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357 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery

5148 N Clark St
Chicago, Illinois, 60640-2828
United States

(773) 334-9851 | map

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Ratings: 357 |  Reviews: 195
Photo of Bung
4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

In an obviously alternative part of the town. Walking from here to the Red Line is then a more questionalbe part. A little small, a little crowded. This has the most impressive selection of Belgians I've seen. Unfortunately, I could care less about Belgians. Good selection of others, locals and hard to find out of state, like Surly. Seasonal nature lended toward summer brews, so many lighter styles not all that different from the large Belgian selection. Didn't have any food, looked rather unique/trendy. Prices were fine for Chicago. Service was good and knowledgeable. Worth visiting, but if you have some conservative friends the area may not be to their liking.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.06/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5

When I came in, the draft system was down, I think the coolers had broken or something. I almost want to hold it against them, but I don't think I should because I don't think it was their fault.

The bar was kind of dark, pretty crowded, and not too loud. Most people were sitting at tables spread around - there was a big dining room apart from the bar. And a little upstairs bar with Belgian options. The tap list looked really great, and there were some beers I really wanted to try on it, but alas, I couldn't. I'd also like to see the pours that you'd get on them. Otherwise, everything came with a proper glass. The service was okay, but average for a bar. At one point, I was sitting at the bar, and was overlooked with empty glasses quite a few times by two or three different bartenders. Kind of upsetting, especially when the draft lines are down, but the guy upstairs was friendly and helpful. I didn't try the food, but I heard from one person that the fact that they serve decent food with the beer makes this the best bar in town. I don't know whether to believe him or not, but if those tap lines were pouring quality beer, it very well may have been enough for me. The prices seemed to be about normal for the area $4-5 for anything craft, maybe less if you make the right choice. This seemed like a great beer bar, that I happened to show up at the wrong hour. But like I said, I'm trying not to hold it against them since it wasn't their fault.

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Photo of Wheelinb
3.93/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

In town visiting and had to check this place out. We had heard about the selection and was happy to see that it was as great a we heard. We hit the place on a Friday around happy hour and after a Cubs game so it was really crowded which contributes to the low service rating o it may not be a very fair assessment. We will have to come back another time.

We found the guys behind the bar to be very knowledgeable. Lots of bottles to choose from. We did not try the food but the menu looked cool. We will be back sometime.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.36/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in here around 5:30 on a Friday evening, the place was packed. With luck, we were able to secure seats at the bar after a few minutes. I head that this place is divided into the bar area, and the dining area. I heard rumors of a patio as well, but honestly we never got up from the bar. The bar area was small, but it was nice. You could hear some easy music playing. Certainly a Belgian feel going on here.

SOme spectacular Belgian beers on tap, as well as an impressive bottle selection. Also, other craft beer as well such as 3 Floyds, and an interesting Brown Saison from Sierra Nevada/ Beers were served in the appropriate branded glassware for the most part, which was quite impressive for some of the Belgian brews.

Service was good, particularly for how busy this place was. There were 2 bartenders, and I am not sure if they ever stopped pouring beer while we were there.

Didn't have food, but we sat next to a couple who had a nice pot of mussels, so I would certainly be interested in eating there in the future. Prices seemed reasonable, even for the rare beers. A great place to stop, but get there early if you want a seat.

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Photo of Florida9
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

One of my favorite Chicago restaurants - and not just for their beer.

Hopleaf calls itself a bar, but its a restaurant as well. The place is located in an old building. The front half is the bar. There are some tables here, but it can get kind of crowded. The back half is the sit down restaurant. It can be a little cramped at times, but its still better than being in the bar. As an FYI, if you want to sit down for your meal, head straight for the back to be seated.

The feel is Belgium. While both the beers and food on offer are not entirely Belgian, there is a definite slant towards Belgium for both. However, the beer selection is large enough to accommodate all tastes from sours to stouts to hop-bombs.

The food is gastropub - meaty sandwiches and funky twists on your old favorites, while also offering some items not normally seen (eel in green sauce was on a recent menu). Everything is fresh and prepared in house. Fries are cut downstairs - fried upstairs.

Waitstaff is helpful and knowledgeable, though they can be a little slow at times , especially as the night wears on.

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Photo of Jbeyer
3.98/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went there on a friday night, which was my first mistake. The place was jam packed. It reminded me of a college bar offering 1$ u-call its. There was no where to sit at tables or the bar, and the wait at the restaurant was and hour and half. So we were left to stand with 20 or so other people. The amount of people likely hindered the service as waitresses and bartenders were swamped.

On good notes; the selection was very good for reasonable prices. I got and Old Rasputin, a Delirium Tremens, and a Triple Karmeliet for about 18$ The food was delicious and was served relatively quickly.

I would go back only I would shoot for a weekday night to avoid crowds.

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Photo of brewdoc75
4.01/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I was quite excited about visiting the Hopleaf on my recent trip to Chicago. I had read great reviews on BA and had high expectations. After we walked a mile in the wrong direction, we finally found this place. It was a Wednesday night, but we still couldn't find a place to sit when we got there. After about an hour, a table opened up and we grabbed our seats. I started the night off with an Alpha King. The beer was phenomenal. Served in an appropriate glass and at the right temp. The price was a bit higher than I usually pay for this style, but I didn't care. For my next beer I went with a Great Lakes Dortmunder. The price again was slightly higher than I liked but was worth it. The beer was served appropriately. My final beer was a bottle of the Brooklyn Chocolate stout. A very good beer, but they had me pour it myself. Now, at most places I don't mind, but at a premier beer bar, I like to see if they know how to pour. Not a huge deal, but just something I wasn't expecting.

The selection overall was outstanding. A great selection of American crafts, but the Belgian selection was really the star. They even had a few rarities. The only thing was, that most the places I go in the Twin Cities (Stub and Herbs, Muddy Pig, Happy Gnome) have at least as good of a selection, if not better. The only thing about the Hopleaf was that I paid slightly more. Otherwise the place was great. I would go back again, but if this was in the Twin Cities, it would be a bit lower on my list.

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Photo of hrockefeller
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Recently went to Chicago on a 4-day weekend with the wife. I'd heard so many good things about the Hopleaf that we had to try it. Needless to say, my expectations were pretty high.

Atmosphere was very nice. Just what you'd expect from a place specializing in Belgian style beer and food. A little loud and very crowded, but what else do you expect on a Friday night? On a related note (but not counted against the bar, it's not really their fault), the parking situation in this part of town is horrendous. Get there early or expect to look down many a side street for parking. After 25 minutes of looking, we happened to get lucky and find a spot about 7 minutes from the door. Chicago natives are probably laughing, but I thought I'd let other travelers know.

Now on to the beer! My wife had a draft Metropolitan brewing Copper Lager and a Leffe blonde. She liked the lager and loved the blonde, both were successful recommendations from yours truly. I had an Avery/Russian River Collaboration not Litigation that was fantastic. My second beer (with the food) was an Atomium Grand Cru (from van Steenburge). This was an excellent beer, and an excellent deal IMHO, $7 for a gigantic goblet. At 8%, I had to make it my last beer of the night.

In the food department, we ordered the Belgian style mussels for two. We both loved these! If we weren't already short on time, I would have ordered another pot and devoured them myself. For you Indianapolis residents, my wife said she enjoyed them more than the mussels at Brugge Brasserie, which is saying quite a lot. For dessert, we had a rasperry chocolate lava cake that was a perfect ending to the meal. Very rich, but well worth it.

The service was also very good. The waiters were attentive and pleasant, despite the fact that we did not really order all that much. If I had one complaint (and this is really kind of picky) it would be that some people might like a few more menu choices on the food side of things. Of course, I would need to try more menu items to say this definitively, but if they do all items as well as the mussels and dessert, maybe they don't need a more extensive menu.

Overall, I don't think we could be more pleased with the experience we had at the Hopleaf. It was easily my favorite place in Chicago.

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Photo of deliriumfest
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

A lot of work to finally get to this place so I was hoping it would be good. As soon as I walked in, I could tell this place was awesome. The bar area was packed full of beer lovers of all shapes and sizes so my girlfriend and I decided to get a table in the back restaurant area. Our server was very knowledgeable and actually used to work at GI Clybourne which was a plus. We both ordered our beer along with the house specialty: mussels. I can't say enough how awesome the beer selection and food was. We had just a few and then headed out because we had a long night of drinking ahead. Definitely would recommend this place to anyone!

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Photo of Maction
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The other reviews have covered the Hopleaf very well. I live less than a mile from the place, so it's become my default bar, so I thought I'd add some info that visitors might find useful:

1. It's easy to get to -if you have access to the Red Line. If you are staying in the Loop for business/family/vacation, but don't have access to a car, fear not! For $2.25 each way, an elevated train will take you to a stop about a half mile from the Hopleaf. You'll have to hoof it from there, but it's a pretty easy walk through a decent neighborhood. Use Google Maps, enter the addresses, then select "by public transit" to get detailed directions.

2. It's not easy to get a seat. It's pretty crowded on weeknights. You're definitely going to have to wait for a table on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday nights. To get a seat at the bar on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, I'm pretty sure that someone has to leave it to you in their will.

3. They have a good website. Since I started checking it about a year ago, the draft and bottle menus on their site have always been very up-to-date. Not only that, but they include prices and ABV, which often helps me to formulate my plan of attack.

***I gave an extra "vibe" point because there are no TVs.

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Photo of jim102864
3.93/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Literally a plane, train and an automobile to get to this place two weeks ago at 6:30 while on business travel. Single digit temps and a good stiff wind which sucks the life out of you if you're outdoors requires beer to sooth the soul. Enter Hopleaf. Three Floyds Alpha King on tap becomes my first pint. Lots of 20 and some 30 somethings upon my arrival. Brazenly asked for a pen from the little snit waitress picking up an order at the bar.  Who says they're not friendly in Chicago? I note a few beatnick wannabes with their little goatees and funky nit caps. Very quaint.  Interesting tin ceilling and 30's era jazz on the stereo. Sizeable bar seats around 25 or so. The rear dining room has nice high ceilings with brick walls all around.  A pleasant, chesty broad behind the bar smiles and is chatty, unlike some of the patrons. Belgian tin signs adorn the walls. There's a wall of block glass behind shelves of proper glassware. The place slowly fills up at the bar. I am an ancient among yuppies and college students. No flat screen is mildly dissapointing.

Very pricy and minimalist food menu with the usual suspects a la frittes, mussels, etc, found in every big city Belgian bar. I ordered the beef stew which comes out luke warm. I tell the bar tender, he sends it back. Literally a minute later he returns with...semi-hot stew. And $19 bucks is fucking ridiculous!

Onto the bells double cream stout--- mildly chewy and chocolatey and malty. Slight hint of cofee espresso. Oooh. A find: Bells Third Coast Old Ale. A barleywine with a sweet yet brandy like flavor. 10.2 abv didn't hurt either. Followed with a well topped off St. Bernardus Abt 12 in proper glassware. I learned that girls use the c word from a convo I overheard betwixt two chix sitting next to me. Nice.

Triple Karmilet in a beautiful flour de lais stemmed tulip glass. Finished with a La Chouffe Houblon bottle.

This is a solid bar and worth a visit. Very young crowd and stay away from the bar if it's the dead of winter as you'll feel the breeze every time a patron enters.

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Photo of spycow
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I went to Hopleaf for the first time last night. I've heard so many stories about it over the last couple of weeks I had to make my way there this weekend. The atmosphere was typical of a North Chicago bar focused on beer. With over 40 beers on tap from Belgian favorites and specialities to local favorites provides quite a variety for the beer connoisseur. In addition they carry over 250 beers in bottles again with a focus on Belgain styles of all kinds. The staff is extremely knowledgeable of beer and can help match up a beer to an individual's taste. In addition, they have the beer glass collection to match many of the Belgian favorites.

The food is also unbelievable. They specialize in Belgian fare from their appetizers to desserts. Mussels is their speciality served for one or two people with bread, frites, and aioli.

We arrived around 8:30 on a Friday night and the bar was already packed. The wait for dinner was up to 2 hours but worth it. From my understanding this is not uncommon due to the high demand for the food, beers, and the service.

I wish I would have found this place sooner especially with my love of Belgian beers and mussels! A place I will be frequenting often with friends. Highly recommended for any connoisseur of Belgian beers.

BTW - They carry Leffe Brune on tap as well. In traveling all over the US, this is first bar or store I've found that serves or sells Leffe Brune. Always can find the Blonde but never the Brune. Only place I've ever drank it was in Europe on many visits.

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Photo of beersabound
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

We went on Saturday night and it was packed. In order to get a seat we decided to eat too. The food was good but not mindblowing. The goat cheese tart was a little over done but the mussels were spot on with a tasty Wittekerke cream broth. The Belgian beer selection was complete with excellent descriptions of the beers.

I really liked the mutli room, multi floor layout of this place. It's like four bars in one. Our server was solid but lacked personality. Also, it was kinda dumb that we could only order beers from her. The food runners wouldn't take a drink order which is lame.

Overall, it's a great place and I would love to go back when it's a little slower and spend more time pairing beer and food together.

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Photo of number1bum
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Took the redline up to the Berwyn stop and hiked the 6 or 7 blocks to the Hopleaf. It was damn cold but it was worth it. It seems small when first entering, but there is a back area and an upstairs and really it's quite large. Still, on a Tuesday night, it was packed, and I was lucky to get there early enough to grab one of the 20 or so seats at the bar. Pretty cool place, with a nice bar and a lot of hardwood. A bit on the trendy side, but more of an alternative atmosphere. Very down to earth though, I thought, which I liked.

Awesome selection of beer - simply awesome. 40 taps, with a ton of great micros as well as Belgian selections, and not a single handle wasted on macro garbage. They had Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Matilda, and a small batch beer that was a Belgian pale, half aged in bourbon barrels, half in sherry barrels, and then blended. That was some good shit. Too much other great stuff to try to name, but in addition to the Goose Island I also had a Poperings Hommelbier and a Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA. Lots of bottles, as well.

Food was also outstanding - I had the Onion Rings, which were actually what I would call 'onion straw' - really thinly sliced onions, breaded and fried. Very tasty. Also had the Duck Reuben, which was great. Prices were just a bit pricey, but I guess that's not unexpected for the area.

Service was actually quite good, but I docked the score on service for a specific reason, which I will explain. I think it made the most sense to take this out of service rather than another area. Basically, it goes like this. They had Goose Island Bourbon County Stout on tap, which I was psyched about and really looking forward to trying. I planned to have it last, after dinner and before I headed out. That gave me ample time to observe how they were serving it, because the tap was right in front of me. They had a pitcher that was about half full of it, filled before I even sat down. When someone ordered it they'd pour about 2oz of the 8oz glass from the tap, then fill the rest from the pitcher. I guess this way it's served closer to room temp, where it's at its best. Makes sense. Here's the problem - I observed two occasions where other beers were being poured and were splashed into the pitcher that was sitting there. First it was Dogfish Head Pangea, and then it was another tap next to it that was indistinguishable. There was probably about 30oz in the pitcher, so I can understand how after they splashed something else in there they wouldn't want to waste it. But at the same time, this is a high end beer bar - that kind of thing just strikes me as completely unacceptable. I'll tell you what it did for me - it caused me not to order a glass of the Bourbon County Stout, which pained me. I really wanted to try it on tap, but not after seeing that. Granted, it was only a splash here and there of the other beers - not a huge amount - but still. So in any event, I found that to be a little disappointing, and docked the service score as such.

Overall, this is an amazing place. I will absolutely come back here on future trips to Chicago. In fact, I would say this is the #1 place I intend to visit when in town. Awesome joint.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5

Visited on Saturday afternoon right at the opening. Quiet place with amazing selection on draft, and bottles were quite nice as well.

Too many servers on staff, so they ended up talking to each other rather than give great service, but the service was tolerable so I didn't complain.

Typical beer bar atmosphere.

Did not sample the food so I cannot comment here. Several good Med restaurants nearby.

Hopleaf is always on my list for "must see" places when I visit Chicago periodically. Daytime patronage is recommended for getting the most out of your beer tasting here.

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Photo of n8marks
3.8/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 2

this place is loud, crowded and the food is overly pretentious. the first two aren't a problem, but the only thing in the world i am even the slightly pretentious about is beer. so next time i will eat somewhere else, and only order an ale or three here.

the atmosphere is loud--lots of people having lots of conversation. this is not the place for an intimate time. but great for laughing with friends.

tuesday at 7 p.m. and not a single open spot in the bar--but only 15 minute wait for a table.

food was not the kind of food i like with my beer. if you are a gourmand then this place might be to your liking, if you like a burger with your beer, try kuma's.

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Photo of spointon
5/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I have only visited the Hopleaf once (it is WAY north on Clark Street) but I was very impressed with that visit.

The main bar room is not very big and is dominated by the bar and all of the empty bottles covering the walls indicating what beers they have in bottles. For the size of the bar, there are a staggering number of beers available in bottles and the draft beer list is quite good too. My tastes run toward Belgian ales and the Hopleaf did not dissappoint me. I saw almost every Belgian ale I have ever had and a few I had never heard of in this place...

While I didn't have any of the food on my visit, I was sitting next to others enjoying mussels and pomme frite which looked and smelled delicious.

Service was solid and the prices were fair for the quality and rarity of many of the beers available. Definitely on par with the Map Room for a fantastic Chicago beer destination!

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Photo of surfnebr
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I have had the priveledge to attend this bar many times and most of the time its been great.

The selection of belgian beers is top notch be it on tap and in bottle. The neighborhood affords a great atmosphere most of the time but it also lends to a pretencious feel as well.

The bar staff was very knowledgable but can be condescending at times. The upstairs bar is great, more intimate and less crowded.

I've only had a few of the apetizers and I was not dissapointed. The prices were not bad for the location and the environment that is presented. I recommend this place.

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Photo of tedsox31
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere is a little noisy for me, although I can tolerate it MUCH better than most places in Chicago. The noise is mostly conversation, anyway. The place itself is neat to look at, with nice furnishings and structures.

Quality is great. What more can you say? The food is excellently prepared, and the beer is great as well.

Service is also good. The waitress I had was knowledgeable and offered pairings and some stuff I hadn't thought of. She was also attentive, pleasant, and not overbearing.

Selection is what sets this place apart from others. They have something like 250 different beers available, many on tap, and the rest in bottles. Most Belgian, but there are also English styles as well. You could go every day for a year and probably never get tired of the selection.

Food is also very, very good. I had a seafood stew that went well with the beer I had with dinner. It came to me hot, fresh, and very tasty. The menu is pretty expansive, as well.

Overall value is a bit pricey, but you have to remember that you are dealing with mostly Belgian, high alcohol brews. I would love to go back to this place when I have more money, and truly enjoy this place without worrying about prices.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Spent about three hours at the bar last week.

Enjoyed three beers, mussels and a 1/2 sandwich

The mussels were very nice & the fries were awesome. The sandwich was a Cashew Butter, Cheese and fig jam sandwich that was grilled.
This was really a unigue sandwich and very good. Having said that, it was very filling and I didn't even finish the 1/2 sandwich.

Enjoyed a Bell's Amber, Three Floyd's Alpha King and a Goose Island Kentucky Bourbon County.

Their beer menu was excellent and they had a nice variety of U.S. craft brews and also Belgian's

Plenty of bottles to choose from.

We arrived early and were lucky to score a spot at the bar. Staff was very helpful other than spilling a beer into the keyboard of my blackberry.

I will be goingback here again on my next trip to Chicago.

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Photo of danydakid
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I was in downtown Chicago in July on business and decided I wanted to go out of my way to Hopleaf. I ended up jumping on the Red Line and then walking ~6-8 blocks to get to there.

At first sight, it is looks like your run-of-the-mill bars with neon signs, tables, and some booths.,,easily overlooked. There is a sit down restaurant in the back. I was immediately impressed with the diverse selection they had on tap and the 13-page bottle menu (that I did not get to browse). The bartenders are extremely knowledgeable and a lot of the local crowd are just as friendly (and beer savvy)...they seemed very willing to help any "Acolyte" choose a good brew. All this, and every beer is served in the appropriate glassware.

The menu looks great and (so they say) is usually overlooked even though it is just as impressive as the beer selection.

Ended up enjoying a Tripel Karmeliet and 120-minute IPA with some good friends. Couldn't ask for much better on a Monday night. We ended up talking about the place for the next 3 days.

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Photo of MMAJYK
4/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

We arrived at Hopleaf as the first folks to sit down, so needless to say, it was quiet. After a little while, some folks started rolling in. Nice old style bar with the old cash register.

Of all the brews I had, none were bad in any way. All were fresh, whether from the tap or bottle.

Our bartender was quite nice and helpful on beer selection but was a huge letdown in other areas. We were in Chicago on vacation and wanted to hit all the brewpubs, beer bars, etc while we were there. We asked him where Goose Island was since we figured he would know. He started telling us rail stations to go to, then buses from there, all sorts of stuff; very damn confusing for an out of towner. It was snowing that day and raining so we gave up and just took the bus back to the city. On our way back ON THE SAME STREET as Hopleaf, there was Goose Island Wrigleyville. I could not believe it! I instantly pulled the stop cord on the bus and jumped off. Why didnt he know that? Maybe he was sending me to the brewery, I am not sure. That kind of pissed me off, but at least we found it.

As far as selection goes, they had numerous Belgians and all the regionals to try. Goose Island, Southern Tier, FFF, Moylan's, etc.

A good experience, minus the little mix-up on the Goose Island directions.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Thursday night, walk into the place, and its already full, on its way to damn crowded. First impression is its a small place. No host stand, no transition, just a good sized bar to the left, tables right away in the middle, and booths to the right. The place is pretty cool, lots of beer signage, good vintage feel to it, quality bar with very comfortable stools, the beers listed on a chalkboard and with a big beer menu available too. Later I noticed that there was additional space to the back of the building, but it was so crowded by then, i didn't feel like venturing.

The selection is wide and of high quality, with plenty of styles and regions to choose from. I had a Lagunitas Hop Stoopid and Founders Red Rye, and another I forgot to note. I'd say the beers here are on par with the Map Room, or slightly better. Another plus; all the beers have their volume and ABV listed.

The food isn't your typical pub fare. Their signature dish is mussels, which the person next to me had and smelled delicious (because, if I remember right, they were cooked in a white ale or something like that). I had the Cobb salad to start off with, which was very tasty, but a little small. Then I had frites, true Belgian style, and served with mayo (though I also had ketchep too. And didn't feel guilty, thank you).

The service was pretty good considering the crowd. Not as personal as at Map Room, but good and attentive and knowledgable. The crowd was a big drawback, not simply because of the size but the make-up. I had a few decent people around me, one guy reading, but there were dude yapping on phones, two chics bitching about stuff nonstop, and generally who, from my impression, were there because craft beer is cool, not cause they like or care too much about it. Which is cool cause the place does good business for sure, but still, its annoying. But, rant aside, I'd still come here next time in Chicago for sure.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped by here for the first time today after hanging around the map room for quite some time. The first thing I have to say is how far away this place is, I mean maybe I took a roundabout way to get there, taking a train into the loop and then the el all the way out here, but compared to the map room, this place is in the middle of nowhere for me.

Moving on, the place is rather crowded outfront, L shaped bar and lots of tables and chairs in the front room with seating for more in the back and on the patio. The clientel was a bit older than I was used to but still a pretty decent mix of young and older. Pretty loud for an late afternoon but it was friday so whatever. Went up to the bar and was immediatly carded which I suppose is necessary, went back to a table and decided on what to get then came back and was carded again by the same guy, a little weird but I digress.

The beer selection is on par and exceeds the map room in sheer quantity of Belgian ales, like 12-15 just of those on tap, but I'd say the map room wins the battle of for American craft beers. The bottle list is also staggering. Beer is a bit more expensive out here but not outrageously so. The food was a bit pricy but the thing to try and what me and my girlfriend ordered was the mussles for two. There's like 50 or so of them for 20 bucks and it comes with a side of fries that itself comes with this amazing dipping sauce. To me that seemed like the best deal, the sandwiches didn't look all that big for the price tag that came along with it.

Overall I'd say I like that Map Room better, its closer to me, its more familiar and has free food from time to time. But Hopleaf is a fanstatic place and if I am ever in the area I will make a point to stop there. If you are a fan of Belgians you must go here though, you must.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I finally made it into Hopleaf...I grew up in the Chicago area (grant it, pre-beer times), live in Madison, and spend at least 10% of my year in Chicago but have never been to this bar.

I guess the main reason for this is that it's a neighborhood joint and it's in a neighborhood that isnt really that close to anywhere i spend time...its a hike from downtown (a bit north of wrigley even) and is a good 6 miles off the interstate.

That said, it's easy to find...take the lawrence avenue exit off of i-90 if driving, and hang a left on clark street and you're there. parking is pretty easy with metered spots and free street parking in the area

the taps are extensive (40-50ish) and so are the bottles, with a strong focus on belgians. theres no point in me listing them here - just go to www.hopleaf.com for up-to-date beer and food menus

service was just fine...food was served promptly

i found the selection to be nice and interesting but there wasnt anything on tap that just knocked be backwards

the food was fantastic...i had muscles and frites (belgian style of course). This was a fantastic dish for 11$ (the frites were damn amazing). There was also dishes featuring duck, rabbit, and other french/belgian staples that all looked great.

prices were on the high end of fair (5-7 per tap, but given the quality and imported nature, this was no biggie). No macros present whatsoever

cool joint for sure...the food presence really makes this worth the stop.

once you get past the fascist doorguys (every bar in chicago would card a 114 year old woman if she tried to enter), the interior is quaint and wooden with plenty of restaurant space and some outdoor space for smokers

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Hopleaf in Chicago, IL
Place rating: 4.48 out of 5 with 357 ratings