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Delilah's

Not Rated.
Delilah'sDelilah's
BA SCORE
95
world-class

52 Ratings
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: n/a
Taps: 18
Bottles: 150
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar ]

2771 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1320
United States
phone: (773) 472-2771

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Sunday-Friday: 4pm - 2am
Saturday: 4pm - 3am

Sundays in the fall - open at 11am for Buffalo Bills games
*Open 365 days a year

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChainChompsky
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of TheRealPour
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of susieferone
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Have read about Delilah's for years now. Mostly based around their whiskey selection, and I know this isn't Whiskey Advocate, but I'm giving them style points because Whiskey and beer go hand and hand.

Had lunch at the Northdown, and was walking over to Goose Clybourn, and bam, there was Delilah's and it was erupting with sound! As it turns out (and is noted above), that during the Fall, Delilah's will open early to show the Buffalo Bill's games. Mike the owner is from Buffalo, and sure as shit, you walk in and there is a bunch of Buffalo Bill's fans. As pathetic of a team as they are (zing), there is a good contingency of Bill's fans in Chicago. They were passionate, and drinking LaBatt's. I thought that was funny.

Anyways, they had a great little tap selection of beer. We ended up getting a Noel de Calabaza from JP...and that beer is no slouch, so I was very excited to see that on the list. He's got some great vintage bottles, and does a Christmas themed party ever year where he busts out some really gnarly verticals of shit like Anchor Christmas, SN Celebration and so on.

Mike is my favorite kind of bar owner. He stocks things because he wants to carry them and believes they are good products. Not because the beer community is drooling over them, or they are the newest and greatest, or anything like that. It's a great way to show people you give a f*ck, and that you are passionate about what you do. Right on Mike, keep it up dude.

Now his whiskey. World class selection. Shit you will not see anywhere else, ANYWHERE! Many hand picked casks by Mike himself, and some blends that he has done with distilleries. I love this.

This place is everything a great beer/whiskey bar should be. Dark, rough around the edges, and well stocked. A MUST stop in the Chicago area, I will absolutely be back.

Photo of dannycohen62
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of midlifec
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Finally made my way into Delilah's this past weekend following a bachelor party the night before. Someone before me described the place as gritty, and I doubt there's a better word out there. It's kinda small, decidedly dark, and has a definite punk-ish edge to it. Interestingly enough, I got in there just after opening on a Sunday, and "The Empire Strikes Back" was playing on the TVs, already about 15-20 minutes in. Right on. The bartender seemed somewhat terse, not in a negative way, really, just a slightly distant one. I have no real problem with this. At all. Good on ya, mate. The bathroom's mirror is composed of shards arranged close to each other, approximating a real mirror. Adverts sitting around told me to stop in for some psychobilly DJing. Nice. The beer selection was solid, if on the smaller side, but, then again, I doubt they're really catering to the true beer geek crowd: they just like to serve tasty brews is all. There looked to be some nice bottles in the small fridge at the end of the bar (hell, I wanna say I spotted a Cantillon 375ml, but I'm still not sure), but I never got a good look or asked about it. Overall, I really wanna go back. I feel I would really enjoy myself here on a decently regular basis. If only I knew what they had on-tap before heading in...

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Too dark to properly evaluate the appearance of your beer. So depending on how serious you are in rating, that may be an issue.

The glassware was pretty weak. Weird little small glasses. But they were clean.

Selection was pretty damn good, including lots of top self beers. Bottles of every Trappist brewery minus Westvleteren. Founders, Goose Island, Unibroue.

Service was a bit snarky, but after a few tips, lightened up and was helpful. Not the best way to do service, but whatever. They were nice in the end.

They offered free samples. Pretty decent place.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Delilah's is not only one of Chicago's grittiest gems of authenticity, it is also one of the most awesome places I've been in the whole U.S. of A. On back-to-back nights: one night was 100% James Brown, all night long, nothing but the Godfather; the next evening was really legit Oi/HC/Streetpunk of the early 80s. I admire a place that can authentically wear several hats; it is a sign of deeply steeped culture. The Lambic list is admirable, as are the barrel-aged beers available. On consecutive nights I had 3f Doesjel, Cantillon Iris 05, and Classic Gueuze, KBS, BCS, GI Dominique, et al. I also consider their whisky selection to be among the finest I've encountered. Expect a classic dive bar vibe, some potentially tough customers, and to really get what you pay for. Can't argue with that; I love Delilah's.

Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Hit up this place after a concert to celebrate my girl's birthday. Got here at 11PM on a Saturday and the place was PACKED! It was like wading through another concert, just absolutely crowded. The clientale was a mix of punk rockers, blue collars, rockabilly chicks and other subcultures - all very friendly and cool people. Hipsters were mercifully absent. The jukebox was pumping out some psychobilly and surf rock...nice!

There are two levels (upstairs is cooler, downstairs has a better bar) 3 Floyds, Half Acre, and Great Lakes on tap along with another 20 or so taps of local crafts and imports. Bottle list was nice, with everything from Trappist ales to Bourbon County Stout (all server in the proper glassware),

Prices were pretty average for Chi-town - $5/pint and I don't think there was any food, but one of the girls who worked there brought our table cupcakes for my girlfriend's birthday. We stayed for a few hours and when we left at 1ish it was still packed.

This is a very cool place and the kind of bar you can take someone from out-of-town to show off your city. There's something surreal about watching a crowd of skinheads and old punk rockers sipping away at Duvels, Double IPAs and aged house rye whiskey. Very cool place!

Photo of CaptCleveland
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Walked over to Delilah's from Local Option on a snowy winter's night. Love Chi-town and appreciate the hospitality.
Itinerary assistance from many BA's who provided suggestions and comments.

Old west-style facade with "Delilah's" in large letters.

Walked into small vertical room, bar on left and tables along right wall.
Excellent "classic" punk tunes and Army of Darkness playing on the flat screens.

Brew selection was deep and varied, including sampled 3Floyds, GLBC, and Daisy Cutter from Half Acre.

Pool table upstairs, friendly bartenders, who, though slammed on a Saturday, were helpful and efficient.

Top notch, recommended, with the caveat that if you are adverse to punk music and Goth in general, find another locale.

Photo of botham
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Delilah's could pass for a goth child's bedroom in regards to aesthetics, but comfortable surroundings, friendly staff and a solid tap and bottle list more than make up for that (if you think of that as a bad thing)

atmosphere is pseudo halloween-esque with a bit of hard rock flaire; quite dark with orangish amber lighting throughout. the bar is to one side, with lounge seating in back. and a rail up front looking out to the sidewalk.

quality and service are great. clean glassware, fresh taps and barkeeps that don't mind talking about beer.

selection is great as well. around 20 taps, along with an extensive bottle list which contains an excellent selection of hard to find Lambics (pricey).

overall, this is a worthy stop for those in the area, as well as to seek out when something good is on tap or one is in the mood for lambics.

Photo of spycow
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I've frequented Delilah's on a few occasions and its always fun in a different way. They have a great beer selection for the beer geek with a focus on Belgian and German beers. As others have highlighted, the whiskey selection is unbelievable. In general the different types of liquor they serve for a bar its size is amazing.

The crowd is laid back style but has the punk/heavy metal rock type of image in general. The music is always blasting at full tilt so not a bar to go for conversation.

The service is always great and the price specials are a deal. Friday and Saturday nights can get quite busy and louder than normal.

A great time but different time and well worth the visit for beer geeks in Chicago.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Stopped here on a Tuesday night, hardly anybody in the place. The atmosphere is right down my alley, it's darkly lit, punk music playing, odd trippy paintings on the walls, and I saw 3 HDTV's showing Star Wars Episode 2. There were ~15 taps, including Maudite, Matilda, and a reasonable split between other NA microbrews and German beers. No food is served, but they allow you to bring food with you, or even order in! Overall a very friendly spot, about 6 blocks from the brown/purple line, easy to recommend.

Photo of emerge077
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Somehow i've passed over reviewing this quirky Chicago original.

What you can't see in the photo above is the roof, which has cottage style wood slats, and a *giant* red Duvel sign: the beer geek bat-signal. Also missing is the hanging sign, which features a two-sided portrait of the evil queen from Snow White. Inside, check out the work of local artists, and an impressive display of bottles above the bar. When you first walk in, there is an awesome lit-up Oerbier sign (3-D doughboy from the De Dolle label) next to the second-floor door (pinball upstairs). The atmosphere is decidedly noir, they were screening Halloween & Friday the 13th on my last visit. Usually i'll end up here for the music, like the monthly Smiths night.

Ask for the bottle list to see the scope of their selection. Taps are good too, recently they added Chimay White for example. They don't rotate much, save for a seasonal or two. New Jolly Pumpkin bottes: Luciernaga and Bam on my last visit. I finished the night with a vintage Drie Fontienen Oude Gueuze. The vintage stuff has dwindled some in the last year, but it's still a rarity in this town...expect to pay accordingly. They also host seasonal vintage tastings several times a year.

Do yourself a favor and get a carryout pizza from Gino's down the street to bring over. Also worth a mention is the Home Tavern up the street. They have German taps if Delilah's is too crowded (most every fri/sat night), and you don't mind a real dive (not a beer bar).

2012: Bottle list is no longer pages long, but still contains gems. Gets way crowded on weekends, and some of the crowd is a bit questionable. Good service despite that, escape to the 2nd floor after 11pm.

Photo of kajerm
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Interesting place-- very eclectic crowd. This is definitely a punk bar, but with a lot less of that dingy, anarchist feel that makes me want to shower afterwards, and it kept the good music selection-- nothing but the Pixies the entire time I was there.

The bartender was a cool, extremely laid-back guy. Extra points for quality and service for having a really cool bottle-washing device.

Very nice beer list, with a fairly comprehensive Belgian selection. BIG up for the grey market beer selection-- you can get Bell's here, and 750s of New Glarus Raspberry Tart and Wisconsin Belgian Red (albeit at a pretty significant markup.) They've been known to get the Westies and vintage J.W. Lee's here as well, although they were out when I visited. They're also probably the last bar in Chicago to still have bottles of 2006 Bourbon County Stout in May. Also, the whiskey selection is absolutely stunning-- I don't know that I've ever seen better.

Photo of Xadoor
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Delilah's was on our list of bars to visit while on our trip, but certainly not near the top. We happened to eat at Gino's down the street, so we popped in since we were already so close. Unfortunately, we were told that the upstairs was closed, so the downstairs area was pretty full and smoky. The beer selection was surprisingly good and I ordered a Pride & Joy, a beer that I had been enjoying a lot of that day. Not necessarily a place worth seeking out, but worth while to drop in if you're in the neighborhood.

Photo of soper2000
4/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

This will be a fairly short BeerFly as we didn't put in a very long session here.

Delilah's was actually a secondary destination for me on this beer trip but our Chicago friends recommended that we hit up the Geno's East and then walk the block over to Delilah's for a beer. Being a Saturday night, this place was beyond standing room only. I was quite surprised by how small it is, although I guess it didn't help that the upstairs was in use by a private party. Cozying up to the bar with our heads a little light after a serious session at the Map Room plus a few Alpha Klaus's at our friends place, I decided to go with the another pint of the fantastic 3 Floyd's Pride and Joy (My roommate from the college days frequently drove up to FFF's just to score some of this nectar and having it on-tap in the apartment kegerator probably single-handedly lowered my GPA by a tenth. Well worth it). The pint was spot on and delivered without wait.

A non-BA friend of mine was more than a bit "happy" at this point and decided to order a good ole Harvey Wallbanger saying that the Golden Girls was his inspiration. The bartender did a double take but got the drink to him in a hurried fashion. The look he provided was well worth the trip. I nursed down my pint enjoying the eclectic jukebox and 70's movie (Nightvision?) showing on the tv's. Finally we decided to call it a night and retire to the hotel to consume a Rock Bottom growler and some Goose Island. I would love to go back to this place during less crowded hours but I left satisfied.

Photo of brushpig
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This bar was a bit of a surprise. Have driven by this place for years
always wanted to see what it was like, and I am glad I did. Fun atmosphere, black walls, weird movie running on the screens. Alt Rockin music playing. Very good selection of beers. It has a very good tap selection of about 15 beers. Lots of Belgium, English German and American bottles to get excited about as well. Met a very helpful bartender that knew a lot about beer and the massive Scotches, Vodkas and Whiskeys that they had. Not like many other beer bars you'll find. It has a city edge to it that I like a lot. Great find, Great bar....GO. CHECK IT OUT

Photo of amatuerbeerguy
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

With Judas Priest blaring, not one or two songs but every song, as I enter. The wall painted with naked womenholding guns. But the beer selection is great. Vintage of a lot of them Thomas Hard'ys and such. Crowded, hard to get to bar this night. Food did not try. Service was good considering the crowd. Yet the quality of the expirence was good, Although very smoky. This is one for a unique indiviual. Not just a beer enthusiast. But worth a try if you have time somewhat hard to get to. This would go good after a concert, or before one

Photo of brdc
3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

This is a peculiar place. It is not the general bar I would try, but was recommended as a great selection of beers and I decided to try. It is all black, and very dark, so you cannot really appreciate the colors.
Music is variable, that specific night was punk night, so it depends if you like it - they have different stuff the other nights. The rowd is highly variable, nice looking girls, strange people, a couple of annoying drunks, pretty much everything.
The service is acceptable, Iggy Pop look-alike serves beers and has a good taste, recommends well but does not really describe beers in detail - just like it or don't like it, but everything he likes is really good.
The beer list is very good, and I finally found Sinebrychoff Porter, so the trip was well worth my time.
Would go back.

Photo of gmcfarre
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by Delilah's considering that I didn't expect to find a decent beer selection at all. They have probably 12 or so beers on tap with very few BMC selections among them. A couple Unibroues on tap, Bells Two Hearted, and... New Holland Oak Aged Pilgrim's Dole from 2004! That was tasty. Perhaps most surprising of all, they also have an excellent cooler full of Belgian bottled selections.

The atmosphere of Delilah's is probably the top draw here. Dark walls and dim lighting accentuate the abundance of leather & punk vibe. Don't come dressed up, but be prepared to hear some great tunes and drink some good beers. I'm told their bourbon and scotch selection is top notch, so if that's your thing you should definitely stop in.

Photo of woodychandler
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Oh, hell, yeah! Whoever wrote the Essential Guide for CHI-town (Day 5) was spot on! I’m coming up on the place, wondering to myself, “Will I fit in?” You have to understand, as a young man, I sported a black leather jacket with a Circle Jerks bumper sticker that had been slapped on my back by their lead singer, Keith Morris at a show in Nawlins in 1985. Today, I am a balding schoolteacher with a developing bay window and a nerdy 1950’s look. I just don’t exude anarchy the way that I used to. As I was transiting the doorway, the doorman asked to see both my ID and my beer patch jacket and his really cute cohort (her words) asked me to buy her a snakebite. Effin A! I was home! This was the El ‘N’ Gee Club on Golden Street in New London, Connecticut, circa 1985/86. I started looking around for Annie Newsome and her brood, but to no avail.

Décor? Black. Flat black; black striping (glossy); black, black, black, as far as the eye could see, which wasn’t far, given the Stygian nature of the lighting. A pressed-tin black (what else?) ceiling; illuminated shrunken heads; B & W horror movies being shown on the monitors; an extensive back bar (therealbeerfly will need to vet this one for its selection); a cooler of great beer (that I got to hold open while it was being reloaded); and a corner lounge with black leather seats. I had arrived! What little lighting there was came from Christmas tree lights (mostly blue and white, but with some colored bulbs), strung together at irregular intervals.

To the left of the entrance was a flight of stairs, semi-obscured by a black velvet curtain. Up a flight of stairs, marked in neon as “Stairs”, was a second-floor lounge with its own foreshortened bar, pool table, pinball machine, stools covered in leopard skin and eyeball patterns (take note, BlackJeremiah), leather booths, and one lavatory. You should definitely check out the Frankenstein electronics that lined the stairwell.

The third Wednesday of every month is “Rockabilly Riot” night, plus you should not pass up “Punk Rock Mondays”. Yeah, man, I’ll be back. ‘M tellin’ ya, bro. My seatmate at the bar, Dave, had this to say about me: “You’re a strange guy, Woody.” One of the bartenders reminded me of Iggy Pop with his gaunt features and Midwestern accent.

Mom Test: Unh-uh. She wouldn’t speak to me for a year. Oh, wait. On second thought, I’m bringing her directly here.

Photo of malcontent
4.43/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

Delilah's is a tough review for me because as a beer bar it's only so so. Not bad by any stretch, but there are a number of bars in Chicago that specifically cater to beer drinkers. Delilah's DOES have good beers available (not to mention the usual presence of Strongbow on tap, which is always nice) but it isn't a bar built for beer hounds.

What it is, & this is almost as exciting, is the bar with Chicago's best selection of bourbon & Scotch that doesn't require a suit & tie. It gets better when you throw in the fact that it's not nestled in an area over-saturated with the frat/sorority crowd. After that everything else is just gravy.

"Tell me about this gravy of which you speak." Well, for starters, the place has a killer selection of music (albeit on themed nights; rockabilly, metal, mod-rock, etc.). It also has a great upstairs room (free for party groups on non-weekend nights provide you supply enough patrons {30, I believe}) with a pool table that doesn't have annoying waits/sharks.

Once again, my score is based solely on the fact that this is a beer website. Both the Hopleaf & the Maproom are better choices if beer is the primary objective. However, if this were just a review for overall quality, Delilah's would have a 5 & then some. My favorite bar in Chicago.

Photo of TheLoneGunman
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

A great beer bar made special by its vintage selection. Long bar on your left, tables to your right.

Definitely a punk bar. But its the Bourbon and Single Malt selection that really gets me excited.

The real problem with the place is that it's a smoke fest. Honestly, you can't properly enjoy the wonderful libations that are available. The addition of a top-notch ventilation system would get me in the place a lot more often. This is coming from a former regular smoker. Even in my current "have one or two when drinking" situation, my experience simply gets dominated by the plume.

That said, I stand firmly behind Mike and his wish to run a smokey bar. But he'll see me a lot more often when that Chicago smoking ban kicks in. Ironic. I hate the law but it will give them more of my business. So that is why my atmosphere score is so low. I just can't get past it. Beer selection gets a nice score, but never forget that it would be about a 10 out of 5 if you are a whiskey fan.

Delilah's in Chicago, IL
95 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.