Map Room is definitely one of the main ídestinationí beer bars in Chicago, for good reason. Their tap list is diverse, and they have enough bottles that there is always something new to try. The bartenders are knowledgeable and friendly as well, making it a good spot for a few beers.
About half of the times I have been here I end up sitting at the bar, and I have usually had some good beer conversation with the bartenders there. However, a number of people I know have had less than pleasant experiences with the staff due to their lack of beer knowledge.
Sometimes, actual most of the time, the atmosphere here is a bit odd. There are some beer geeks, Bucktown locals, and hipsters all intermingling. The hipsters do not seem to interact well with anyone else. But I have no problems relaxing on a weeknight in a chill environment.
Normally I stay away on Friday and Saturday nights. The couple of times I have been here, it is impossible to get a beer and the scene is not what I want when I head to a beer bar.
A favorite of mine for the past 10 years. The selection is pretty large, and changes constantly. Iíve always been able to find something new to drink here. Pricing is reasonable, parking is easy enough to find, and itís a comfortable place to be.
A few minutes walk from the blue line el station. The tap slection was about 10 crafts and 10 imports which is not huge but they have loads of bottles. Also serving up fresh brewed coffee all day. $3 bottomless cups! Great look inside with all the flags and ancient national geographics about. Prices are pretty decent for Chicago and staff is friendly and talkative. Nice stop while exploring the windy city.
One of my favorite beer bars. The selection is always great and it has a "dive bar" feel. A little too hipster, but that isnít their fault so I wonít ding them for that. Staff isnít the friendliest group, but they arenít assholes either.
One of my favourite and best place I visited in chicago. Fantastic bar tender brad, was super friendly and helpful. Nice clean place with good people. Visited in the afternoon so wasnít to busy so was great. Worth visiting when in Chicago.
I can see why they get so much hype. Very nice selection. Has that local bar on the corner type of feel. Place makes sense to me. Bar tenders are friendly enough. Cash only. I couldnít say if they server food, but if they do, I didnít try any. Beer prices are quite reasonable. No issues grabbing a seat on a Wednesday around 9:00, but I know that isnít peak time anywhere.
Small, crowdy and noisy.
Great beer selection, good service.
They also have major beer, thatís not a positive note but an observation !
They also have liquors.
Good place to hangout, weíll go back after seeing the rest of Chicagoís beer place.
The Map Room is a place Iíve had on the list for a long, long time and for some reason just didnít make it there until recently. There is a long bar along the south wall that seats about 16, and the walls in the back area are (per the namesake) covered in maps. The atmosphere is charming and there are old national geographic magazines everywhere. A bit of a warning is that the bartenders may eat you alive if you are clueless about beer. The bartenders at the Map Room are not about to provide you with beer school, and sometimes they can be a bit rude, but itís kind of part of it. The Map Room also gets absolutely PACKED, so as with most well known beer bars, avoid avoid avoid on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Map Room has been an establishment and pioneer for craft beer in Chicago for a very long time. They have a very nicely balanced draft list in both beer style and in origin and the bottle list is extensive. They have been around long enough to have a very good relationship with many brewers and as a result they offer many one-offs and unique beers. If youíre beer touring Chicago, be sure to spend an afternoon here.