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Delilah's

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

49 Ratings
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 7.42%
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: 49 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of silenius
3.55/5  rDev -17.6%

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?

silenius, Apr 11, 2004
Photo of TMoney2591
3.73/5  rDev -13.5%

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...

TMoney2591, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of Jordy777
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Jordy777, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of brdc
3.86/5  rDev -10.4%

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.

brdc, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of Xadoor
3.88/5  rDev -10%

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.

Xadoor, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of kajerm
3.88/5  rDev -10%

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.

kajerm, May 26, 2007
Photo of Pjamiri
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Pjamiri, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of soper2000
4/5  rDev -7.2%

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.

soper2000, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of slander
4/5  rDev -7.2%

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.

slander, May 21, 2005
Photo of midlifec
4/5  rDev -7.2%

midlifec, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of MarcatGSB
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%

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.

MarcatGSB, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of amatuerbeerguy
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%

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

amatuerbeerguy, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of botham
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%

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.

botham, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%

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.

rhoadsrage, Aug 28, 2005
Photo of brushpig
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%

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

brushpig, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

ZenAgnostic, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of CRJMellor
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%

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.

CRJMellor, Mar 01, 2004
Photo of Storning
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Storning, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of ChainChompsky
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

ChainChompsky, Jan 15, 2014
Photo of SkinniePost
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

SkinniePost, May 02, 2014
Photo of Tiburon
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Went in on a Sunday afternoon. Prob about ten other people there, and they were pretty loud.
I had a 3F Pride & Joy, but came primarily for a peek at the bourbon selection. They had a full array
of Pappy Van Winkle, which was exactly what I was looking for. The 23 yr topped out at $45, which seems to be normal for Pappy at this entry point in the market.They also have the largest
collection of liquor bottles that I ever saw in my life. Bartenders were very nice, and even gave us a flashlight to look at the menus. Did I mention that the place is very dark?

It is referred to as a punk rock bar, but I really didn't get that impression. I am sure it gets rocking later in the evening, but
they had some decent music playing. They have a movie every night, which was Elvis Presley
during my visit. There is a black velvet picture of Elvis prominently displayed in the lounging area.Prices were mid range, but the ambiance is priceless.

Tiburon, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

ZombiesAteMyDog, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of woodychandler
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

woodychandler, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of gmcfarre
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

gmcfarre, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of spycow
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

spycow, Jan 25, 2009
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Delilah's in Chicago, IL
95 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.