1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 144 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pjamiri
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Pjamiri, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of Iamjeff6
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Iamjeff6, May 09, 2014
Photo of PBRmeasap1980
5/5  rDev +13.1%

PBRmeasap1980, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of Drucifer
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Drucifer, Jan 29, 2014
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 jfkaestnerjr
5/5  rDev +13.1%

jfkaestnerjr, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of Adlar2789
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Adlar2789, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of larbush
5/5  rDev +13.1%

larbush, Feb 26, 2014
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 Canada_Dan
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Canada_Dan, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of Stezz420
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Stezz420, Oct 03, 2014
Photo of ianw87
5/5  rDev +13.1%

This is my favorite spot in Chicago. They usually have some rarer beers on tap plus they have some unique beers of there own. I love the Kentucky Common.

ianw87, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of Butchnasty
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Butchnasty, Aug 23, 2014
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 BDGarde312
5/5  rDev +13.1%

BDGarde312, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of KevinRailton
5/5  rDev +13.1%

KevinRailton, Jun 30, 2014
Photo of bowzer4birdie
5/5  rDev +13.1%

bowzer4birdie, Jul 10, 2014
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 Claybo
4.95/5  rDev +12%

This is MY bar! I love this place. I love everything about it; so much so that I have the glassware to think about it when I cannot be there. The staff is cool, if you are cool. Do not attempt to order Miller Lite. One of my fondest memories of this place was probably the first or second time I visited. It was on a weekend, maybe a Friday night. The place was not too busy, and it was nice and cool inside. I tried many awesome sour ales on tap including Maastricht Aachen (sp? I can never remember how to spell this one), and Maracaibo (Jolly Pumpkin). They had Tom Petty playing. It was magical.

If you come to Chicago, go to the typical brewery tour, or bar, or whatever. But if you want something special, check out Local Option. You will not be disappointed. Unless you are a douchey Cubs fan.

ps. Great part about this place is that it is in the snooty Lincoln Park neighborhood, and sticks out like a sore thumb saying "FUCK YOU PREPPY ASSHOLE!"

Claybo, Sep 21, 2012
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 Yetiman420
4.94/5  rDev +11.8%

Updating my review after a visit on 4/13/11 where the selection was so amazing, I had a very difficult time selecting a beer. I went with...

Einbecker Mai-Bock - $7 (because I just brewed a Mai Bock)
De Dochter Nobelesse $9.95
Jaipur IPA $8
Peche Mortel $9

I rolled the dice and let the bartender pick a transition beer form the Nobelesse to the Peche and he went with the English IPA which I would not have picked. Their keg had been kept cold since leaving England and was one of the most beautiful beers I've ever had.

Got to chat with the owner as well on a low-key Thursday and can say these guys totally get it about good beer and proper treatment. I made the decision to try Local Option again after a couple of ho hum experiences at the other top Chicago beer bars and this is my new go-to option for the best beer in Chicago.

---

As part of our twice a year beer/food/shopping visit to Chicago, I plugged The Local Option in as a stop before the Hopleaf. This works out well from a logistics standpoint because they are both a couple blocks from the red line El (different stops).

The wife and I dropped in on a Sunday night around 5:40. I was really excited upon entering - it's a nice, clean place with TV's to watch football and some neat, old Miller brewerania. The bad part was they were preparing for a 6pm beer dinner and it would be standing room only for non participants. More bad news was that they would not serve my wife one of the only three beers she was interested in because they were part of the beer dinner. I'm cool with the beer dinner, but the not serving a beer aspect gives them a lower service score.

The beer selection was comprised of all the very good, readily available craft beers available in Chicago. I didn't notice any of the exception beers as others have mentioned. I was zero'd in on Surly and a bit distracted by the beer dinner and my wife not being able to get a beer she wanted.

I had to quickly down my Surly Furious so we could head out because the dinner folks were filling all the tables.

I'm not going to let this experience jade me and I plan on a return visit in the future. It's a good place to get a number of excellent craft beers. I suspect it's easier to get a table or a seat at the bar here as opposed to some of the more popular beer bars in the city. I'm also very interested in sampling their Cajun/Creole food.

Yetiman420, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of bschinelli
4.93/5  rDev +11.5%

This is the best beer bar in the city of Chicago. I know, there are other places with great beer, but the Local Option always has something on tap that just isn't available anywhere else. I won't say it's always a world class beer, but it's generally interesting, like the Swiss trying to brew an American IPA.

If you're in Chicago, you need to visit the Local Option.

bschinelli, Jul 22, 2013
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 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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Local Option in Chicago, IL
98 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.