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

155 Ratings
Ratings: 155
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 10.18%
Active Beers: 13
Beer Ratings: 1,028
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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 155 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OCTop
2.5/5  rDev -43.4%

OCTop, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of br3wmeister
2.8/5  rDev -36.7%

Atmosphere is nothing special little dark an some sculls but really nothing else to offer.

The quality of the restaurant was not great. Bathroom was somewhat dirty and things did not seem well kept up.

The service was not great. Our server seemed like he thought he was too cool to answer a few simple questions and was not present to desk with.

There was a pretty good selection of beer but nothing that really made me want to come back for more.

The food was sounded great when reading it on the menu but was really underwhelming. The combinations of fallacies were lacking an it was over priced for glorified pub food.

I might return for beer due to the convenient location but will not get food there again.

br3wmeister, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of jampics2
2.85/5  rDev -35.5%

Perennial Abraxas variants on tap the night before FOBAB? I'm in. But, wait, should I be?

**Never again at this place!**

We got to the bar at 3:00 and snagged a table. We had a bowl of decent guacamole and a bunch of beers as the place filled up. Once it got slammed, the service was horrible, but it was decent until an hour or so before the tapping.

A server stopped by and we asked about the tapping around 5. He said "no worries, we're pro's at this - we'll make sure you get the beers! No pre-orders but we'll be by to make sure people like you who have been here for hours get served."

The tappings were at 6:00. At 5:30 there was a line 5 people deep at the entire bar. Again, a server stops by and says "At 6:00 you can order your beer from me".

We don't bug him. Why would we? He's assured us we'll get the beer and I'm not sweating it, since they're pro's at special releases.

At 6:00 the beer is tapped. We've been there for three hours, since there were 20 people in the bar. Could have grabbed a bar stool or gotten in line at any point. The server comes by and says "I'll be right back to get your order".

At 6:05 he tells us "I can't get you the Perennial Abraxas beers. They're pouring from the bar and not for table service. Sorry."

Biggest "Oh no you didn't" moment of my beer drinking career. I had to leave my table and fight tooth and nail through a line of bearded beer geeks and beer farts to luckily get a pour of each variant. The idiots at the bar were pouring, serving and taking cash - duh, "pros" - have one guy doing nothing but pouring. One doing nothing but handing empty glasses and taking back full ones. And the three servers standing to the right of the bar picking their asses as the melee goes on infront of them - why not let them dole out the brews?

Look, I have no problem with a bar handling a release/tapping any way they want. This was a cluster, and self-created. I'm patient. I could have had my beer at 6:30 if I was guaranteed to get one. Never bugged the server. But a heads-up and decent info would have been great. I'll never go to this place again because they obviously don't know what they're doing. Anything but pro's.

Should be called "worst option".

jampics2, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of Fluffheady
2.95/5  rDev -33.3%

This place is really great when it comes to a beer destination. They have lots of connections and always have great things on draft, and they brew and distribute their own beer. I don't like their food, and it is pretty generic. I must give a shout out to the bathroom. WOAH.

After recent visits, I must lower my service rating. I have a baby face, and even though I’m several years older than drinking age, I look 19. With that, I always have my proper ID, the bartender looked it over, and I was served. The rest of the day I was treated like a lost DePaul student. I was informed that one of the beers was "too dark for my taste". After insisting that, yes, I wanted the ’dark’ beer, it was poured for me. You guys need to wake up and smell the hops. Beer knowledge is no longer preceded by obesity and beards. There’s too many good beer places out there to have the crappy attitude.

Fluffheady, Aug 05, 2013
Photo of TheSSG
3.44/5  rDev -22.2%

So, I decided to try the place out with a group of friends.
A nice hole-in-the-wall type size. We came in on a weekday evening, and there was only about 5 or 6 people in the whole place.
The whole "Metal bar" style is just funny to me. It's not my thing, but it wasn't outrageous. It's analogous to going to Three Floyds (sans the cool nerd stuff). But, this is kind of hipster/metal. Three Floyds feels more like a genuine metal person decorated the place. If they just turned down/off the HILARIOUSLY juvenile music (is the clientele mostly angsty teenagers?) , it'd help.
I liked the emphasis on German brewing, alot. They really selected some less-than-often-brewed styles, so that was a big bonus for me.

There's a big board with all the stuff they currently have.
They had a nice selection stuff, but I was actually pretty disappointed in the lack of selection for housebrews (or contract brewed) or local breweries. Oh well. I'll avoid questioning how "Local option" is "local" by having a bunch of stuff from around the world, and contract brewing a lot of their stuff from places in Kentucky....Overall, Chicagoland was represented by about 4 biers on their menu (not even a single Two Bros, too!). I think it uses "local" in the name to cash in on the hipster cache of "buy local." Again, I fail to see the "localness" of the bier here. AT THE LEAST, my expectation was a nice bier bar to sit and survey the bierscape of Chicagoland.
I mean, it's a decent selection, a bit above average, but nothing monumental.

When we were there, they had a Gose (name is German origin, brew was theirs), and Gueze (name is French origin, brew was Belgian origin).
When I ordered my /ɡozə/ (The German one), I got a really long, passive-aggressive story about how Germans would be upset at my mispronunciation because it is /guz/. I tried to be polite and joke it off by pointing out the lack of silent final vowels in German (I'm an applied linguist fluent in German), and that I thought he was thinking of the French-derived Gueze. This was met with more passive-aggressive, snobbish commenting. So, typical hipster in Chicago who "knows everything." Moving on....My friend ordered the Gueze...another the Dampf Loc, and another the Morning Wood.

The in-house Gose wasn't very good. I was told it was inspired by Wits, and it was not salted (what was the point of not salting a Gose!?). So, it was just kind of a bland wit.

Now, their "Morning Wood" was pretty damn delicious.
I've actually been to "Against the Grain" in Louisville, and they have good stuff. This was similarly well made. It was very well balanced and used the coffee flavors in a way that was subtle and up front at the same time. One of the best coffee brews I've ever had.

I tried a bit of the Dampf Loc, and was underwhelmed. It wasn't especially...anything.

Finally, we went to pay and leave.
Turns out the ~6 fl oz. pours of the Gueze were $9, and the Morningwoods were $7 for like 10 fl oz.
I guess we assumed since it was a non-descript board listing everything without mention of size or price, we shoulda been hipsters and pulled out our iPhones to check their menu on their website...Or the staff could mention, "Hey, by the way, that's a $9 pour of 6 fl. oz." before we ordered. You can't imagine absurdity until you have a 6 fl oz pour for $9. It was in a snifter like I use to drink tequila/whiskey out of.
The prices weren't outrageous, but they were a tad high considering most of it isn't even full pints.

**tl;dr**
Overall, it's not a bad place.
The Atmosphere is meh; I could take it or leave it (the bathroom is HILARIOUS, though).
The staff is knowledgeable, though I have my complaints (give me a heads up on the outliers of size/price, and keep the German lessons to yourself...especially the WRONG lessons).
The selection is pretty good (a lot of variety in things tailored for the bier geeks), but the selection of in-house/contract stuff isn't very great. Of their stuff I had, one was AMAZING, and the other two were so painfully mediocre, it makes me kinda sad. With the whole contract-brewing arrangement, it may just come down to who is actually doing the brewing for them (Against the Grain in Louisville is really, really skilled).

Would I go back? If I was in the area. I am not going out of my way, though.

TheSSG, Mar 07, 2013
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 joeseppy
3.58/5  rDev -19%

Great rustic atmosphere for a neighborhood bar. Pretty dark inside with a gigantic chalkboard listing all their crafts on-tap. I'm sure music was playing but the din of conversation drowns that out-so yeah, it's noisy. Seating is scant so expect to stand your entire time. Booths for six each in the back but then one couple sits there-c'mon, ask people who are standing to sit with you-chances are you have something in common 'BEER'. Not a place for romantic dates and definetly no kids.

Always something on tap that will blow your mind like "How'd they get that" or "I thought this brew was out of production".

Service is a big drawback for me-almost to the point where I ask myself was it worth it to come here since I live west of Chi-town. Traffic and parking are a bitch. All staff seemed to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of customer needs. Staff does not look they are having fun or enjoy what they do.

Value is what it is--you get what you pay for.

Bottom line for me is that this place is an oasis to grab a few quality drafts and leave. And may I suggest that whenever there is an event that the bar seats be removed so people can have equal access to ordering. Ordering over people is annoying and some people at the bar look like it's their real-estate, freakin' chill out beer nerds. Waited 25 minutes during a recent event. If you are shy-you will be waiting a looong ass time-you gotta have initiative in ordering.

joeseppy, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of Rainblows
3.58/5  rDev -19%

The food is pretty much your standard bar fare, and the tap list is one of the better in the city for the most part. Had no problems walking in and sitting down to eat on a weekend evening, though I know it gets crazy for special events. Their house brews are decent and can now be found at some bottle shops around the city.

Rainblows, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of beinerso
3.66/5  rDev -17.2%

Miller Lite sign-lights and proximity to an Undergrad campus makes one think that this place is another terrible college sports bar. But the facade and location are just a wonderful and snarky joke. This is a legit craft beer mecca. The servers are pretentious, unhelpful, slow, and rude. But the beer on tap (and the tots) are worth it. Tastebud delight.

beinerso, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of ohiobeer29
3.7/5  rDev -16.3%

Pretty decent sized place beer nerds heaven,I tried three floyd's gumball and goose Island's bourbon county brand stout which was amazing.the waitress was really nice and the waiter kept my fiance's pop full all night.great selection of local option beers and some other rares and local favorites.great place to chill out and have a beer will go back next time I am in town

ohiobeer29, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of teledeluxe
3.7/5  rDev -16.3%

I want to love this place. Their tap list is massive and awesome. The food is okay at best. Here's their major fault: I find the bartenders to be standoffish and rude (when I trouble them for a beer). The place is usually pretty full but it shouldn't be that hard to get a beer at the bar. Having said that, I'm willing to give them a third chance. Negative points for charging $1 more per pint than their peers.

teledeluxe, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of psoriasaurus
3.75/5  rDev -15.2%

psoriasaurus, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of maxcoinage
3.85/5  rDev -12.9%

So I've been to Local Option twice, the first time was a great experience while the second time was terrible. First time I went was on a Saturday night and we went for dinner and drinks, the server was super nice and attentive, making some good suggestions on beer and food. Had a muffaletta sandwich that was good but there was seriously like an entire jar of olives on that thing..way too many. But had some good tasty drafts including FFF War Mullet and their tasty Blood ov the Kings. Second time, I went on a Saturday afternoon with a buddy and we sat at the bar. THe bartender did not even acknowledge our existence for at least 5 minutes, and it wasn't that crazy busy. We ordered a round of Zombie Dusts, and to our surprise they poured them into 10 oz mugs and charged $16 for the round ---- I couldn't believe it! I mean cmon a Pale Ale should be served in a pint, no exceptions. What a Fn rip off,

maxcoinage, Aug 05, 2014
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 tbergsli
3.96/5  rDev -10.4%

Amazing beer selection and the food outstanding Cajun style. I recommend the Po Boy. Usually bars will have amazing tap selection and lack in food, this is not the case for Local Option. The bar has a history for being a biker bar until the residents of Lincoln Park couldn't handle the crowd anymore. I think the crowd has definitely changed to beer nerds but it still looks like it could be a biker bar in the middle of yuppie Lincoln Park/DePaul area.

tbergsli, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of JackNip
4/5  rDev -9.5%

JackNip, Oct 24, 2014
Photo of thewimperoo
4/5  rDev -9.5%

thewimperoo, Sep 30, 2014
Photo of Dactrius
4/5  rDev -9.5%

Dactrius, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
4/5  rDev -9.5%

Aaron_Kerkvliet, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of AndyEdgar
4/5  rDev -9.5%

AndyEdgar, Oct 16, 2014
Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev -9.5%

WoodBrew, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4/5  rDev -9.5%

ZombiesAteMyDog, Sep 04, 2014
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 sierranevadabill
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%

This was my first visit and I was eager to check the place out.

I stopped in for a late lunch (3 PM) on a snowy Tuesday afternoon. The bar was dead and the bartender/waitress was occuping herself with personal projects on a laptop at the bar.

The beer selection was good, but not extensive...Few taps but what they had was worth checking out.

I was offered several tasters before commiting to a full pint... Surly, Dark Horse, Brooklyn...
I settled on a Founders Breakfast Stout.

The bartended looked eager to get back to her laptop so she poured me a pint and quickly dissapeared.

For lunch I ordered a triple-decker grilled cheese with avocado and tomato with these funny fried onion bits on the side... I have to say it was the best 10 dollar sandwich I've had in a while!

I finished up with a Dark Horse Scotty Karate and headed back out into the snow.

I found the beer to be a little pricey...not too bad $7 bucks each.

I'll definitely head back through on my next visit to Chicago... a generally nice bar with some good beer. Just the thing on a cold Tuesday afternoon.

sierranevadabill, Jan 13, 2009
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Local Option in Chicago, IL
98 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.