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Local Option

Not Rated.
Local OptionLocal Option
BA SCORE
98
world-class

155 Ratings
Ratings: 155
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 10.18%
Active Beers: 13
Beer Ratings: 1,038
Beer Avg: 3.77
Taps: 31
Bottles: 50
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 @localoption

Notes:
Sunday - Friday: 11:00am - 2:00am
Saturday: 11:00am - 3:00am

Beers are brewed at / by another brewery.

(Place added by: tyee on 01-16-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 155 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of argock
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%

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.

argock, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

ktrillionaire, May 12, 2011
Photo of spointon
4.88/5  rDev +10.4%

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!!!

spointon, May 11, 2011
Photo of mcallister
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

mcallister, May 06, 2011
Photo of Spider889
5/5  rDev +13.1%

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.

Spider889, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of sapvt
5/5  rDev +13.1%

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!

sapvt, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%

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.

KickInTheChalice, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

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.

t0rin0, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of cadaugherty
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%

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.

cadaugherty, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of Czap
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%

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.

Czap, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

finally hit the local option. had dinner at Perennial, relatively nearby, and cabbed over

when we arrived around 9pm, the bar was nearly empty. This was fine with us as we'd been more or less drinking since 10am and were up for a lowkey nightcap. When we left at around 11:00, this place was packed to the brim.

nice dark interior - about 25 taps - selection absolutely blew the map room weekend selection out of the water. there were 4 or so of the mikkeller yeast series (brett, belgian, hefe, lager) and also the beer geek brunch. There were a couple 3 floyds beers, including the ice grill. Founders devil dancer, oak aged yeti, and lots of other treats on the menu. i never perused a bottle list but the bartender gave someone a shorts huma lupa when they asked for a good ipa.

service was great - free samples were poured near the height of a full pour and beer knowledge was present without the attitude you find at other establishments.

great spot.

dirtylou, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of Bungletronics
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%

I'm on vacation in Chicago and had a whole list of beer related activities. I decided not to go to many of them for various reasons. Today on a whim I decided to check out Local Option after hearing about the place on here, or maybe it was the beer thread on VWVortex? Whatever.

Located not terribly far from the Fullerton stop on the red line, Local Option sneaked up on me as I walked along Webster. I walked in and there was virtually no one there so I plopped my fat ass at the bar and ordered a Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus. I saw earlier on their website that they had this on. Seeing as I'd never had any Cantillon before I decided that this would be a must.

As I was finishing my Cantillon, the Spain v. Portugal World Cup game came on so I decided to stick around. I'm glad I did because I started chatting with Jim, the bartender. What a great person! He is a huge beer geek and was totally excited to share stories and info about some of local/midwest beers I've never had. He was more than happy to send samples my way and make suggestions and just shoot the shit about all sorts of things.

I was there for almost 4 hours and probably could have stayed longer but I knew I shouldn't. During that time I had a Mikkeller single hop IPA (centennial) accompanied by a sample of the East Kent Golding version for comparison. My last beer was a Port Brewing Hot Rocks Lager which was the perfect end to my time there. I honestly wanted to have one of each beer they had on tap. It was a great diverse selection.

I can't stress enough about how great it was essentially hanging out with Jim and geeking out on beer and soccer and wedding gifts (you had to be there). Next time I'm in Chicago, this will be the first place I stop and I'll be going there more than once.

If you're going there to eat, it is pub food so don't be alarmed if you were expecting a charcuterie plate. The beer battered fries were pretty good though, but I do feel like I need a salad to counter the fried food.

Bungletronics, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of skberke
3.9/5  rDev -11.8%

Local Option has become one of our default bars, even though it's a bit of hike from our place. The tap selection is constantly changing, and always loaded with interesting beers, usually a mix of American craft brews and Belgians, with occasional selections from other countries. They usually have something sour or something lambic-like, and they usually have a good mix of styles represented. The bottle selection is also large, although they do not print menus so heaven knows how they expect anyone to order from it!

The food is better than average pub fare--their salads and tacos are particularly good. Some of the servers are real beer geeks, others clearly know nothing.

One of the best things about Local Option is that it never gets insanely crowded, making it a perfect Friday or Saturday night dinner spot. Obviously we all love the Hopleaf, but I want a place where I have some hope of sitting down on a weekend night. Local Option is the ticket.

If I could change just one thing, I would introduce them to the magic of a laser printer, and I would convince them to organize the menu by style. They now only have beer names scrawled on the black board, which is not visible from everywhere in the restaurant, and has no explanatory information at all.

skberke, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%

Local option is really close to me, but Map Room is even closer so I hardly go anywhere else. I finally made it there last night and I'm glad I did. Its a nice change of pace from the Map Room.

The atmosphere here is pretty good. The bar itself is pretty small and boring, not a whole lot going on or a very cool crowd. However, it is not insanely packed on a Saturday which is great, I can actually move around and take a seat.

The quality of the beers is great, they had 25 beers that were all top notch. 2 cantillons on tap, surly, jolly pumpkin, tons of great stuff. 25 drafts is a lot but other than that no bottles or a big selection. It doesn't have to have 200 beers but more than 25 would be nice. The beers were mainly American, could use a better selection of Belgians, besides the Cantillon on of course.

Service was so-so. I dealt with two bartenders. One guy was nice, knew what he was talking about for the most part. A girl serviced me later she didn't know so much. She knew enough to bs someone who knows nothing but a true ba would see right through her.

Overall, it was a great trip. They have a nice selection of American craft and a low key atmospshere making it easy to get a seat. I wish they had somewhat of a bottle list and a couple more Belgians to make this place great.

jrallen34, May 02, 2010
Photo of Here4Beer
4.06/5  rDev -8.1%

On a vacation involving some national doozies such as HopLeaf, MapRoom, & Publican this place stood out to me as a less reputable newcomer that was surprisingly impressive. What was supposed to be a quick round or two before an afternoon Sox game turned into four, as they offered some damn fine drafts.

Nondescript building nearby Depaul, not quite a college bar though as it looked like it had a fresh coat of paint and probably 100 bottles on a shelf in decorative fashion.

The craft beer conference was in town a week or two before, and DLDay was occuring the weekend I was in town, so maybe they had out a stellar tap lineup b/c of that? Regardless they had plenty of interesting sours, Imp IPA's, and other goodies I can't get in Las Vegas. Loved the Hopslam & Oak Aged Unearthly from Southern Tier.

Service was knowledgeable and attentive, but I was one of a dozen or so in there so maybe not so applicable.

All in all, check it out! As a beerbar barkeep this place reminded me of somewhere I'd like to work. The condescending beer snob attitude which can be found by the barkeeps/mgmt at the big national beer bars like Toronado is NOT found in this place. It's just a cool, low key hang with great suds. I'll be back (no Austrian accent intended)

Here4Beer, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of tpd975
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%

The clerk at West Lakeview Liquors told us about this place on our trip to Dark Lord Day.

Found free on street parking rather easily which was a plus. An ample amount of taps with lots of rare gems being poured. Two Cantillon ON DRAFT! Some rare Mikkeller as well as some American micro taps that you don't see at your run of the mill spot. The prices were good when you consider what they were offering.

We sat at the bar and the bartender provided quick service. The pours of Cantillon were rather generous as was my tip as a result. The menu looked like it had some great offerings, but I did not eat this time.

Overall an awesome place, one I will return to without a doubt. Wonderful taps, a cool neighborhood feel, and great service. What more can you ask for. Stop by you will be glad you did.

tpd975, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of onefmatt
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%

This is quickly rising my ranks of bars in Chicago and is making a play at being number one.

The atmosphere is not what you would expect for being right around the corner from DePaul. It is a bit more eclectic but simple the rotating tap list is shown on a large chalk board. It is also a bonus when you can play Buck Hunter with your pint.

The tap list...insane...Mikkelller on draft!?! And three different varieties!?! When I was in there the other day FFF Pride and Joy, Two Brothers Long Haul Session, Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti, Great Lakes Holy Moses, Bell's Hopslam, Avery Maharaja, Ska ESB, Dark Horse and the list goes on. The owner apparently has very good connections with both the breweries and the distributors so they are often the only bar in the city with certain beers. The bartenders are knowledgeable and friendly. In my experience, I have seen them be quite patient with patrons who may not have the same knowledge.

The food is also quite good, mainly cajun type food, Po' Boys, Tacos, and very tasty fries.

Weekends it can get a little busy, but during the week it is very laid back.

Overall, the Local Option is easily in my top 5 of bars in a city with many great choices.

onefmatt, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of WOTO97
4.78/5  rDev +8.1%

Of all the spots in Chicago, this definitely has to top the list. People here are great. Tony does a great job cycling through beers on tap and always has great seasonal and specialty beers on tap. He has also done a great job pushing tasting dinners and other events. Noah is solid behind the taps; will gladly bend your regarding anything on tap and what him and Tony have been recently brewing.

As mentioned above, the beers here are really top notch. Also, everyone who works here is pretty generous when it comes to allowing patrons to try tasters before settling on a beer.

The food is really good. First time I was in for lunch, I was not expecting a whole lot. Pleasantly surprised. Definitely not in the ballpark of standard pub fare.

If you are in Lincoln Park and are looking for a great spot, look no further.

WOTO97, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of ronhocker
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%

I stopped in here on my way through chicago during the holidays. This place is almost right on Depaul's campus.

It is relatively small with about 10 tables or so and a 20' long bar. There are 25 taps and I believe their is a bottle list although I was never offered one.

What makes this place great is the 25 taps are not usual craft brews. Around 80% of them are seasonal or specialty releases from various brewers. I asked a few questions about a couple beers to the bartender and he answered them fully and certainly knew about the beers I asked.

I didn't have food but the menu was standard pub fare perhaps with "Po' Boys" on it for some southern influence.

The prices can be steep, I paid $8 or a 8oz pour of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, which was worth it!

ronhocker, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of LostCook
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%

Finally made it here the other day. Great tap menu, a lot of bottles were on a wall but i didn't ask or see them on a menu. the tap selection was just what i needed that cold afternoon. filled with nice and hearty american brown ales and stouts. it was well balanced with a wide variety of other regional ales, german lagers, american-belgians, and other international craft brew finds. Food was fine and maybe better than average bar food. Lots of seafood and southern foods. The bar tender was helpful, accommodating, and sincere. A must stop now for me while in the neighborhood and have time for a drink or two... or three or four.

LostCook, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of Srodri10
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%

I have been here before many times in the past and my experience last night I felt obligated to write a review. A little history, this place used to be your regular Lincoln Park Bar, I would say about 2 years ago the owners changed and turned it into a beer bar. They have 25 beers on tap identified on a large chalk board. When I went last night they were pouring some really nice stuff like FFF Arctic Panzer Wolf; FFF Milk Molok Stout; FFF Drunk Monk; Cantillion; Dark Horse Boffo Brown; Surly Coffee Bender; Tyranena Hop Whore; and many more. Bottle selection is respectable. The food is pretty good too. All in all if you are in this neighbor hood and enjoy good beer, check this place out!

Srodri10, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of goethean
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Finally went here with my wife and several other beeradvocates. What a great place! The bar has large windows which open to the sidewalk, brightening up the inside of the place. They had a nice selection of local micros and Belgians on tap. Food was very good, and priced typically for this very expensive neighborhood. (Down the street they are selling cupcakes for $2 each, so what can you expect?) Very good service, we discussed homebrewing with the owner which is always nice. Can't think of anything wrong with this place. Very impressed.

goethean, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of cbros
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%

Went to Chicago for a friends b-day suprise weekend and this was the bar we went to on the first night. When you walk in the tap list is on the wall to your left followe by the bar then a back room with seating. On to the tap list when I went that night there were 26 beers on tap and all but 2 were local/craft beers. Off the top of my head they had Furious, Duvel Green, Bells Two Hearted, Ska Decadent and a few Goose Island offerings. Each beer was poured into the correct glass and the bar staff was nice and knowledgeable.

We went on a Friday night so it was pretty crowded but not too much where I had to wait a long time to get a beer. The prices were also reasonable with Furious coming in at $5. My only complient is that it was really loud the night we went making it difficult to hear or converse. But that is a small price to pay for good beer at good prices. If I get back up to Chicago this will definately be a place I'd like to get back to.

cbros, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of hawks10
4.9/5  rDev +10.9%

Stopped in last night for a couple beers and some snacks with my girlfriend...had Pens/Caps game 7 on the TV (the only requirement I had for a bar that night)...

Place was empty, maybe 2 other people when we got there, but afterall, it was 6:30pm on a wednesday. Sat right at the bar and since we were the only 2 customers sitting at the bar we got tremendous service all night.

Started with the New Belgium Lips of Faith Biere de Mars and had a FFF/Local Option collab called Dortmunder Einfall. G/F had a Maudite and a Piraat. All beers were served in appropriate style glassware and usually the correct brewery too. Docks (not sure on spelling) was our bartender, extremely nice and knowledgeable, we talked beer for a couple hours and he let my g/f and I sample atleast a dozen other taps...

Definately recommend ordering the gauc which is served with soft warm pita slices, very good!

Had a great time at Local Option and would definitely go back in a heartbeat. The service, friendliness and knowledge of our bartender was top notch!

*EDIT*

Stopped back in on 8.21.09 with my girlfriend and a friend of mine...had a tremendous time again. Same bartender we had before, remembered my girlfriend and I and was pouring us free samples (BIG samples) all night, all in all probably had a good portion of 15 of their 20 or so taps...had a St. Bernardus Abt 12, Cantillon Framboise (excellent!) and a St. Feullien Saison. Left with a free glass (not stolen) as well. Was a Friday night and place was half full, we had easy seating all night, but a good atmosphere. Had a great time again and HIGHLY recommend The Local Option to anyone in the Chicago area.

hawks10, May 14, 2009
Photo of Redrover
4.14/5  rDev -6.3%

This was the first stop on the recent CTA pub-crawl. The Local Option has a good layout. There is a bar on your left that seats about 15. There are tables along the opposite wall and some more tables upfront near the large window. These open to the street and are a nice touch. There is additional seating in the rear room where the bathrooms are also located.

The bar has nice flat screen TVs for sports watching and is decorated with a bunch of beer memorabilia. Note that they seem to love old decorations from Miller High Life. A little out of place is the green neon sign from the band Journey....

16 very solid tap choices including among others, options from Goose, a couple from Surly, Gaffel Kolsch & a choice from Floosmor Brewing. Tap lines were immaculate and beer was served at the proper temp.

They have a large display of their bottle offerings (over 75 maybe closer to 100). Believe me, you will find something good to drink.

The service was fast, friendly and professional. They were very free with samples.

While the menu looked good, I did not partake this time, so I will update my review when I eat there again.

Great option in the De Paul - Lincoln Park neighborhood!

Redrover, Apr 23, 2009
Local Option in Chicago, IL
98 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.