restaurant menu. The brews on-tap are rotated regularly, and there's always something exceptional to be found no matter what your price range. This past weekend I enjoyed a Young's Double Chocolate Stout and a Unibroue Trois Pistoles, both on-tap, and a bottle of Duvel. Both were poured with an expert hand (a rare thing to see a bartender who knows his way around a Duvel) in the appropriate glassware. This place is legit alright; even the bartender's British!

 841 characters

Photo of sbe1
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped in here recently when I went to Rochester with a friend to see The Saints play at the Bug Jar.

This is basically a replica of an English corner pub and they do as good a job as I've seen anywhere in the States. Quaint, homey feel about the place. The kind of place you'll find college kids mixing with neighborhood oldsters and mom's and dad's with small children. Service was good, most of the staff were young girls from England--nothing wrong with that. Selection was good, but presenting a vast array of beers is not what this place is about. Decent menu of classic English pub food. Prices were reasonable.

 620 characters

Photo of Jkellerson
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Every city can boast a bar that many other cities do ont have. Rochester has the Old Toad and they can't take that away from us. The bar is staffed with some of England's finest (and I mean finest). If you're looking for a place to enjoy the game or dance, just turna around at the door. This is a traditonal English pub in one of the big bar districts in Rochester.

The beer selection here at the Toad is excellent. The real ales are real good. They have a great selection of beer that is constantly changing. And for you scotch-a-holics, a great sleection of that too. Seating is a plenty and there is plenty of room for your friends.

The food is pretty good. They have traditional English food and there's much to choose from. And, if any of my forums have forgotten to mention it, go on your birthday, show your ID and get a free meal. It's worth it. Grab your favorite beer, some fish and chips and enjoy. A great place any time of day to enjoy some tates of Old England.

 978 characters

Photo of wyllder
4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Since I've started travelling to Rochester on business, The Old Toad has quickly become my favorite Rochester destination.

An authentic English pub transplanted into downtown Rochester, The Old Toad is a haven for beer geeks. Hardwood and brass accents abound, along with plenty of space both at the bar and in the general restaurant area. The Toad creates a cozy & welcoming atmosphere that sets you at ease from the moment you walk in the door.

The selection, featuring everything from Brooklyn to Rochefort, is hard to fault. 18 tap lines and 3 casks make-up the standard draught lineup. All of these are religiously maintained by a very devoted staff. Refreshingly, the casks are never left wanting regardless of the night of the week. In all of my Tuesday or Wednesday visits, I've never seen less than two casks available at any given moment.

Food is, at least to me, perfect pub food. I've had the Shepherd's Pie, Bangers & Mash, and most recently the Bread Pudding. All of these have been great.

The staff is friendly, passionate, and knowledgeable. Of course, I have sat at the bar on almost every occasion, so my comments here are almost exclusive to the bartender(s).

If you love beer and you're in the Rochester area, The Toad is worth going out of your way for.


 1,287 characters

Photo of iceball585
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

For starters I just have to say I love this place. It's a traditional British Pub that actually employees only exchange students from the UK.

If you're in to traditional British cuisine then this is the place for you (I suggest the Beef and Ale pie).

The beer selection is amazing. They have kegs, cask, cans, and bottles from all over the world. Some of the rare bottles are a little pricey but you get what you pay for. This is the only place that I know of in Rochester that actually has cask beers on tap.

If you looking for cheap domestic beer specials then you've come to the wrong place... but if you're a true beer lover then you need to visit The Toad.

 666 characters

Photo of Sammy
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

An inviting moderate -sized English-style bar surrounded by a restaurant. How much they pack in! British apprecentices young and very motivated to learn the bartender trade, and enjoy beer and are friendly. Two casks and several taps-I believe eight to ten. With some very good ones. Late Tuesday afternoon, a good Twenties to Thirties crowd. Well lit. One place I will return to. They claim, and it could be, to have served the first cask ale in the USA. Dave Wickett is the owner here and I believe has a stake in a UK establishment. He is able to bring that spirit and environment here, and this has to be experienced and applauded.

 635 characters

Photo of kgreen2k1
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Multiple beers on cask. Server offered samples of all of them, which I gladly took him up on. Delicious.

Had a Welsh Rarebit which was very tasty. Bangers and Mash were not as good.

Waiter was energetic and friendly, and, to hear my girlfriend talk, "extremely hot." The English accent helped her appraisal, but more importantly lent itself to the English pub atmosphere.

Pub was well decorated with lots of interesting pictures and news clippings to look at.

A must go place for the beers on cask.

 510 characters

Photo of slander
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

As it was necessary to migrate from dinner and drinks to just drinks, the "First Annual Beer Advocate New York State Beer Fly Guide Dinner And Drinks Statewide Review Conference And Regional Beer Sampling" (FABANYSBFGDADSRCARBS) continues it's traveling roadshow. I'm just watching the city go by. I shut navigation off, that's John's gig. Let's see what Rochester's got under the hood...

Very English pubby. Beige walls with a long high shelf trim holding plates and mugs above paneled curtained windows, mounted lamps and framed pictures over "C" shaped booths with shared fabric covered benches and matching stools separated by stained glass panel dividers. Nooks with seating, tables, a dart zone to the rear, Churchill pics & English prints. A smaller room in the front corner holds a few more booths & raised tables and a bar counter on one wall. Framed coaster displays, brewery prints and signage. Somewhat hidden off here is the Victorian Snug; a tiny private lounge carpeted and wallpapered. A pair of leather chairs and a couch, and matching fabric stools around a small fireplace.

A small wood "L" shaped bar seating 9 or so with an enclosure piece above sits to the rear. Shelves of booze & single malts to both sides of center on an arched wood bar back unit. Tap & cask selections listed overhead with hanging glassware wrapping around the bar. 3 taps on a corner tower, 6 on a tower at the other end of the bar and 5 more on a barrel tower on the bar back. 14 in all, mostly house standards (CB's Old Toad Nut Brown Ale & English Pale Ale, Old Speckled Hen, Leffe Blonde, Guinness, Hoegaarden, Strongbow Cider, Heineken) and rotating guest taps (Anchor Liberty, Brooklyn Saison & Pilsner, Konig Ludwig, Entire Butt Porter, Stone Coast 420 IPA). 4 handpumps on the end, 3 of them currently occupied (Brooklyn Brown Ale, Blue Point Pale Ale, CB's Double Dark Cream Porter).

Roughly 90 bottles, some very nice selections here, the bottled menu lists them by style. To give you an idea, there are 4 lambics listed (Lindeman's Framboise, Gueuze & Cuvee Rene and Cantillon Rose De Gambrinus). Putting the Cantillon aside, generally you wouldn't expect to see the Lindeman's Gueuze, and certainly not the Cuvee Rene when you've only got 4 lambics listed. Solid.

I had the cask CB's Double Dark Cream Porter because it's really fantastic. Opted for a second beer, this time the cask Brooklyn Brown Ale. Both were fresh and excellently maintained. They have some sort of an indentured servitude program where they bring over English University kids to work here, I don't really understand it, but they were polite and cordial enough, and let me try things at the bar.

Service was solid and the beers were good, no TV's and no crappy jukebox. I could spend some time here.

 2,786 characters

Photo of yinzer
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Friday night visit. Not a big bar, maybe 10 proper seats. Lots of tables to sit at though. I can’t comment of the table service. Beware that the bar counter gets a lot of walk up orders, so if you sit in the center you’ll get a lot of passing of beers and cash over you’re shoulder. But the closer people are to you the more drunk chat you can ease drop on. I even learned from a patron that a Hefeweizen is a Belgian style lager type ale. Had to park in the back for a price, no big deal.

The permanent tap selection IMHO is kind of weak. One caveat is that they do have two exclusive beers from Custom BrewCrafters that I didn’t try. I’ll check them out next time. Samples were generous and severed with a smile. The guest beer selection seems to be a bit more solid and varied. I had the Ellicottville IPA which was very good. They have four beer engines with 2-3 in use. The Middle Ages Black Heart Stout and the Brooklyn Brown Ale were great. The bottle selection while not too deep is varied with top-notch beers.

I was certainly be back when I’m in the area. Well worth a stop before or after Beers of the World. Service was good and the atmosphere was very friendly. Food was good with a hearty English menu.

 1,229 characters

Photo of Rudgers73
4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Hands down, this is my favorite place to drink in Rochester, NY.

Most of the oddball beer that I review on BA are served to me here. Along with an excellent selection of about 90 bottled beers, they have chalkboards hanging above the bar that show their "guest beers". They rotate the guest beers every few weeks and keep it interesting.

Another really neat thing that you notice is that most of the bartenders, waiters, and waitresses have an accent. This place hires students that are studying abroad from Europe at the colleges in the area. It has a really warm and cozy feel. Not a place to party it up and "get wasted". This is a relaxed, sophisticated atomsphere to just hang out and talk. The food is also authentic British style with a large selection of some off-beat British favorites.

Best bar in Rochester.

 828 characters

Photo of boulevard2
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

The old toad is a rendition of what a pub would look like in England. The smell of malt vinegar and cask beer is present. There is a very warm and homey feel there. There are 3 seperate cask lines in heavy rotation along with 20 or so regular tap lines. There also an extensive bottled beer menu that ranges all over the world. The food is descent which includes fish and chips , shepperds pie , chicken wings to my favorite the cheese and bread of the day which changes from time to time. The staff is friendly and courtious. By far the best beer bar Rochester has to offer and a place I try to frequent as much as possible.

 625 characters

Photo of kbnooshay
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is a re-review cause I work right near it so now it makes lunches fun! hehehe. The atmosphere here is awesome at night but for a lunch it is pretty empty and mellow. The accents this time were very authentic! I learned british expression "sarnie" meaning sandwhich. i had to look it up at home actually, i was like wtf? The selection is pretty awesome; La Chouffe, lindmans, rodenbach, ommegang, rouge, brooklyn, middle ages, duvel, and some other insanely expensive stuff. I tasted the new Brooklyn Fortitude. A beer lovers paradise. The food is good too. I suggest you get the british chips(french fries) they are insanely crisp and soft in the inside. I have had the piccadily, hyde park and leister square sandwhiches, I reccomend them all. A tad pricey but well worth it.

 781 characters

Photo of Severum27
4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Oh my, this place is simply unreal. The beer selection and quality is near perfect. All the right glassware, perfectly cleaned and prepared... even rinsed before serving. The staff is highly knowledgable and very interesting. The place is run by an all British staff and are all very knowledgable. Was lucky to get some Ommegang Witte on tap along with an nicely aged bottle of Westmalle Tripel. The food was pretty good as well, went there for lunch on a business trip. I really felt like I was in another country when I went into this place. I would like to hit this place again next month on a return trip.

 609 characters

Photo of Calico
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Mmmmm. The best overall pub in Rochester. It's an authentic British pub in the U.S., complete with British-imported staff, who have learned about American expectations in terms of service and friendliness. They have got an amazing, ever-rotating, constantly updated on their website, selection of British, cask-pulled, American microbrewed, and Belgian beers on tap and available in bottles. If you are anywhere near Rochester, New York you cannot miss this place.

As for food, I gave it a 3.5 simply because I'm not a pub-grub kinda gal. But for those who like it, they've got bangers and mash, fish and chips, shepherd's pie, various specials, and omigod really good desserts.

 682 characters

Photo of wailingwench
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Cheers: 4 beer engines. 4 beer engines. 4 beer engines. On one visit, our server took superb care of us, I left her a $20 tip on 2 dinners and 2 beers. It wasn't even her area and she came to our "rescue." We must have looked VERY thirsty and hungry. Dark wood decor with what once used to be scarlet velvet trim. My description of the interior can not even do it justice. Check the website out. The fries (basically whole thick sliced potatoes) are a meal in their own right. Our dinners were stacked with sides of veggies and potatoes. 2 of my favorites: Flying Bison and Middles on cask. Dragonslayer, ImPaled Ale, Skye Pilot, and Blackbird Stout on cask are amazing. Nice rotation, nothing seems to sit around here very long, unlike some other places. You can drink on International time here, lending to the credence that it's 6 o'clock somewhere. Special nights, one of them featured Boddingtons on sale for $3/ pint.No Bobbies or strange looking cars. Bartender rocks. Bar patrons discussing nuances of beer. If I could imagine the perfect British pub, this would be it.

Jeers: We did have to wait over 15 minutes for service (one time, 4 others, n/p) as the server who's area we were sitting in ignored us and 2 other tables (they were going home). Parking appears to be a pain and costly, find a place on a nearby side street and hoof it. Multiple patrons spotted drinking Blue. Not a good place to go if you're paranoid of a heterogenous crowd. Don't talk to anyone sporting a snowshovel or a shopping cart.

 1,520 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Old Toad in Rochester, NY
Place rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 70 ratings