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Bad Apple

Not Rated.
Bad AppleBad Apple
BA SCORE
96
world-class

89 Ratings
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: n/a
Taps: 24
Bottles: 150
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

4300 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60618-1712
United States
phone: (773) 360-8406

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @badapplebar

Notes:
Place added by: joe1510 on 08-11-2009

Bar Hours:
Monday - Wednesday :: 4:30pm - 2am
Thursday - Friday :: 11:30am - 2am
Saturday :: 11:30am - 3am
Sunday :: 11:30am - 2am

Kitchen Closes:
Sunday - Thursday @ 11pm
Friday & Saturday @ 1am
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 41
Reviews by botham:
Photo of botham
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

for only being a few weeks old, Bad Apple is already a solid beer bar. a very laid back atmosphere and a decent tap list would be great, but there is also a healthy bottle list and a dining area in back, along with a game room as well.

atmosphere is laid back and low energy (though it may get busy on the weekends), with decor of dark glossed wood and dim lighting. the taps are very season-based, with mostly lighter styles for the late summer. this BA had a Half Acre Daisy Cutter and a Founder's Centennial, both were fresh and tasty. clean conditions and proper-ish glassware.

service is friendly and prompt. can't speak for busy conditions, but during a lax period on a Wednesday night, it was great.

selection is good for a place so young, but still could be improved on in the coming months. around fifteen to twenty taps, with no real focus as far as a brewery or a region. still, a solid lineup.

food is great. the home-cut fries are prefectly cooked, and the burgers are big and juicy. the black & blue burger was excellent!

overall, this place should become more popular as time passes, with the only downfall being that it is a bit removed from the brown line trains and the Lincoln bus stops running mid-evening, but that is only an afterthought.

More User Reviews:
Photo of mtoriski
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

This place takes its beer selection very seriously. Love the atmosphere and it is often a place I bring out-of-towners. Food selection is good, basically above average pub grub, but the beer more than compensates.

Photo of Kraj30
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

my favorite place by far to get beers and food. just awesome

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Great food, awesome selection of craft beer. They even have $1 / 1oz samples of most if you just want to give something a try.

Photo of dman127
5/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

One of my favorites places. Always a fun time. Right across the street from Half Acre is case you want to double your fun.

Great burgers and awesome beer selection on draft and in bottles.

Staff is always friendly and helpful

Highly recommended!

Photo of sholland119
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Man does Chicago have a million places to eat and drink. This is another good one.

Hit this place for Sunday brunch and late night the next day with friends and enjoyed both visits. Beer selection is excellent, with plenty of local and regional taps and a cider or two.

The food is very good, with the burger menu (yes burger menu) the thing that caught my eye. Very tasty indeed.

Service was just ok for me both times, but still a very worthwhile stop, especially with Half Acre just across the street.

HV

Photo of Fluffheady
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Bad Apple is pretty much across the street from Half Acre. They have a really great draft list. Their menu theme is burgers, with about 20 different concoctions (there’s other things on the menu too). The good food is really delicious. Drafts are great and in constant rotation. There is really cool sculpture art and painting all over the wall. Bad Apple is absolutely worth a visit. If you’re from out of town, hit Half Acre Brewery and then come here for a burger. We had a really weird service moment once. The pour sizes weren’t listed very clearly. Our beer came out in a 16 oz goblet and it was half full. I felt like I was getting shorted. After looking back at the menu we found the pour sizes. We asked the bartender about it and he said "they don’t make glasses that size". Huh...? Pretty sure you can order almost any size/shape glass from the catalog... Other than an awkward misunderstanding, this place has always been pretty cool.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is a must visit place in Chicago. Tap list has a good mix of quantity and quality. Bottle list is also stellar, which includes a list of harder to find bottles. Enjoyed a couple of pints and a bottle of Perennial Mint Chocolate Stout.

Atmosphere is nice. Big enough to be able to get a seat. GREAT burgers. Friendly and knowledgeable servers.

Photo of BrianV
4.95/5  rDev +14.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I live very close so I stop by this place frequently and there is always a new beer on tap to be tried. Many specialty beers will come through that will be tapped on a Thursday night and be done by Friday; so if you're looking for that one rare beer it may be already gone if you're not quick enough. The people behind the bar are extremely friendly and have a high beer IQ. It will get quite crowded however on the weekends and most weekday nights so plan accordingly. Thursday and Fridays before 6 are my favorite times to stop by. Not crowded yet so you can get to taste a lot of the different beers and talk to the bartenders about the brews. Oh yeah and their burgers and sandwiches are amazing. Often made with a sauce,relish of a beer on tap.

Photo of shadytony
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I stumbled upon this place entirely by accident. I would suggest visiting this bar either before or after hitting Half Acre which is basically right across the street. note: I DID not eat here but the food looked good so I'll give a "4" based on my overall impression and the fact that the burgers looked very tasty. There were families and kids present in the dining area. The bar area is separate from the dining area.

atmosphere: very cool artwork. clean. dimly lit. good music. skulls and MOST IMPORTANTLY shuffleboard (not the outside kind with sticks). My kind of place to have a beer. close to perfect.

quality: no complaints. everything was cold and served in proper glassware.

selection: very good to excellent. a few harder to find local beers were on tap.

service: again, no complaints. fast, friendly and accurate. Beer was cold.

I was impressed overall with my first visit to Bad Apple. In my opinion this is a very underrated establishment on the Chicago beer scene. Let's keep it our little secret.

Photo of cjacobsen
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Set on a corner a little outside of downtown Chicago, it's pretty quiet and best of all, parking isn't bad at all. Inside is clean and open with great bar seating as well as tables in the back. Artwork installations hang around the bar and give it a nice piece of flair.

The burgers are fantastic and their other menus items are pretty topnotch as well, from what I've seen.

The beer menu is extensive and they have some more rare selections and stuff you don't see in too many places. The type of place that there's only 2 kegs in the city and this place has one of them.

The prices are very reasonable, especially being in Chicago. Their pricing is more on par with places out in the suburbs. Not too bad at all, really.

The bar is fairly small in comparison to the big bars in Chicago, but there are usually always two people behind the bar so you are never waiting on a drink or service.

I've been there a few times and it's definitely one of my go-to places when I'm in the city.

Photo of dexterk1
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Have been here multiple times and it has been very good each and every time. The beer list is really nice. It has a lot of different beers and a good selection of beer styles. They are usually able to talk with you about different beer and make recommendations from time to time. Price is pretty reasonable as well.
Food is very good as well. Burgers are excellent and they have an array of them to choose from as well. Burgers and beer are the best reasons to come. Not just the selection of both is excellent, but the quality is good as well.

Photo of scamplin1966
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

went there after going to Half Acre brewing which they recommended, very cool place, good food my daughter and I tried cheese curds for the first time, great beer selection (Founders on tap).
staff is friendly and even helped us out with directions and bus schedule to local breweries (piece brewery and Revolution brewing) even the owner got involved on what bus to take.
was there with my family 1st time, came back while in town with work with coworkers, the owner came over and remembered me from 6 months earlier! go there as much as i can when visiting one of the coolest city's around.

Photo of cratez
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The final beer bar that my girl and I visited on a recent trip to Chicago. We popped over after grabbing brews at Half Acre and were not disappointed.

VIBE: nice low-key atmosphere in the daytime, a large bar greets you at the door with cozy tables and booths off to the side and another room in the back. Lots of light coming in through the windows, patrons mind their own business. Awesome neighbourhood joint.

SERVICE: our waitress was cool as hell. I explained that I wanted to try some beers but I was driving back to Canada and didn’t want to get blasted. She gave me four 2-ounce draught samples free of charge. Food came to the table quickly and the server left us alone while we ate. High marks here.

SELECTION: I had a Lagunitas Lucky 13, Mikkeller Single Hop Warrior IPA, Left Hand Good Juju Ginger, and Mikkeller Single Hop Simcoe IPA on tap. Other draughts were Lindemans Pêche, Goose Island Sofie, and Founders Centennial IPA. My girlfriend enjoyed her glass of wine. Similar to Local Option, I didn’t bother looking at the bottle list since the taps were so impressive. Also, several pints were $4.00 or less.

FOOD: both of us went for the Turkey Jack sandwich on whole wheat bread with a side of french fries. It was flavourful and reasonably priced and the huge portion filled us up for the long trek back home. We were very satisfied with the drinks and fare.

OVERALL: Bad Apple is an outstanding gastropub that we would return to time and again if we lived in the area. This overlooked gem was the unexpected sleeper hit of our Chicago beer bar tour. A solid spot all around.

Photo of brew3crew
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

A-Always a good amount of people but not too much. Enough to set an intimate atmosphere

Q-High quality everything. from food to drafts

S-Never really had too good of service, never really had too bad of service. To make up for the 4.25 on selection

S-Good selection of draft and bottle beer. Samples available of both. get very good kegs of beer every once in a while that you cannot get anywhere else. Would put this at a 4.25. Why is there no 4.25!

F-very good burgers. they are very imaginative with these and you can get just about any kind of burger you can imagine.

V-I would expect to pay more in Chicago, so was very happy with this.

Photo of malcontent
4/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I've been here a few times since Feed the Beast Went under and Bad Apple stepped into the spot.

They've done away with some of the more garish aspects of the former tenant and made it a modern yet homey room. The much less-hectic backroom is a nice option for groups hoping to meet without having to shout at one another.

I've had at least 6 beers here on different occasions and have never had a problem with dirty lines or a bad draw. The selection, while not world-beating, should have something for nearly every taste. It's a strong balance between local and American favorites with a healthy dose of Belgian stuff thrown in for good measure.

Still have not had the food but the service at the bar, save on my very first trip opening week (which I'll give them a pass on) has never been less than pleasant and attentive.

Great option in a somewhat generic stretch of Lincoln Ave.

Photo of Northsider
3.43/5  rDev -21%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I live so close to this place and I keep hearing people raving about it. Well, I finally made it there today for dinner. It's not a bad place, but not anything to rave about in my opinion.

The crowd was young, but not rambunctious, which was a relief. Nothing worse than a bunch of drunk college-age kids being annoying.

Anyways...food was decent. Mainly a burger joint, but you can get sandwiches. Burgers were nothing special. No substitutions or alterations of the menu items apparently. If you're allergic to something, order something else because apparently "no exceptions". Yikes, ok...

Beer list was decent. I had the Hades Ale and North Coast Pranqster. Not a bad selection.

Service was fine. I sat outside and was checked on regularly. My waitress suggested the Hades and I'm glad I listened and went with it. It was a decent brew.

Would I go again? Maybe... But with Fountainhead pretty much outside my building there's really no reason to go Bad Apple. Check it out if you are in the area...but I think there are better beer joints in the area like Fountainhead or Fork.

Photo of RayYanks23
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

We stopped in after the Half Acre, Saturday brewery tour on the way to Wrigley. The selection was great and even thou we didn't have time to eat, the food looked great and the people at the bar with plates in front of them seemed very happy! They had a bunch of taps and a large bottle list. The atmosphere was nice, there was some great Southwestern artwork on the walls that was for sale (but a bit pricey).The bus right outside brought us 1 mile from Wrigley and we walked the rest of the way to the game...

Photo of ncmussell
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This place is a gem jut up the street from half acre. Stopped in with my wife because they had a great beer list and supposedly had great food. Neither the beer nor the food dissapointed. The burgers here are some of the best that I have had. Burgers are all made from local ingredients. Also had a very wide selection of beers aol served in proper glassware. I highly recommend going out of your way to try this place particularly if you are going to stop at half acre nearby. I look forward to my return visit when I am in Chicago next.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in here for a quick pint before the Small Animal Big Machine release. The place was empty, save for a couple others at the bar. Some nice, random music was playing in the background. The ambiance is slightly eclectic, with various animal skulls on the walls, dark cherrywood tables and bars, and a neo-southwestern motif. The beer list is pretty nice, with an extensive bottle list. The bartenders seemed pretty knowledgeable and were decidedly amiable. I didn't try the food, but I will be back some day to get one of these burgers I hear so damn much about. Pricing is pretty fair, especially for the city (I've had some real gougings before...). Overall, a great place to take down a few brews, especially convenient to those who make the trek to Half Acre every now and again.

Photo of Randallt11
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Edit 5/13: I definitely like this place. I did downgrade their beer selection just a bit. All of their beers are high quality, but there isn't much rotation. That's a nitpick, but one worth mentioning. The burgers and fries are outstanding.

I feel pretty lucky that this place is down the street from me. The burgers are very good, but it's also a nice place to sit down at the bar and have a couple beers. Service is pretty friendly, efficient but not off-putting. The selection is outstanding for a tap list of its size. My only suggestion to Bad Apple would be a Belgian Tripel; tap belgians are sparsely represented. You can tell that the taps are chosen with some thought, nearly all American beers spanning across multiple styles.

Haven't been to Kuma's, but I must say that Bad Apple is more than adequate, without all the logistical trouble. They also have a relatively complete menu, with sandwiches and salads for those who don't want a burger. Go to Half Acre, then come over here (Daisy always on tap, of course).

Photo of kevinscott
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

We stopped into this place after visiting Half Acre. It was raining out and my girlfriend suggested grabbing a beer before we walked back to the brown line. I did not object.

It was early in the afternoon on a Friday so the bar was fairly empty. The food being served looked good but we didn't eat anything. We split 2 pints and a taster for about $10, which we thought was really cheap. The girl working the bar was very friendly and talked to us about the local beers and whatnot.

The overall feel of the bar was really comfortable. To the point that I wish it was my neighborhood bar. I'm not sure what the crowds are like at night but if we're ever back in that area of Chicago I would make a point to stop in.

Photo of IchabodcraneIpa
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went to this place on a tip from a friend. Once you walk in the decor is a pretty modern inviting looking bar in the front with another room on the side. Took a seat at the bar and was handed a food menu and a beer menu. The beer menu was chock full of excellent craft selections and I found myself trying craft brews from their on tap menu. The food menu was actually smaller than the beer menu, but each of the burgers at the bad apple seemed to have their own special charm. The food here was pretty good tasting, but not as good as kuma's corner in my opinion. The beer here on the other hand is excellent

Photo of ferrari29
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Bad Apple is hands down one of the prime beer destinations in the city of Chicago. The atmosphere and food is very good and its all topped off with a premium list of beers that would make any beer lover water at the mouth.

The decor and music really make the environment that much more enjoyable and relaxing. The staff is very friendly and extremely knowledgeable with beers. I asked for their advice for proper food-beer pairings on a couple of occasions. They did not let me down once. Service was also very fast, making it feel like we got the food hot right out of the oven. The burgers are their specialty, with a long list to choose from, you can't go wrong with any of them. Especially the Red Dragon and The Hangover.

I had the pleasure of enjoy a few unique brews that I would be hard pressed to find in very many bars. The craft selection is huge and amazing. I started with a draft collaboration by Allagash and the BA Brothers, called Little Big Ale, and just my luck I finished the keg out with my glass. Its a big seller for obvious reasons; its a great beer. Next up was Dominique by Goose Island and I finished the trip off with my first beer by Brew Dog, Dogma. All fantastic beers and I'm sure there were plenty more that I'll have to try on my next visit, real soon!

Photo of StoneTSR
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I went to Kuma's Corner on Belmont for the first time about two years ago. A couple months later, as people who have been there tend to do, I was raving about it to a friend who lives in Lincoln Square. She agreed with me on Kuma's, but then told me that her neighborhood had a spot that basically delivered the same thing, but without the heavy metal and without the extremely long lines - Bad Apple.

She was correct.

A week later I made the trek from Evanston down Lincoln to check it out. The spacious main bar area greats the guests with plenty of seating and room to stand if necessary. One of the first things you'll notice upon entry is the excellent tap selection - roughly 24 beautiful tap handles are always on display and as far as I can remember I have never seen anything from Bud or Miller/Coors up there. The bottle list is impressive as well, many local/Midwestern beers are available and the small section of beer cocktails is worth a look. Whiskey in your beer can be a beautiful thing.

As for the food, if you choose not to eat in the main bar area there is the main dining room directly behind it and another one, which is occasionally used to host parties, off to the side - both rooms are spacious and inviting. The menu's focus is on the burgers, in fact, in a dozen trips, I have yet to venture off the burger menu for my entree and I don't see any point in doing so. The burgers are delicious.

In addition to excellent food, the service there has always been prompt, professional and very helpful. I generally like to sit at the bar when I'm in a place like this because the bartenders tend to know a lot more about everything at the restaurant, but Bad Apple is an exception. Their bartenders certainly know their stuff, but so do the servers. It's nice to feel that you'll have a good experience regardless of where you feel like sitting.

So go to Kuma's, yes, but when you aren't in the mood for the metal, the crowds and the wait, head over to Lincoln Square and check out Bad Apple.

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Bad Apple in Chicago, IL
96 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.