Northdown Cafe and Taproom

BA SCORE
93
outstanding

52 Ratings
Northdown Cafe and TaproomNorthdown Cafe and Taproom
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

3244 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60657-1109
United States

(773) 697-7578 | map
northdownchicago.com

Notes:
Monday - Friday: 11am - 2am
Saturday: 9am - 3am
Sunday: 9am - 2am

Added by KickInTheChalice on 06-21-2011

PLACE STATS
Score:
93
Ratings:
52
Reviews:
16
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
5.67%
 
 
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of chippo33
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of Fluffheady
3.34/5  rDev -21%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75 | food: 1.5

This place looks and feels like a west coast bar. There's pinball machines and tap handles all over the wall. But it’s just not....right. I want to like it so badly.

Their draft list is super cool, short, and quality over quantity.

As for the food, well, I was embarrassed for them. They charged $22 for a charcuterie plate. There were three meats on the plate. Two of the meats were literally 2 circular slices each of poor quality salami. The cheese was sliced insanely small. I get charcuterie at nearly every place I go. I f***ing love cured meats and cheeses. Not only was this about $8 overpriced, but it SUCKED. The rest of the food we had was pretty sub par. I know this is a beer website, but I was so floored at how bad it was, it had to be included.

I don’t know what to think. It is honestly awkward for me not to like a bar with this good of beer. I’ll probably give it another chance, but it won’t be my only planned destination of the night. **edit - I met several people in Amsterdam who had been to and like Northdown. I’m definitely going to give them another chance.

 1,101 characters

Photo of AndyEdgar
3.45/5  rDev -18.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.25 | service: 1 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

Worst service in the city, but damn they have great events and quality beers

76 characters

Photo of beinerso
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of MarcatGSB
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

I've been to the Northdown a few times in my travels through Chicago, and every time I have walked away pleased.
Their beer selection is quite impressive, with a good number of rotating drafts that are fairly hard to get elsewhere, and I've noticed quite a few that are not available elsewhere in the city. Their bottle list is every changing and also quite impressive.
The food is pretty good, and honestly one of the few places in Chicago that has a killer beer selection and actually vegan menu options, not just pickled veggies or the likes. They put some good thought into their food. Its not on the level of HopLeaf or Publican or even Revolution, but just slightly elevated, good quality pub food.

The atmosphere is nice. It's upbeat, with some good natural lighting if you sit near the front door, loud music, but you are still able to have a conversation with someone across the table from you.

Would definitely recommend to anyone travelling through and in the area. It's a nice stop, probably just outside my top ten in Chicago tho.

 1,049 characters

Photo of danoble1
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Second stop on our mini pubcrawl. Found a table by the front and enjoed the atmosphere. Was hoping for small pour option, as I had intentions to try several brews from here yet still make it home. Settled for a bottle of Backwoods Bastard with my beer cheese. Disappointed in the food, but the others said their burgers were great. Saw a fries plate that looked good. Staff was helpful, when i asked to see if they could reheat the cheese to salvage it (didn't work) Overall, it was a great place with a great selection on tap and in bottles. Will keep them on the list of places when I am in the area.

 602 characters

Photo of KrajDoesBeer
4/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

very solid for lakeview... loved that FFF is always on tap

58 characters

Photo of dexterk1
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

a couple blocks north of lincoln & belmont, accessible by the Paulina brown line stop.

interesting comments from emerge077 - hard to go wrong with creative influence coming from the map room and comet cafe/honeypie (milwaukee must-visits)

huge "if attack comes" billboard above the bar, lots of bizarre swag, some pinball machines, cozy and hip, with a bonus view into a popular gym across the street.

dinner was the focus here - lots of homestyle stuff - went for a short rib sandwich and fries - solid for $12. Pies appear to be a big deal here, but we were pretty stuffed.

nice blackboard taplist - went for a great lakes blackout stout and a goose island christmas ale. 10-15 taps and a decent bottle list that i didnt peruse.

nice stop

 745 characters

Photo of Gorf_Minor
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of misternebbie
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A reasonably sized beer bar, a bit more of a hipster vibe (especially from the staff the night we were there) than Green Lady down the street. They have food, but we did't try it. The beer selection is excellent, they were having a Perennial tap takeover of sorts the night we were there and we took advantage. Service was good, if a bit unrushed, and the beer quality was superb. Definitely a must stop in Chicago.

 419 characters

Photo of Canada_Dan
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of thewimperoo
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of TheRealPour
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Can_has_beer
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of little_star
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Irishace9
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Sparky44
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of BertSugar
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Have been here often enough to render an informed opinion: Excellent. This is a nice little storefront on busy Lincoln Ave near Belmont. Atmosphere is nice and wide open with kitschy touches here and there growing organically. The TV is only on for certain sports events. Not necessary because the house iPod is solid in the music department.

Selection: Great, but not huge. Well selected and rotated rapidly. There is a nice broad bottle and can selection with some unusual items from the west coast and Europe. A recent stop had me with a BBM Stickl unfiltered, unpasturized lager.

Food: Quite good, home cooking with a twist. Not a bad item on the menu and brunch is excellent, served until 3pm.

Service: I always feel at home there with fellow snarkaholics. Great, friendly, efficient service.

If I lived closer, it would definitely be my "3rd place". Kudos.

 869 characters

Photo of drewone
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of 30MinutesSouth
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of Barnoloid
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of muskiesbadgersnbeer
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Treebs
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Went here for a Sunday brunch a little while ago with fellow BA danielnovak3 and his girlfriend.

The place is long and has boothed seating along the left wall when you first walk in and the bar is on the right. Immediately upon walking in there is a chalk board that has everything on tap as well as new bottles just added to the menu. The place is very clean and tidy and it was pretty quiet on this Sunday morning.

It took us a while to get acknowledged at the front (it wasn't crowded), but once we did get seated our server was very nice and was quick to get us anything we needed.

The food selection for Sunday Brunch was outstanding and I had the Short Stout for $12 which was beer braised beef short ribs on Ciabatta with fontina cheese, Arugula, and red onion jam. Honestly, one of the best sandwiches I've every eaten. My buddy and I split a bottle of CW Exodus (don't remember the price, but it was solid for a bar) and we had another beer as well.

Overall the place had a nice tap and bottle list, delicious food and reasonable prices. A must attend.

 1,065 characters

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Northdown Cafe and Taproom in Chicago, IL
4.23 out of 5 based on 52 ratings.
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