Ratings: 263 | Reviews: 179 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jim102864:
3.93/5 rDev -11.5%
Literally a plane, train and an automobile to get to this place two weeks ago at 6:30 while on business travel. Single digit temps and a good stiff wind which sucks the life out of you if you're outdoors requires beer to sooth the soul. Enter Hopleaf. Three Floyds Alpha King on tap becomes my first pint. Lots of 20 and some 30 somethings upon my arrival. Brazenly asked for a pen from the little snit waitress picking up an order at the bar. Who says they're not friendly in Chicago? I note a few beatnick wannabes with their little goatees and funky nit caps. Very quaint. Interesting tin ceilling and 30's era jazz on the stereo. Sizeable bar seats around 25 or so. The rear dining room has nice high ceilings with brick walls all around. A pleasant, chesty broad behind the bar smiles and is chatty, unlike some of the patrons. Belgian tin signs adorn the walls. There's a wall of block glass behind shelves of proper glassware. The place slowly fills up at the bar. I am an ancient among yuppies and college students. No flat screen is mildly dissapointing.
Very pricy and minimalist food menu with the usual suspects a la frittes, mussels, etc, found in every big city Belgian bar. I ordered the beef stew which comes out luke warm. I tell the bar tender, he sends it back. Literally a minute later he returns with...semi-hot stew. And $19 bucks is fucking ridiculous!
Onto the bells double cream stout--- mildly chewy and chocolatey and malty. Slight hint of cofee espresso. Oooh. A find: Bells Third Coast Old Ale. A barleywine with a sweet yet brandy like flavor. 10.2 abv didn't hurt either. Followed with a well topped off St. Bernardus Abt 12 in proper glassware. I learned that girls use the c word from a convo I overheard betwixt two chix sitting next to me. Nice.
Triple Karmilet in a beautiful flour de lais stemmed tulip glass. Finished with a La Chouffe Houblon bottle.
This is a solid bar and worth a visit. Very young crowd and stay away from the bar if it's the dead of winter as you'll feel the breeze every time a patron enters.
01-31-2009 12:38:39 | More by jim102864
More User Reviews:
4.29/5 rDev -3.4%
Stopped by hopleaf on a recent trip to Chi town. Just prior to hopleaf I stopped by a modestly impressive bottle shop located nearby (unsure of the name, same intersection)
The bar had an English pub kind of feel walking in, though it was weird being carded at the door before it was even nighttime (midday on a Friday). The bar seats were generally taken, but it was easy enough to grab a table, which had the draught and bottle menus available.
There were many local options available, but I gravitated towards the 3 floyds options, which included zombie dust, yum yum, and fantasmo - all for $6/pint. Yum Yum was a new option for me, so I requested a sample first (1/4 oz pour into a highball glass - barely enough to coat my palate or to get much aroma) and eventually I settled on that option for my full pour. Service was reasonably quick and it was already busy (considering the time of day and location - kind of far North compared to other options). There were no issues using card/closing tab, getting water, using the bathroom, etc.
Unfortunately I didn't stay for a meal.
Overall I'd say this is a worthwhile stop. The taps were selective (including some STL love with their perennial collab hopfentea) and I was able to grab a pint of a fresh local beer I was actually interested in trying with general ease (and for a reasonable price).
Protip: check out some amazing viet food @ tank noodle beforehand and make the reasonable walk from there
08-12-2014 00:30:24 | More by ThePorterSorter
Hopleaf in Chicago, IL
98 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.