3fourths (1569) 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.
May 2010. This place certainly is a beer geek’s 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.
(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),
Oakes (832) 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 Eric’s 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 it’s a bit out of the way. I’d much rather go to the Map Room instead. The Hop Leaf’s advantage is the draught Belgian Ales, but that’s 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 it’s 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 (657) 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.
One of the best bars I’ve ever been to in terms of selection. 40+ taps, which at any given time will feature Three Floyds, a few Goose Islands, Bells, Great Lakes, Ommegang, Unibroue, Left Hand, several local and regional breweries and a few other national/international ones, and over a dozen Belgians. The ambiance is just what I’d want out of a bar- not the least bit pretentious, not too crowded, low light but not too dark, right amount of noise, plenty of decorations without being tacky, old-ish floors, tables, and ceilings but not dated or dirty. The service is fine- it seems a bit understaffed at times and I haven’t gotten into any conversations with the staff. The food is hearty and pretty tasty, and designed for pairing with beers. Prices are good, about what you’d expect for Chicago.