The Map Room

The Map RoomThe Map Room
BA SCORE
93.9%
Liked This Place
4.46 w/ 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
Liked:
323
Avg:
4.46/5
pDev:
9.42%
 
 
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Ratings: 344 |  Reviews: 222
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.85/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

I decided to make the Map Room one of my beer destinations in Chicago. The neighborhood, Bucktown, is cool and young- and so is the Map Room.

I dig the vibe so much... would hang out there forever if I lived around. Cozy, woodsy, familial and neighborhoody. Just all-around comfortable and welcoming. They're not kidding about the maps! I sat right next to Spain. What? :-)

The beer selection was good but not great when I visited. 22 taps plus 4 taps crossed-out and gone, including St Bernardus 12, Smutty Homunculus, Dreadnaught. Nothing exciting but solid, with some good Belgians (Cuvee Jacobins, Urthel Hop-IT, Lindemans), some Midwest beers (New Holland Dragon's Milk, Arcadia, Great Lakes) and classics like New Belgium and Bear Republic. Page-long selection of bottles too.

Sadly, no locals. No love for Revolution, Goose or Half Acre??

Slightly-gruff-but-efficient bartender, more prone to talk to locals than a stranger like me. Didn't see a food menu, but enjoyed some pretzel sticks at my table, along with my Wi-Fi and shit. Damn comfortable I was!

Reasonable price, $5-$7 per beer, $1 off on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Cash only, so wrong. They serve half pints if you ask. And coffee. And juices. Weird place. I love Chicago!

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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...

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Photo of emerge077
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Midwest and Chicago BA's, this is your mecca. A craft beer institution since 1992.

Quality and service here are unparalleled in Chicago. The friendly staff is very helpful in navigating the potentially mind-bending selection, and catering to your tastes. Samples are easily given, along with advice and good conversation if it's slow. They do their best to accommodate, even on weekends when a packed house is guaranteed. Free food 4 times a week (mon-tue, sat-sun afternoon), 2011: now only snacks on Mondays, check calendar for special events with food.

The bar itself is long, and the space is fairly narrow, but opens up toward the back. Nice topographic map fresco on the back walls, dotted with assorted tin signs, mirrors, and Belgian breweriana. The Map Room hosts many great events, international night on Tuesdays is consistently my favorite. This is the place I was finally able to taste Dark Lord, and dozens of other rarities I may never see again.

Yes, they do get crowded on weekends and certain weeknights, but the popularity is certainly deserved. There's a tendency to crank up the music after 8pm, so be prepared to kick out the jams in the evening. Smoke-free as of 2008.

2010: Always solid and dependable, after a hundred visits. Unparalleled in many ways. The people here really go above and beyond to elevate the beer experience. If you meet Laura, tell her thanks for running such a cool place. A true beer advocate for life.

You can't ask for a better bar...

2011: Regular updated beer list:
http://www.beermenus.com/cities/chicago/bars/map-room

Consistently some of the fairest beer prices in town. Always a $4 pint of the month, and a draft list that changes by the hour practically. BYO food, there are dozens of great places nearby that deliver. Entitled fussy types please go elsewhere...

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Photo of Billolick
4.34/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Funky, friendly, comfortable, well worn kind of place. Just about 5 minutes from the Piece brewpub in this fun, lively part of Chicago. As a geography aand history, teacher this place was a natural for me. Maps, flags, charts, Natural geopraphic magazines, I loved it. 26 on tap, one cask, looks like at least 250 in bottles, no shit beers! LOTS of quality selections, lots of character, a pool table in the rear, very friendly and knowledgable barkeep, no food, just pretzels, reasonable prices at $4/pint....I could go on and on, this place is top notch...and well worth making it your local, if you're a local, or a worthy destination for a visit, if you're a visitor, as I was.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The sign on the side of the building advised, “Don’t be lost.” Well, as a beer traveler trying to make his way to The Map Room for only the third time in his life, I felt compelled to start with a FOUND-ers, and in this case, the Back Rye. Thanks again to Sopor for having opened my eyes to the magic of rye.

They are located on the corner of Hoyne and Armitage Streets with the doorway on the southeast corner. The long bar started just inside the door, to the right and lo and behold there was an empty seat, so I found myself pretty quickly upon arrival. I thought I heard some voices coming from the buffet just to the left of the door, but before I could act on it, the Melissa Leo-look-alike bartender with dreads came over and complimented me on my beard. It was like home, sweet home. Hers was an appropriate comment, since the little voices that I had heard were saying things like “I like your beard.”; “Neat jacket.”; “Cool glasses.”; “Great shoes.” I was baffled, since I did not see anyone and my psychosis usually does not come on full strength until much later in the day. When I inquired, Megan (the bartender) told me that because it was the afternoon of the ChiSox/Cubs game, the bar had gotten a barbecue buffet from Leon’s BBQ at 2418 N. Ashland Street and the buffet was complimentary! Very complimentary, if you ask me. Ha ha. I simply cannot resist these jokes. Thank you, I’ll be here all evening.

The Beer Menu looked like the old elective curriculum choice sheet from when I was a high school student. It was on 8.5” x 14” paper, printed front (draft beer) and back (bottled beer), with the reverse in agate-type because there were so many of them. I urge you to check out “A Traveler’s Guide to the Map Room.” This had to be one of the most comprehensive explanations of beers and their styles that I have ever seen, outside of a full-blown book.

The space was long and narrow, so let us reorient ourselves at the entrance and face aft. To the immediate right was the bar. The back bar was an amalgam of a coffeemaker/cappuccino machine; wood shelves with whiskies; and glassware of every shape and stripe. Above the back bar were a total of eight blackboards, detailing specials and upcoming beers. To the left of the back bar was a tribute to past taps; three shelves of spent bottles; a ceramic Chouffe gnome; and in the left corner, a cooler that would set any beer traveler to drooling. Proceeding aft were the washrooms, still on the right-hand side, followed by a map of Chicago neighborhoods, a collage of US maps, then a raised-relief world’s continents mural that extended all of the way aft, past the pool table and wrapped around to the back wall. The left wall started off as a series of bookshelves, primarily filled with National Geographic magazines, but also with quality brewspapers. The overhead was a pressed-tin ceiling with a ceiling fan, plus the walls were ringed with multi-national flags and tin signs. It was a cartography buff’s dream.

Are there any specials offered? Yes, but on Fridays, “You’re already special.” Aw, shucks. Gee, thanks.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of misternebbie
4.17/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Dogbrick
4.16/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.51/5  rDev -21.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

This was the third and final stop on our Sunday 8/26/07 Chicago pubcrawl. This bar is quite a cab ride if you are staying downtown, seemed to be located way out in a suburb. Walked in after 10:00 PM to the blasting music of some hardcore band (mostly heavy guitar and screaming). So as we tired to get comfortable, all we could hear was this wailing rock and smell the dozens of people smoking cigarettes. The place had a good look to it, with globes/maps and beers stuff everywhere, but it was hard to enjoy. The selection of beers was quite extensive though. Over 25 on tap and at least 300 bottles. I had the Great Lakes Pils and a Belgian saison called D'Erepe Mere. I liked the Belgian more. My wife had the Arcadian Whitsun and the Rader Blonde. The Rader was tasty. The music did settle down as the night went on. The service there is just enough to border on "sufficient" and not exactly "lazy". I guess I read a lot on BA about this bar, and was expecting more. This place seemed more like a local hangout/rock bar with just a great selection of beer thrown in. Probably would have been different if I was with a bunch of guys, but I was with my wife (we both love beer) and it just wasn't our scene.

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Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I think my expectations were far too high coming in to this place. I was expecting a world class place, best in Chicago. I found a nice neighborhood bar, no more, no less.

I walked here through changing neighborhoods after a visit to Revolution Brewing. Map Room has a large bar on the right with some high tops to the right and a good sized dining area behind. Lots of TVs around, all inexplicably tuned to an ESPN Classic show about some mid-'80's Laker team rather than the AL playoffs. They changed one (!) TV to the game after a while.

Despite the good sized, largely 20's crowd on a Monday night, I was able to grab a seat at the bar pretty quickly after arrival. the tap list is pretty extensive, if short on the wow factor. Lots of empty taps too for some reason. I struck out on my first three choices and switched to the bottle list. Stuck with local choices like Alpha King and Half Acre and was not disappointed. The bartender was fine.

All in all, a pleasant place I'd be happy to stop into. But I was expecting a destination spot. On this scale, it disappointed.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

After my flight into Chicago, I stopped here thinking I could grab a pint and some grub. Sad (or not so sad) to say, all they had was pints. So pints it was.

Easy to find and got lucky with a parking spot right in front. It was a Fri afternoon around 3pm or so.

They had a shitload of beers here. Too many to name or count. All I know is that I had a Goose Island and a Delirium and both were awesome. Service was pretty good. Immediate greeting but a bit lackluster after the first beer was served. A little pricey but I would say right on par with the rest of Chicago. I would certainly come back here anytime in Chicago.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.46/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Holy crap these guys have a lot of beer, all of it top-shelf. They presented almost everything in the brewery glassware which is kind of unique outside of Belgium. There were about 30 taps, and unfortunately the website list wasn't updated (I was really looking forward to St Bernardus ABT 12 on tap but it ran out a long time ago). But the beers they did have were outstanding:
Cantillon
Saison DuPont
Two Hearted Ale (on engine)
Ayinger
Alpha King
and more...

The only negative point is that it was pretty crowded, loud, and filled with smoke. But still worth a trip for the selection.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

My wife and I visited around midnight on a crowded April Friday the 13th. Our hotel was closer to downtown and we took the blue line "L" train to the Western stop and walked about 10 minutes. I contacted them via email a couple days prior and they set me up with the public transit info - a plus for service prior to the visit.

We had to wait outside a couple of minutes because they were at capacity. This is good because it's a long, narrow room and not incredibly large considering pool tables occupy one end. Once we were in, we lucked out and got two seats at the bar. As others have posted, they have about as good of a beer selection you'll find anywhere. We went local with a belgium spring beer from Three Floyds, Cane & Abel from Two Brothers and far away with LaChoufe IPA.

While they do have tables, I believe all beers are ordered through the bar (no servers). They had four bartends doing an excellent job keeping the drinks flowing. Our bartended even took the time to ask us how our beers were and if we had any questions.

A couple of items I think would have improved the experience
- I come from a clean air state (Ohio) and it's difficult for me to enjoy good beer and food in a smoke polluted room. I realize this is an Illinois law and I may be in the minority, but it bugs me and I'm on my soapbox about clean air. In the Map Room's favor, they had four very powerful smoke eaters - so powerful they were blowing too much "clean" air on my wife and we had to switch.

- The Cane & Able I ordered was advertised as being on the beer engine. They served it from the normal tap and when I commented, they said the beer engine was out and asked if I still wanted it. A bit picky, but they could have wiped it off the board if it was gone.

- All large inventory beer bars could benefit from listing their beers by style or include a brief description about the beer. I'm working my way into Belgium beers and The Map Room had a ton. Simply listed them out alphabetically by brewery does little to help with beer navigation/exploration.

Yes, these are picky points but I had to find something for my review. As you see by my scores, this is a great establishment in a city with more than it's share of macro domestic drinkers. Keep up the great work!

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

The Map room is a must stop while in Chicago. Easy to find, located at the corner of Hoyne & Armitage, I would recommend public transportation, as parking is tough especially in the evening.

As you enter, you will immediately see the bar along the south wall. Note the impressive collection of tap handles. Keeping with their travelers theme, you will see beers from all over but with a concentration on quality Midwest Micros. You can always count on a couple of selections from 3Fs & 2 Brothers. I have never had an off or old beer & tap lines seem to be in immaculate shape.

I have always had good service here. The bartenders are hardworking professionals that know how to treat their customers and the beer. This is a knowledgeable staff.

The Map room seems to attract a nice crowd with lots of regulars. I think this adds to the atmosphere of the bar. Strike-up a conversation with the person next to you and see where it leads.

Note that they offer some very nice special events that are obviously beer related. They also have some tasty free food on Saturdays.

Every town deserves a beer bar as good as this!

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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.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

ah yes the map room - my first visit, with my friend Carri who recently moved 2 blocks from here

The map room doesnt have food but we ate at a sweet cuban restaurant right on armitage across the street, so check that out if you're hungry

the place was packed at 8pm on a tuesday and gradually became more comfortable as the night went on. We managed to snag 2 corner seats at the very long bar. The interior of this place has been well described in many reviews - there were a few tv's which was nice since the cubs were playing.

service was strong - bartenders knew their beer and were prompt

the tap list was most certainly inferior to hopleaf. Surly wasnt present, the flossmoor selection was gone, and the three floyds were pretty standard. There wasnt anything too terribly special but there wasnt anything less than good either.

as you flip the tap list you get to the very small print bottle list that is about 4 miles long. I had a bottle of the meantime coffee porter, ename tripel, and a 22oz flossmoor vishnu's vice IPA which was awesome.

my partner in crime stuck to the belgian pales and we had a nice time at the map room indeed.

bottles seemed a little steep but it is Chicago and it is premium beer.

really a toss-up with hopleaf for me

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Map room is a must stop on all of my return trips to Chicago, and was a regular place when I lived there and was active with the Chicago Beer Society.

Always a great selection of local and regional domestic craft beers on tap, and often rare Belgian offerings can be found here as well. Prices are high as far as beer goes overall but when you look at the specialized nature of HQ craft beer they're not so bad.

Literally it is a map room, with maps used as wallpaper for decoration. Cute corner location, though it can get very cramped and noisey inside.

It's also a pain to get here if you're staying downtown and have to use public transportation.

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Photo of Canada_Dan
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of orangesol
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

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

A perfect bar. Perfect. Atmosphere is awesome dark wood, maps all over the place, a nice display of bottles, taps, and breweriana and just a great, cozy, welcoming, homey, neighberhood locals bar feel to the place. Located in a great neighberhood (buck town/wicker park) this really is the best bar in Chicago, and perhaps the mid-west? Quality of my beers were exceptional. I had a cask pride and joy, and a bottle of dark lord (sold at cost!) as well as a girardin black label. I also got to talk to some local reps about new beers coming out (some interesting stuff from Uerige, hitachino, jw lees, and others!!!!) and sample a 1986 sake and some YuZu wine from the Kiuchi brewery in Japan! Service was fast, friendly, and super knowledgable, and I can't wait to get back to this freakin' place! Just a perfect bar to ME!

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Photo of mynie
4.16/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Update:

Bar has gotten much more popular and crowded. The smoking ban has helped things out a little bit, but the place is usually packed with an unseemly combination of fratboys and hepsters. Selection is good, but in the past few years there have sprung up a huge number of other beerbars throughout the midwest that easily rival or beat it.

Still an essential place to stop, but no longer is it the mecca of the midwestern beer scene.
----
On the Metra Union Pacific Northwest line, get off at Clyborn Walk up Armitage about a half mile.

G-good god.

Narrow little hole in the wall. I was expecting something bigger and more stately, like the kind of place where explorers discuss their adventures before emarking upon their adventures.

The beer. Oh lord the beer. The best beer selection I have ever seen in a bar, ever. Tons of incredibly rare and exclusive stuff. A-and ALL the American pints were $3.50. No shit. Racer Five, Gumballhead, Sierra Nevada's Torpedo, and more and more and more. All for as much as you might expect to pay for a Miller, at a trendy bar.

The atmosphere got a little smoky near the end of our visit, but that's just what bars do, I guess. The music was great, a satellite indie station, and the servers, though busy, were usually very friendly. Sometimes when I visit I get that bad vibe I sometimes get at record stores where the clerks roll their eyes a bit because I don't look properly edgy.

A must visit.

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Photo of Iamjeff6
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of spointon
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Visited on 9/4/2008 with fellow BA "roadhouse".

As a Chicago suburbanite, this place is very easy to get to via the interstate (its just a few blocks from an exit). Parking can be a challenge but on this visit we scored an amazing parking space 20 feet from the entrance.

The Map Room is a narrow, deep building that has a long bar to the right and scattered seating throughout the rest of the space. There are a million cool brewerania items all over the walls and above the bar.

Lots of taps provided a great selection of American craft brews and imports (especially Belgian ales, which I love). The bottle list was insanely long - easily over 100 choices. There were also a few daily specials - the night I was there it was 50 cents off any non-Belgian draft and also $4 Capitol Brewery Autumnal Fire. The cask ale was FFF Pride and Joy, also for $4.

This place has an amazing assortment of glassware and they serve every beer in an appropriate glass, if not the beer's own brewery labeled glass.

The bartenders seemed very knowledgable about beer styles and definitely knew how to pour an assortment of styles.

For a Thursday night after 9:00pm, the place was packed and the music was comfortably loud, so don't expect to carry on in-depth conversations at that time of day.

Overall a great place that lives up tp the hype. I will return again and again.

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Photo of BarrelAgedG
4.28/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

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

Well worth the two hundred mile trip from Madison. The highest quality selection I have ever seen. The Map Room is simply a brilliant beer bar.

Great atmosphere! I expected this place to be pretentious and sterile because generally, bars that offer such a large selection of high caliber of beers tend to create a high caliber disinfected atmosphere that screams anything but beer. Likewise their staffs usually become snobbish and arrogant. Not so with the Map Room.

The map room has the black painted floors that are so typical to big city clubs. Its walls are pasted with maps and travel themed objects. The back third of the bar has textured walls and painted ceiling that give one the impression of drinking within a globe. The relatively small place utilizes its space well and offers ample opportunity to sit and relax. Free pool and wireless are nice touches also. Overall, the place feels just about how a beer bar ought too.

My notes on the more subtle aspects of the atmosphere include the specials board, which lists the daily happy hour or beer specials. Friday’s special states simply, “You’re already special” or something to that effect, which I found cute. Thursday’s special was even better, though. It advertised $4 bottles of miller lite. To me advertising ML at $4 a bottle as a bargain in a place that only charges $6 for a very large glass of St. Bernie 12 is kind of a subtle way of saying, “stay the hell out swill sippers.” Likewise, the graffiti on the bathroom walls touts quality brews while slamming swill. It’s just great.

The staff is of equal quality. I spoke at length to a bartender who really knew her beer and scotch (the map room also has good scotch). I was impressed.

All of these great qualities would be nothing if it weren’t for the famous selection at the Map Room. I can’t elaborate on it beyond my opening statement that it is the best I have ever seen.

I will be returning to the Map Room regularly.

Edit: I returned after I discovered that the Map Room is only a ten minute walk from the Clybourn stop on Metra's North (Kenosha) Line. Not only was service better than the previously mentioned perfect service, but they had free BBQ. I'm talking ribs, chicken, slaw, salad, wonder bread...the whole 9 yards. I was told they put out a spread like that every Sat. I am just so blown away by this place. Going to the Map Room is like going to a beer fest.

Oh...and Miller Light is up to $5 a bottle...when on special. :)

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The Map Room in Chicago, IL
Place rating: 93.9% out of 100 with 344 ratings
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