First Street Alehouse
2106 First St
Livermore, CA 94550
If you are hanging out in Livermore and ask someone where’s a good place eat, there is one place locals will probably recommend more than any other. If you’re looking for a place with a great selection of craft beer, chances are they’ll recommend the same place – the First Street Alehouse in downtown Livermore.
Even the internet will steer you towards the Alehouse. For Livermore they have the most reviews on Yelp and the most votes on Urbanspoon. Heck, just google “Livermore Restaurants” and the Alehouse will be at the very top of Google’s search results.
I’ve been a regular there since I moved to the Tri-Valley back in 2003. At that time, the Alehouse was only three years old (it opened in 2000) and was in a different location. You know the Double Barrel Wine Bar next door? That was the First Street Alehouse’s original home.
Looking to expand its tiny footprint, they went all in for a major change. In 2010 they moved into the much larger space next door. The result was a huge win for their business and customers alike. Today it’s one of, if not the busiest restaurant in town.
Since I started The Great Livermore Restaurant Challenge almost a year ago, I haven’t been back to the Alehouse in quite some time. I’ve just been too busy trying all the other restaurants in town.
Instead of going into detail about my meal for restaurant #40 of the challenge (Rib Eye Steak Sandwich, Beer Batter Fries, and an Eight Bridges IPA), I’m going to list my favorite entrees at the Alehouse.
Here are my top 5:
- Alehouse Original Burger ($8.49): With eleven half-pound hamburgers on the menu this one is my favorite. Really want to make it mouthwatering? Just add cheddar, grilled mushrooms and choose their awesome Beer Battered Fries as your side. Yum!
- BLAT ($8.49): Sometimes I’m not in the mood for a heavy meal. That’s where the Bacon Lettuce Avocado and Tomato comes in. You get a light sandwich on sourdough topped with a few strips of thick and tasty applewood bacon. Don’t cheat with fries here, their side salads are great and vibrantly fresh. Don’t want to get caught in late afternoon coma at work? This is the meal for you.
- Nachos ($9.49): This may be an appetizer, but why not hog the Nachos all for yourself? It’s a fat bowl of chips topped with cheese, red onions, olives, jalapeños, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, black or refried beans and a side of salsa. Don’t stop there, you can add meat for a belly busting bonanza! I always add ground beef, but you can also get it with chicken, steak or even carnitas. Speaking of carnitas…
- Pork Carnitas Sandwich ($9.49): The Pork Carnitas is one of the best carnitas sandwiches you’ll ever have and my all time favorite meal here at the Alehouse. It’s served on a roll with grilled onions and pepper jack cheese. The fries go great with this and, oh, be sure and ask for a side of their pepper plant sauce. Zing!
- Reuben ($10.99): I’m a sucker for hot pastrami. Top it with swiss cheese and sauerkraut, and you have their awesome Reuben. At the original location it was served on a roll just like the Carnitas. Now they serve it up on rye bread. I prefer the roll and still order the old-fashioned way.
While those are my top favorites, you really can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. All of their stuff is really good and their portions are bountiful. You won’t go hungry here and it’s really a great place to eat. But you didn’t come to the Alehouse just to eat did you?
Do you love beer? With 24 taps, the Alehouse is one of the best places in town to grab a glass of the nectar of the gods. They have 11 rotating and 15 non-rotating beers on tap, plus many specialty beers. (Check out their beer menu here.)
The rotating selection is always awesome and they are one few places that serves up Russian River’s Pliny the Elder in their rotation. Every once in a blue moon they’ll get a keg of the elusive, highly sought after Pliny the Younger that’s released annually. When it’s announced that they are tapping this young puppy, expect a large crowd of eager beer affectionados lined up out the door.
If you are looking to expand your pint glass collection, you’ll want to head over on Thursday evenings. From 5pm to midnight it is Thursday Pint Nights. They have a special craft beer of the night; order it and you get to keep the glass. How awesome is that!
As I’m make my way to every restaurant in Livermore as part of The Great Livermore Restaurant Challenge, I’m getting a pretty good idea of what’s the best in Livermore.
One day I plan of writing an article titled “Kirk’s Top 10 Places to Eat in Livermore.” I mean, once I try every place in town, I should be an authority on the matter right? There are over 200 restaurants in town and I’ve only been to 40 so far. I’m only a couple of pizza slices into my pizza, but I can confidently tell you that the First Street Alehouse will surely make that list.
Is the First Street Alehouse the most popular restaurant in Livermore? What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.