The Ithaca Ale House Grill & Taproom

Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

111 N Aurora St
Ithaca, New York, 14850-4301
United States

(607) 256-7977 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 32 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by neliam24:
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neliam24 from New York

4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Dec 02, 2019
More User Reviews:
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redgorillabreath from Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Stopped in for an early Sunday lunch. Good range of good beers on tap, tasty food, a pleasant place to be. Will go back.

Oct 18, 2016
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Thunderchief from New York

4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Jul 15, 2016
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PhilsPils from Texas

4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

After a few trips here I feel qualified to judge the food as uniformly good. Decent selection of beer and not at all their fault that I picked a couple of clinkers (from Ithaca Brewing and Harpoon, both new to me) on my first two visits. Last time I played it safe with a Stone selection. Music is bearable, if not great. Apparently they don't check ID's...otherwise I would surely have been deemed too old by 40 years or so!

May 16, 2016
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mfowler314 from New York

4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

May 08, 2016
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SonictheBeerhog from New York

4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Feb 27, 2016
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seanchai from Virginia

4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Jun 24, 2015
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BranfordBound from Connecticut

3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Went here to visit a friend who was attending Cornell Law. Was thirsty after making the trip, this place was the logical choice. Nice college town, big beer drinkers here. Service was intermittent, but the tap choices weren't too bad. Walked away with two beers and a burger in my belly. Would go again.

Jun 17, 2015
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dandp88 from New York

3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Mar 24, 2015
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SABERG from Massachusetts

3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Feb 28, 2015
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logicalparadox from New York

3.83/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Decent selection, they do flights, and they have some pretty good food. Best place in town to go for burgers (thought not quite the best burger in town, that title goes to Fine Line Bistro, but that's another story). Good soups and daily specials. Always a good effort at local food festivals.

Outdoor seating is nice in summer, especially since the Ale House is almost always packed and very loud. Not a place to go if you want to have easy conversation or a quick meal. Service can be very slow and is often subject to high turn around.

I want to give them a 3.75, for good food and a decent beer list. But... unless you tell them not to, your wheat beer may well come with a citrus slice on the glass and that earns a big ol' demerit from me, since I love wheat beers and loath the idea that they benefit (or worse, "need") lemon or orange segments. If you ordered a glass of fine burgundy and it came with a cherry, how would you feel? I feel almost offended. But, OK, end of rant... you can't give them BAD marks, but you can't give them great marks, either.

A nice place to go for dinner or lunch, especially if they look a little less busy, They also do offer flights.

Nov 20, 2014
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Jaybirdbrew from New York

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Aug 10, 2014
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irishpride from New York

3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Aug 01, 2014
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boszormeny from Canada

3/5  rDev -24.1%

Jul 22, 2014
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TheBeerdedCharmer from Pennsylvania

3.36/5  rDev -14.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

The food was very good. Server was able to suggest decent beers. Each table was also allowed three free samples which was nice. The flights were a little overpriced and you could not substitute beers in the flights which is a little ridiculous. Overall they had a good selection of beer but the prices were high and it was a little ridiculous that they didn't allow substituting beers in the flights.

Apr 17, 2014
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rymurphy617 from New York

4.46/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Anytime I have to make a dreadful trip to freezing cold Ithaca I make sure to pop in this joint. Beer selection is nice, they always have the latested and greatest from Ithaca Brewing Company and Southern Tier. Atmosphere is your typical sports bar with wooden booths and nice flat screens to watch the games. But I'm not blowing smoke when I say they make a top 10 in the country burger. I'm seriosus, these guys make amazing burgers! It's absoulty worth a stop in just for the burgers alone. I'f your not a bar-burger guy/gal try the flatbreads! Great selection of flat bread pizza. In a town/area where pizza is awful the Ale House shines with tasty flatbreads

Dec 19, 2012
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I swung by the Alehouse after the Ithaca LeBleu release looking for a couple pints and some food. There was seating outside and an "L-shaped" bar to which I sat. Extra seating was all around and into the back.

The good: The tap layout contained 20 or so offerings that was concentrated towards NY offerings. I opt'd for a Roosterfish brew and a Southern Tier brew which I never heard of before. (Bonus points for that.) The food offerings seemed focused on burgers and pizza. While everything sounded tasty, I opted for a burger which was cooked properly and was over-sized. Very nice looking portion for the $12-15 price point. Also had the buffalo chicken spring rolls which were the real star of the show.

The bad: The beer was served in a frosted pint glass and the service was fair at best. Unless you went out of your way to get their attention, you were pretty much left alone with no inquiry to how you were doing, the food, etc. I didnt argue the fact but im pretty sure I was served the wrong brew when I placed my first order. There were some loud customers sitting fairly close to the bar that obviously had too much to drink. I dont think its necessary to scream at people sitting at your table making everyone else in the place look at you. Obviously not the establishments fault but well they didnt do anything about it either.

I would certainly return here again to check out the draft list, have more of those spring rolls and maybe try a pizza. If the service came up a notch or two this would be an establishment to go out of your way for.

Apr 16, 2012
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runsfast87 from New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Sat at the bar and ordered first the Racer Mach 10 and then the Ithaca Excelsior 13. Both had an excellent nose. Beer list was decent and full of hoppy beer, so a big plus for me. Also made it appropriate for the season.
Other winners:
Racer 5
Big Moose Ale
Sierra Nevada Organic Harvest Ale
Old School Barleywine
Arrogant Bastard
Northern Hemisphere Harvest
My Antonia (DFH)

Bottle list was decent as well but i didn't take a pic =/

Menu list paired beers to food, though I'm not sure what alchemy is used to do that. (stout burger paired with IPA?)

Food was highly recommended especially the burgers and the chicken dip. I went veggie for some reason and had an appetizer of Italian bread Bread topped with Homemade guacamole, Bree and sun-dried tomatoes with a dipping sauce. delicious. also had the onion soup - it was OK; I've had better

Bartender was very attentive. He gladly offered samples of beers and refilled my water right after i finished. Also waitresses were hot - not the whole good looking hostess and ugly waitress deal like most places.

definitely recommend if you're in the area - only downside was that it was a bit pricey, but certainly not outrageous for good food & drink

Nov 17, 2011
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akorsak from Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Early dinner with ksak.

Atmosphere: The Ale House is on one of the main drags in Ithaca, a town with more contradictions than I care to ponder on. A few seats outside. Too hot (and breezy) though, so we head inside. Seated past the bar near the kitchen. Hell, it's as hot in here as it is outside. A long bar, fully-stocked, with tables before, alongside, and past.

Quality: Service wasn't the fastest but the menu was full, as were the beer lists.

Service: We sat around a little longer than I'd like before we were served. After that, though, everything was better.

Selection: A decent draught list, over 20 beers by my uneducated count. A strong bottle list accompanied the tap offerings. I keyed in on the Ithaca Hop Stash - a little long in the tooth I suspect, and Roosterfish Hefeweizen. Both were good but I wasn't that floored by the offerings beyond those two (there were some good ones but few jaw-droppers).

Food: Burgers are the name of the game. I had the surf n' turf, a burger topped with a crabcake. There were several other big burgers, including one that came with grilled cheese sandwiches in the place of a bun. Salads and other sandwiches were also available. The burgers are definitely worth it.

Aug 01, 2011
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mobud from Delaware

4/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped in while visiting in the area. Nice beer bar/resturant that is not huge but there was a good crowd for lunch. Beer neons and signs of featured beers adorn the walls. Had about 20 taps with a mix of local and national crafts. I went with Ithaca Hop Stach and loved it with my "Bastard Burger" that had a large onion ring on it and Arrogant Bastard based house mustard. Our server Heather, was great; there but not bugging or pushy. Food was timely and fair for the price (ground zero of a popular college). Really enjoyed my visit and will definately be back for another burger.

Jul 23, 2011
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atr2605 from New York

4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

One of my favorite places to eat on the commons. This place has great food and a pretty decent selection of beers on tap. They also have a full bar so if you're not a beer drinking, there is still plenty of wine and spirits for you to choose from. They specialize in massive burgers, but also have salads, sandwiches, and other specialties to choose from. They also have a great dessert menu which includes a deep fried sundae or deep fried oreos served with cocoa to dip them in. The only complaint that I have, is that it's a little expensive. Not unreasonably, and the food is worth it, but meals are around 13-15 bucks, and beers are about 5 bucks a piece.

Jun 09, 2011
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suspect from New York

3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

The Ithaca Ale House is right on the edge of the commons which makes it's location pretty cool. Also - they're open for lunch. If Bandwagon were open for lunch I'd much rather go there, but all in all, I enjoy a trip to the Ithaca Ale House probably once a year. It's pretty pricey when a couple of beers and a burger add up to $38 including tip.

Regardless, the food is good and the selection is pretty good as well. Not sure how fresh their bottles are, I ordered Thirteen on draft which was $8 for 10oz...pricey.

The bartender had the biggest bottle of Double Bastard I've ever seen stashed behind the bar. Seriously, it was about 3 feet tall and he said it was about 3-4 years old. I would *love* to be around when he cracked that open!

Apr 02, 2011
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Hojaminbag from Colorado

3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The Ithaca Ale House is a restaurant and bar that is located among many other bars and restaurants on Aurora, right on the downtown/commons area.

The bar is in the front of the place on the right, with a few flat screens above it, as well as a few coolers stocked with 25ish bottles with various offerings from DogFish Head, Bear Republic, Ithaca and others. The taps are also located behind the bar, attached to kegs that were cut in half and attached to the wall. Beyond the bar there are more tall tables, along with some low tables; you can see into the kitchen from this area.

This place is crowded basically every night, but not with just students. Some grad students, young professionals and others of various ages tend to hang out here. Like most of Ithaca, the vibe is casual and pretty friendly, although sometimes the crowd is a little much for me.

The servers know about the beers and are helpful. Service at the bar is especially friendly and good, with a couple of the usual bartenders being great. I haven't encountered anyone who is a huge beer nut here, although that isn't really required for good, knowledgeable service.

Of the 20 taps, probably 10 stay the same all the time, and they include beers such as Racer 5, Arrogant Bastard, Harpoon White and a smattering of regional favorites from breweries such as Troegs, Brooklyn, Ithaca, Watkins Glen and others. The rotating taps usually have at least one or two harder to find beers such as Ithaca special releases and a selection of seasonals. I most recently saw Sierra Nevada Hoptimum there.

The food is above average bar food. The sandwiches are quite good, and most are made with sauces/breading/marinades that are beer based. You can choose a side including salad or soup for no extra cost. There are usually a few specials that have been rather good when I have tried them.

Overall, the Ale House is a good place to check out, especially because all of the other good beer places (Bandwagon, Silky Jones, The Westy, Pixel, Chapter House) do not open until 4-5, while the Ale House opens for lunch.

Feb 20, 2011
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nh2032 from New York

4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The Ithaca Ale House is right on "restaurant row" at the north end of the Commons. They offer 20 taps with a very nice variety. Their "standard" offerings seem to be Racer 5, Arrogant Bastard, Stone Pale Ale, Harpoon UFO, Lindeman's Framboise, and the usual Guiness/Stella. There is almost always something from Ithaca Beer Co. and an offering from Roosterfish in Watkins Glen too.

The rest of the selection rotates quite frequently, but focuses on NY and PA with Brooklyn, Saranac, Southern Tier, Troegs, Victory, and Sly Fox showing up often. Additionally some really nice draft-only beers show up once in a while including Ithaca Super Friends, Barrel Aged Super Friends, Brooklyn Blast, Brooklyn Cookie Jar Porter, etc... These typically go quick, but it's nice that the tap updates are posted on their webpage a couple times a week.

They do offer two flights: a "beginner's" flight which doesn't have anything special and a "what's new" flight. Both of these include five 4 oz pours and usually run about $10.

The atmosphere is pretty good although it can get quite loud and crowded if there's an event going on at either of the schools. Service is typically pretty good, again depending on how busy things are.

The food is good with a nice selection. I've had 4 or 5 of the different burgers and they are always excellent. My wife enjoys the flatbread pizza as well. The Ale House Nachos are great and are easily big enough to feed a group of 4 or 5.

Overall, a great place to stop, just wish it was a little closer to home and we'd be there multiple times a month.

Feb 13, 2011
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indiapaleale from Maine

4/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Pulled up a seat at the bar and was immediately waited on by someone who knew beer and asked what I might be looking for. Solid.

Plenty of great local offerings and lots of tap rotation and nice clean pours. They don't have 100 beers on tap but what they do have is all on the better end of the spectrum.

Food is better than normal pub faire. Definitely a great place for lunch or dinner if you are looking for a place to check out and have food with a few nice pints.

Great prices on everything and well worth your time when in Ithaca.

Jan 28, 2011
The Ithaca Ale House Grill & Taproom in Ithaca, NY
Place rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 32 ratings