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

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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 70
Photo of rugbycritic
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I can't believe that I haven't written a review of this place. It is absolutely brilliant. It hits the type squarely on the head. The only place you're going to find a more authentic presentation is to get to London yourself. Plane's leaving at ten, better hurry.

The cask ales are presented in all of their glory. Truly a treat. Firkin Friday always brings a wonderful guest addition to an already solid line up. Nothing beats sitting at the bar while the fantastic barmaid from Jersey (the islands) pumps your pint. Ahh, nirvanna in a glass.

One of the few places around where you'll get top rate English cuisine. It's different, but all good. (PS. Not a big fan of English style food, but it really doesn't matter, it tastes wonderful nonetheless)

Just a quick side note about a reviewer below. ssbeer has given, in my humble opinion, a overly harsh rating of this extremely fine establishment. Our colleague has recently returned to his native, or at least desired, lands of Fort Collins, CO. While during his tenure here he lost no opportunity to hammer away at Rochester and Western NY. We, the local BAs, extended many invitations to him to join us at several of our gatherings, but alas, he didn't show. The Old Toad is a shining example of what is good in beer here in WNY (weenie). It is a pity that he didn't jump in with both feet and immerse himself in our culture; he would have seen that it is as bright and vibrant as any I have visited. (and I've been to Ft. Collins and enjoyed many fine beers as well.)

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

My whirlwind tour of Rochester's beer estabilishments began at the aptly named Old Toad, aptly named because it does indeed remind me of the pubs I used to frequent in the U.K., right down to the dowdy old couple in the booth next to me enjoying a pint and some pub grub.

I went to The Old Toad early on a Sunday evening, so there was not much activity, though it is clear that this general location is a hot spot for pubs, bars and restaurants in Rochester. Thankfully, I got a chance to explore the place and sample a few pints in relative peace. The atmosphere is warm and inviting; there are three separate areas: the main room is in back with its comfortable bar, darts area, and upolstered booths, all set of in half light. The front room is a bit brighter, and has numerous blonde wooden tables and booths. Then there is a small room with a cast iron stove (not lit) and a number of leather chairs. In all, a wonderfully appealing set-up.

The selection was fine--not a lot, but good variety. Maybe 40 bottles, nicely complemented by the five regular taps, five guest taps, and 3 cask-conditioned taps. I had a Middle Ages IPA (cask) and the Aechtshlenf Smoke Ale. Both were poured correctly, and served at proper temperature. The service was attentive and not obtrusive, though I admit, it took me a while to get used to the British accents (seems like all the employees have them as they are true Brits over on a kind of work-study exchange, and their group pitures from years past line the walls). My only negative was that the prices were a tad high in relation to other places in the area.

Unfortunately, I had to move on before sampling the food, but as the good general once said, "I shall return"

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Photo of CBFanWish
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

An English pub in the city of Rochester, The Old Toad is an excellent change in pace for the Rochester Barfly.
With a staff imported from England, The Old Toad has a traditional English atmosphere right down to the dart board and traditional menu. Very fun and unique at the same time.
My girlfreind and I visited the pub for the first time on Saturday expecting a snobby, high priced waste of time. How we were wrong. It was very casual. The menu was very low priced also. That was the big surprise. Especailly for the size of the menu. It was pretty good. I had roast beef and yorkshire pudding while the wife ate sheppards pie. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed our meals.
To wash down my meal I drank cask style double dark cream porter from Custom Brewcrafters.
The only thing that could have been improved was the service. while our meals came right out, it took 20 minutes for our slice of cheesecake to come out. But overall this was a great experience I will take part in on a regular basis from now on.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

A nice little gem in the heart of Rochester, which can leave something to be desired. Its on Alexander St., which is a prime location for nightlife, but The Old Toad is not into that trendy nightlife scene. This is really a "pub" replete with a legit bar(apparently imported from England) as is the entire staff.

The Toad is set up with a multitude of rooms from the bar, to a private living room deal. There was a guy in there last night with no shoes on feet kicked up reading the paper. The rooms were spacious well lit with some night soft lighting and plenty of interesting things adorning the walls all with a decidedly British feel.

The service was good(that may just be because it was a slow night but there were not too many people) But the beers were poured immediatly. Our waitress was attentive, always around to fill up, was cute and funny. All good things.

The beer is the reason you would go to the Toad though and they did not dissapoint. They do not have a HUGE list, but just about everything they offered was something I have either tried or would love to try. They had two casks and probably another 10 or so taps with a smattering of offerings such as Brutal Bitter some Middle Ages a couple Ayinger and plenty of English beers. The bottle list wasn't extensive, but had good solid offerings, such as Liefman's Frambozen, Orval, Hennepin, Sam Smiths etc. Everything tasted fresh and up to par. My only complaint is some of the stuff may have been a tad overpriced. But he you are not here to get shit faced, just to raise a few pints with your mates.

Didn't try the food, but my friend said it was hit or miss. Hey its one of the English's major faults. Regardless this is a place to come, relax and enjoy the company and atmosphere of a little slice of England in Rochester.

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Photo of John
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The Toad has emerged as the place to go for eclectic draughts and real ales. The quality of the cellarmanship here is top notch.

Authentic British style pub complete with imported bar and woodwork from Britain. British staff as well. Same ownership as the Fat Cat & Kelham Island Brewery in Sheffield, UK. Traditional British pub fare. Outstanding selection of real ales, locally brewed as well as guest casked ales from the U.K. Watch for their occasional real ale festivals. Good selection of kegged draughts also. Fine selection of bottled beers too. "A bit of England right in Rochester". Check them out at:

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The Old Toad in Rochester, NY
Place rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 70 ratings