Horseshoe Pub & Restaurant

Horseshoe Pub & RestaurantHorseshoe Pub & Restaurant
Horseshoe Pub & RestaurantHorseshoe Pub & Restaurant
Bar, Eatery

29 South St
Hudson, Massachusetts, 01749-2204
United States

(978) 568-1265 | map

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Ratings by krantul:
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Reviewed by krantul from Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
Latest Update: This place continues to impress me and continue to improve. I feel as though every complaint has been thoroughly addressed, and I now visit the Horseshoe every Saturday night without fail. I'm not sure when they overhauled the cooking, but just about everything has been freakin' awesome the past few months, not just the pub food. I still advise sitting on the bar side for service and atmospheric purposes, but I now endorse this establishment wholeheartedly.

Update: So, it's been almost a year, and I've returned to the Shoe a few times, and I've warmed to it a bit. They still have service issues, but it's better than it used to be. I've learned to sit in the bar, where the bartenders are usually waiting on tables themselves, so there's more knowledge (the general wait staff still knows nothing about beer and gives you funny looks when you order "weird" beers). I safely stick to the appetizer/sandwich/burger section of the menu (they make a great reuben), but I steer clear from the entrees proper, having heard a lot reports of mediocrity. Beer list is still fine, though I'd like to see a little more motion in it (and Killian's ina waste of a tap in a place like this!).

Old Review: I have been to the Horseshoe Pub three times, and the service got considerably worse with each visit. On my first two trips, the service seemed unjustifiably slow for the amount of patrons inside. The most recent trip was a debacle, however:

It was strangely slow in the pub around 8pm for a Saturday night. We had an appetizer and the first round of beers without incident. We noted Berkshire Raspberry Strong on the draft list, which was surprising given that it's usually unavailable this time of year, but we ordered 'em. Some time time later the waitress returned to tell us that they were out of it and that she was substituting Oxford Raspberry for us. WHOA! Who substitutes drink orders without consulting the customer? Having had the Oxford before, we asked her NOT to bring us that, and placed a different order: a Belhaven, and Fuller's Porter, and something I hadn't heard of before, Rogue "John's Locker."

What followed was a succession of visits from the waitress, who seemed surprised that we hadn't gotten our beers yet. Generally speaking, that's part of the waitress' job, so I'm not sure why that was surprising. Our food came and went, with no sign of the drinks. By the time they showed up, a half hour had gone by since the time of ordering. The Belhaven was almost completely flat. My Rogue tasted suspiciously like Dead Guy, and the following day's research revealed that "John's Locker" is a special, seasonal stout; so they did serve me Dead Guy and considering that you order beers by a number on the list, that's a pretty careless mistake.

I really want to like this place. The draft list is great, the best I've seen in Central Massachusetts, but I can only tolerate the service issues so many times. The food is average: nothing I couldn't find down the street instead of the twenty-five minute drive to Hudson. Obviously, we come for the beer, not the food, but the service and quality control problems may prevent me from going it a fourth time.

I sent an e-mail to the Pub the following day, and got a prompt reply from one of the owner/managers. While courteous, he only made the excuse that they were having problems keeping up with the unprecedented amount of business following their recent renovation. I really can't accept that; it simply was not that busy in there that night.
May 17, 2006
More User Ratings:
Photo of Spirit_of_Hudson
Rated by Spirit_of_Hudson from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +20.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
Always a good time
Jul 17, 2018
Rated: 4.45 by Rubezahl from Pennsylvania

Jul 08, 2018
Rated: 4.95 by Pinkylives from Massachusetts

Apr 28, 2018
Rated: 4.16 by jcoleMA66 from Massachusetts

Aug 04, 2017
Rated: 4.45 by Buddance from Massachusetts

Jul 09, 2016
Rated: 4.45 by dnoahg from Massachusetts

Jun 08, 2016
Rated: 4.7 by MotherofMimi from Massachusetts

Jul 25, 2015
Photo of John213
Reviewed by John213 from Connecticut

2.95/5  rDev -28.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 3
had dogfish head 60, 90, and 120 min on tap plus arrogant bastard coffee casked, amazing selection, rest of the experience was nothing special, no parking whatsoever either. All worth it for getting 120 on tap.
Feb 21, 2015
Rated: 3.32 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts

Dec 04, 2014
Rated: 4 by Stoutmeister from Massachusetts

Oct 25, 2014
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Reviewed by Toomuchtrouble from Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -27.7%
Very busy on a Wednesday night in October. Loved the selection of beers. The waiter in the bar was prompt and helpful. Things changed when I joined my wife in the dining room. The German food on the menu was German in name only. This restaurant does not have a clue. The Jaeger Schnitzel and sides were quite horrible and we couldn't finish them. The noise was so loud that my wife got a headache. I love beer but not sure if I will return.
Oct 16, 2014
Rated: 4.29 by JohnofUpton from Massachusetts

Oct 16, 2014
Rated: 5 by JasonPerry from Massachusetts

Oct 15, 2014
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Rated by hudsonheat from Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
Food is mediocre, beer selection is okay to decent. Bartenders are very grumpy and don't pay much attention to you if you're not a regular.
Sep 11, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by freshcarl from Connecticut

Aug 25, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by bprice from Poland

Aug 05, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by jarrodddd from Massachusetts

Jun 23, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by mbonugli from Maine

Jun 18, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by seakayak from Massachusetts

Jun 10, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by portia99 from Massachusetts

May 24, 2014
Rated: 4 by jwps214 from Massachusetts

Mar 03, 2014
Rated: 4 by infuturity83 from Massachusetts

Dec 29, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by deleted_user_722966 from New Hampshire

Dec 18, 2013
Rated: 4 by Resuin from Massachusetts

Oct 26, 2013
Photo of ahamlin
Reviewed by ahamlin from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Currently my favorite drinking spot. Of course, having 80 beers on tap doesn't hurt! They tried to maintain 100, but they were failing to keep them all stocked ( which many of us complained about ), but it is much rarer now for them to be out of a beer.

The menu keeps changing as they try to find more dishes that are special and popular. They recently added Reuben Eggrolls, which are to die for. I can also vouch for the ribs, and the burgers are large and tasty.

The bar section is a bit smaller than you might expect, but in the dining room they have 6 person booths which gives you some privacy with a larger party size. Also, the beer garden is a delight in the spring, though it gets a bit hot in the middle of the summer.
Dec 23, 2011
Photo of JLo99
Reviewed by JLo99 from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Full disclosure-my local pub, I tip well and get remembered because of it.
Love this place. The food is well above standard, with themes and specials, plus (usually) better than normal standard pub offerings.80 beers on tap, with a list broken down by style readily available. Waitresses in the dining room may not be too knowledgeable, but the people behind the bar are usually pretty up on what is available.
Just a really nice place to enjoy a variety of craft brews, friendly, comfortable, but sometimes really busy, be patient. Wait for a seat at the bar, you'll probably end up in nice conversation with whoever is next to you. Doesn't get any better.
May 24, 2011
Photo of hga2009
Reviewed by hga2009 from Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
I just wanted to throw major props to this place for having world class brews and a fantastic selection every time I stop in. Enjoyed nuggett nectar on cask recently. The ownership really knows their beer, and continues to impress with gems on tap and rotating them constantly. For this place to have 100 or so drafts is great. Their IPA selections are top notch. The food selection is always very interesting and they have most
of wha you are looking to have. I have never had a bad
meal here. In the nice weather they have a nice
outdoor siting area.

This place is close to our new house and I feel like I discovered gold.
Mar 07, 2011
Photo of rdpoint
Reviewed by rdpoint from Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Nice pub, open, lighting seemed good, we were there for lunch, outside seating for warmer times.

Quality and service were both good, and the menu seems to have a little wider verity than just normal pub food.

Selection of food is good, selection of beer is great. They have lots of choices, the standard fair as well as the unusual.

The food is average to a little above, menu is the norm with a little wider verity than normal and from what I saw all the plates were good.

Its off the beaten path a little but if you're in that area its well worth the trip to stop by for some pints, they have an excellent selection of beers and the food is good too.
Feb 04, 2011
Photo of Coorskid33
Reviewed by Coorskid33 from Rhode Island

3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4
This is great beer bar.

I was there for the first Patriots game and it was the wrong venue.

The TV was smaller than the lil mac book screen but that was ok because the beer was amazing.

Bartenders know pours and know their beers. Server was not great. Offered little to no insight into what they offered.

Chicken Wings were good but crazy expensive when your buying five and six dollar drafts.

Dark inside which I don't mind. Old Tavern kind of atmosphere with beer advertisements plastered on most of the walls. Nothing really interesting or impressive.

Great beer bar but not much else to offer. Would give it another shot if I lived in the area.
Sep 25, 2010
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Reviewed by HopNuggets from Connecticut

3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Went to the Horseshoe Pub this past Saturday for my birthday gathering. It's in a good location halfway between my family and friends in NH and my wife and I in CT. Kind of off the beaten path so make sure you have GPS or directions.

Atmosphere was a nice tavern feel. The patios looked very nice but the weather wasn't cooperating so we were forced to stay inside. The wall of taps was pretty amazing.

Quality of the food was very good. I was there with 13 people and everyone liked the food. The quality of the beer was good, nothing really out of the ordinary but none of the beer tasted like it was old, which is nice being the place has 80 taps and 2 casks.

Service was a bit off, when we first showed up the waitress was kind of bitchy but she warmed up after a little bit. The food and drinks were brought out in a good time frame. It was dead when we went being it was 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon.

Selection of beer was obviously plenty. There wasn't any beer that sparked peak interest but definitely a good selection. Good selection of food as well. Highlight was Troegs JavaHead on cask for a nice dessert.

Food was very good. The burgers were huge and you could build your own. The baked mac and cheese looked very good as well. Onion rings were excellent as an appetizer. Typical pub food selection with a bit of country comfort food thrown in.

Value was reasonable. Food was a buck or two more than a 99 Restaurant or Applebee's menu. Beer was priced reasonable and mostly served in 20oz Imperial Pints. DO NOT GET THE BEER SAMPLER TRAY! 4 beers (probably 5 ounces) at $2.55/beer for a cost of $10.20. That was outrageous in my book! Get a pint for $5 or so.
Jun 14, 2010
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Reviewed by morebeergood from Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5
Stopped by here on a Sunday afternoon with my friend and my brother. Large building, with a nice looking patio area outside. Inside, it has a very cool tavern feeling to it. Lots of beer signs and decorations all around. Sitting at the bar is impressive, as all 85 tap handles are lined up across the length of the wall. Service was good, as our waitress/bartender was attentive, friendly, and quick. Selection is superb. As I said, 85 beers on taps and 2 casks is pretty sweet. And all the selections were great craft choices, not adulterated with macro choices mixed in. I went with the Belhaven Stout and the Tap/Haverhill Chocolate Porter. Both my companions raved about how good the Smutty Wheatwine tasted on tap. Though my friend was a bit peaved to be charged $7 for a 7 oz pour of Mojo Risin DIPA nitro (glass was laughably small). One thing I don't like is a large beer menu that doesn't list any prices. Most beers were $5-6 on the bill and served in the appropriate glassware. Our app of pork stuffed potato skins was forgettable. My chicken sandwich was decent but was served way too fast for the chef to actually have put any effort into it. For the part of MA that this bar is located, it's gotta be a godsend for local beer geeks. If it was a bit closer to Worcester, we would hang out here all the time. But if you want to take a road trip, or find yourself in the area, most definitely worth a visit for a beer.
Mar 29, 2010
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Reviewed by beergrrl from New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
First visit to Horseshoe Pub

Paulaner Oktoberfest delivered in dimpled mug -- perfect!

Draught selection is great, beer menu very well organized, by type including a breakout for IPA.

Service was prompt, courteous and efficient

Kitchen was greased lightning, dinner was excellent, French Dip and Shephards Pie. The spectacular puff pastry chicken pot pie was delivered to a neighboring table, scent wafting towards us and that will be my next meal.

Basic entrees are under $10, a great value.

Visited on a Thursday evening and the restaurant was packed, with an infant.

We will return again and again.
Nov 22, 2009
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Reviewed by SunDevilBeer from Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3
Been going to the 'Shoe off and on for 6 yrs now.

Suggestion: go on a mid-week night or weekend day, not Thursday or Friday after work. It gets crowded and the staff get overwhelmed (if not ignoring you at the bar!).

Nice beer selection, though the printed list often doesn't match what's actually avaialable. Be prepared with a backup selection.

Pours are more than fair. Many times I have received full pours of high octane beers in a full stadium pour pint for $4.95 (Big A IPA, etc). Quite a deal!

Even when the place is empty, service can be S L O W...maybe you'll get lucky and get an attentive server.

Food is at a very mediocre level....Sysco is prominent, not much indication of thought and individualism in the kitchen. Which is OK if you just visit for drinks...

All in all, I don't think of the Shoe as a destination, but a decent place to stop for a beer or 4 if I'm in the area.
Nov 10, 2009
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Reviewed by geocool from Massachusetts

2.63/5  rDev -36.6%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3
This place is not what it once was. When reading reviews, please consider the dates. This place has gone downhill. I just read Todd's review from 2004, and man I wish those things he observed were all still true today.

The poor service at this establishment has to be downgraded to awful. I was there on a recent Thursday night to meet five buddies and the bar was packed. So I figured we're all here, let's get a table so we can sit and actually hear eachother speak. No dice. We were told that tables are for dining customers only, no exceptions. Well some of us will order meals, the rest will order appies. No go. All members of our party must order dinner or no table. I asked the manager if this is a new policy. He pointed to an 8.5x11 sheet of computer paper taped to the wall with the policy printed on it.
Well we were eventually able to squeeze into a table for two in the bar area, and finally upgraded to a large table more than an hour after we arrived. That one had been monopolized by two guys drinking bottles of bud light at a great big table.

Their food is also downgraded to merely average for bar food, which of course is below average for a restaurant. Used to be much better with selections you don't usually see at a bar, but there is a new "streamlined" menu now and all of my favorites (Veal Saltimbocca!) are gone.

I still have to give them high marks for their beer selection, though I have never felt that "everything is fresh." I have frequently ordered one of their six or seven belgians and felt that it was quite stale, probably doesn't get ordered very often. Not much that's local anymore except a few Wachusetts (not nine, but a few).

My buddies and I all agree; we will have to find somewhere else to go from now on. If anyone has suggestions in the area please send me beer mail!
Apr 10, 2009
Photo of bilyboy65
Reviewed by bilyboy65 from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
There were a lot of tables setup in the dining room, with extra space up stairs. The bar area had plenty of space as well. However one down fall of the bar is that the TVs are controlled by the same box so its all or nothing. Really sucked when I was out voted and wanted to watch the Celtics. Beers were all fresh and the 80 tap lines they have are rotated regularly to keep the choices fresh. Beer comes in proper glassware, which isn't seen to much anymore. Even if sometimes its tainted by the brewery's logo. At home I think thats ok, but in a bar it should just be the glass. Bartenders all new a good deal about the beers. Food was better then standard bar food and the prices didn't break the bank.

I'd definitely go back.
Jan 16, 2009
Photo of TeddyBG
Reviewed by TeddyBG from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
My third visit and figured that I might as well rate it now.

Beer selection is good with only a few selections that made me go, WOW!. This time around it was the Green Flash IPA. Saw that on the menu and immediately decided that this would be my next selection to accompany my buffalo wings. It did not dissappoint, of course. Beer is always served in the proper glassware and the waiters/waitresses are pretty aware of what is on tap. However, I do have to say that their correcting me on the pronunciation of Weihenstephener the last two times started to annoy me. I took four years of German and read Kafka in his native tongue. I think I know how this is pronounced!

Overall, this is a good place to hit if you are in the area. The wings are probably the best in CMASS...that I have had. Everything is ranked off of Buff's pub (in New England) and I have yet to find anything better close to home. Suggestions welcomed.
Aug 31, 2008
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Reviewed by number1bum from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Visited this place this evening on the recommendation of some other BAs. Pretty nice place, decent sized bar that was plenty spacious and there were lots of tables as well (with more seating upstairs I think). Pretty standard bar/restaurant feel. It was 95 today in MA and the AC was broken at the bar, so it was hotter than hell. I actually probably would have stayed longer but I couldn't really even enjoy my meal or beer because it was so hot.

80 taps plus 1 cask offering. A lot of English and English style stuff. Pretty good breadth of selection, but nothing that really jumped out as "wow, they have that on tap!" They had a Harpoon 100bbl beer (Firth of Forth) which was the only one I might put in that category. So 80 taps yes, but pretty standard stuff on most of them. Still, that's an impressive selection.

I had 2 Wachusett beers: the Green Monsta (pretty tasty) and Summer (awful). For food I had some onion rings and a burger. Food was pretty good; not great, but good. Service seemed good and the food arrived really quickly. If it weren't for the AC being busted I would have stayed longer, had some more beer and enjoyed myself more. Solid place overall that I would visit again if I was in the area. Prices were pretty reasonable, especially for the area.
Jun 11, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
Reviewed by Reagan1984 from Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4
I'm not sure I can add anything new to the selection of reviews already posted. Having said that, I want to HIGHLY recommend the Horseshoe Pub.
I've been visiting this establishment since before it's remodel when the bar was tiny. The new set-up is great and provides a wonderful atmosphere.

The selection is the best by far in Metro-West, MA (I don't consider this Central, MA but that doesn't matter)

Just minutes off 495 and the Pike it's totally worth the trip.

Very good IPA selection and they are always bringing in new offerings. I've requested beers and they have delivered.

Tuesday evening Trivia is a lot of fun and the place is packed.
May 29, 2008
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Reviewed by tboom29 from Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3
This is an interesting spot for good beer. Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Hudson, MA, off of I-495, this is an extremely unlikely place for one of the best tap selections in central Mass.
Parking fortunately is not an issue in this part of the state, as there is a lot with ample spaces. The building itself is also rather large, with the bar area to the right, and the dining area to the left. I'm more of a bar guy, so I've never taken a table in the several times I've visited, but it looks nice. The atmosphere in the bar area is quality. Most nights the bar fills up rather quickly, especially on the weekends, and gathers around the half oval shaped bar, or filter into the bar overflow area to the right of the bar. There is a good mix of people, which seem to be made up of mostly Hudson locals. Unfortunately for a place with this many tap lines (at least 80), you see a lot of domestic lagers being drained straight from the bottles. No kitschy decorations though, just the glorious beer lineup to look at and the people throughout the bar to watch. This usually makes for an entertaining enough night, but there are also three flat screens to watch up front.
The beer selection, as mentioned, is impressive. It focuses on, in my estimation, half New England brews, the rest from the US or, and a few standard Belgian or UK beers. The quality has always been good, never a problem there. They also seem to have brought back the cask on our most recent visit. I had a Geary's Pale on cask, Gritty's Bitter, and Founders Dirty Bastard (MI representin) on my last visit. They don't always have the most appropriate glassware but they try. I do question the pussy-colada froufy drink I saw served in the Affligem chalice though.
Food is just average, basic pub grub. We ordered a "flat bread" buffalo chicken pizza. To me a flat bread is very thin crust. To them flat bread is french bread pizza, Stouffers perhaps. It wasn't Stouffers, but it was close. Not bad but not accurate either. Foodies need not visit.
Service is fairly quick, if not the most friendly. It's not really a younger staff like most places in the Boston area, since this place is in Hudson, and it gets busy, so I give them a pass for the most part. My wife and I did get a kick out of one of the bartenders crotch of an old man dad that sat at the bar barking orders at his beleaguered son as he tried to pour pints and take food orders.
Food is reasonably priced, for what it is. Pints will cost $5-$6, which seems high for this joint. I'd give it 3.5 $ if I could. 6 pints (between the wife and I, I'm not a lush) and the "flat bread" ran $50.00. This should not deter one from visiting this place though, as it really is a must hit spot for any hop head this side of the 128 loop. Or you could go to Picadilly Pub just down the road.
Nov 10, 2007
Horseshoe Pub & Restaurant in Hudson, MA
Place rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 66 ratings