Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

The Map Room

Your Rating: None
The Map RoomThe Map Room
BA SCORE
4.46/5
Outstanding
344 Ratings
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:
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

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
222
Ratings:
344
pDev:
9.42%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 276-300 | 301-325 | 326-350  | next → last
Ratings: 344 |  Reviews: 222
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The map room is THE place to go if you only have one place to go in Chicago. It has a typical long bar with small tables filling in the rest of the area. The line of taps and the wall of beers gets your heart pumping and your mind thinking the minute you walk in the door.

They have many good beers on tap and the time they had the real ale fest they had a wonderful stout on cask. They have something like 25 beers on tap and more bottles that you could go through in a month. It seems like every time I go in there I end up talking to a stranger about beer, sports, the weather or whatnot. It is a very friendly place with lots of interesting facets.

I think its the 1st Tuesday of very month, check the website to be sure, that they have international night. They have food from a different country that I have heard is a nice spread, but I go for the beers.

They also do breakfast with very good coffee and some continental fair with pastries and the like. But I go for the beer.


If you want to meet the local player in the brewing/beer field or what to take some newbies for an interesting session try their beer school. They usually have a lecture by a local brewer or a sampling of an interesting style of beer.

The Map Room is all about good beer. A pleasure to stop in for a night and enjoy the atmosphere, people, and especially the beer.

 1,367 characters

Photo of RedBaron
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

One of the best beer joints in the city, located in the Bucktown neighborhood.

I stopped in to the Map Room on Mardi Gras, 2005, and had a couple of outstanding beers. Amongst the myriad of wonderfully kept brews, I chose two: A large draught of St. Bernardus 12 abt, served in its own goblet, and a 12 oz. bottle of Dogfishhead Burton Baton.

Both beers were outstanding, but in very different ways. The Bernardus was a smooth, spiritual journey through the throes of a Belgian dark and rich abbey brew. It's one that I supped for nearly 45 minutes as I chatted up some locals, expounding the virtues and necessities of imbibing on Fat Tuesday.

Leaving Belgium, I ventured to the US, and inquired the bartender about the latest Dogfishhead product. What a strange, but very satisfying bottle this Burton Baton was! A hoppy beer, but with a very solid and hearty malt middle character -- and a pronounced alcohol kick in the end -- this was another beer to savor and relax with. Again, my bar mates and I discussed deep issues about which region of the country makes the better pale ales, which abbey beer is closer to achieving divinity, etc. Although we couldn't come to an ultimate agreement on these issues, the one thing we could reach common ground on was our love for the Map Room.

This is a beer institution that justly deserves high praise. From the friendly staff (we all agreed that the staff here is much more amiable than the usually stoic and staid staff at another good beer bar up in Andersonville), the outstanding beer selections, to the Tuesday night ethnic cuisine night (it was Colombian fare this Mardi Gras), to the overall relaxed atmosphere in the place, this is a must find for any beer traveller to Chicago. One word of caution is that weekends can be quite crowded. It was a delight to be there on Tuesday night, as it wasn't too packed -- yet there were enough revellers to enjoy the pre-Lenten Baccanalia.


"Laissez les bons Temps rouler!"

 1,987 characters

Photo of slander
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Last night in Chicago. Mark (the Connecticut kid) wanted to hit some bar at the top of some building that gives you some sick view. I was skeptical of the beer selection so I opted out. Thought it would be a better idea to hit The Map Room and surprisingly, it took very little convincing to turn Mark, Geoff and Mike onto the idea. Hey, stick your arm out, we're gonna need a cab...

(While I remember, here's a little something for you cabbies. When you pass the place I want to go to and I say, "That was it, that was it right back there", what I'm implying is that I want you to stop the cab right there and let me get out. If you think that what I meant was "Loop the block again, please keep me from drink, and further run up the tab", then you are not understanding me correctly. See, now this is probably why I barked "STOP NOW!!!!" at you. I hope this helps you. If there's anything more I can do to help enhance your communication skills, you'll let me know. Yeah, I know, you're welcome).

It's a long narrow room with an "L" shaped bar that seats a dozen and a half and a half dozen tables running adjacent to the rear. Red walls with cut windows and bookshelves overhead lined with white strung Xmas lighting, beer signs, posters and placards. Pressed tin ceiling, spot track lighting and hung flags overhead. Long narrow windows to the very front and to the rear, a half dozen tables behind and a half dozen raised bar tables in front of the "free pool table". That whole back area is done up with "map" wallpaper and giant maps of continents painted on the back walls. Above the bar lie blackboards listing the current tap selections, TV's in the corners and a collection of various bottles displayed overhead. And glasses of pretzel rods on the bar to help my disposition.

26 taps, a cask (3 Floyds Robert the Bruce), and a list of some 200 bottles. The tap list is a nice mix of nearly half micro (Bear Republic Black Bear Stout, Hop Rod Rye & Racer X, North Coast Old Rasputin & Red Seal, Bells 2 Hearted Ale, Capital Dopplebock, Flossmoor Helles Maibock, Great Lakes Edmond Fitzgerald Porter, 3 Floyds Alpha King, Sierra Nevada Brown Ale) and the other half imports Belgian (Kwak, Delirium Tremons, Corsendonk Brown, DeKoninck, EKU 28, St. B 12, Liefman's Kriek, Piraat, and De Dolle Dulle Teve "Mad Bitch"), German/Austrian (Weihenstephan Hefe, BBK Marzen, Stiegl Pils), and Fullers ESB, Guinness and Unibroue Blanche De Chamblay.

The bottle list is just fantastic. Belgians (multiple offerings from Cantillion, Fantome, De Dolle, De Ranke, Hanssens, Chouffe, Liefmans, Lindemans, Duchesse, Orval, Duvel, Westmalle), German (Schneider, Ayinger, Weihenstephan), English (Youngs, Sam Smith), and micro (at least a pair of each... Bells, Allagash, Goose Island, DogFishHead, Great Lakes, Anderson Valley, Great Divide, Avery, Rogue, Victory, Mendicino, Anchor).

In the corner... I didn't even notice it before, or I did and just thought it was something else, is a computer set to the Map Room website. "Don't get lost in town, map your way" or something. I did something better. I brought up BA, checked my beermail, and mapped my way to our next destination...

 3,184 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I'm not sure I can add anything that has not been said about this bar as far as description on the laout and what a wonderful selection of beers they have, but I do want to put my story out so people may reconsider this as an option when with a group of folks that are not as passionate about beer as some of us here are.

I have been trying to go to the map room for a while now. We were visiting some college friends in Chicago this weekend, and I got them to agree to let me stop in for a few beers. They were all apprehensive, as they drink bud or liquor. Needless to say, I was able to get a bud drinker to enjoy Liefmans Kriek off tap, and another bud drinker to continually steal sips from my glass of Cantillon Iris. Our stop for a few drinks turned into a nightlong stay. They serve hard alcohol, as well as their great beer, so my friends had something to turn to when they got bored with the beer.

The service was beyond compare. I never stood at the bar more than a minute before being served. My beer all came in proper glassware and fresh as can be. They have a beer list that is rivaled by few, with more beers that I have not had than ones that I have. I knocked down the atmosphere because I would have liked a little less smoke, and a little better seating. Everyone that I encountered there was very nice, some offering us more chairs to accomodate our large group, and the bouncer pointing us to a large area when our table grew too large for where it was situated. This is nuber one on my list of places to go in Chicago now. I can't recommend it enough

 1,581 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.94/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I went to The Map Room last night for the first time to meet up with fellow BA kmpitz2. Wow! Upon entering the long, somewhat slender room you feel warm and cozy. The big bar is on the right featuring a wall of the latest selections and random beer paraphenelia. Pick up a beer menu and what do you see?? 200+ bottled beers and over 25 taps...the only semi-macro brew in the place was Guinness.

We enjoyed an exceptional bottle of Cantillon Iris, everything is served with care in the proper glassware and they even rinse each glass before presenting it to you. After awhile we had quite a few people sitting and standing around a small table. The bouncer at the door was kind enough to notice and took the time to push some tables together for us in the back so we could have more room! To top that off all of the bartenders were extremely friendly and helpful.

I cannot praise this establishment enough...St. Bernardus Abt 12 on tap and Three Floyd's Pride & Joy on cask! A true beer lovers paradise with so many amazing beers it's hard to decide what to have next. If you find yourself anywhere in the city of Chicago make the extra effort to find your way to the Map Room....I know I will be finding my way back there soon!

 1,233 characters

Photo of Erniek
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

When one first walks into this place they imediately feel like they belong there. It is set up almost like a family room with a library and bar area. I liked the open feel to it and found the other patrons at the bar very friendly. Along with a Bell's Two Hearted I ordered a St Bernardus APT 12 on tap. I am a fan of Two Hearted and this was the first I had on tap. I was not disappointed. But what really made my visit memorable was the St Bernardus APT 12 on tap. A big warm malty sweet dark ale with a nice lasting head that is hard to stop sipping. I am not a big belgium fan but this fine ale has convinced me to pursue the quadruple style beer. I enjoyed this beer so much it is now forever linked in my mind to a wonderful Saturday afternoon visit to this very inviting establishment. I can't wait to go back.

 817 characters

Photo of Sixpoint
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Where the hell am I? I'm at the map room.

This place is awesome. I often find myself in Chicago, and when I do, I always manage a way to get to the Map Room. A little about the place...

The place is set up like a neighborhood pub. The bar is long and rectangular. In the back of the bar, there is a (free) pool table and a couple of dart boards. There are booths and tables around the perimeter.

On any given night, you can sit back and enjoy the revelry. The bar is in Wrigleyville (I think) and as a result, there are a lot of 20-somethings and 30-somethings enjoying the revelry.

The service is always good. Most of the bartenders are very knowledgeable about their beers, and if you need suggestions, they will help you.

The selection is impressive. There are at least 20 different tap lines, and most of the time, they have some really rare items on tap. If you want bottles, their beer menu scans for pages and pages....

The best time to go is on a Sunday afternoon. You'll find yourself in there with only a dozen or so people. Since this place isn't that large, it can get a bit clausterphobic on a Friday or Saturday night.

 1,150 characters

Photo of mkopera24
4.14/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I've lived in Chicago for 3 years now. I've constantly heard, "You love beer....I can't believe you haven't been to the Map Room."
Ok, everyone, guess what. Last night, it finally happened. Why didn't I listen to you earlier???
This place is a great atmosphere for any BA who lives in or is planning on visiting Chicago. 20 beers on tap from the menu on hand. Then on the other side, I couldn't even count the number of bottled beers from all over the country as well as outside. It's kind of a small place, doesn't serve food, but if you love beer, this is the place for you. The bar tender served everyone's drinks with nice conversation and great knowledge of the beers they served. Always served the beer in the right type of drinkware. I even struck up a conversation with another beer lover. Referred hm to BA.com of course! Great place for any BA to not only enjoy great beer, but also to turn some uneducated beer drinkers what good beer really is!

 958 characters

Photo of ngandhi
4.94/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

When I was a young, frustrated teenager, I'd sit nights on my parents' porch and cut into my journal about how nothing was right in the world. Women were crazy. Men were goons. Everyone was violent and out to get me. And in this common, teenage angst was a hope that, if I screamed loud enough, the Lord or whatever was watching over me would one day get so sick of my miserable life that it would send me to some happy place. There would probably be sunshine, rainbows, and bunnies.

Replace the sunshine with the flicker from a television and the warm glow of free high-speed internet, and the rainbows with the glistening tap handles of a consciously brillant selection of beer. And tack on a free pool table.

The Map Room speaks to the longevity of craft beer and its culture. The beer selection is not just enormous, it is expertly conceived with an ideal balance between American micros, Belgians, and Germans, with some basic British staples. I am rarely impressed by a large selection; anyone can order blindly out of a distributor's catalog. But here it seems that the bar has specifically chosen each of these beers, and I am honored to point toward any draught or bottle and be overjoyed. Everything is served at such exacting temperatures, it seems like each beer has its own fridge.

The service is stunningly attentive. My first night at The Map Room was on an unusually busy holiday where every table and barstool was occupied. Yet, there was never a substantial wait for an order and the three bartenders controlled the customers like a matador does his bull, waving a large drape of brewery-specific goblets, IPA glasses, and pints to calm us as we charged eagerly to our drink. This is a humble, unpretentious staff that handles its taxing job with purpose and joy.

The cigarette smoke is managed. The crowd, though loud, is remarkably diverse and respectful.

Perhaps it was the two goblets of St. Bernardus, the three pints of 90 Minute, the I2PA, the Olde School Barleywine, the free shot, the '95 Rogue Imperial I brought to share, or that last beer I don't remember, but I left this bar a happier person. There is good in the world.

Next time I expect to see some bunnies.

Relax, relax.
ng

 2,233 characters

Photo of Southernbrew
4.24/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A nice looking place, very crowded and loud though. I think a band was playing that night and I felt a little out of place in a shirt and tie, no problems though. About 20 beers on tap with several belgians, Bear Republic, Sierra Nevada, Great Lakes, North Coast. Several others in bottles. I was helped quickly and my beer was delivered quickly. I had an opportunity to try Sierra Nevada's IPA and was pleased to find out it was only $3.50 a pint, so the prices seemed good. A very nice place to visit, I would like to stop in again on a night there's not a band playing.

 572 characters

Photo of nogoodreason
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

There is a palpable love of beer in this place.

A long, narow room that was fairly crowded when we arrived. Regardless, we were able to find seating immediately.

They have a great number of beers on tap, focusing mostly on Belgian (St. Bernardus Abt 12, Tripel Karmeliet, Saison Dupont, Delerium Tremens and more) and US Micro selections (Bell's Two-Hearted, DFH 90 Minute, Allagash White, etc.) with several British and German options thrown in for good measure. One thing that pleased me greatly was a lack of macroswill. Very few bars have this broadness of selection without throwing the macros a bone.

The service was remarkable, all beers are served in the brewer's branded glassware. On top of that, each glass is hit with a rinser before being used in order to promote head retention. Talk about going that extra step. The bartenders though obviously busy, were friendly and knowledgable.

The only thing against this place was the noise. The music was loud and the crowd equally loud. We were able to converse at our table, though it required raised voices. I think this place would be even better on a week night.

A definite must-see when you're in Chicago.

 1,185 characters

Photo of beerinator
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Wow.

We visited the Map Room during the dusk hours, right before it got dark. The light coming in from the windows lit up the national geographics that are displayed across from the bar. The entire place had this feeling of age. The bar is covered with the type of countertop material that you would find in your grandmothers house.

The draft selection was super. There were local beers as well as a few belgian draft selections that I haven't seen before. The bottle selection was enormous. The only issue that I had with the beer selection was the fact that none of the boards or menus had price listings. The prices were listed in tiny font behind the bar. The bartender even had to squint to see the prices.

The service here was great. Our bartender knew her stuff and you could tell from the way she described beers that she had previously sampled quite a few of the Map Room's selection.

Don't miss this place. It's a cheap taxi ride from downtown, and it's worth every dime. Just be sure to eat first.

There was no food other than pretzels and nuts.

 1,071 characters

Photo of fastfwd
5/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Probably the best place that I've visited so far. The neighborhood was impressive. This was my first visit to Chicago. After visiting the Sears Tower we went to the Map Room. It really gave me a positive opinion of what living in Chicago could be like. I soon realized that every neighborhood has a bar on the corner, but I would have to wonder what it would be like to live in the one that has the Map Room on its corner :)

The bar is small enough to be cozy, but large enough to have a stage for live music performances at the end of it, pool table, and darts I think. I was sitting there drinking my DogFish Head 60 minute IPA (got a taste of 90, but I think they may have been hording it, hehe) and wishing Kelly Willis were on that stage.... I could die right after that and be very happy. (Look both ways when crossing the street - I nearly died anyway not paying attention leaving the joint)

My trip up to Chicago was a sorta fumbled affair and I didn't get together a good reference list of what to try, but I think you would probably find it here and I wasn't disappointed.

 1,088 characters

Photo of countblah
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Great beer bar. Wonderful selection of Midwest micros and Belgians on the 30 or so taps. Can always count on a selection including Three Floyds, Bells, Great Lakes, and of course Goose Island. Maybe a couple less Belgians available than at Hop Leaf, but the prices at the Map Room are generally lower. Keep an eye on their website (see above) for a fairly regularly updated list of beers on tap. Proper glassware is provided.

The Map Room brings in a local brewer to host beer school once a month. Good opportunity to sample 10 different beers and meet other beer lovers like yourself.

The only negative is the lack of space on busier nights, but usually tables will open up if you are patient. Compared to other bars in the city, this one is definitely not so overcrowded that it would keep me away. The bar tenders do a great job of serving during the busiest of times.

My favorite bar in the city...also helps that it's within walking distance of home.

 964 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

One of the trifecta of Chicago beer establishments IMHO (the other 2 being Goose Island and Hopleaf Bar). On quiet nights this place is truly special as you an hear yourself think and find folks reading books and newspapers and savoring great Belgians and Micros. On busy nights, well people are enjoying the beer, but the relative size of the place becomes a bit of a hindrance. Summer is nice when they can open up the big windows and enjoy the lake breeze (well sort of).
As to the beer, great rotating taps of Belgians, popular US Micros as well as some newer micros that are a little more unique. I did not count but there must have been approx. 30 beers on draught with even more on bottles. If you are truly looking for Belgians go to Hopleaf, if you want to get a little broader variety head to the Map Room.
Only advice if your going on a weekend night is get there before 9:00 PM, get some seats at the bar or a table and don't give them up for anything !

 968 characters

Photo of DrewBeechum
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I love the Map Room. I'd kill for the Map Room. I want someone to demolish my neighbor's house and put the Map Room there. Of course if they did that, I'd have no need for my own place since I'd live there.

As the Big Dog noted the smoke is a bit distracting if you live in California, but it's not California, now is it?

Everytime I've been to the Map Room it's been jumping and yet the bartenders still make sure to get you taken care of. And they'll even help steer you through the ponderous beer selection should you need it.The beer engine always has something interesting on board, so take advantage of it.

Oh and for the geeky among us, they have a WiFi connection in the bar that you can take advantage of. Nothing like charging your expense account for that third pint as you muck about on the internet!

 822 characters

Photo of philipt
4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

This is a great beer bar. Good atmosphere, no great atmosphere, incredible beer selection, and extremely friendly people (maybe it was the NC accent?).

Lots of beers on tap and in bottles that I wanted to try. Too bad it was a semi-non-drinking occasion. Next time it will be a "spend all day there" type trip. The decor was really cool with National Geographics, painted maps, and other cool paint/color throughout. It was actually smaller than anticipated, but that made it that much better. Good service ande friendly people in the bar round out the experience.

If your in Chicago, or even within driving distance, this is a must go-to place.

 651 characters

Photo of FirkinDave
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Man ohhhh man.. This place is on a must do bi-weekly rotation. over 150 bottles and over 20 drafts.

AMBIENCE: The place is a sweet bar. Walk in and bam!, theres the bar. It's not huge, but this isn't a pack 'em in push 'em out place. Bar tables are plenty (5 or 6) and if you go all the way back (too far away from the beer for me) theres a pool table and a stage. Decor is obvious from the name. Maps all over the wall, old beer flutes/glasses abound. Not many smokers i've seen there, but the place has high enough ceilings to cut down on stagnant smoke if any. 2 T.V.'s i think.
BEER: Killer selection. Taps always fresh because turnover is so high. Get there quick or your favorite beer will be gone! Really too many beers, styles, varietys to list.
OTHER: Monday is Belgium beer night $1 off all belgian beers. And they have a nice fruit, cheese and sausage spread after 4pm to go with the beer. Other days of the week include other great specials and cool nibbles. They really go out of there way to make this place great. Great bartenders, very knowledgeable staff. Great for the beer noob to the beer nerd.

 1,122 characters

Photo of jackndan
4.64/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

A MidWest Institution, and one of the finest Beer Bars in Chicago, Illinois and the Country. It looks like a typical Chicago corner tavern, with a fantastic selection of beers in the bottle and on tap. Experienced Barkeeps, can make a recommendation, or pour you a beer like it should be poured. An always evolving menu of brews, and a heavyweight as far as distribution is concerned. At least 20 taps, a beer engine, and well over a 100 bottled beers.

Very relaxed attitude when the place is not packed to the rafters and an exceptional place to enjoy a leisurely pint on a weekend afternoon. At night, it can get very crowded, but the service keeps up fairly well.

No food, but they do have International Night, where local restaurants are invited to set out a spread.

They have a beer school, where local brewers and others come to talk, and teach others about good beer.

Absolutely an essential stop if you are in Chicago.

 941 characters

firstprev| 276-300 | 301-325 | 326-350  | next → last
The Map Room in Chicago, IL
Place rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 344 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.