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Local Option

Not Rated.
Local OptionLocal Option
BEER AVG
3.77/5
Based on:
12 Beers
1,053 Ratings
Place Score: 98
Ratings: 159
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 10.18%
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
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Ratings: 159 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

This bar is tucked away on a relatively quiet street in Lincoln Park. It has a mostly glass facade, with it's name on the windows in vertical neon lettering. Once inside, there is alot of dark wood and candlelight. There were tables in the front room around the bar area, and more private booth seating in the back. A chalkboard in the hall listed some food specials. Around 2-3 tv's in the bar, and a couple craft neons. Strange abstract Rolling Rock themed mural that had been severely tagged up... supposedly the previous owner was the first in Chicago to serve that beer.

The emphasis here is on sizeable portions of cajun food, and more recently, craft beer. There is a handsomely mounted metal-plated draft tower that holds 20 taps. Selection was well rounded with a few goodies tucked in there. Taps included: 2 Bros. Heavy Handed, 3F Pride & Joy, 2 Rogue, Brooklyn Black Chocolate, Surly, Left Hand Milk Stout, 3 Unibroue, Victory Hop Devil, Dupont, De Proef, Chimay White, and Monschof Schwarzbier. Prices were sort of up and down, a Brooklyn BCS was $8... even more than Surly. Others were more in line with typical prices.

Bottled beers were lined up on a long shelf on the back wall adjacent to the bar area. mixed up import and craft options galore. Among them were: 5 2 Brothers, 5 Lagunitas, 3 Victory, 5 Unibroue, 3 Ska, Duvel, St. Bernardus 8 & 12, Hopf Dunkel Weisse, Schlenkerla Urbock & Helles, 3 Hitachino, 4 Brooklyn including IPA and Black Chocolate Stout. I was told their beer list was "in progress".

Jambalaya was the meal choice of my 1st visit, it had large chunks of chicken, sausage, and shrimp, simmered with rice in a zesty cajun sauce. Cheesy jalapeno corn cakes were on the side. On later visits I had the steak tacos and quesadillas, which were just ok. Stick with the cajun is my advice.

Overall it was a nice experience on a weekday evening. Local crowd with some DePaul grad students thrown in. Staff was accomodating and friendly. The owner Tony mentioned which kegs were on-deck to be tapped, and said they get new beers in often.

****
2009 edit: Though I love this place, some of the import draft prices are outrageous. $9/10 oz. of Hitachino White & $12/10 oz. of Cantillon Vigneronne will make me think twice before splurging on these import drafts next time. What's up with all the "draft list" reviews?

If you're looking for a beer store nearby, check out Vrai Amour down the street on Webster: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/18656
If you're from out of town, 2 solid deep dish pizza options are also nearby: Pequods & Bacinos. Bacinos has a beer bar: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/19629/

****
2010 EDIT: Finally they have a beer list!!! Drafts are generally $6-9 now which is easier to swallow. Food can be hit or miss, we've gotten burnt grouper and grey guacamole before. Stick to the cajun items, and you should be alright.

Photo of Sammy
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

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.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Good atmosphere: lots of seats (probably >100) broken up by booths, tall tables, and bar seats. Dark wood decor and a couple video games (Golden Tee, poker).

Tons of good beer choices, 25 taps during my visit:
Brooklyn Chocolate Stout
Maredsous 8
St Bernardus 12
Bells Christmas Ale
Delirium Tremens
Great Lakes Christmas Ale
Bell's Brown
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
Grimbergen
SURLY DARKNESS
Founders Breakfast Stout
Sam Adams Chocolate Bock
Brooklyn Flemish Gold
Lagunitas Brown Shugga
+ some others

Darkness. On tap. With BCS chasers (take your pick, Brooklyn or Goose Island).

Photo of sholland119
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Loved this place, visited twice while we were in town for a convention, both times late night. We walked from Paddy Long's one night, after a nice stroll through the DePaul campus and the upscale neighborhood. Chicago bordering it.

Got a comfortable seat at the bar and were quickly greeted by the staff. A chalkboard has the copious draft list, with plenty of bottles in the coolers if nothing fit your fancy. We did not need to resort to the bottles as the draft list was plenty awesome. We made sure to grab the Local Option house beers (not made there but still) and other locals.

We would love to have closed the place if not for the early work bell the next day. One of our favorites.

HV

Photo of Yetiman420
4.94/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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.

Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

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.

Photo of Redrover
4.14/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

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!

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of crossovert
4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
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 greenspointexas
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of spointon
4.88/5  rDev +10.4%
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 TheSevenDuffs
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

This was my favourite of the places I visited on a recent trip to Chicago. Great atmosphere that very much felt like the local bar down the street. Tap list was fantastic with a the likes of BCS, Plead the 5th and a great selection of others from Chicago and around the US, including one of their own beers.

Service was excellent. Ed took care of us and even gave us some good beer recommendations. Food was also excellent and everything was reasonably priced. I will definitely return here next time I am in Chicago.

Photo of TheRealPour
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of TMoney2591
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
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 jrallen34
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

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.

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Visited on Fox Night 2012...was some fucked up shit going on in there...

They had BCBS on tap, oh my! They had bottles of Drie Fontienen oh me!, they had great food, oh no!, and some good service! A really cool joint and I think we hit it on the right night. Not alot of foot traffic, so we were able to sprawl out with our whole group and crush some major brews. The bottle list is very affordable with some great surprises on it. The tap list is a bit more on the pricey side, but for the selection, WTF do you expect? Cough it up and drink something nice.

Local Option just moved up my list of favorite places in Chicago...it was at one time Hopleaf/Maproom/Fountainhead in that order, but Local Options vibe and variety has vaulted them past the three prior favs. Cheers for doing such a great job!

Photo of Sparky44
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
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 JackNip
4/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of cratez
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
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 botham
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The Local Option is tucked away in the heart of Lincoln Park, on a tree lined street corner along with a few other establishments that make up a pocket of retail and entertainment in a quiet neighborhood. rather dark inside, the layout offers bar seating, tables, and booths towards the back, along with a good view of the street and retractable windows to open up to the sidewalk when the weather permits.

the selection and quality are good. the brews are served in the proper (clean) glass, along with a respectable selection of hard to find brews, encompassing a very diverse spectrum of styles.

the service is laid back and friendly, as well as knowledgable about beer. they seem like they have quite a bit of fun behind the counter.

the food is good, with a decent selection and above average quality for a bar.

overall, this place is worth a stop for any BA, though the prices are a bit high for what you get.

Photo of Nuggetz
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of bowzer4birdie
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Iamjeff6
5/5  rDev +13.1%

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Local Option in Chicago, IL
98 out of 100 based on 159 ratings.