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Taps: 62 / Bottles: 250
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
5148 N Clark St
phone: (773) 334-9851
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Reviews by semihobo:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
My fiancee took me out to Hopleaf for my birthday. It was pretty accessible by public transportation, which is a plus -- #147 north to #92 west put us right there. I'll skip the general scheme of the place as there are so many other reviews.
On a Monday at 7:15, the place was pretty full, but we got seated immediately at a table for two in the back. Our attentive server got our drink orders immediately, although we needed some time just to digest the tap list. We started off with a Maredsous 8 and a Tripel Karmeliet, both served in the branded glassware. I had the mussels for starters -- they were excellent. If you like mussels, don't miss them, cooked in beer, with sourdough bread to soak up the extra liquid. Comes with very thin, savory french fries. Unfortunately the two travelers eating next to us (judging by their suitcases) were bragging loudly about their toolish exploits while I was trying to enjoy my birthday dinner... thankfully they left early. All other patrons were pleasant.
The menu was not that long but it was certainly adequate, there were two major options for vegetarians, a sandwich and a squash/risotto combination. We both had the CB&J, cashew butter, fig jam, and morbier cheese. Definitely a winner there. The side of stilton mac-n-cheese was also delicious.
Dessert was the only place where the food didn't shine -- the blueberry almond crisp was mediocre, although it didn't help that we were stuffed to the gills. We finished with a Dogfish 90 Minute and an Allagash White, both of which were reasonably priced at $5 a pint. Selection was excellent -- roughly 20 Belgian and 20 other taps, along with a very long list of bottles, arranged by category with prices. Meads and wines are also available. See their website for lists.
The men's room is kind of funny, nice walls and fixtures but the dividers and stalls are made out of rusted old corrugated metal, it works nicely. They also have one of those high-speed hand dryers that blows the air so hard it distorts your hand.
A filling meal for two plus 4 good beers for $62? I think that's a reasonable value.
A must visit, I will definitely be returning soon.
02-12-2008 15:20:25 |
More by semihobo
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75 | $$$
The Hopleaf resides in a pretty hip and upcoing part of town called Anderson Ville. The people are nice and the environment friendly. Rustic look and feel with pretty close knit quarters, although the place is 2 floors, one will get friendly with their neighbor while dining.
Tap selection is always large and vast. From Local Craft to European selections.
Parking is daunting and the wait can be long to sit, eat and have a few drinks but worth it. Food is good if not a tad a pricey. Best described as Euro style gastro pub ? Meaning, fancy meats and breads for a pretty penny. Worth a stop.
06-19-2013 19:12:13 |
More by FATKIDREVOLUTION
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$$
Average tap selections were priced reasonable. Anything limited on the menu was not available. Anything interesting was so inflated it was stupid. $75 for a 3F Schaerbeekse Kriek? Are you insane?
We waited about an hour but it was Friday. Whatever. What really pissed me off was the service. Our waitress had an attitude and decided to be a general bitch the entire night. She had no personality to speak of. She came to the table, said two words and vanished. I had been rather excited to try this place but after my experience with her as a waitress, I will never be back. There are way too many better bars to spend my money in than waste my time here. You're better off avoiding this place in favor of an establishment that treats its customers as if they want them to return.
02-20-2013 09:07:30 |
More by HopsMatt
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | $$
I had the opportunity to visit the Hopleaf in 09 and really enjoyed it. A sweet beer list and the layout was super cool as well. Bartenders knew their beer but service was a bit slow. I would like to try the Maproom in my next Chicago visit. I didn't get a chance to try their food either, so many good restaurants in that town.
01-24-2013 03:17:50 |
More by Hopsiam14
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Located far from the tourist downtown Chicago, Hopleaf represents what I believe to be a "destination beer bar". The large selection of drafts and bottles is one of the best of have seen anywhere in my travels. The atmosphere is nothing flashy and is perfect for consuming and discussing great beer. There are no TVs. All drafts are poured into appropriate glassware. Service is attentive and can answer any questions regarding their various selections. I did not try any of the food they serve however their offerings appear to be good pairings for the beers on hand. Overall, if you are visiting Chicago and want to find a great beer bar, this is your place.
01-06-2013 15:25:35 |
More by Stinger80OH
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Upscale bar in a nice northside 'hood; recently remodeled which improves atmosphere and ability to hold a conversation dramatically. Liked it before and put up with the noise and crowds for the incredible selection of Belgians (served of course in the appropriate goblet) and local high-quality microbrews. Like it even more now with all the goods still in place but double-plus the floor-space!
In addition to drinks, food selection and quality is well above average, and shows thoughtfulness to drink pairing. Small wine selection and fully stocked cocktail bar rounds out Hopleaf's capabilities.
A top tier bar - in the top three beer bars in Chicago, no question. A great place to meet friends, end the day, or ring in the weekend or special event. Also, the mainshift bouncer's goatee is highly impressive.
01-03-2013 19:15:39 |
More by hopfotch
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Dropped in for dinner and a couple beers on 10/29.
Atmosphere was relaxed and warm. Sat in the front room in a booth. Had to go to the bar for service which was fine as the staff was pleasant.
Beers: Bruery Autumn Maple, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, Allagash Fluxus.
Dinner: starter was the rabbit sausage (good), main course was the brisket platter (excellent) with mac and cheese.
Vibe was really nice. Big place with back room and apparently an upstairs.
Combination of vast beer menu (bottles and taps) and a dinner menu with interesting selections makes this a must for the next visit.
They had monkfish on the menu! Say what? Wasn't in the mood for seafood that night but normally would never turn down an opportunity for something like that.
11-05-2012 12:19:33 |
More by FEUO
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in here on a minor pre-wedding pub crawl. I've only heard glowing compliments, so expectations were high.
The place, at least the front area, seems somewhat small, but, for once, the word cozy could be used without being a euphemism for cramped. It's lit well enough to escape dimness, but not so much to be called bright. Nice. As I am wont to do, I went right for the bar. Being fairly early in the afternoon, I wasn't surprised that the place was nowhere near full. The bartender was friendly, prompt, and definitely seemed to know her stuff (I overheard her making recommendations to others at the bar). The selection is decidedly Belgian-heavy, though local and other miscellaneous stuff remains plentiful as well. While perusing the tap list I noticed many offerings not available anywhere else (or, at least, not yet, anyway). Always nice. I was offered tastes of anything I was on the fence about, which helped make my usually-poor decision-making a much easier task. Proper glassware was always employed. Prices were not higher or lower in any appreciable sense from other places in the City. I didn't try any of the food, nor did I even look at a menu, but I've heard great things. Maybe next time...
And, trust me, there will be a next time. This place lived up the praise. 'Nuff said.
10-03-2012 14:36:38 |
More by TMoney2591
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
One of my all-time favorite bars in Chicago. Guaranteed fun night any night of the week. Fantastic selection, great food...you have to try the fries! Knowledgeable and mostly-friendly staff. Atmosphere is great...cozy feel, nice option to drink at main downstairs or the smaller upstairs bar. You can normally find a table without waiting for too long, even on Friday and Saturday nights. Nice rotation of brew...love that they stay committed to serving some great local beers as well as featuring beers from amazing breweries from all over the world.
09-09-2012 02:49:30 |
More by sethmcconkey
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Pretty impressed with Hopleaf. The taplist rotates pretty frequently and always has lots of good local stuff, and usually something a little harder to find. Of course there's the gigantic Belgian selection (many on tap even), and every time I've been there they've had some nice 3F and Cantillon bottles in the back (highly priced but that's understandable considering the circumstances...).
The place has a friendly staff, and is generally pretty crowded, but it's always pretty easy to get a seat at the bar. The wait is pretty long for tables on weekends, but not quite as bad as other hyped bars/cocktail places in the city. Charming decorations as well.
The food is pretty awesome (the duck reuben is one of my favorites, the fries are always good). Great place, a shame it's so far north...
08-07-2012 19:23:10 |
More by Etan
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Hopleaf in Chicago, IL