The Local is nestled in a quirky, walkable neighborhood off the beaten path in downtown Saratoga Spring. The Local is the beating heart of the neighborhood, with its welcoming, warm interior with a fireplace, wooden pub tables and cozy booths.
When the weather cooperates, the Pub Garden opens, and the already cheerful vibe verges toward giddiness, as groups separate and merge, plans get made, broken, then remade.
Participate, or just kick back and watch the good-natured chaos unfold from a custom Adirondack chair.
Remember Cheers? A genuine vibe of camaraderie and community spirit infuses the air here, and even if everyone doesn’t know your name when you get there, a few probably will by the time you leave.
True “locals” have their own beer mug; there are 220 spots in the club with a waiting list down the block. For $50, “locals” get weekly specials and access to the annual Mug Club Party … plus bragging rights and yes, their own mug, that lives above the bar.
Come here for excellent craft beer, a hearty brunch or dinner. It’s also a popular lunch spot during the week, and is often filled with a mix of local businesspeople and visiting tourists.
The selection of 15 craft beers on draft is always rotating, but there is always a healthy mix of locally made beer, plus English and Irish classics, in addition to a massive selection of bottled beers.
Non-imbibers will also find plenty of interesting tipples, with the Local’s emphasis on organic teas, from Four Biggies, a blend of silver needle white, long leaf Asian green, green rooibos and yerba mate, to Honey Chai, a South African herbal tea called honey bush, blended with Indian chai spices.
Cocktails and wine are available as well.
Go with the classics here: fish n’ chips are done as they should be, with haddock in a housemade beer-batter, served with chunky fries and coleslaw. The fried pickles, served with a cucumber-wasabi aioli are fabulously tart, crunchy, with a touch of heat to cut through the heaviness.
The sandwiches are excellent too, especially the smoked brisket served with melted cheddar and Carolina-style BBQ sauce and cajun slaw.
And this may be controversial, but the salads are amazing; especially the cobb.
Kids are welcome with open arms and a menu designed to eliminate tantrums (PB&J, Kraft mac n’ cheese). The Bloody Marys are practically a food group in and of themselves. Grab one.
And unlike many pub-style places, every diet and allergy concern is accommodated here. Vegans and the gluten-free will find plenty of things to munch on.
Kathleen Willcox lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband and twins. She writes about the culture and politics of food and wine as well as travel and lifestyle; her work regularly appears in Wine Enthusiast, SevenFifty Daily and Edible Capital District.