Anyplace that has four different FFFs available is OK in my book. Tap list was very smartly chosen. Very chill vibe, with some sort of unearthly music playing in the background, plus a DJ speaking Flemish. Or maybe Dutch, if that makes a difference. Maps were everywhere, of course. Food was free pretzels. And they have damn good nuts. Staff was very helpful, had great suggestions, including pairing various beers and the order of the beers. A must stop while in Chicago.
Really down to earth nice place. Enough seating for the most part. Kind of dark which is kind of strange as they have a bunch of random magazines laying around.
Full bar with lots and lots of bottles with some interesting taps. You can always find something you haven’t had but just like with any bar that has a ton of bottles you need to be wary of certian bottles (IPAs).
The service is really nice as well. The prices are about what you might expect for a place that knows their beer.
Would definitely visit again, but more for a place to hang out with friends than to try new beer.
Smoky place with maps all over the walls and plenty of National Geographic to read. Service was great and knowledgeable. Had a very nice selection of beers; however, The Hop Leaf has a more extensive selection, but not the same. I suggest visiting this when in Chicago.
May 2010. Our last stop after a very long day, we unfortunately didn’t have much energy to really devote to a quality night at the Map Room. This seemed like the quintessential beer bar -- warm and cozy on a chilly night, with a killer list of exceptional beers on draft, a friendly but mellow crowd. Definitely on top of my list for any future visits to Chicago.
Visited just after lunchtime on Friday 7/20/07. Overall a very great place to have a few beers. Good crowd, good service and a great beer list. They had pretzel rods out which was a nice touch. Since was there during a very off hour, the place was more or less empty and I had GREAT service. Pretty much a must stop in Chicago.
88 = ★★★★ (best in area, a must for locals and visitors)
I only use the total score, not the component parts.
I wasn’t sure about this place as I emerged from the cab. It looked like a neighborhood dive bar populated by demonic hipsters. Well that’s what it is. The service is a bit to beerier than thou and the water glasses are essentially urine sample cups. Didn’t have any food not with Pequod’s delivering a notched box of pure deliciousness. The ambiance is awesome. Very laid back very comfortable. It’s the kind of environment beer was meant to be enjoyed. And the tap list. Very editorial with lots of stuff like Three floyds you can’t find everywhere. I would definitely go back and not talk to anybody.
(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.
This is a really great place to stop for a beer in Chicago. The selection is terrific and the taps rotate often. Appropriate glassware is observed. It’s usually quite crowded in here. Obviously one of the better beer bars in the city.
Now this is my kind of bar. I love old maps and they use them as tapestries. Relaxed atmosphere with varied crowd consisting of students and professionals alike. Maintains a certain neighborhood feel and does not get packed with Cubs fans which is a quality the Hop Leaf does not have. Service was friendly though I’ve not discussed with the staff. Excellent bottle selection paired with a very solid selection of draught offerings with a focus (totally not limited to) on American microbrews, especially from the Midwest. Precisely what I want in Chicago, though more rarities would have been desirable. On top of it all, the prices are very cheap, a steal for a city of this size. They even had a 22oz bottle of Three Floyds for 10$, imagine that in a beer bar! A must in Chicago and probably my favourite place in the city for atmosphere, though I probably prefer GI Clybourne for beer alone.