Elephant & Castle


22 Ratings
Elephant & CastleElephant & Castle

Type: Bar, Eatery

111 W Adams St
Chicago, Illinois, 60603-4106
United States

(312) 236-6656 | map

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Added by Jason

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by Realale:
Photo of Realale
3.65/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This place is one of my father-in-law's favorite haunts, as its right around the corner from his office. As a result, I've downed a good many pints and a few meals here.

The space is divided between a smoky bar area and a smoke free dining area. Lots of British and Irish pub decorations, but it still seems a bit new/contrived. It gets quite crowded in the after work hours, but begins to thin out as the evening progresses.

The selection of beers on tap is okay, with an emphasis on big brands from the UK and Ireland, with a smattering of big micro and Goose Island tossed in. Definitely a step above what you'd expect to find in the average faux British/Irish pub, but certainly not worth a special trip. The beer has always been in good shape. No cask. The bottle selection is quite boring.

All of the bartenders I've dealt with have known their selections well. Only one of the many waitresses has. Most have not even known what the Goose Island seasonal on tap was without a special trip to the bar.

The food is good, but can be spotty. Lots of pub standards, such as bangers and mash, and an interesting selection of other dishes from various cuisines. Would probably be more consistent if the kitchen was more focused. The most common problem has been too much salt.

All in all an OK place to grab a pint and a bite to eat, but not worthy of a special trip.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of alck11
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Photo of Biggiekrock627
3.31/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.5

Classic dive bar in the heart of downtown right off the "el". When I am down near the loop and need a beer and not be disturbed by trends, hipsters or the after work happy hour crowd this is where I go. British pub style and the selection and food are ok, but you know exactly what you are going to get every time....which is perfect for a road warrior

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Photo of McAfee85
3.76/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of atpca
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of NewGlarusFan
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Jordy777
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of JIMTRK16
4/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of Will_Turner
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

I tend to go here when I visit Chicago, mainly because the hotel I usually stay at is Club Quarters, which is in the same building. With so many other great places in the area, there's really no point in going to E&C, especially considering the prices are a bit steeper, but it's still an okay place. British pub setup, decent atmosphere, usually a quiet crowd. Pretty busy quite often, but the staff is typically on the ball. Beer selection is okay, with Goose Island making an appearance, and Fuller's, and typical beers like Bass and macros and all. Food is a bit on the pricey side, but all pretty good; they have some tasty breakfasts there. Not a beer enthusiast's paradise by a long stretch, but still nice. Might I recommend Miller's Pub a few blocks away?

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Photo of jrallen34
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

Set up as an English Pub right in the heart of the loop. A pretty big place, enough space for those just looking to get a drink and plenty of tables. A good place to go for lunch or dinner and drinks on a Friday. Typical English food selections, I had a decent fish and chips, (chips were really good). The service is ok but they are not beer people, nor is this a beer place. They a little beyond BMC but not much, not heavy on English beers as the name and bar atmosphere would hint at.

Not a destination at all, but when in the loop and looking for something really quick and easy to get to, worth a drink, just don't have high expectations of having something special.

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Photo of emerge077
2.65/5  rDev -20.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Edit 9/10:
Visited the Wabash St. location today and asked about their dispense system for Fullers. Appearance wise, they look like 3 handpumps, but the bartender confirmed they are dispensed with forced CO2 and not actually cask ales. Very misleading, and sad to see this practice still goes on.

Addendum: It should be noted that E&C dispenses through fake beer engines here (Adams St. & Wabash St. locations), which aren't actually cask ales. It's artificial housing around a standard tap, with a lower CO2 level.

More info:


Marginally better than Kitty O'Sheas, the other lame forgettable chain bar in the Loop.

Inside there was lots of dark wood, wrought iron railings, and stained glass. Carpeted dining area, tiles around the bar. The interior felt very 'by the numbers' and designed to feel "homey" and "British" in a corporate office somewhere. A fake fireplace with some books on it, with framed photos of Charles Prince of Wales. Little jugs of "olde tyme stoute" above the bar, next to the 20 bottles of macros that comprised the bottle selection (minus Goose IPA and Hacker Pschorr).

Taps were the only decent thing about this place, 3 Fullers: ESB, London Pride, London Porter, also Franziskaner, and SA Noble Pils as a seasonal offering. The rest were your typical Harp, Bass, Guinness, etc. Decent Scotch selection, about 12 in all. My London Porter seemed like it had been sitting too long, but I did see one other pint drawn while I was there. Imperial pints were another bump up to the service score, in addition to the sweet girl that was taking care of us. There was an unpleasant funky bleach odor at the bar though.

Food wise we tried the bruschetta, which was passable. Overall there are better places to go in the Loop.

If you're staying downtown, check these places out:
Kaseys, Hackneys, Villains, The Gage, Millers (old school), Binnys South Loop (bar and megastore).

Looking for authentic cask ale near the Loop? Try Clark St. Ale House.
An authentic English/Irish pub in town? Check out Duke of Perth, Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, Owen & Engine, or The Globe Pub.

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Photo of NonServiam
4/5  rDev +19.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Visited the Huron St. location twice, just had two pints at the bar each time. Both times the bar tender was the same woman, and very competent.

A decent place to go for British ales, but only the big exporters. The Huron St. location has Fuller's porter on *cask*, and the bartender there told me that the loop location has all three Fullers (porter, pale ale, ESB) on cask. They have a "REAL ALE" sign hanging over the beer engine.

Plan to go again on occasional weekday afternoons for after-work porters, since I work nearby.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.03/5  rDev -39.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2 | food: 1.5

I was extremely unimpressed with this place. I am usually underwhelmed by Irish bars in the US, and this was no exception. But it was one of a few places open in downtown Chicago on a winter Saturday afternoon...

Ambience is pretty cool...from appearances alone, you might think this place was into beer and had decent pub grub. But you'd be wrong.

Beer list is long, but but uncommendable. Popular imports short on flavor or interest.

Service was atrocious. Sat for 20 minutes before server took our drink order...another 15 minutes before our drinks showed up.

Food was lousy - I got a burger and sweet potato fries, which showed up cold and didn't have much to offer besides. I was afraid to send it back, because I didn't know when I'd see it again.

Everything is over-priced for what it is, which one might expect in a big city, but still i found this place to be a very poor value.

Overall, I can't recommend this place as a beer destination or for any other reason.

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Photo of Clembo1957
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

We visited the Elephant & Castle on a Friday Lunchtime which was probably not a good idea as the pub was full of office workers. There was a long wait for tables so we edged our way towards the bar fighting our way through the crowds.

I had a pint of Sam Adams Summer White which was drinkable but i had to stand near the bar to drink it. the Elephant & Castle is probably well worth a visit at a quieter time, however i wouldn't particularly recommend it on a Friday lunchtime!

The pub is situated in the Loop and is a short walk from Union station which is were i was heading after a couple of pints here.

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Photo of nortmand
3.24/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Stopped here while in the loop because the wife and I needed a beer and the location in Seattle had some decent selections.

Decor looks like the rest of the locations. Lots of dark wood and brass to create what I assume an English bar must look like. A bunch of loud businessmen drinking pale, fizzy beers and rum and cokes.

Beer was fresh, but selection wasn't overwhelming. A couple of good American taps and, incredibly, three Fuller's taps. We tried all three of the Fuller's beers from the fake beer engines, which angered me. Just use regular taps, ferchrissake.

Service was quick, not too friendly, though. Didn't eat, but a quick glance at the menu indicated high prices for so-so food. Overall, pretty expensive, but if you're nearby and not up for travelling to another of the fine Chicago beer destinations, then it's an OK stop.

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Photo of botham
4.35/5  rDev +29.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Elephant & Castle on Wabash is a great Irish pub in downtown Chicago. in a lot of ways, it is a typical Irish Pub, but the selection for draughts here is respectable (three Fuller's brews, which is music to my ears), and the food is great as well.

Seating is indoor or outdoor, weather permitting, and the wait staff is friendly and quick. the only complaint is the prices are a bit high, but for downtown Chicago, they are right on the money.

I had the salmon, which was great, and a Fuller's London Porter, which is always phenomenal.

bottom line: check this place out if you are in and around the loop and are looking for a good Irish pub to throw a few back at or for lunch or dinner. Cheers!

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Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

dropped in this place since i was staying at the attached club quarters hotel

atmosphere - americanized english pub. the bar was long and slammed at about 6pm on a weeknight. since this is in a central business district, its probably at its peak after work.

quality - standard chain bar, nice selection of english taps though and a posted schedule of english soccer games played througout the week

selection - i wasnt expecting much of anything so i was actually pretty pumped to see fullers london pride and london porter, both of which i ordered. the rest of the beer list was standard english fare with some american options and nothing to write home about

didnt try the food as we went to lawrys that night

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Photo of jackndan
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Elephant and Castle

Yes it is a Chain, yes the food is kind of unoriginal, yeah it’s usually packed after work with Yuppie yo-yo’s (and I should know, as I am their poster boy). But the beer selection is, if not adventuresome, at least miles beyond the AMC available in the rest of the Loop. You can get a Guinness poured properly; you can get a craft brewer’s seasonal fresh and on tap: you can get a Boddington’s or a cider. I had Shepard’s Pie and a Couple of Guinness for lunch around the Holiday, and it was good, not great, but I was very happy to be there.

Bottom line, it is one of the few places in the Loop to get a better beer.

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Photo of Redrover
3.64/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

This bar reminds me of a cross between a Bennigans and an English pub. Nice exposed brick and quite a bit of English pub memorabilia. There was a little too much smoke for my liking. They did have a nonsmoking eating area.

They have 16 beers on tap. They include Bass, Blue Moon, Boddingtons, bud, Goose Island, Guiness, Harp, John Courage, New Castle, Lienenkugle Red, Miller Lite, Miller Genuine, Molson, Sam Adams Seasonal (Spring Ale), Stella Astoria, Teteleys.

They have 25 bottle selections, most of which are macros. The only interesting selections were Hacker Pschorr, Red Stripe, Sam Smith Nut Brown, Sierra Nevada, & Tennents.

I was there after work and the place was fairly crowded. Seemed to be mainly business people, which make sense given its location in the heart of the loop. Most of the people near me were drinking beer and very few were drinking the macros (a good sign).

Our waitress was very good and fast. I didn’t rate the food as we only tried their appetizer sampler (which was just ok). The music was very much in the background. Definitely more of a conversation type bar.

This was not a bad bar, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to go to it. However, if you find yourself in this part of the Loop, it is not a bad stop for a few beers.

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Elephant & Castle in Chicago, IL
3.35 out of 5 based on 22 ratings.
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