Sterling Place Tavern

Your Rating: None
9 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery

1487 Hertel Ave
Buffalo, New York, 14216-2837
United States

(716) 838-2448

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Added by wailingwench on 12-21-2005

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Ratings: 9 |  Reviews: 8
Photo of lotofsnow
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of buffaloipa
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5

I live two blocks from the Sterling and am glad for that fact.

Atmosphere: I'm giving a 4.5 here not for the decor or ambience but for the staff and patrons. This is your quintissential friendly, neighborhood bar. I always have a great time at the bar shooting the s**t with my neighbors and fellow Buffalonians. The decor is admittedly lacking.

Quality: Nice selection of American craft brews and usually one or two nice imports. Usuals are Southern Tier, Great Lakes, Dogfish, Ayinger and usually a nice English Ale or Stout, etc. They also get nice seasonals such as Oktoberfests, Marzens and RIS. My last visit I had Ole'Rasputin on nitro which is always a treat. Also a nice bottle selection with some high end Belgians. The wine selection is also nice which I didn't expect. I've had some nice glasses of Red here over the years.

Service: service is extremely friendly but food orders can be slow. Enjoy the beer while you wait.

Selection: Nice selection, I'm going a 3.5 because they tend to close a lot and there's no way of knowing ahead of time. They do not have a website or phone!

Food: EXCELLENT! Homemade peirogies are out of this world. Fantastic Fish Fry on Fridays (nice alliteration eh?) and I've heard the burgers are world class. I've also had some outstanding scallops here.

Value: Very good. Food is especially reasonable and the bartenders will buy back on occasion.

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Photo of HopNelius
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Sterling place was featured in Buffalo Spree magazine under restaurants we love, being new to the are my wife and I sought it out.
Atmosphere- Sterling Place is on Hertel Ave in the city which is considered Little Italy, cool area. The outside is pretty unasuming with an old school pepsi sign displaying the name of the establishment. Once inside you realize that it has a nice bar area and a causal dining area with some of the floor tiles missing, I however was distracted by the great craft beer selections they had.

Food was great, had fishfry and homeade perogies, they also had really good looking Burgers, mellow vibe, place was packed. Beer on was a great mix of American Craft Brews including some Souther Tier and Racer 5 as well as some Belgium Beers. THey have both beer on tap and beer in bottle.

I will return here and reccomend it for anyone that likes craft beer.

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Photo of amc2341
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The Sterling is one of the few old school taverns in the area that I frequent on a regular basis. Unlike most of them, they have a rotating tap selection of good beer (focused on locals and also German imports). It's cash only, which is annoying, but excusable as the owners are extremely nice and caring people. The ambiance is pretty much what you expect from a local neighborhood tavern: lots of wood, crappy tables and chairs, etc. But sometimes that's just what you're in the mood for. The food is always delicious. It can, however, take a ridiculously long time for the food to come out as I imagine one person doing all the cooking (I believe the husband of the husband/wife owner duo). So put in an order for one of their amazing burgers and drink some beer and talk with your friends while you wait.

One weird thing about the Sterling is that it is often closed on really strange days. I guess I am a product of the internet era, so I expect to know if a restaurant or bar is going to be closed prior to arriving at the location only to see a note on the door saying they are closed. I can understand it somewhat as the place really is family run and operated, but still, why not make a facebook page and let your customers know in advance?

Overall, I love this place. It captures the real feel of Buffalo while still offering quality beers and food. Highly recommended to those who are looking for something more personal and down to earth than Blue Monk/Coles.

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Photo of Danbassin
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Unassuming local bar is a true gem! A warm, friendly staff who truly care about their quality, the Sterling has quickly become one of my favorite places in Buffalo.

I encourage first-time visitors to look beyond the relatively small selection in both the food and beer menus - the folks at Sterling aren't interested in selling you anything they wouldn't like to have themselves. The taps change frequently (always a good thing!), and the bottle list has a great selection of fine beers at excellent prices.

I must take the time here to mention the food. First of all, the Sterling boasts one of the best burgers I've ever had in my life. I recently moved to Buffalo from New York City, and I grew up with a father who was a chef - I've tried quite a few burgers in my day, and this is one to have before you die! Please note that if you're used to ordering Med.Rare so that you won't get a grey hockey puck, the burger you're gonna get here will actually be cooked to true temp; i.e. the it'll be juicier and redder than you may be used to.

So far everything I've had on their menu has been fantastic. I even once ordered chicken fingers, just to see what they'd do with them (they were homemade, and fantastic!). I also highly recommend the homemade Pierogi.

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Photo of wieserjd
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

This place is my wife and I favorite local pub/bar in the Buffalo area. It's not much to look at from the outside or inside but then again most truly good pubs are not much to look at. We enjoy pubs where you can socialize with fun and interesting people, drink good beer and eat good food. The Sterling has all three.

The draft selection consists of good local brews from Flying Bison, decent standards like Beamish, Stella, Spaten, Sierra Nevada and always two or more Great Lakes selections, usually consisting of either Burning River, Edmund Fitzgerald (Best American Porter in my opinion), Blackout Stout or Elliot Ness. This place REALLY has an affection for Great Lakes and it shows. That's fine with us because we really enjoy their beers.

They also have a nice selection of British imports (Sam Smith), Belgians (Orval, Rochefort) and Brewery Ommegang products in bottles. These are kinda pricey but not more than you would expect. Most, if not all, will be served in the appropriate glassware.

But the best part of the Sterling is the food. Now they don't have an extensive menu; its strictly "pub food". But they have hands downs the BEST burger I have ever had. Its not even a burger; its a literal CHUNK of juicy meat with lettuce, tomato & onions on a roll. You have a hard time even getting your mouth around it but damn is it tasty. They also have really good brats, sausages, chicken and a fish fry. Plus at least four homemade sides each day to go along with your meal. Top it all off with some homemade pies and its a truly great dining experience.

John (the owner along with his wife Judy) do all the cooking and most of the bartending. This place can get kinda busy in the summer and you always have to wait a while for the food but its totally worth the wait. A must visit. We've had fun just being the only two people there as well as when its jammed packed with customers.

Note: John and Judy do not have normal "bar" hours and there are often times when the Sterling is closed. So unless you live near it, call first to make sure that they are open.

Update 8/20/09

We stopped in here earlier this week and I was happy to see some new bottles added to their cooler. In particular, they now have Delirum (small 11.5 oz bottles) which of course I had to have (in proper glassware). They also have quite a few bombers (Rogue and Southern Tier) and have added more Ommegang offerings. Needless to say I was quite pleased when I left and I will be back again soon.

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Photo of kgreen2k1
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Decided to check this out after reopening (owner was on vacation). Went on a Monday ~ 7, parking was easy to find on Sterling.

Taps were well chosen with a decent variety. I had a Beamish, Eliot Ness and one from Flying Bison. All were 4 bucks a pop. I would've liked for the Beamish and Flying Bison to be cheaper, but hey. Friend had a Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse for $5.

Ordered a burger. Took awhile to prepare but was probably the best burger I've ever had.

Decor was fine, though nothing notable.

Not many people there but everyone was super friendly. The owner (I'm assuming) was quite the personality. A couple of times we dropped our conversation just to listen to him.

I definitely look forward to going back.

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Photo of wailingwench
4/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Mostly Cheers: Ahhh, Sterling, the little pub that could. Official Buffalo bar for the Great Lakes Brewing Company. The owner actually used to drive to Cleveland to pick up kegs of Great Lakes. That’s dedication. If only that drive and desire could be applied to the waterfront…..Exactly half of the taps are micro, the other half quality imports. Multiple Great Lakes taps (Buring River, Elliot Ness, Fitz, and a seasonal) and some random bottles. Bottle selection is truly random, they aren’t even sure what they have stashed away and how much to charge. The atmosphere is anything goes as long as you aren’t breaking shit or puking in the bathroom. Nice juke filled with some great tunes at a price that won’t break the bank. The music is not cranked up here, which means that you will actually have to engage in some kindof conversation.You won’t find that afncy import Labatts Blue on tap here, the weakest offering consists of Pilsner Urquell. Killer chicken fingers, possibly the best I have ever had, with enough fries to feed Lichtenstein. The owners really care about their joint and take pride in serving you, as long as it’s before midnight.

Jeers: Entrance is confusing; do I go to the right or to the left? Strange looking dining room that probably hasn’t been used since the Ford administration. No credit or debit cards accepted, which may actually be a good thing after all. The interior was last remodeled in 1968. The place truly does not look inviting from the outside; the Pepsi sign scared me off for years despite the Saranac and Anchor neons. No Saranac or Anchor to be found anywhere’s, not even a label stuck to the underside of a table. Hours are random too, not a late night hot spot.

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Photo of jemoryl
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A friend moved to the Hertel Ave. area and we were staggering around in the snow looking for a good place to grab a pint and watch the Sabres. Was surprised to see some neon signs for some micros in a window and wandered in to find a very interesting beer selection served by someone who was enthusiastic and knew what they were serving. I had a pint of Great Lakes Burning River (they had the rest of the Great Lakes linup in bottles) and my partner had a Sierra Nevada Celebration. They took great pride in being the only Great Lakes outlet around. The rest of the taps were a nice mix of micros, local (Flying Bison) and imports.

We were also in search of some food, and since it was Friday they were offering not only the regular fish fry (haddock?) but one with pike, which is something incresingly rare. I had the latter, which came with two good size pieces of fish, fries and three homemade sides - very tasty. Some other guys were eating some nice slices of what appeared to be homemade pie. Based on my limited experience, the food looks quite worthy. I'll certainly be back on my next visit to Buffalo.

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Sterling Place Tavern in Buffalo, NY
Place rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 9 ratings