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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 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 emerge077
4.44/5  rDev +3%

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.

emerge077, Nov 12, 2007
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 TurdFurgison
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%

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.

TurdFurgison, Jun 11, 2008
Photo of yemenmocha
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

yemenmocha, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%

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.

DaPeculierDane, Jan 30, 2006
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 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 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 TheRealPour
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

TheRealPour, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of midlifec
4/5  rDev -7.2%

midlifec, Nov 02, 2013
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 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 orbitalr0x
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%

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!

orbitalr0x, Mar 29, 2006
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 Storning
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Storning, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of little_star
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

little_star, May 11, 2014
Photo of SkinniePost
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

SkinniePost, May 02, 2014
Photo of cadaugherty
5/5  rDev +16%

cadaugherty, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of Halfbrother83
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Halfbrother83, Jun 25, 2014
Photo of Jordy777
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Jordy777, Apr 07, 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 PopnLoads
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

PopnLoads, Feb 27, 2014
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 RPH2327
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

RPH2327, Aug 10, 2014
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Delilah's in Chicago, IL
95 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.