Northdown Cafe has quickly become a staple to the West Lakeview area, and so far I am impressed.
The first time I decided to stop in, I checked the place out, and had a couple beers. They have 12 taps, around 60 bottles, with the focus of the beer menu mainly being on seasonals and more unique beers from American craft breweries, along with a solid collection of Belgian and other imports. Newbies and seasoned beer veterans alike will be able to find something new and interesting each time. The prices are reasonable, with $1 off specials on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I settled on a Three Floydís Zombie Dust and a Founderís Cerise.
The atmosphere is laid back (at least on Tuesday night), with two big seating areas. The front has an open feel, with big windows and a high ceiling, and the back is more cozy, with a more intimate table setting in the back.
The food is upscale bar food, maybe venturing into gastropub territory. The short stout is my go to sandwich there.
Quality beer selection that is often excellent. One of the most likely Chicago bars to have a rare beer appearance, and generally a very fresh FFF offering. Owners have also been known to bring in firkins/casks from Germany (Weissenhohe/Mahrs) which survived well despite the travel. Glad they are willing to go out on a limb for interesting beers.
This place looks and feels like a west coast bar. Thereís pinball machines and tap handles all over the wall.
Northdownís draft list is super cool, short, and quality over quantity. I respect that mantra very much, and despite the size of the list, Iíve always been able to try something Iíve never had before. Itís kind of disappointing that they ignore all but a few local breweries. Their bottle list is very long and cumbersome, but it is filled with quality imports. What truly gets me is that they serve Miller Lite bottles. I understand that you have to make money somewhere, but itís such an odd juxtaposition between carefully choosing some of the best beers in the world for the short draft list and then having Miller Lite specials on weekends.
One of the best beer bar venues in Chicago. Searched these guys out as we were chasing three Floyd's on tap and they listed as having a few plus bottle stock. Lucky to find zombie dust on arrival. Fantastic hotdogs and staff. Would recommend to anyone heading to the Windy City. Kick on to Delilah's for whisky afterwards
Cool little spot with lots of beer to choose from and pretty good food to go with it. A note about the food - donít plan on finding any "healthy" options. As long as you know that going in, you wonít be disappointed. Of those "unhealthy" options, I was quite pleased with the gourmet mac and cheese. The wait staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Of course I was here on a Wednesday, so it was kinda quiet in there, but Iím okay with that. This place is definitely a victim of Chicago prices, which is unfortunately, but not entirely unforeseen.
This is my "home base" bar...literally around the corner from my house. Needless to say, Iím a very lucky guy because thereís probably no other place in Chicago Iíd rather spend my time drinking beerz than ND. Always lots of cool art, sometimes 2 Pac is on (big bonus), and sometimes itís metal. :-)
Even during big events, Iíve never had an issue with service. The staff is always prompt and has always been very professional.
Probably one of the best rotating 12 taps in Chicago as far as quality. Most always FFF, Surly, Mikkeller, Evil Twin, etc. Thereís never been a time Iíve been into the bar without finding something I really enjoy on-tap, and thatís tough for me.
Food is great...the wife loves the food as well so we eat here pretty often. Iíve had just about everything, so I usually order whatever is on special. Great burgers, salads, vegan options, and apps. Most of all, the fries are like crack...I canít get enough of them.
Beer prices right in-line with most other Chicago bars, food very reasonably priced.
Overall, Iím a homer, but I wouldnít continually come to ND if I didnít enjoy the food, beer, and most of all, company. Kate and Tom are probably two of the nicest people, period.
Pretty cool place by wrigleyville. Ambiance was big and dark open bar with a good amount off tables. Service was friendly helpful and fast for how busy it was. Selection was pretty great because I was there for a fobab event. Prices were on par with Chicago. Definitely one of the better beer bars in Chicago.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this place. I walked in on a quiet Sunday evening and only saw a handful of taps but they were all pretty good. They had a Mikkeller collaboration with a brand new Chicago brewery called Off Color. The guy next to me ordered the bottled version of the Even More Jesus. I also saw a flier for a new Ayinger beer (some kind of promo deal). The food looked good but I didnt eat anything as I had already eaten dinner. I enjoyed the music quite a bit here. The first couple songs that played when I arrived were Jimi Hendrix and then it eventually shifted to Megadeth. The bartender was really nice too. Would definitely go back if in the area.
This place rock, when a beer lover and a foodie collide Northdown is the answer. GREAT beer selection, 12 fierce taps, fiercer bottle selections including a variety of bombers. Very Midwest heavy, but you can be a beer Magellan if you so desire.