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“Great beers and burgers but too loud”

Empire Brewing Company
Ranked #9 of 693 Restaurants in Syracuse
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: American, Cajun & Creole, Pub
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic, Bar scene, Business meetings, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Empire Brewing Company is a contemporary downtown bar and grill with a brewery on the premises. Here, we aspire to provide customers with the best food and libation available by utilizing fresh locally sourced ingredients. Whether it is vegetables and herbs grown in our garden, hops grown by our brewer, locally raised grass-fed Angus beef, or original music performed by our friends, we give our patrons an experience that can only be had at Empire Brewing Company. The moderately priced and eclectic food menu is complemented by a diverse selection of hand-crafted ales and lagers. In addition to beer, Empire offers cocktails and a large selection of wine. The atmosphere is casual and festive. The brewing facility is housed in a glass-enclosed work area which provides a view of the massive copper and stainless steel brewing vessels. The food is prepared in a handsome open-performance kitchen allowing patrons visibility of the chef and his assistants. The interior decor highlights the industrial elements of the microbrewery, the drama of the performance kitchen, and the architectural nuances of the building. The understated design - featuring exposed brick walls, wood beams, and columns - pays homage to the brewing tradition and the pre-existing architecture. With clarity the aim and materials and ambient lighting the accent, a warm and inviting environment has been created for customers to enjoy the music, food, and beverages.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

You'll have to walk downstairs to reach the front door of this good brew pub, but it's worth the walk down. We arrived on a Saturday night and were delighted to find our wait would only be 15 to 20 minutes. Happily, we seated ourselves at the bar to get started on two of Empire's beer creations, unfortunately, the bartenders served everyone around us, but ignored us. Finally, we flagged down a bartender who was putting glasses away and asked if we could order some beers. This was a bit off-putting, but the beers were very good. We had a smooth Black Magic Stout and a Shandy. Before 20 minutes were up, we were seated in a smaller dining area, but the noise in this small area was deafening. People had to speak loudly to be heard, which only added to the problem. My husband said we should text each other because he couldn't hear me. We ordered simply cheddar burgers and found they were cooked as ordered with flavorful spices and fresh buns. What we really enjoyed was the local sourcing Empire does to make sure its food is fresh. We also enjoyed that the two of us had dinner for under $50 including three beers, two burgers, and a tip. (This includes the two beers we had at the bar.) The area the restaurant is located is very trendy so there are many choices for dining. We will return here on future visits.

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Thank Babu2773
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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394 - 398 of 534 reviews

Reviewed July 27, 2013

The Empire Brewing Company was a fun place to eat. We were there for an appetizer pizza (white truffle oil, mushrooms and Italian Cheese) and a beer sampler. The pizza was good though there was little truffle flavor. The beers were interesting. They had a season grape based beer that was....difficult to describe. Let's just say that one sip was enough.

Nice crowd, welcoming staff. A good option in the city.

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Thank fredilev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

My daughter suggested we try someplace different in Syracuse. A little hard to find on a Sunday afternoon; but a pleasant surprise. Service & food pretty good; great choice of brews & sangria. Not what I expected for downtown Syracuse - interesting place; glad we tried it.

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Thank Br0wnEyedGirl35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

My family and I had a really nice dinner here. We choose this place because it was one of the restaurants Guy Fieri featured his TV program, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I was a bit concerned because it was a Sunday evening. I didn't want to dine in a deserted place. We were happy to find the restaurant comfortably busy. Our wait for a table was just a few minutes.

The restaurant is in the basement of an old building. The street entrance is designed to look like a NYC subway entrance. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. The brick and stone walls are visible. The tables and booths are wood, as is the bar. The "brewery" area is behind the bar, completely visible through the glass wall. I didn't see another entrance that doesn't involve stairs. There is only street parking.

The menu has many unique items on it. We loved the blue corn bread. It was grilled a bit and arrived at our table nice and hot. The maple butter added some moisture without overpowering the corn flavor of the bread. Delicious. The soft preztels were also good. They topped them with some spices which was much better than plain salt. The creole mustard had a nice kick to it. The special soup was a cajun chicken noodle. It was loaded with chicken, veggies and also had a nice spice to it.

For entres, we had burger, wraps, po'boy, flatbread. All were served with a choice of side and all were delicious. The portions were generous and prices were reasonable. Check out the online menu for selections and prices.

My family is not a big beer drinking group, but we did have the spring ale and raspberry cider. They were both enjoyed.

Our server was excellent, prompt, friendly, conscientious. We will definitely be back when near the Syracuse area!

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Thank B_in_Penfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

It has been a few years since I ate here and I don't remember it being such a noisy place. It took away from our experience. The food was good and I really liked the Black Magic Stout but we couldn't wait to get out of there.

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Thank Laura L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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