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Taps: 68 / Bottles: 350
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
5148 N Clark St
phone: (773) 334-9851
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 172 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
This is an incredible place.
Although the place itself is not exactly special, being a simple bar and restaurant (not a tavern looking place as they imply on their website), everything else is top notch.
The beer selection is great, with an amazing variety of all styles and origins, from locals to belgians, germans and british, but the best selection is belgian.
The food is impressive, including great belgian style mussels, which matched my gueuze very well.
Service is very good although I did not ask anything specifically about beer.
A great place indeed.
04-24-2008 00:46:17 |
More by brdc
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75 | $$$
Arrived in Chicago at noon and here I was at hop leaf 40 minutes later. Lived up to the hype both on the beer selection and food. So many brews to choose from I was going mad! They even had drie fonteinen schaerbeekse kriek (for the hefty price of 75/bottle).
My consumption at this joint entailed: Tripel Karmeliet, Zombiedust and Jagwida's Minod Pitney Poltorak.
07-24-2013 06:38:00 |
More by Slap_and_Pickle
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Stopped in for a couple of nights on my trip to Chicago for DLD. Located on a main street and easily accessible by bus, as it's right on the route.
Atmosphere - As you walk in you enter the bar portion of Hopleaf first. Kind of dark inside, but we went when it was raining one afternoon and again at night. Plenty of tables and booths to sit at in the bar area, though it can get a little cramped on busy nights. You can sit at the bar as well. Through the back is a full service belgian restaurant with an upstairs and downstairs. Restaurant also opens up to a beer garden in the back, but was closed due to the weather.
Service - Outstanding to say the least. From the bar to the restaurant the staff was on top of everything. We sat in the restaurant for a few good hours and ate and drank the night away. The waitress was spot on all night long, and even offered a better beer to replace one they were out of.
Selection - 20 or so taps which are updated and rotated every couple weeks or so. All changes are reflected on their up to date beer menu. Great selection of local midwests (Surly, Founders, Great Lakes, etc.) as well as 10+ belgian offerings on tap. Bottle list is very extensive as well with a library of choices to offer.
Food - Awesome authentic belgian food! Mussels, cheeses, lamb, montreal BBQ brisket, frites, and an array of desserts are offered amongst others. It is without a doubt one of the country's best beer bars, but don't let the take anything away from the food. I could go there just to eat even if I didn't drink. Food was just incredible, especially pared with the beers.
Value - Draft list is very well priced, and the bottle list won't break your bank if you pick and choose right. Food is also priced to keep your wallet full.
06-20-2008 06:13:03 |
More by ryrust5301
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
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
If you like Belgian beer like I do, and like to enjoy it in a cafe-like atmosphere, then you'll like the Hopleaf. Way north near Clark and Foster, this place is worth seeking out. Always very friendly and often very packed this beer cafe is the spot for the not-too-expensive tasty beer. This is a "beer cafe' decorated with art deco posters and a vintage jukebox full of vintage tunes. Featuring almost two dozen drafts ranging from regional micros such as Bell's, Goose Island, Sprecher and Summit, to west coast micros such as Anchor, Mendocino and Sierra Nevada. Overwhelmed by the number of taps? Try a 10-ounce draft instead of a whole pint. What lurks further behind the bar and in the cooler is the best Belgian bottled beer selection in the city. The Hopleaf has the best selection of Belgian beer and the most Belgian drafts in Chicago. I could probably devote an entire site to the beers that can be found at this bar. You'll just have to be courageous and try them yourself.
10-13-2002 19:00:23 |
More by marcobrau
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
After a successful trip to DLD, blitheringidiot & I took a real interesting cab ride (apparently we look like two dudes looking for Chinese hookers) from Midway to the Hopleaf. We got there at 4:45 & got seats at the bar. The place was busy but not packed. Smoke-free (as is Chicago) which is always a plus. Crowd was youngish and into the beer. The waitstaff really added to the atmosphere since they were outstanding: pleasant, friendly, & never too busy to answer a question or give a sample. Great bottle and tap list with a great variety of styles. Our food was also extremely good: I had a kick ass Montreal sandwhich & the portion was huge. My only "complaint" was the menu was rather limited and I was hoping for a bit more of a local flavor to the tap list.
Highly recommended. Cheers.
04-27-2008 22:12:58 |
More by SkinnyElvis
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Stopped here while in town for a business trip with a friend living in the area. It was a Sunday night and the place was packed. We were lucky enough to get seats at the bar, but I'd be afraid of trying to go here on a friday or saturday.
The selection was very well thought out with good offerings from around the country and around the world. Plenty of rare and more expensive things too. An excellent representation of belgian beers in particular. The beer menu is broken down well and has good, accurate descriptions of each beer. Very impressive and professional looking.
The service was also much better than most bars I've been to in recent memory... but perhaps that's because we had good seats and were buying $20 bottles of beer too... anyway, on this occassion, the bartenders were quite attentive.
This place was a bit pricey, but not all that unreasonable when you look at the prices of some of these beers in stores.
12-28-2006 04:36:16 |
More by lpayette
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
I was able to make it to the Hop Leaf on my last visit to Chicago. I went on a Saturday night with my wife and we arrived at about 6pm. I walked directly through the front bar area (which looked pretty cool and not very crowded yet) to the back dining area. This area has brick walls, very high ceilings with brushed metal panels attached to the ceilings. There is a second floor balcony for when things get quite busy. To add to the ambiance there is lots of cool vintage beer posters & signs scattered about the dining area, and there is a welcome addition (especially on this cold night) of a cast iron raised fireplace/ hotbox.
The beer menu is fairly extensive, with a good selection of rare Belgian goodies (things like Girardin, and Westvleteren), as well as a decent American Craft selection. There is a whole section dedicated to Lambics, which I always appreciate greatly. The food selection is somewhat sparse, but with enough options to keep one interested. The food is Belgian in nature; I started with the mussels cooked in Farmhouse ale served with French fries and garlic aioli. This was quite tasty and paired absolutely stunningly with the Girardin Gueuze I chose to accompany it.
At this point I ran into a bit of luck; after I ordered my second beer (a De Dolle, De Dulle Teve) the waitress virtually left us alone, and did not even take our dinner order. This was a rare bit of luck, that I wisely chose use to savor the beer from De Dolle. The one thing that annoys me about American restaurants is that the wait staff never leaves you alone, it is like they are trying to get you out of there as quickly as possible. Anyway, I think that our waitress may have just forgotten us, or perhaps she sensed that I just wanted to enjoy my time and my beer.
For dinner I ordered a trio of appetizers; the three cheese plate with dried figs & apples (very good cheeses by the way), some browned scallops, and a goat cheese served atop a bed of greens paired with a sherry vinaigrette. My wife ordered a trout cooked with bacon and served on a bed of escarole, which was also incredibly tasty (I'll probably get this next time).
Unfortunately the beer I ordered with dinner failed miserably, I don't think the beer itself was off, it was just not something that could handle being drunken with food. The beer was a De Ranke Kriek, I have had this before & it was quite good. We finished the meal with a Westy 12, and it was awesome, a great way to finish the meal, I highly recommend it.
My one complaint is that they brutally serve the beer at a much too cold temperature. They really should be serving all of the beers that I ordered at cellar temperatures, they were at least 10*F too cold, if not more. Overall though this place is kick ass, and I will love coming here as much as I can.
02-09-2004 17:02:59 |
More by Gueuzedude
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Ahh, my return trip to the superb Hopleaf. I must admit that this bar was the impetus for flying a thousand miles to spend a weekend in temperatures 50 degrees lower than in my hometown. We arrived shortly after the opening time of 3 p.m. following a 6 dollar cab ride from the Goose Island Wrigleyville. Saddling up to the bar, I had to start formulating my plan of attack. I decided that by starting with low alcohol and matching every beer to a glass of water, I'd be ok.
First beer out of the gate was a Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold. This beer is always a marvel when fresh and it did not disappoint. At this stage of the day the bar was nice and empty with maybe only about 8 people inside (3 of which were in my party), so service was nice and prompt although not very talkative (which can be a plus sometimes in my book). About 40 minutes later and I was ready for my second beer: 3 Floyd's Black Sun Stout. It was served on nitro but pleasant nonetheless. I followed that up with: a Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek, Rodenbach Grand Cru (very nice and accompanied with a split order of Mussels and frites), and a Saint Bernadus 12. All beers were served in appropriate glassware and service continued to beer very timely although the place was starting to crowd (standing room only) and it was now pushing 8 o'clock.
As we were feeling a wee bit lightheaded we caught a cab back to the downtown Rock Bottom (after waiting all of about 10 seconds outside). Our bar tab was far less than expected which is always a nice surprise.
The Hopleaf is absolutely a destination bar and I could've spent several more pints here if our hotel was a little bit closer. Beyond all doubts it's worth the ~20 dollar cab ride if you are staying near the loop. Great place, I'll be back.
** Original review 3-12-2005 - Original score 4.85**
Finally got to hit up the Hopleaf this past Wednesday. I was prepared for a little bit of a let down after reading reviews of spotty service, but thankfully the Hopleaf met all of my high expectations. Although the Hopleaf is quite a trek from downtown, it's easily accessable via the red line and the #55 bus (cabs take away from my beer fund). My non beer drinking girlfriend and I arrived absolutely starved at about 4:45. The backroom doesn't open up until 5 so we decided to stay in the bar area (which was free of smoke at this point) and I grabbed a pint of 3 Floyd's Brian Boru. Service at the bar was very prompt and friendly as there were only around 10 people in the bar. Grabbing my pint and heading back to a booth I noticed a lot of brewania on the walls, a few books and newspapers to read through and the immense chalkboard with bottle selections (look left when you enter). I love how every table had an updated draft selections card with small descriptions of the brews on-tap. Beers such as Duchesse De Bourgogne, St Bernadus abt 12, Bell's Double Cream Stout, Kwak, Delirium Tremens, Saison Dupont and many more were available. A lot of Belgian beer was on-tap as expected ,but I was surprised by the amount of non-Belgian beer as well.
5 o'clock approached and we were led into the non-smoking back room which was nice and airy and featured a wood burning furnace/fireplace. Our waitress was exceptional. Never had to wait for anything. Mussels and frites were excellent and very reasonably priced. We finally left several beers and glasses of wine later very content. I will definetly be back to the Hopleaf and it surely won't be soon enough.
02-14-2007 03:35:36 |
More by soper2000
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
Came here to finish a pub crawl around Chicago. Stopped in to try some local stuff I can't get in NY. Bartender not only made suggestions, but even gave some samples of other local beer that she though we would like. Big Win! A couple other craft beer drinkers were there and made good conversation. didn't have food but the options of blegian food looked good.
Needless to say, the generosity made us buy another round and tip well. I think this was an awesome place with fair prices given what was on tap (FFF Seasonals, and NB Tart Lychee). I can see why Hopleaf gets such rave reviews.
08-01-2012 00:31:36 |
More by socon67
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Hopleaf in Chicago, IL
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