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Local Option

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

144 Ratings
Ratings: 144
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 10.41%
Active Beers: 16
Beer Ratings: 1,138
Beer Avg: 3.81
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: 144 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shadytony
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%

Atmosphere: this place is metal. I gave it a "5" for atmosphere. If you have never listened to Iron Maiden, you may give this joint lower marks. Local Option does not pretend to be anything that it's not.

Quality: 5 stars. You will be hard pressed to find a better selection of beer in Chicago.

Service: once the bartenders warm up to you they will treat you right. they seem to initially treat patrons with a hint of suspicion. This is likely due to the number of random dbags that stroll in off the street and attempt to order a Miller Light.

Selection: 5 stars. I don't think that they would be able to offer a better selection while keeping the level of quality where it is.

Food: slightly above average. cajun style offerings. This is a beer bar. Go get a steak at one of Chicago's legendary steak houses and come here to drink.

I've lived in Chicago for 12 years. This is my favorite bar in town and truly a world-class beer bar. *disclosure: I am a huge Maiden fan.

shadytony, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of Sammy
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%

I had the best time of the 3 days at this bar. There were some unusually good beers here, led by one of the four of their own brews, a style I had never tried (Kentucky Common) that yields a long mildly sour finish without cherries. The owner and head brewer and 3rd bartender are a flurry of activity, and could handle even a much bigger crowd than this rainy weeknight. Small Earthy bar, safe area with a lot of students in the street. I would make it a point to come back as these people really know their beer.

Sammy, May 09, 2012
Photo of pbass78
4.78/5  rDev +8.1%

The Local Option is hands down, one of my favorite bars in the world. They have a fantastic (if not enormous) beer selection, really good and reasonably priced food, great service, and Iron Maiden artwork on the walls. What more could you want? I'm in Chicago for three days, and have already been there twice. The guacamole and po-boys are delicious, and all the beers I've sampled (Dreadnought IPA, Jandrain-Jandrenouille IV Saison, etc) have been quite good. My ONLY complaint about this place is their beer board. The beer names are written (sometimes in abbreviated form) on a chalkboard, but the prices, serving size, style and alcohol content are not provided. Granted, the staff is extremely knowledgeable and helpful, but since all this info IS avaialble on their website, it has always baffled me as to why they wouldn't provide this on a printout menu or on the board. That being said, this a WORLD-CLASS beer bar, and I will always make a point to visit when I'm in Chicago. Happy New Year!

pbass78, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of LornaLee
4.9/5  rDev +10.9%

This is without doubt my favorite beer bar in Chicago. I have been to many others, and for interesting selection, knowledgeable (and not snooty) service, this place cannot be beat.

I also like that the staff never condescended to me because I am a woman. I was able to clearly communicate my likes and dislikes, and my excitement for new beers, and try beers without being pigeonholed. That is sometimes hard to find at other beer bars, as the beer world is a boy's club, and it's sometimes hard for me to find my place in it. Note to other restaurants, a beer geek is a beer geek, no matter what kind of junk you pack.

It doesn't hurt that it's two blocks from my apartment in a neighborhood full of bars that aren't my speed, either.

I don't knock the food, but I'm a dick about food just like I'm a dick about beer. That being said, I have no qualms about having a date night with dinner at The Local. The guac is stellar, and you should only order the Muffeletta if you don't have dinner plans for the next three days... its' that big, and that delicious.

I love the constantly rotating taps, and the old standbys mixed in with their own brews, as well as other beers I rarely see elsewhere and probably wouldn't have the guts to try.

Extra points for no jukebox and interesting music always being played (metal, jazz, yacht rock, vocal groups, you name it), and the Big Buck Hunter game in the back.

LornaLee, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of stercomm
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%

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.

stercomm, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.31/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

JoeySchlitz, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of crossovert
4.78/5  rDev +8.1%

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.

crossovert, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of bkett01
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%

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.

bkett01, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of Skeksi
4.95/5  rDev +12%

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.

Skeksi, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of KDawg
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%

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.

KDawg, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of sweethome
4.2/5  rDev -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.

sweethome, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

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...

TMoney2591, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of cratez
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%

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.

cratez, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of readbaron
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%

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.

readbaron, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of Davidpgibbons
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%

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

Davidpgibbons, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of mcc1654
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%

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).

mcc1654, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of RayYanks23
4.94/5  rDev +11.8%

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...

RayYanks23, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of Weebay
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%

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.

Weebay, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of Northsider
3.53/5  rDev -20.1%

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.

Northsider, Jun 11, 2011
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
Local Option in Chicago, IL
98 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.