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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 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.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Yet another stop on the BA/CTA Pubcrawl. Delilah's is an awesome little punk bar with a sweet beer selection. Upon entering I knew I was gonna like this place. It's basically a long narrow room with a long bar on the left and black leather booths and tables on the right. Odd/creepy artifacts and music posters on the walls. Dim lighting along with black walls and some of the best abstract/freaky art I've ever seen in a bar. I though the emphasis of art on the walls was really cool. Vintage bootleg Iggy Pop concert playing on the TV, including an impromtu strip show by Iggy as well!

The beer selection was wide ranging both on tap and in the bottle. Plenty of vintage bottles made this is place all the more better. We ended up going in on a bottle of Westvleteren 12 and passed it around for everyone to try. I had some nice Pride & Joy on tap as well. The bartender was really laid back, but was always there when we came calling. The combination of punk ambiance and a great beer selection makes me want to get back here ASAP...altough it does get a bit smoky in there.

There was a diverse clientele and everyone seemed to be really chill and relaxed. Not overcrowded and not too loud. This is the kind of neighborhood bar I always seem to take a liking to. I just wish I didn't live so far away and that I could visit here more often. If you're coming to Chicago I'd definetly say that Delilah's should be on your list of beer bars to check out. It'll be an experience to remember in more ways than one!

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

Iggy Pop is stripping and cutting himself with razor blades when I walk in. At any moment I expect Legs McNeil to pop out from behind a booth, and as if this were a PBS documentary on punk rock relay a story about some night in 78 when Iggy did too many queludes and fell through the front window of a bar just like the one I’m standing in right now.

The bartender has that heroin look about him like he might have been in a Calvin Klein ad in 1992. The only other souls in the place are straight up rockabilly. The Jerry Brown version of DK’s “California Uber Alles” is playing quietly over the sound system.

The place isn’t more than 30 ft wide and 200 ft deep. Tall tables and black vinyl booths line one wall. The bar pretty well covers the other. Posters proudly proclaiming specials on PBR and union whiskey dot the walls. I admire their graphic designer.

A nice array of taps confronts me as I approach the bar but I force my self to ask for a bottle list. I’m pleased to say the least. I can finally try the Westies. They don’t let down. Next I move to a wonderfully sour winter saison and notice that the table next to me is drinking grey market New Glarus Belgian Red. Then I’m on to Westmalle. This I follow with a mellow from FFF because by this time the 70’s punk rock and strong Belgians, not to mention Iggy, are all starting to get me riled up. The FFF does the job well and I come back down to earth just in time to move onto Sheffield’s with the rest of the BA pub crawl crew.

Great bar, great selection, great Iggy.

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

This place is as dark and punk as it looks from the outside. They have two levels with a big bar downstairs and pool tables and a smaller bar upstairs. Don't let the random computer parts and punk art on the staircase worry you. It is usually more quite upstairs.

The bartenders usually know a bit about the beers and whiskey with over 200 of each (that is what they tell me) and they often have 3 Floyds and occasionally 2 brothers on tap. You can find some good Belgian beers and other imports in the cooler at the back of the bar.

The music is punk to dance with a random bizarre movie or DJ depending on the night. It is a diverse mix of people from the overworked yuppies that like good whiskey to the decked out in black group that want PBR. It’s nice to have a good beer and people watch but it can get a little loud and smoky if that bothers you.

They have two amazing fest each year. One in the spring that is all Lambics and wild beers and one in the winter that is all big beers. They are lots of fun and worth getting on their mailing list for. It is a fun place but definitely not your typical beer bar.

Photo of slander
4/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Oh!
How very not like everywhere else we've been and will be anytime soon again. Not that I can really ever grow played of the good taps and good bottles bars, it's just that they're mostly similar in disposition and the crowd is generally the same. We beer people seem to be cut from the same general cloth, so to speak. Delilah's however, has a different thing going on. A good punk scene and a surprisingly good beer selection...
A small dark room holds a bar seating 15 along one wall, and 5 tables sharing one long bench along the other. 4 stools in the front window and a table beyond the end of the bar in a little nook. Pressed tin ceiling, exposed ductwork, and ceiling fans, all painted black, and the walls, too, with strung green & red Xmas lighting. Baby skull & monster lantern lights strung about as well. A dozen plus paintings of various size and shape all have the same woman as it's common theme. Yep, local artist, they're for sale.
They've got a collection of DVD's, where they'll just show random movies on the TV's in the corners. Excellent juke box filled with the goods (Clash, Ramones, Talking Heads, Jam, Misfits, Bad Brains, Blondie, Pistols, DK, Bowie, Iggy, Cramps, Devo, Elvis, Black Flag, you get the picture). The bathroom mirror is made up of shards of glass glued together. It provides a very distorted image but I'm still terribly handsome.
Holy shit!! Is that Patty Smith circa '75 over there? Um,... no.
The mirrored back bar is lined with strung holiday lighting and has 2 shelves of booze running it's length and a good collection of bottled imports above. I can see Stille Nacht, Duchess, Rochefort, Boon, Westvleteren, Achel, Fantome, Chimay, Cantillion, Westmalle from where I'm standing.
10 taps. Summit Hefe, Goose Island Honkers Ale, 3 Floyds Pride & Joy, something called the Greg Brown Barleywine '99, Maredsous 8, Leffe, St. B 12, Guinness, Bass & Strongbow.
There's also a small room upstairs with 3 tables, a small small bar with a few taps and bottles, and a pool table.
Great fricken tunes and a solid beer selection. I may be out of my element here but it was nice visiting.

Photo of RedBaron
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

What a helluva beer joint in the city!

Somewhat out of place in the mostly yuppie stronghold of south Lakeview/West Lincoln Park, this is the kind of beer bar ya want to hit if you're of the slightly punk, rockabilly sensibility musically-speaking, but with a palette for great brews.

The bar consists of two levels: the downstairs contains the main bar with enough Belgian/English/German bottles, American craft draughts and a stellar hard-liquor selection to satisfy the most fickle of drinkers. And they keep a quality selection of wines, too. The physical layout downstairs is one of dank, dark nicotine-riddled walls that support local artists' work on them. The jukebox is chock full of local, national and international punk, rockabilly, hard-core country and 80's Brit rock. The focal point of the downstairs is the long bar, and the awesome staff are ready to serve up some great libations, and usually equal good tales.

The upstairs contains a smaller bar, with just a few draughts but still a nice bottle selection, plus there are pool tables and an 'Adams Family' pinball machine (yes!).

I think that the off-the-beaten path beer tourist would do well to seek out Delilah's. I know that other good beer oasis' get more press, but that's OK. Delilah's is sort of the dark horse great beer joint in the city. Going in with the mindset that you may encounter some slightly seedy, but good-hearted and interesting patrons, you'll have a wonderful time. This place is a spiritual kin to the Toronado in San Francisco in my opinion.

Photo of silenius
3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Delilah's is an odd bird. Where else have you seen a great big lit up red Duvel sign on the roof of a bar? Where else have you seen 1997 and 1998 Westy's for $10 and $12? Where else can you see the DVD version of the movie "Blacula" while drinking any number of aged Fantome beers? Where else has a lamp on the bar made from a circular saw blade and two Catwoman action figures in bondage? Where else does the decor inclue paintings of naked women pointing guns at you?

The place is a punk rock haven that plays music that sounds like my college radio show from the early 90's. However, even though it has all this going for it, the place is waaaay to smokey on a weekend to truly enjoy any of the many hard to find impressive beers they serve. Also, I have had the experience of asking for beer on the menu only to find out they haven't had that one for awhile, and then have it happen again with my second choice as well. They need to reprint their beer menus more than once a year. Also, each time I have visited there I had to send back my glass at least once because it was covered in schmutz and fingerprints. They need to a better job of washing their glassware.

If they would add another smoke-eater downstairs and wash their glasses a little better, I would be there more often. As it is now, Hopleaf or the Map Room win my beer $$$. Oh, and did I mention I practially live half a block from the bar?

Photo of CRJMellor
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Sort of a hole-in-the-wall Chicago local. Place is midnight black inside and in need of some work but it kinds of adds to the ambience and the surprise when the beer list is presented to you. Tap selection is good with 3 Floyds, Bell's, Goose and some Belgians on draught. What is really striking is the cellared list. I mean any place that has Westvleteren 12 and 8, Fantome vintages back to '97 and a host of others has got to be worth a trip for a beer lover.

If you get to Chicago worth finding.

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