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Local Option

Not Rated.
Local OptionLocal Option
BEER AVG
3.81/5
Based on:
15 Beers
1,320 Ratings
Place Score: 98
Ratings: 170
Reviews: 84
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: n/a
Taps: 31
Bottles: 101
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

1102 W Webster Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60614-7020
United States
phone: (773) 348-2008

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: tyee on 01-16-2008

Beers are brewed at / by another brewery.

Bar:
Sunday - Friday: 12:00pm - 2:00am
Saturday: 12:00pm - 3:00am

Kitchen Hours:
Tuesday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm
Friday - Sunday: 12:00pm - 11:00pm
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 170 | Reviews: 84 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stercomm
4.13/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Have been here twice with my son while visiting him, both times we came in for a late lunch 1-2PM. Place was pretty quiet. Beer selection is very nice, the barkeep had some good suggestions and we were able to try out some really nice beers.

I was surprised at how good the food was, had the grilled cheese sandwich which was exceptional.

Service was good, since the place was quiet spend some time talking brews with the bartender.

Definitely a place to visit again when I'm in the Windy City, they do know beer.

Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.31/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Also stopped by here on a business trip to Chicago. A bit out of the way - was staying downtown - but worth the trip. Near De Paul University and had an interesting tap selection - notably a Cantillon Gueze - which was quite tasty. A strong selection of Belgium beers with some good beers from the States. They had carbonated LA Angel's Share on tap - that's pretty rare in itself. Overall, looks like your standard college bar with nothing too out of the ordinary. Bar staff was attentive and helpful and prices were pretty decent. Would definitely venture back if I'm in town and they've got some good stuff on tap.

Photo of crossovert
4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Went here on a Wednesday evening before a Devin Townsend concert (I heard it was a "metal bar")

It is a hole in the wall in a mostly residential area. It is nice inside with 31 taps and some bottles. Lots of rare goodies. There was no metal music but it was a nice quiet vibe.

I got a Dark Horse Plead the Option and it was a bit too cold. The food is well-priced and delicious. Not too spicy but there was hot sauce at the table.

The bathroom is unique.

The beer is pricier here.

Overall a solid place if you want to try some rare beers.

Been here many more times and I think it is the best place in IL.

Photo of bkett01
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Stopped in for dinner/drinks before the Bruins/Blackhawks game. It's certainly a place you have to seek out and don't just stumble upon.

It's a relatively long but narrow dimly lit room with a bar running along the the wall in the middle. The first thing that caught my eye was the army of tap handles across the front of the bar. Right next to this is the chalkboard where 30 impressive draught beers are listed. I had Evil Twin Before During and After, 3F Gumballhead & SKA Steel Toe stout (nitro). All were very good and the prices are on par with what you'd expect for beers of this quality.

The food (jumbalaya) was good and had a moderate amount of heat to it. Our server/bartender was excellent. Thoroughly answered any questions and made some good suggestions for my wife and I.

I'm not sure why there were so many neon Miller High Life signs in the place but if you're in Chicago looking for some good beer and/or a completely blacklit bathroom you should give Local Option a shot.

Photo of Skeksi
4.95/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Best owner, best bar staff, best selection, best atmosphere, of any bar I've ever been to. This place almost seems like it was invented specifically for me. Metal, unique tap list, awesome, knowledgable staff, good pub food, and they throw awesome parties. What the hell else do you want? Stop in and try a Dampf Loc.

Every stupid bar in this city has craft beer and decent imports on tap these days. A new beer bar or brewpub opens up once a month. The shelves at Binny's are exploding with hundreds if not thousands of different beers. The reason I keep going back to this bar is because with the insane selection of taps, I am pretty much guaranteed to try something that I've never heard of before, or couldn't have gotten my hands on in the first place. Like DH Plead the Fifth aged in WR bourbon barrels. Where else, literally?

My main regret is not finding out about Local before last year.

This place is my Cheers.

Photo of KDawg
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A very different vibe than what is normal in lincoln park. That can be a good thing depending on your perspective. Since I'm fine with lots of different vibes it was gonna work for me in the first place. But, it was nice not having to deal with a bunch of people who want to order miller lite and high five each other.

What they have on tap is generally really good. A lot of it are beers that one would normally get at retail in bomber. All of the selections are put up on a chalkboard for you to look at. The chalkboard isn't the most obvious though. It's up there to see for sure, but its a bit off to the side from the bar with a lot of spaces where beers were.

The food was very good. They try to go with the cajun theme, but I didn't feel it was truly a cajun place. Its not a knock in all honesty as it seems their focus is on beer and bringing good beer.

Photo of sweethome
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I've been here twice. Great variety - one of the best in Chicago for unique beers - particularly some craft european beers. Mikkeller in particular. I've had a number fo their single hop IPAs here.

Simple interior is rather stark upon entry - but fits the vibe of the place. Again - great selection including midwest focus with Summit, Jolly Pumpkin, Tyranena, Central Waters Three Floyds, etc. Only thing keeping me from a perfect score on selection is a need for a few more high quality quaffers - could use a couple local/regional pils or pale ale to round out the big stuff.

The food really surprised me on our first visit - excellent guacamole! Crab cake was one of the best I've had in Chicago - really blown away by quality fo food in this local joint...that is the best way to describe the place - it's local joint with great beer and food. Best drafts are higher than other places - but overall a destination for good beer in Chicago.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in here as the [unintentional] final stop on our buddy's bachelor party bar crawl. It's small-ish and dark, but with some nice rock music blaring in the background. There's a sorta dark indie vibe to everything. The beers are all great selections, some of which you're probably not gonna find anywhere else in the area. And there's plenty o' good stuff to choose from, too. The bartenders were pretty cool, and they really knew their stuff, as well. (I've never been so entertained to have my coaster stripped from me due to a friend's comment...) The pricing was pretty fair, though because I accidentally forgot my debit card there overnight I couldn't tell you the exact breakdown. Overall, this place is badass, and I really wanna go back sometime soon. And I shall...

Photo of cratez
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited with my girlfriend during a recent trip to Chicago.

VIBE: hardcore metal dive bar and loud music, which put us off initially, but the staff ensure that everyone feels welcomed. Really cool historical portraits of the city and the signs ("No Specials Ever," "Welcome Nerds," "Purveyors of the Miller High Life") made us laugh. We enjoyed the privacy of our booth in the back of the bar.

SERVICE: quick and attentive waiters are readily able to make solid suggestions. I was drinking by style and each server made appropriate recos based on what I was looking for. All of them asked me what I thought of the beers. Food arrived swiftly and the staff were chatting us up on our way out. Very friendly people running this place.

SELECTION: silly and robust list of rare draughts from across the globe. I quaffed a SKA Steel Toe Stout, Green Flash Imperial IPA, and Lost Abbey Avant Garde and also noticed Port Brewing Older Viscosity, Mikkeller Funky E Star, Great Divide Belgian Yeti, and Old Mephisto on tap. Most of the Three Floyds lineup was available. Didn’t even look at the bottle menu since the draughts were so good.

FOOD: we only planned to have drinks but the food menu looked appetizing so we ordered the Guacamole plate. It was super fresh and tasty with a thoughtful presentation. I’d love to return for dinner to try the one of the po’ boys or jambalaya.

OVERALL: had an awesome time here and would gladly revisit. Definitely one of the top spots that we came across while vacationing in Chicago. A mandatory stop.

Photo of readbaron
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

If you like loud metal and bearded bartenders you'll be right at home. Definitely has a metal vibe, but doesn't cross over into feeling like a biker bar. The "welcome nerds" signage is awesome.

I'm not sure what to make of "quality". Quality of beers? Outstanding? Quality of food? Good. Quality of decor? Meh.

Service is good.

There's an excellent selection of beers - probably 20 or so on draft plus a lot of bottles. The local option always has something unusual available.

Food is good, but not great.

I wish the prices were better. $9 for a jolly pumpkin draft? blech.

Photo of Davidpgibbons
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

They always seem to have an amzing selection. The staff is pretty friendly but there are a few snobs that pay more attention to the regulars than the norm.
They also are always having crazy tapping events with extremly limited and rare pours.
Its a little small inside so it gets filled up pretty quickly esp during beer events
the fries are amazing and so are the po boys, beers are a little pricey but nice clean pours and rares make it worth it.
Overall a pretty dope spot if you just ignore the regular beer heads

Photo of mcc1654
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

My favorite beer bar in Chicago. They have 31 taps that rotate almost every week. The draft selection is amazing. I can't speak for their bottle selection because I only ever order draft beers when I am there. The service is friendly and they know what they are talking about. The food menu is limited, but everything I have had is solid. I always find plenty of good American craft brews on tap, but I am always amazed by the international small breweries they have on tap that I don't see anywhere else in the city. They are going to start brewing a few of their own beers in January next year. I can't wait. Overall this is a great place to drink some seldom seen in Chicago beers with a great atmosphere (not pretentious at all like some other "beer bars" I won't name).

Photo of RayYanks23
4.94/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Great Place! about a 2 mile walk from Wrigley, but it was a nice neighborhood. Wish we didn't end the long day here because they had the best selection I seen in town all weekend!! Pizza Port Anniversary and 3 Floyd's Drednaught were the highlights...

The bartenders were excellent and made us feel right at home, the owner showed up and we tasted some of his beer that he just brewed down south!

We actually bought the shirt the place was so cool, haha. Next time we will make it a point to spend more time there and check out the food and such. They were discussing a possible Brooklyn location! GOOD LUCK! I will definitely be there if it happens...

Photo of Weebay
4.65/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I've been here three times now and I do love this place. The selection was great, the service was amazing, and best of all Ed the bartender really knows and loves his beer; his bearded sidekick was awesome as well. (Sorry, I forgot his name)

I found the employees to be great people, we ended up chatting with them for most of the night on a quiet Thursday night, talking about everything from beer to the hockey riots in Vancouver. They had some great recommendations of places to check out in town.

The food was good, nothing to complain about, the burger wasn't as good as the one at Kuma's, but then again no other burger I've ever had has been.

I know I'll be going back again next time I get the chance.

Photo of Northsider
3.53/5  rDev -20.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is basically 'Kumas Lite'. The atmosphere of Local Option has the same tattooed edge, the same hard rock (though more subdued) playing while you eat, and the same "don't like it? Tough shit" attitude. It's a narrow building, so it seems like it could get really crowded during the busy times...and LOUD.

I went after work around 4:45-5:00ish...not too many people there. They didn't have a bottle menu, but the waitress said the bottles are more large Belgians. Ok...helpful-ish. The draft menu is on the chalkboard in the front and features many beer I've never heard of. Rare? Maybe. I don't know. Good selection though, nearly 35 taps to choose from. I went with Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere. My wife was really itching to try the Hitachino White Ale, which of course they "ran out of". She then asked for Gumbalhead, which she initially also said they "ran out of". After we glanced at each other with a "WTF" look, the waitress then said dryly, "ohh yea, we DO have Gumbalhead still. Uhh...okaaaay.

Food was unique for sure. I had the swordfish tacos and it was pretty damn good. Not the standard brewpub/gastropub choices here, which is a bit refreshing. I get sick of burgers and beer all the time.

Another major drag here was the cost: 9 bucks for the Bam? Jesus! It wasn't THAT good. Most of the beers were priced pretty high. Is it the neighborhood? Not sure.

Overall it's fun place to check out, but I can't say I'd be back. I can't stand the neighborhood, and the dazed staff definitely didn't make me want to return. Check it out if you like 30+ craft choices on tap, alterna-rock music, and tattooed staff. Otherwise, skip it.

Photo of argock
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Enjoyed an evening here over dinner and a couple of beers with a friend. The bar is long and narrow with a laid back atmosphere. The beer list is impressive with some very interesting beers such as Port Hot Rocks schwarzbier and various Evil Tiwn beers including Yin, Yang, and another of their douple iPAs. I had the fish tacos, which were good but the serving was a little on the small side. The beers were pretty steep, $9 for a 10-12 oz chalice of the Evil Twin brews. All in all I enjoyed Local Option and would come back again after exploring a few of the other notable Chicago watering holes.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Local Option has a very impressive tap-list that seems to rotate quite frequently. The tap list is not huge, it is just heavy on quality. On this particular night, I am drinking Schlenkerla Fastenbier and Three Floyds Ham-on-Rye, but there are easily five or six other beers on-tap that I am dying to try. The staff here is cool, just doing their job, and somewhat difficult to distinguish from the rest of the crowd, if they weren't standing behind the bar. The omnipresent Miller High Life ephemere is hilarious; more insanely hilarious because it is no joke: mad High Life is crushed at Local Option, right alongside some other brews that might more rightfully vie for the title 'Champagne of Beers'. This would likely be a standby of mine if I lived in Chicago.

Photo of spointon
4.88/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I had been coming to this area for years and never made it in to this place. Damn what I was missing!

Its not a terribly large place but its not too small either. I visited on a sunny Saturday afternoon and it was halfway busy with about 1/3 to 1/2 the seats filled.

The bar has a cool old time look and the overall vibe is very laid back. Just a couple of TVs and the bartender was willing to search out the baseball game for me.

The beer was outstanding, with a totally stellar selection of quality, and in many cases rare, offerings. I walked in, studied the list, and ordered the Schlenkerla Oak Smoke. The bartender took this as a sign of me knowing about beer and we commenced to have a long and wonderful conversation about quality craft beers. Such a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

I will certainly go out of my way to visit this place as often as possible form now on!!!

Photo of mcallister
4.41/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Love this place. Absolutely amazing selection of beers especially form the Euro brewers whom the Local Option seem to have a great relationship with. Handles rotating all the time with things I've never seen on draught. The first time I went here I saw the Miller High Life neons in the window and thought I was in the wrong place. You go in, see the large chalkboard of showing what's on tap and are set off as a beer geek. Easy to drink to much here, especially if you are from Ohio because each time I've went there have been multiple things on tap that I've not seen before. Love it.

Photo of Spider889
5/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This was one of my must-see destinations on my latest trip out to Chicago. I almost went to The Map Room instead, but after doing some online research Local Option just seemed to have a better beer selection.

The bar is unassuming, near one of the college campuses. We went on an early Saturday afternoon so the place was fairly quiet when we arrived, only one bartender was working.

The bar (and website) is very simple, with heavy metal-esque tattoo style art. Otherwise the walls are all black. One small bar on the side, a few tables in front, and some benches/bar stools on the side opposite the bar. No frills, very small. Someone not in the know (or keen on my level of beer geekdom) might even call the place a dive bar - which is perfectly fine with the owners I would assume.

As soon as you walk in on the left wall there is a gigantic chalkboard with all of the draft beer options written on it. As soon as I sat down and got to study the list I was literally giddy with excitement - it was possibly the best list of craft beer I have ever seen in my life, some of the best choices included:

Gumballhead, Cantillon Gueuze, DH Tres Blueberry, several De Dolle and De Molen offerings, GD Espresso Yeti, four different Jolly Pumpkin beers, Whole Hog Barleywine, Mikkeller including Brunch Weasel, 1000 IBU, and more, three Struisse beers including Pannepot and Black Damnation II, and Lost Abbey Angel's Share aged in brandy bbls.

Holy hell I was in heaven.

The bartender was knowledgeable and fairly attentive, no complaints. We did not order any food as we had just come from brunch, but the menu looked really good to me, I was sorry I had no room to try their food.

The beer was a little pricey imo, even for Chicago, but nothing was outrageous. Though with no prices listed the tab adds up fast - the Black Damnation was the most expensive beer I tried at $12 a snifter.

Certainly a must-hit destination for the Chicago traveler. I will want to go back every time I visit the city in the future, for sure.

Photo of sapvt
5/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I was in Chicago on business and a little research showed me this was definitely the place to check out. It absolutely delivered.

Not big place, kind of dark with a handful of tables and the bar. There's a real punk attitude to the place, which the giant skull logo on the wall reinforces. Some unusual neon beer signs (Mikkeller & Delerium) behind the bar and the specials board:

No specials, EVER. So fucking metal.

That's all I needed to see. The selection was incredible, I had Bells HopSlam, Founders Double Trouble, Mikkeller 1000 IBU, Ska Toasters 30th, some Three Floyds. ~25 taps of beer geek heaven. The bartenders were great, very knowledgable and friendly. Thanks Noah!

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I have only been in here a few times, but each time it has been a solid experience.

When it comes to a beer bar staff, there are two things that I look for, and both are met here. They are knowledgeable, meaning they can provide some interesting background that, even with some internet research, I may not have known about a beer. They also are more than able to recommend beers of their menu to someone with any palate. More importantly, they are friendly. Each time I have come in I struck up a conversation with a bartender, and they enjoy what they do and enjoy being there. Believe me, it is noticeable, especially compared to the snobbery that one can find at other bars. They are happy to talk you through a few beers and offer samples to see what you will like.

The atmosphere is solid. Casual decorations and a few tv's here and there exist in a moderately sized venue. A lively but not overcrowded group is normally relaxing over a few brews.

The food is just all right, all though I have only eaten here once. My buddy's sandwich was "eh," and my steak tacos were not worth reordering. Maybe other stuff is better though.

Honestly, I mostly head here for the selection. Yesterday I had Southern Tier Unearthly and Mikkeller 1000 IBU, and they always have some hard to find offerings. Their prices are on the higher end of the scale. Today, they have precisely 0 draft offerings for less than $6.

I definitely like to see this kind of place strike out in the middle of Lincoln Park, with its slew of dive bars and college kids. If I still lived really close, I would come more often.

Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

First visited 7/27/2010 with Masterski for Mikkeller Yeast series tasting.

Really cool place and great people here. They have 20something taps covering a pretty good selection. We were there to try all the Mikkeller Yeast Series beers on tap but after ticking those I enjoyed a couple glasses of Saint Lamvinus.

The service is very helpful and friendly, prices are reasonable, and there is ample seating. I've been back a couple times already and will definitely go back if/when I get back to Chicago.

Photo of cadaugherty
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Great beer selection, knowledgeable staff who are very friendly if you come more than once, okay food. This place has an event that is worthy of geek travel at least once a month and an owner who is as big a beer geek as any of us. The staff is not always super friendly to newbies but they more than make up for it if you show up regularly. The location is great because this is a badly needed beer oasis in a section of town that has a dearth of good beer establishments and tends to be more yuppy and/or college oriented.

Word of warning the place can get a little noisy (metal) at night, but is never so loud that it is off putting. Give it a chance and you may have found your new favorite bar for a good beer.

Photo of Czap
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Never even heard of this place until my buddy mentioned it on the way to the city. He wanted to hit it before dinner and the Louis CK show. We didn't stay long. I only had two beers. Left Hand Milk Stout and a Dreadnaught, both from tap. If my memeory is correct, I believe they had anywhere between 12-15 taps running that day. I might be wrong. I do remember the selection being very good and full of stuff you usually don't find at your corner Binny's. The atmosphere was very unassuming, nothing special. As with most places like this, the bartenders were friendly and knowledgable.

Overall, I liked this place, it's relatively small, and I would hate to see it busy, but it is definitely a good place to hang when in the area.

Local Option in Chicago, IL
98 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.