The Stag's Head

Your Rating: None
The Stag's HeadThe Stag's Head
Very Good
25 Ratings
The Stag's HeadThe Stag's Head

Type: Bar, Eatery

252 E 51st St
New York, New York, 10022-6518
United States

(212) 888-2453 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-09-2009

View: Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by mltobin:
Photo of mltobin
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

In Midtown East , there has not been a good beer bar that I can recall, so the Stag`s Head is an added welcome to the scene.
The atmosphere is relaxed, with some horns on the wall as goes with the name of the establishment. Antiques and a few books also sit on a shelf to one side, making it some cozy. Beer selection on tap included Allagash Curieux, DFH 90 Min, North Coast Red Seal, Pretty Things Jack D`Or, Fisherman`s Brew, Kelso Nut Brown, a couple others. Bottles included Brooklyn Local 1, other NY beers, Abita, Stone, Victory, and even a couple from Jolly Pumpkin. The staff, although not well versed in all of their beers when I visited, were very friendly and helpful. Food was average, may eat somewhere else nearby next time. But, I will certainly stop by again for a couple beers. For those of you who work in the area, be sure to stop when you have the chance.

 876 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Photo of JohnChimpo
4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Quiet Monday solid beer selection well priced food. Good Happy hour with a couple decent beers I never had. Sick jams!

120 characters

Photo of Phigg1102
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of rozzom
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of mmmbeerNY
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of SimcoeKid
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of dtomes
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of ChipChaight
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of tainohawk
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of JCNY
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stag's Head is a great meet up place. The beer selection is fantastic, rotated frequently, with a dash of special events. The food here is top notch for bar food.

I recommend the buffalo wings with a side of the honey orange glaze (trust me), and the Turkey burger.

The great part about Stag's is that for the Sports enthusiast you can drag your great beer next door to Cornerstone which is their divey counterpart. It's connected to Stag's from the inside and you can walk between the two bars freely.

The only downside is that bartenders at Stag's tend to be a bit lazy, looking on their phones while you wait for a beer, and a little bit slow at times.

Having said that, its one of my favorite bars in midtown east.

 722 characters

Photo of hkyplyr73
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of FLima
1.79/5  rDev -54.7%
vibe: 1 | quality: 2.25 | service: 1 | selection: 2.25 | food: 2

The waiters are polite and attencious, but opposite to other places the person who claims to be the owner (Caroline or so) is a rabious dog. As other beer geeks from this site, I collect a picture of everything I drink, meaning bottles or the tap handler. I went to take pictures of those and the lady went nuts, saying that I could not do that, and she violently took it from my hand. I explained her what I did with those amateur pictures and gave her my name to check on the web. And asked why. She said "no, no, no, just no, no no!". I know NY is know for its awful service, but come on. You at least own some respect for who is bringing home your bacon!

 658 characters

Photo of flagmantho
4.26/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I went into the Stag's Head after a long day of work last week and was pretty pleased. Walking down a few steps below street level, I was greeted with a dark-wood basement paradise reminiscent of someone's awesome man-cave. It's not dank, per se -- too clean for that -- but the mild gloom was warming and welcoming. Additionally, there were several TVs with different games on but the volume down, and a sedate singer-guitarist performing folk-rock in an unobtrusive way. It was all very homey.

Service was decent and the breadth of their selection is pretty good, but the quality of the selection seemed pretty good to me. Now, I'm from out of town, so most of the beers available were unknown to me which may have added to the appeal. Still, I would like to revisit this place and explore more of their tap selections. I will admit, though, the real appeal of the place to me is the atmosphere: it's the perfect kind of drinking hole I want to go and have a beer after work.

Prices are par for the course for Manhattan. There is a menu but I didn't happen to get anything while I was there.

 1,095 characters

Photo of CitySwigger
3.91/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I really enjoy this place. With rotating taps and a constant procession of visiting brewers, the everchanging tap-scape at Stag's Head means your return visit won't taste like your last. My first visit was Chelsea Brewing's night. Then Greenport Harbor Brewing Co had control. Then later the Boulder Beer Company was in charge. Never a miss. And the staff, not just good looking, they are also quite knowledgeable! Got a question? Don't recognize what beer? Or maybe your trying to right the right pairing for the delicious entree you just ordered, just ask!

I'll be visiting again, and often.


 603 characters

Photo of KBrennan1000
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Stopped in for the Found-hog Day Founders tap takeover, particularly the Breakfast Stout infused with bourbon and maple, then filtered over oak chips (the Canucky Breakfast Stout, as they called it). Our bartender was fast with the orders and pours and kept our water glasses filled the whole time. Decent selection, better prices than a lot of bars near me. We arrived at the perfect time and got seats at the bar with no wait. About 10 minutes later the place was packed and noisy but not upsettingly so.

 506 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I read about this joint and decided to check it out with the wife after a visit to the nearby Japan Society. This is not an area we normally venture into, but The Stag's Head sure was a pleasant surprise.

It appears to be a "different" kind of bar in this generic, pub-filled area of Manhattan. Lots of wood, iron, breweriana and some good art (believe it!)

It's not crowded and it is not loud. On a Friday evening. In Midtown Manhattan. I'm in love!!! :-)

14 craft taps were listed on a chalkboard above the bar and the table section too. Elysian Jasmine IPA, Southampton IPA, Smuttynose IPA, Breckenridge Pilsner... plus some real cool stuff like Lagunitas Undercover and Sumpin' Wild, Harpoon Triticus and Uber-Bock, Pretty Things Saison.

Service was good, prompt and didn't miss a beat, although I was a bit annoyed that the Jasmine IPA we ordered kicked and so we only got one pint. Should have discounted or free, don't you think...

Their beer menu is updated on, which is always a huge plus on my book. Price is not bad, with beers between $5-$7 (pints or 9-oz snifters). Didn't try food, but it looks a little better than your average pub shit, what with candied bacon cashews, jambalaya croquettes with cajun remoulade and empanadas with chipotle-braised chicken.

They also have brewery events (Oskar Blues-Two Brothers was coming up when I visited) and an outdoor patio on the second floor that seems to be popular (was crowded during our visit, while the rest of the bar was roomy and nice).

This is one of the better beer bars in Midtown East. I look forward to coming here again!

 1,617 characters

Photo of circuscyaneus
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I work in midtown east and was extremely pleased to find a craft beer bar close by.

The atmosphere mainly depends on the day of the week Sun-Thur it is generally pretty laid back decent music and I can get a seat at the bar. Fri & Sat expect it to be loud and crowded. It is connected to the bar next door(Cornerstone) by an open doorway, so on their karaoke nights the music is really loud and not that great.

The beer selection is all american craft beers and is generally great with 16+ taps and 30+ bottles and cans.

The bartenders specifically Nick and Todd are great both of them know their beers and can explain them in great detail. Though there is a chick who bar-tends and I will not go when she is bar-tending(generally Fridays). I went three times with her behind the bar and waited 15-20 minutes to get my first drink each time. I always sit at the bar so I can't rate the servers.

The food is your standard bar fare, hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches and the like. I have never had any complaints.

 1,021 characters

Photo of SBinF
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I happened upon this place because it's next to the hotel I frequently stay at while visiting NYC. The atmosphere is pretty laidback and the waitstaff were attentive. Their knowledge of the beer was a little spotty. One day I went and the bartender knew about each of the beers on tap; another day, she wasn't sure where most of them were even from.

That said, their draught and bottle selections were impressive. The beers tasted fresh and seemed to highlight microbrews from the east coast and especially those found in New York state.

The food is standard pub fare, not great, but not bad either. Overall, it's a nice, lowkey bar in Midtown, definitely worth a visit if you enjoy local features when traveling.

 717 characters

Photo of BeerNemesis
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

The atmosphere is a plus for The Stag's Head under the condition that you're sitting outside in their self-proclaimed "beer garden." Otherwise, you can expect the usual bar/pub accoutrements.

Overall the service was subpar. Our waitress mixed up our drink orders, and often what we wanted to drink mysteriously was no longer on tap. The suggestions were alright, though I don't think all that knowledgeable. However, our waitress did inform us that she was an "IPA whore" -- always a good sign. Add to that the fact that she was smoking hot, and a lot of our complaints simply melt away.

Beer selection was decent: mostly local stuff on tap (though there was some Rogue available). Bottle selection was good not great. I could definitely come back and be satisfied with new choices. A third time might be pushing it, though I hear they have pretty decent rotation.

Food was average. Basically, expect to order a burger and have no reason to complain. Of course, you'll also probably not be sending the chef your compliments.

Yankees and Celtics games were on the TV.

Overall, good value and unique atmosphere make this mid-town stalwart are pleasurable experience -- just know that heading about 20 blocks south to Ginger Man or Rattle 'n Hum will buy an all around better experience.

 1,292 characters

Photo of dpkpr
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

We enjoyed a couple beers and split the chicken quesadilla. The taps had a good selection of New York craft beers as well as standard craft beers and a few imports from Germany, Belgium and the U.K. The bottled beer was good but nothing special. We were there on a Sunday evening, so I don't know what it is like on a typical weeknight or Friday/Saturday, but we really enjoyed the relaxed and friendly vibe. The food was very good -- better than a typical pub would be expected to serve. One of the best things is the location -- on a block dotted with about a half dozen very good beer bars. We would definitely go back.

 622 characters

Photo of dmgnyc
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Found this place while looking for an honest to goodness beer bar in East Midtown, of which there are few. I guess you've got David Copperfields in the East 70's, but my Mets fan buddy who I was meeting for a drink refuses to go there now because the last time all five televisions were tuned to the Yankees game, and when he requested the Mets on at least one, the bartender gave him shit for it.

Stag's Head is basically an after-work sports bar that just happens to serve good beer, as opposed to say, Standings in the East Village, a craft beer bar that also shows sports. Despite it being a Friday night with March Madness in full swing, the crowd was generally low-key and appreciated what they were drinking, which is never a given in a neighborhood ruled by In-Bev heavy sports bars.

Good selection of predominantly east coast craft brews on tap. A few Harpoons, Allagash Dubbel, Cisco, Smuttynose, two Cape Ann Fishermans brews, some Oskar Blues, and refreshingly, no Bud or Coors in sight. Pretty extensive bottle list to fill in the blanks. Pints were 6 bucks, with a few select drafts at 4 & 5 dollars during happy hour.

Food didn't appear to be too special, but our nachos and onion rings were more than fine. Service was quick, and noise level, while loud, wasn't so deafening as to make conversation impossible. A solid find in a neighborhood that's generally got nothing to offer beer geeks.

 1,412 characters

Photo of Andreji
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I was lucky to come here for Paste magazine's "party" in honor of their top american breweries of the decade (list: paste magazine's website).

Pretty much a few special beers that night, not a "party" by any means. just fun.

The place itself doesn't seem like much from the outside...nor how big it really is, quite spacious nice lower floor where most goes on and a 2nd floor which just holds a few tables but a good place to watch sports on tv if anything.

People are quite nice, both the lady greeting at the door and the waitress were quite nice and helpful, cheerful too. They seem to know their beers fairly well and read the customers appropriately too; fairly expedite provided it was quite the busy wednesday night.

I don't know which prices apply for taps now (last night was 4 bucks a pint) but bottles at say 6 bucks isn't all too expensive IMO. the selection is fabulous for taps and not bad at all for bottles...focused especially on american crafts (which is what i'm here for anyway). had a good extensive taste of america last night, even a tipsy head and a bit of a hangover but well worth it. Had some of the food which also was quite tasty, definetly not any grub, well served.

I especially like this place's enthusiasm for american craft beer. you see their "events" list is generally a series of tastings from american crafts. very positive, i myself am enrolled for the feb. 24 tasting of Flying Dog.

Definetly love this place.

 1,458 characters

Photo of dudecandle
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I popped in on a relatively quiet night, so I'm not sure how this place gets when (and if) it's full, but I like the feel. Dim lighting, music which wasn't too loud to talk over but still loud enough to distract, two TV's above the bar and another opposite the bar displaying whatever sports were on. It has some modest lodge decorations, yes, including a stag's head, but otherwise, hardly discernible from most other dimly-lit bars.
Bar seated about 8-10, there were two high tables which seated 4 near the entrance, and about ten or so tables in the back, as well. Relatively spacious standing room around the bar, so aren't too on top of each other.

I believe there are 16 beers on tap, but I'll give it an extra bump for being exclusively American craft.
In terms of quality, though, some beers were much flatter than they should have been, though they claimed to have tapped the kegs on the day, while others seemed perfectly normal. Who knows?

Service was prompt, but then again, we were pretty much the waitress's only customers, and she didn't blow me away with her familiarity with the beers. Secondly, the tap listing hanging above the bar is somewhat incoherent. For example: under "Ales," they wrote simply "Sixpoint," which was supposed to suggest the Sixpoint Apollo Wheat.

Overall, it's not a bad place to just stop in on occasion if you're in the relatively-beer bar-scant East Side, and $6 a pint isn't the worst you'll pay in Manhattan.

 1,458 characters

Photo of sleazo
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Formerly known as CB Six, the Stag's Head has emerged over the past few months as being a very similar bar as its predecessor. The layout is virtually identical with the major difference being that it is now connected to the beer/restaurant on Third ave. There is also less brewerania on the walls and the jukebox is absent. Other than that, it is the same. You walk down some stairs and there is a bar to the left and tables to the right and the back. It is a mostly wood decor and goes for a pub vibe. The music is decent and is not too loud so you can actually have a conversation. They do have the MLB package which is nice if you are visiting from out of town and want to see your team.

The beer selection has improved from when they first opened. You can find a wide number of local and further abroad craft brews. They never have anything too out there but you can always find a solid offering from such breweries as Troegs, Captain Lawrence, Sixpoint, Brooklyn, Dogfishead, Blue Point, Allagash and a few others. They have a decent bottle selection with some intriguing selections. they recently had a Troeg's week with all of their beers priced at $5. My only issue is there has not always been an IPA on tap which is a must for any beer bar. Still they usually have one.

The service has been attentive and friendly but they are not the most knowledgeable on the subject. The bartenders though are good with buybacks and the like if you treat them right. The prices are decent, especially for the area as the recent $5 specials make it affordable. I have not had the food as of yet.

While this doesn't challenge the best places in town it is a good spot to grab a quality brew if you are in the area. Midtown east does not have that many good beer bars so this place is welcome respite for the area. The selection has improved greatly since they opened and I think it will get better. The owner seems to realize craft brews are the way to distinguish themselves in a crowded bar scene. Worth checking out

 2,016 characters

The Stag's Head in New York, NY
Place rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 25 ratings