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The Map Room

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

221 Reviews
The Map RoomThe Map Room
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar

1949 N Hoyne Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60647-4560
United States

(773) 252-7636 | map
maproom.com

Notes:
CASH ONLY (as of June 2009)
ATM on premise

Hours:
Monday - Friday: 6:30 am - 2:00 am
Saturday: 7:30 am - 3:00 am
Sunday: 11:00 am - 2:00 am
No alcohol served before 11:00am.
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Added by jackndan

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PLACE STATS
Score:
98
Reviews:
221
Ratings:
341
Avg:
4.44
pDev:
8.11%
 
 
Taps:
27
Bottles/Cans:
230
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 221 | Ratings: 341
Photo of AlanFollett
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

My favorite Chicago multi-tap, and a place I make it a point to visit several times on every Chicago visit. Great draft and bottle selection, with new items almost daily. Nice, beer-savvy people on both sides of the bar.

Oh, and they now do take credit cards.

 262 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This is my neighborhood bar... a mere two blocks away from my home of the last 15 years.
The Map Room is widely known and loved by most. It was a pioneer in brining Chicagoans a wide variety of craft beers.

I started going in 2003 after returning from England and finding out that The Map Room had an engine that poured English beers from a cask.

My only suggestion is that they should serve flights.

Visit The Map Room when you are in Chicago ... But, know that there is much more in what many here believe is becoming the center of the third generation of craft brewers.

 575 characters

Photo of IceAce
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

My go-to, very first stop when visiting Chicago. Possibly tied with Belmont Station in Portland as my favorite place in the US to bend my elbow. Fantastic beer selection, well-educated staff and, well...it is truly a Map Room!

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Photo of pbgnar
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Map room consistently has a solid tap list and more than a few interesting bottles. Only issue is that they seem to run out of what you are looking for quite often. Not to worry! A quick chat with the bartender will result in you finding a new beer or even brewery that is just as good, or better, than the one you were originally seeking.

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Photo of wapcap
3.83/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

This is a good craft brew place to visit. Seemed to be set up like a coffee shop, but with craft beer. Meaning, ample space to set up your labtop and get some work done, while enjoying local brews. The service was fine, but slow, but that was mostly due to another patron and a long winded story. Selection was fine, and they had several local options. But the selection didn't blow me away. The place came highly recommended, and while not quite living up to hype, I'd still recommend checking out.

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Photo of JohnCassillo
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

My kind of spot. Relaxed, easy-going, focused on the beer while still letting you enjoy the game if you want to. Had told myself I wasn't leaving Chicago without stopping in and I'm glad I persisted. Grabbed a bottle of Bo & Luke, and checked out some 3 Floyds offerings on draft. Just a great experience at one of the country's top beer bars.

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Photo of SudsTerkel
4.73/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

My kind of place: laid back with plenty of good Midwestern, east and west coast taps thrown in. Recently made my 1st visit on a biz trip to Chicago and will certainly return. Note: as other reviewers have observed, this place can get busy as it was on my visit on a Sunday afternoon, but the wait for a pint was well worth it.

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Photo of dcf5ve
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Opens at 6am for coffee and pastries. Starts serving beer at 11am. This place is absolutely lovely during the day with open windows during nice days. I, personally, avoid the weekends and nights. Too many amatuers. World class beer list and a very nice staff.

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Photo of MinisterCurry
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This bar has international personality, a true "travelers tavern". Exceptional draft program showcasing domestic and European brews equally. Their bottled list offers 100+ selections from all over the world. If you stay too long they have you covered to recover with a full espresso and coffee bar.

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Photo of matjack85
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Any time I'm in Chicago, I try to make a stop at the Map Room - it's that impressive. It's not fancy and it's not big, but they have a huge selection of quality beers and a knowledgeable and friendly staff.

It's located in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood, which is a pretty decent section of the city. There is no parking lot for this place, but I've never found street parking that much of an issue. The CTA's Armitage bus line #73 has a stop at Armitage and Hoyne, just steps from the Map Room's front door if you want to take public transportation.

The place is not that big and overcrowding is common at night, but I found if you come anytime in the afternoon or early evening, you can easily find a table for yourself or your group. There is no food here except on nights when they feature a certain country's beer. For example if it's Chinese night, all Chinese beers will be discounted and after the purchase of 2 beers you will be allowed to partake in the Chinese food served in the back for free. If it's Peruvian night, then Peruvian beers will be discounted and Peruvian food served in the back, etc.

The selection here is fantastic and first rate. I forgot how many beers they had on tap but I believe it is close to 30. There are also over 200 bottled beers to choose from that get updated and rotated monthly. Amazingly the bartenders and servers know something about every one of them and will be happy to describe them to you.
There is almost always a cask conditioned beer in the back as well. Just ask your server what the selection of the day is. Once after trying 4 or 5 Belgian beers with a friend of mine, they let us choose an additional one on the house. Another time we were given free Map Room t-shirts after chit chatting with the bartender for a few hours. There are a few TVs inside as well, so it's a good place to watch a Cubs, Bears, Bulls, or Blackhawks game if you don't have a ticket to see it live.

I've never had a bad time here and go back as often as possible. This is one of the top craft beer bars in the city.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

I stopped in on a recent visit to Chicago. It sits on a corner. It looked like a biker bar as I approached it. I arrived around one o'clock on a Tuesday. It was pretty empty except for some leather clad gentlemen. I know this is a limited comparison, but it reminded me of Nano Brew Cleveland. The bar was too the right. There were maybe ten tables beyond that. To the left along the outer wall were shelves of National Geographic magazines. My friends and I bellied up to the bar. They offered around 20 draft selections and 100 bottles and cans.

I ordered a Union Jack since my focus was on beers unavailable in Ohio. It was quite delicious. They did not serve food, but had a folder with local restaurants that delivered or were within walking distance.

The bartender was very amiable. She offered us samples of beers and even suggested another drinking establishment to try as well as her favorite option for a Chicago-style pizza.

I wish we would have had more time. I really enjoyed this bar. The bartender was great, and she was very helpful. They had a great selection of local brews and of beer in general.

 1,121 characters

Photo of atpben
4.21/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

Went there just so I could try Zombie Dust. The tap was done but was able to get the last bottle. Great beer by the way. Good bar but wasn't able to get a lot of the beers I wanted. Did get a great pint of Alpha King. Service was kinda slow; Saturday afternoon. Will come back but maybe at a different time.

 307 characters

Photo of ajkeefner13
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

In my opinion, the best beer bar in the city. They are always rotating their beers to keep things fresh, and also clean their lines to keep the BEER fresh! A beer lover's atmosphere. Make sure you go here more than once if you can...cause the beer you have one week, will be completely different than the beer you drink the next...but it'll all be amazing!

 356 characters

Photo of kwesib
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Neither hard to get to nor very convenient, particularly the parking. But what is in Chicago. Try to make it here once every visit to Chicago. Great beer selection and I generally like the atmosphere. There should be a place like this in every neighborhood in America. Draft beer selection is very good and I can usually sample local brews that I might want to later buy. Service is good if not varied by time of day. Knowledgeable folks behind the bar. Coffee in the morning/afternoon ain't bad either.

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Photo of FEUO
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Great spot. Stopped in last Sunday on a visit to the city.
Served by Chris who has good knowledge of their selection and beer in general. Great conversation. Fun and light atmosphere. Crowd was pleasant and social.
Some mild pretentiousness from a couple people but you'll get that anywhere.
Took in game 4 of the World Series and then some zombies on TV. Interesting mix. :)

Beers: plenty including Yeti, Zombie Dust, Union Jack, duganA, Old Chub, and some crazy sour to finish the eve. Love this place. Will be back next time I get to Chi-town.

 548 characters

Photo of czfreeman
4.44/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in here yesterday after spending the day exploring the area.
Nice, quiet afternoon setting. A stellar tap list, Founders breakfast stout, New Belgium Peach Porch Saison, and a just tapped Smuttynose Wheat wine were among some of the highlights.
Bartender was extremely knowledgeable, let me try several samples before settling on my first brew.
After striking up a conversation with the patron next to me, I was introduced to the VP from Three Floyds, which I found to be F***king awesome!!!! After pouring me a taste of Topless Wytch, he invited me up to the brewery and bought me an Alpha King, the first I've had as I just moved to Chicago this week.
An overall great experience, and one I will never forget.I will return soon, as it is only 25 minutes or so walking from my house.
Cheers!

 800 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4.23/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped in here on a lark before my usual tour of the City. It's a purposefully small, even quaint, joint, decked out in maps and flags and dark woods. My kinda place so far. Up to the bar I go, Kindle in hand, to enjoy a pint and a read. The selection is pretty nice, with some occasional oddballs (sort of...) from Europe showing up from time to time and something always on both special and cask. The bartender was very amiable, and we talked a bit before I delved into my reading, which itself was a fairly easy task, as the place was nice and quiet. There's really no need for the loud[-ish] music or TVs everywhere you go, man. Something tells me actual conversations could be had here...what a novel concept! If there is any food to be had here, I haven't tried it. The pricing seems good for the City (possibly a bit lower than may places).

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Map Room and look forward to going back again. I understand I'm not really in their real neighborhood, but I feel like I am when I'm there...

 1,036 characters

Photo of KDawg
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

In the past I had been back and forth when it comes to the map room. But, since it seems that one or two of the bartenders that would generally give attitude to everyone are gone, I've enjoyed it a lot more. It could be the timing on the days that I've come in, but shooting me looks like I've ordered a miller lite when I've actually ordered a cuvee des jacobins didn't make me feel all that comfortable.

Anyway, the map room has a great and diverse selection both on tap and by the bottle. You don't find bad beer here and it does cater to a knowledgeable crowd, but there isn't the vibing that I've come across in the past.

I really like the atmosphere here. You can always have a conversation with your friends and you don't feel like you are shouting over each other.

The prices for everything is pretty standard for this area of chicago (draft brews $5 or 6), but it is cash only. There is an atm on site, but it does need to be known ahead of time.

 961 characters

Photo of socon67
4.44/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Came here during the week on a Wednesday around noon. Place was fairly empty, but the vibe seems trendy. Plenty of great beer on tap, and a cask. I had the Alpha King and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter; two great beers. Served in proper glassware, and bartender was quite knowledgeable. No food of note, but the beer is where its at. Motif is of a world traveller; Nat Geo magazines and flags around.

Pricing was fiar for what I had. I'd love to ever get back to this place.

Listed as one of the top craft beer bars in the country, and I'd say its a fair claim.

 557 characters

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

The map room I was told is a main go to bar, though a tad less nice neighbourhood than for Revolution or for The Local Option. Friendly bar tenders, kind of a dive bar. A very good bottle selection, and though not that many taps the quality was good with a couple harder to gets. Some emphasis on Belgians. Music a bit loud, then again its at night. I wouldn't go out of my way to come back here, but then again its part of a pub crawl in the area that gives you a good perspective of the Chicago scene.

 503 characters

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

What a great place. Walked here from Piece Brewing, I've been meaning to get here for a few years now, and finally made my way over. Upon arrival, the tap list was a bit disappointing so I moved onto the bottle list, which did not.

Purchased a bottle of Hoppin' Frog BA Naked Evil for $25, a bit pricey I know, but well worth it, as I did not see BA NE anywhere else in the city during my entire visit. The bottle list is very impressive, with limited releases, some sours, some great Belgians and quality American crafts.

The atmosphere was kind of homey. A nice local bar, that if I lived in the are I would definitely hang out in. The bartender was very knowledgeable (been there for 12 years or something) and friendly. A must see, don't put it off. If you are in the Bucktown area, walk over, you will not be disappointed.

 829 characters

Photo of DCon
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Taking a taxi to this place from the Publican, it was tough to see on the corner @ night. There is a neon sign on the front of the place of Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea but their beer signs aren't lit up. We then finally see The Map Room sign on the corner of the place (not lit up b/c the lights were broken and hanging from the sign), and walk in, show our i.d.'s, and are told its a cash only place and there is a atm in the middle of the place.

Very easy going crowd here, all the seats and even places to stand at the bar were taken, so we took one of the seats in the back. The world is painted by an artist on the walls everywhere and very urban, cool "helicopter" fans make up the place. Nice very clean but not a problem as long as our glassware is!

The bartender definitely hooked us up with a rare Fantome AND let me bargain with the price of it. Very cool dude. Otherwise, they were very happy campers. Would have to come here again to give more of a more intricate review of the place.

Tap Handles are extremely high up and are visible with their bottles as well. A HUGE bottle list was given to us after talking with the bartender for quite some time. He then suggested some Fantomes and other Krieks/Lambics that weren't on there. Very awesome!

They open very early (6am) and then close late reminding me of a beer bar, coffee house, and music venue I used to manage in Ballwin, MO. I would like to come here for coffee next time and then also stay for a brew in the early part of the evening. Would highly recommend coming here if your in town!

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.16/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

(Visited 02/2011): Visited Map Room to meet a friend on the way back to the Crystal Lake area from Flossmoor Station. It is located on Hoyne and Armitage on the northwest side of town, not too far off I-90. Parking is pretty sketchy on the neighboring streets.

The inside is relatively small with the bar along the right side, and some high tables opposite. The decor is obviously map-based, and the whole atmosphere has a well-worn and neighborly type feel.

Map Room has an impressive beer list that appears to revolve pretty regularly. Available beers are listed on a board behind the bar. There are around 25 brews on draught, including a cask option (Tyranena Down Dirty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout). Brewers like Boulevard, Dark Horse, Three Floyds, Moylan's, Jolly Pumpking and many more are represented, along with some more common domestics. Over 200 beers on the bottle list from a myriad of domestic microbrewers and imports.

Service was about as good as could be expected on a busy weeknight. The bartender did a decent job keeping our glasses filled and was friendly in a harried sort of way. Points have to be deducted for not taking credit cards, it is just annoying at this point.

Overall this place is definitely near the top of Chicago beer spots, but I personally would try to stop during off-hours next time.

 1,328 characters

Photo of barczar
4.14/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Small bar, went on a sunday afternoon and there was available seating at a table, bar was full. The draft selection was good albeit a bit pricier than similar places in chicago.

Bottle list is extensive but no prices are listed.

I guess I went in with the impression that this was the best beer bar in chicago, but there are better. The cask conditioned ipa I had was obviously old. The head reminded me of a krausen on a fermenting bucket...

I'd recommend small bar near logan square or haymarket before this place unless bottled beer us your focus.

 554 characters

Photo of cratez
3.49/5  rDev -21.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1 | selection: 5

Came here with my girlfriend during a recent trip to Chicago.

VIBE: crowded hard rock/metal dive bar. Surly bouncers check for I.D. at the door. Clientele seems to be a mix of insecure, stuck-up regulars and students getting pie-faced. Not my type of place.

SERVICE: laughably abysmal bartenders. They wouldn’t allow us to run a tab, so we had to pay for each set of drinks, which ends up costing more since you have to tip every time in order to get served. Also, The Map Room calls itself a "traveller’s tavern," but the laundry list of rules contradicts that theme. No debit or credit, order at the bar (no table service), no food available, and no wine or liquor list, even though they offer both. Servers were hostile and made me feel rushed while ordering. The last straw was when I asked the barkeep what type of wine he was giving me (after I requested their best "white" for the lady) and he simply turned the bottle so the label was facing me. I withheld my tip and we left after finishing our drinks. Very pathetic service.

SELECTION: obviously the big (perhaps only?) draw here. Gargantuan draught and bottle lineups with many hard-to-find beers. I went with a 3Floyds Dreadnaught IPA and Rogue Morimoto Imperial Pilsner on tap, and a can of Half Acre Daisy Cutter. Other draughts included Firestone Walker Parabola, Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, and Stiegl Paracelsus Zwickl. In terms of bottles, De Ranke XX Bitter, The Bruery Coton, and Victory Headwaters Pale caught my eye. However, my girl did not enjoy her mixed drinks and she thought the wine was just okay.

OVERALL: this bar boasts one of the best craft beer menus in the city and that is why it has such a high rating. But for me the shoddy service, bizarre set-up, and annoying drunken patrons overshadow the great selection. Although I quaffed three excellent beers, I likely won’t return. A disappointing experience.

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The Map Room in Chicago, IL
4.44 out of 5 based on 341 ratings.
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