Chicago >Bars & Clubs > Hopleaf Bar
5148 N Clark St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6064041.975818 -87.668514
Neighborhoods: Far North Side, Uptown
The new addition means you won't have to fight for a seat like before - good news, because now it's easier to score tastes from the excellent beer list. Food recommendation: the insane cashew butter, fig jam, and raclette cheese sandwich.
With 5,532,593,289,325,023,523 beers by the bottle and draught, Hopleaf is a Chicago beer lover's dream come true.
Beer geeks and foodies come in droves for the Belgian goodies at this giant bar/resto. Ask you server for a beer rec and try the mussels.
Stopped by for a quick nightcap. Bartender perfected the Whiskey Sour.
Beer Paradise – I give this place all 5-stars because their beer selection is so great. The staff, however, isn't particularly friendly or attentive.
good food and beer – have been going to hop leaf for a number of years - their menu is really good and you can't beat their beer selection. as it's become more popular and crowded, seems the staff and bartenders aren't as helpful and friendly anymore though. maybe i just got them on a bad day last week. still recommend though!
Favorite Bar in Chicago – I was first introduced to the Hopleaf in 2006 and it has been my favorite Chicago bar ever since. The beer selection is perhaps the best in the city and you wont find a single television in the entire place. The focus here is the beer, but the staff is not snobby in the least. They are happy to recommend beers and will even give you samples of the draft beers if you ask nicely. I especially like the Kwak (and not just because of the fancy glass it comes in).
Additionally, this bar holds some great events. For example, the Drinking and Writing Festival. Two drink minimum writing contests, poetry readings, what could be better!
Just get their early if you want a seat. It gets crowded quickly, even upstairs. Also, the restaurant doesn't take reservations, but that's not the end of the world because you can always grab a drink or two while you wait.
The Most Terrible Bar Ever – This place is horrible. Don't go here.
Don't finish this review, just listen to me and don't go here.
.Good. I'm hoping this review keeps the flakes and loser hipsters away. But for those who love everything about beer, I'll let you in on a little secret. GO HERE. This place is by far the most awesome beer bar in the good ol' US of A. They have stuff on tap that most bars don't even know exists.
A testament to this place:
I went to a bar in LA that is supposed to have the best tap AND bottle selection in the city. Granted, LA is trendy, but beer is coming back in fashion; especially imported beer. Looking over the list of product, I saw one of my favorites: Tripel Karmeliet. So I asked the bartender, "Do you have this beer on tap?" Her response was no less that comical: "On tap? There's no such thing as 'on tap' Karmeliet. It's only sold in the bottle."
"I'm sorry, but I believe you are mistaken", I said " I've had it on tap at another bar." "That's not possible", was her reply, "It says on the label, 'Bottle Conditioned'. That means it ONLY comes in bottles."
Needles to state, if THAT counts for a top beer bar in LA, the most up-to-date and trend-conscious city on Earth, then the Hopleaf is so far above top, it's lapping those on the bottom. Seriously, this place rocks. Every time I go there, I meet interesting people. It's not the best place to meet "beautiful" people, so if you want that, I can recommend other places. But if you want to have some of the best beer ever, with a friend you haven't met, then the Hopleaf is the place for you.
Wonderful Atmosphere, Exquisiste Food and Incredible Alcohol Selection – Don't be turned off by the loud and crowded bar atmosphere in front, because the upstairs & rear area are perfect. Every meal I have had there has been supurb. The mussells for one in a spicey cocoanut are $10 and enough to feed two, and they are only an appetizer. The York Creek Cabernet mix is wonderful but my the wide array of obscure beers are also great. Service is also good. They are often stressed because it is constantly busy but we were seated fairly soon after were told there would be a wait. Must try @ least once.
Poser Bar & Pretentious Staff – Been to this Bar/Resturant a few times just becuse it is close. The service is slow, the doorman has a napolian complex, and it is overall UNPLEASANT and uncomfortable. Floors are dirty, dining room is overpacked and someone will most bump into you during your visit. Food menu sound good, but don't exspect much when it gets to your mouth (unless you had a strong beer). Staff is pretentious and RUDE. There is a great beer selection, if you dont mind stale beer and moldy tap lines.
if you are looking for a good time or good food, DONT GO HERE!
You can't beat their beer selection with a stick!! – Yes it's crowded all the time, so be prepared to either wait to be seated in the dining area, or challenge other bar-goers out for one of the few coveted tables in the front by the bar! Also challenging is actually finding one of the full drink menus, but once you do -- WOW. You could sit there just looking through it all night! My boyfriend discovered this place last year, as we were new to the Chicago scene, and as self-proclaimed novice beer conoisseurs, we were very excited! My one complaint (aside from crowdedness, of course), is the fact that the food seems to have decreased a bit since last year. We used to love to come here and get the mussels in white wine, but they stopped carrying that and changed it to white belgian ale or lobster broth.... what is up with that?? we tried the ale one, and were thoroughly disappointed. Other than that, their beer selection is simply unparalleled. My all-time favorite drink is the Duchesse de Bourgogne, which they have on tap -- and it is TO DIE FOR!!
Best frites, Belgian beer selection, Solid mussels, best European pub grub – Just got back from yet another visit to the Hopleaf. Seriously, we love this place. Tiff and I are thinking about renting the upstairs room for our wedding reception. First off, you have to have a beer, preferably something Belgian, and something that comes in a cool looking glass (find the one with its own holder). Then, you have to order something that comes with frites, or else you'll be sorry. The mussels (white wine) would be a safe bet. Coming from someone who spent a week in Belgium living off of "moules frites", Hopleaf's version is pretty competitive. Portions are large, and the quality is solid. Specials are rotated in often, particularly among the soups (yes on the tomato, eh on the chilled roasted red pepper). As a non-meat eater, I enjoyed the CB&J (cashew butter and fig jam) and the fried tilapia sandwich (watch out for a frites overload here). Coz has tried the brisket sandwich and it looked well, meaty. We at his frites for him. I totally understand any negativity towards Hopleaf as a result of it being too busy, and I must admit, we've had some poor bar service at times, but the food servers have all been outstanding, friendly, and knowledgeable. Pour me another Leffe please!
Not Your Average Bar Food! – My husband and I stopped by Hopleaf on a Sunday evening for dinner. We live close by and are always looking for new "countries" to add to our list of favorite restaurants, so when we heard about the great Belgian food being served here, we couldn't pass it up. The place is small, smoky, and crowded. The wait is long. Everyone says it, and it's true. Expect it. If you can't stand the long wait, eat some crackers before you go (we had to wait 90 minutes for the table (they told us 40)).
The food was incredible. Really. I didn't know how good it was going to be, and I was amazed. The mussels were AWESOME (and I don't usually like bivalves). The frites were INCREDIBLE (and that aioli, WOW). I wanted to get the polenta dish but they were out, so I had the CB&J sandwich instead. I have to admit, I wasn't really sure what to expect, but what I got was delicious (if not a little surprising) -- the portions were huge and I had the second half of the sandwich for breakfast the next day, and it was still crunchy! The stilton mac and cheese was great as well -- we're going to try putting blue cheese in all of our pasta dishes from now on. I don't like beer most of the time, but I told our server this and she recommeded this fantastic raspberry beer that tasted like candy; it was great and I'm looking forward to trying others off of the extensive menu. I could not believe the variety of flavors that we had in one meal, and the quality of each of the items was phenomenal. We would absolutely go back, maybe on a weekday, maybe earlier, maybe less hungry, but back for sure.
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