3fourths (1537) Boulder, Colorado | January 6, 2010| Updated December 10, 2013
legit beer bar, chicago is lucky to have both hop leaf and map room. crowded and loud crowd but worth the trouble for the tap list - interesting and new drafts along with an extensive bottle list. prices for some thing are high while for others are just slightly over store prices. love it.
I really liked this establishment. The ambiance is that of an upscale restaurant situated behind a well-stocked bar. The bar has a selection that could keep you busy for weeks. The service was a tad lacking. The bartender was nice and knowledgeable yet the waitress needed some education. The food was great yet over-priced. Overall, a must see when in Chicago.
(Visited 06/2012): Hopleaf is located on the north side of Chicago on Clark. Metered street parking is available in the immediate area.
The doors open right to the wraparound bar, and there is table seating in the rear. Green stamped ceiling with fans which were necessary as the place was not running A/C on a 100+ degree day. Brick motif with old breweriana posters on the walls.
The bar features around 30 taps with local brewers like Metropolitan, Half Acre and Goose Island represented. Lots of bottles too including a lot of Belgian choices,
Service on a weekday afternoon was good. The bartender was friendly and familiar with the beer menu.
My lunch at Hopleaf was a duck Reuben and it was pretty tasty.
All in all this is a great beer bar to hit in Chicago (at least in the cooler months),
May 2010. This place certainly is a beer geekís delight with an awe-inspiring draft list. The food offerings are a bit high-end for some beer drinkers, though, and the prices may be hard to swallow for other simple folk like myself. But all that aside, this is a definite place to add to your list in the Windy City.
Oakes (805) Vancouver, British Columbia | January 3, 2004| Updated January 8, 2004
Airy atmosphere. Killer beer list. Ok, I was only there for the Ratebeer Summer Party but of all the places this one made a big impression. Out of the way location seems the only drawback.
Again, I got a bit unlucky with the hop leaf. The bar side is very small and we could not get a seat. I had a beer while waiting for a place to free and ended up leaving after my drink because none did. This was unfortunate as the menu was very impressive. I had an excellent New belgium Ericís peach ale, served in the appropriate new belgium tulip! I love that glass, they seem to have all the correct glassware. Not one you find in every pub out there. Still, this was a week evening and he place was packed, very loud, so much that I had to bend over the bar to order my beer. I cannot say I would really want to spend a whole evening here, especially that itís a bit out of the way. Iíd much rather go to the Map Room instead. The Hop Leafís advantage is the draught Belgian Ales, but thatís not what I want to try in Chicago as an outsider.
On my recent visit to Chicago I visited 8 craft beer places over 5 days. Hopleaf was far and away my favorite (not counting Three Floyds which itís probably not a fair comparison). In fact I went out of my way to visit twice on my short trip! The people are great here...staff and patrons both during my 2 visits. The vibe here was great...and crowded both times...but each time I got a solo seat at the bar fairly quickly. I thought the beer selection here was phenominal...a "really" nice sampling of local Chicago craft beers and beyond. Top that off with some really fantastic food (the grilled cashew butter & fig sandwich is to die for!) and you definitely have a winning combination. With a few extra Dreadnaughts in my car the night before flying back to NJ...it was easy to find a couple of worthy souls to gift them to. This is a must visit for the craftbeer fan while in Chicago...you will have great beer and food...and likely stirke up some really good conversations.
Tmoney99 (553) Cincinnati, Ohio | July 16, 2013| Updated December 3, 2013
Easy to find location. Busy, so son and I sat at bar. Friendly staff with good positive response to short pours to rate. Good selection. After dinner stop, so we did not try food. Is the second best bar so far in Chicago and well worth a visit.
I finally made it up North to check this place out. On a Sunday night it was super crowded, had to wait 45 minutes for a table. Cool atmosphere really reminds me of a euro pub. Chill place, cool people. Easy place to hang out...On to the beer, there are some plusses and minuses for sure. On the plus side, great selection, roughly 40 taps and probably 200 bottles. The menu is awesome. Its informative for a novice, and put set up nicely separating by country and style. Most styles were repressented. They also had some super rare stuff that Iíve never heard of or rarely seen. On the minus side, firstly it was overpriced. Most expensive beer bar Iíve been to by far. The selection is wide but its almost a little generic. Its dominated mostly by bottles from semi big craft breweries, and there more common offerings. Not a ton of rare or hard to find beers so a little disappointing. If i can get it at the store, thatís not rare to me. Service was decent but the waitress didnít seem to know a ton about beer...The food is really good, not typical bar food at all.
Overall, this is a place worth checking out, but not a mainstay hang out. Way to expensive and not enough rare offerings to top the Map Room.