Hopleaf Bar

★★★★☆
41.9755 -87.6684
Map and Directions to Hopleaf Bar

773-334-9851

5148 N Clark St

Chicago, IL

60640

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Arts & Entertainment

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Reviews 1 - 20 of 20.
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The beer selection here is truly world-class. I've had some great food here and some really not good food (most notably a gross scotch egg)--I think it's a little hit or miss although most people will say it's good. Definitely worth going for the beer selection alone and the mussels are also excellent.

4
★★★★☆

The beer selection here is truly world-class. I've had some great food here and some really not good food (most notably a gross scotch egg)--I think it's a little hit or miss although most people will say it's good. Definitely worth going for the beer selection alone and the mussels are also excellent.

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.

This place has (or had--haven't been there for four years. . .ahhh, Chicago, I miss you) the largest selection of beers I've ever seen. Everything from the conventional to the bizarre. Laid back atmosphere, decent food. If you're in the Chicago and you like the beer, you owe it to yourself (and to the beer gods) to visit.

5
★★★★★

This place has (or had--haven't been there for four years. . .ahhh, Chicago, I miss you) the largest selection of beers I've ever seen. Everything from the conventional to the bizarre. Laid back atmosphere, decent food. If you're in the Chicago and you like the beer, you owe it to yourself (and to the beer gods) to visit.

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.

You're never going to find a bar with a more extensive beer list, and the challenge of working through it makes me want to return. But it's the high quality of the food that makes a repeat visit a certainty--the Belgian mussels and frites and beer were the best threesome I've ever had.
One warning--a lot of items on the menu come with the french fries (including the must-have mussels). Our table ended up with a sack of potatoes worth.

PROS: BEER!!!, great food
CONS: service is not proactive

4
★★★★☆

You're never going to find a bar with a more extensive beer list, and the challenge of working through it makes me want to return. But it's the high quality of the food that makes a repeat visit a certainty--the Belgian mussels and frites and beer were the best threesome I've ever had.
One warning--a lot of items on the menu come with the french fries (including the must-have mussels). Our table ended up with a sack of potatoes worth.

PROS: BEER!!!, great food
CONS: service is not proactive

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.

If you want to sip a beer you've never seen before and might never see again, this is the place. It's the best-known booze-cruise stop in the increasingly happenin' Andersonville neighborhood. You might meet someone interesting. All the same, the prices are prohibitive, the staff are put-out jerks, and the crowds are often uncomfortable. I would venture here if I found two twenty-dollar bills on the sidewalk. I would be treated like garbage by the bartenders. And I would savour every last drop of the beer.

PROS: Unbelievable beer selection, prime location
CONS: High prices, obnoxious staff, large crowds

3
★★★☆☆

If you want to sip a beer you've never seen before and might never see again, this is the place. It's the best-known booze-cruise stop in the increasingly happenin' Andersonville neighborhood. You might meet someone interesting. All the same, the prices are prohibitive, the staff are put-out jerks, and the crowds are often uncomfortable. I would venture here if I found two twenty-dollar bills on the sidewalk. I would be treated like garbage by the bartenders. And I would savour every last drop of the beer.

PROS: Unbelievable beer selection, prime location
CONS: High prices, obnoxious staff, large crowds

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Latest reviews from Citysearch.

.

I give this place all 5-stars because their beer selection is so great. The staff, however, isn't particularly friendly or attentive.

5
★★★★★

I give this place all 5-stars because their beer selection is so great. The staff, however, isn't particularly friendly or attentive.

Pros: Great Beer Selection

Cons: Bad Service

.

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!

3
★★★☆☆

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!

Pros: great food and beer selection

Cons: too crowded and unhelpful staff/bartenders

.

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.

5
★★★★★

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.

Pros: Beer Selection

Cons: Crowded

.

This place is horrible. Don't go here.
Don't finish this review, just listen to me and don't go here.
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.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.

5
★★★★★

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.

Pros: Awesome Tap and Bottle Selection

Cons: Lack of Eye Candy...Even for the "Im not trendy" crowd

.

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.

5
★★★★★

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.

Pros: Food, Beer, Wine, Price

Cons: Noisy, can be crowded

.

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!

1
★☆☆☆☆

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!

Pros: If you are into being belittled by staff this is your place

Cons: if I could give it a zero rating I would!

.

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!!

5
★★★★★

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!!

Pros: Amazing selection of beers from all over the world!!!

Cons: Crowded, loud, etc.

.

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!

5
★★★★★

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!

Pros: Beer selection, Pub grub, European accents

Cons: Gets busy at peak hours, bar staff can be inattentive

.

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.

4
★★★★☆

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.

Pros: Delicious!

Cons: Smoky, long wait, small, crowded

.

Wide variety of beers & ciders. I love the food at this place (try the ham sandwich & fries!) and would love to go back - however, every time I've tried the wait for a table has been upwards of ~2 hours! It is ridiculously crowded on weekends, and I have even found this to be the case on weeknights. I live in the neighborhood and would go more often if I didn't have to wait several hours for a table. Go early and get your name in, then try the beer while you wait.

4
★★★★☆

Wide variety of beers & ciders. I love the food at this place (try the ham sandwich & fries!) and would love to go back - however, every time I've tried the wait for a table has been upwards of ~2 hours! It is ridiculously crowded on weekends, and I have even found this to be the case on weeknights. I live in the neighborhood and would go more often if I didn't have to wait several hours for a table. Go early and get your name in, then try the beer while you wait.

Pros: Great food, great drinks, good atmosphere

Cons: Crowded, No Reservations, Long Wait, Smoky

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For any beer lover, especially lovers of Belgian-style beers, Hopleaf is a must-go... you simply will not find a better selection of this style at any other bar in the entire greater Chicago area. While the selection is staggering, the prices are, as expected, fair but moderate... usually between 5 and 8 dollars per bottle. Also, I wish they would provide descriptions of some of their beers - I'm fairly knowledgable about beers and there were quite a few I didn't recognize but didn't want to risk the money without knowing what I'd be getting. If it is not too crowded, you can ask the bartenders... but it is often crowded. If you go for drinks on a Friday or Saturday night, its best to get there before 9 pm if you want to sit down. If the downstairs is full, you can go upstairs, but there are only bottles (no taps) upstairs. I haven't eaten here because sources I trust tell me the food is average and there is better to be had for better prices in Andersonville.

4
★★★★☆

For any beer lover, especially lovers of Belgian-style beers, Hopleaf is a must-go... you simply will not find a better selection of this style at any other bar in the entire greater Chicago area. While the selection is staggering, the prices are, as expected, fair but moderate... usually between 5 and 8 dollars per bottle. Also, I wish they would provide descriptions of some of their beers - I'm fairly knowledgable about beers and there were quite a few I didn't recognize but didn't want to risk the money without knowing what I'd be getting. If it is not too crowded, you can ask the bartenders... but it is often crowded. If you go for drinks on a Friday or Saturday night, its best to get there before 9 pm if you want to sit down. If the downstairs is full, you can go upstairs, but there are only bottles (no taps) upstairs. I haven't eaten here because sources I trust tell me the food is average and there is better to be had for better prices in Andersonville.

Pros: Variety and Quality of Beers

Cons: Very crowded weekend nights

.

I met some friends here for dinner and drinks on a very busy Saturday night. The first one to arrive put his name on the list. We waited an hour and 45 minutes for a table after we were told it was only 45 minutes. The waitress was not very attentive and rushed us in taking our order. After we got our food we didn't see her until it was time to get the check. I orderd the steak frites which had amazing flavor but my steak was lukewarm at best. The herbed butter on top wouldn't even melt! The frites were awesome though as was the chocolate tart. Everyone else enjoyed their food but felt they could get the same thing better elsewhere. The beer drinkers gave thumbs up to beer selection. I think I will try it again, maybe on a slower night??

4
★★★★☆

I met some friends here for dinner and drinks on a very busy Saturday night. The first one to arrive put his name on the list. We waited an hour and 45 minutes for a table after we were told it was only 45 minutes. The waitress was not very attentive and rushed us in taking our order. After we got our food we didn't see her until it was time to get the check. I orderd the steak frites which had amazing flavor but my steak was lukewarm at best. The herbed butter on top wouldn't even melt! The frites were awesome though as was the chocolate tart. Everyone else enjoyed their food but felt they could get the same thing better elsewhere. The beer drinkers gave thumbs up to beer selection. I think I will try it again, maybe on a slower night??

Pros: atmoshpere, good beer, good value

Cons: crowded, slow service

.

I've dropped by the Hopleaf several times, and have been nothing but impressed. Fantastic service, great food, amazing beer selection, and perfect for hanging out with friends. Love it. Try the fries.

5
★★★★★

I've dropped by the Hopleaf several times, and have been nothing but impressed. Fantastic service, great food, amazing beer selection, and perfect for hanging out with friends. Love it. Try the fries.

Pros: Great food, beer selection, service

.

Last night I met a buddy for drinks at Hopleaf. While I appreciate the atmosphere the bar is trying to create, I think they jumped the shark. Each transaction with the bar staff was filled with contempt and an attempt at condescension. At one point the bartender had a 10 minute conversation with a barback while half of the bar waited for drinks. She also went so far as to take away an empty bottle without asking if it wanted to be replaced.

I've worked in the service industry in the past, and know that if I acted the way the staff did, I would have been fired.

Don't even get me started about some of the people around us. I now know where magnanimous jerks go to drink.

3
★★★☆☆

Last night I met a buddy for drinks at Hopleaf. While I appreciate the atmosphere the bar is trying to create, I think they jumped the shark. Each transaction with the bar staff was filled with contempt and an attempt at condescension. At one point the bartender had a 10 minute conversation with a barback while half of the bar waited for drinks. She also went so far as to take away an empty bottle without asking if it wanted to be replaced.

I've worked in the service industry in the past, and know that if I acted the way the staff did, I would have been fired.

Don't even get me started about some of the people around us. I now know where magnanimous jerks go to drink.

Pros: Great beers

.

The Hopleaf has a great beer selection but I actually go for the food- they serve delicious little fried fish (smelts), and their ham sandwich is quite simply the best I've ever tasted.

5
★★★★★

The Hopleaf has a great beer selection but I actually go for the food- they serve delicious little fried fish (smelts), and their ham sandwich is quite simply the best I've ever tasted.

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This is what a bar should be. Not a sports bar, not a meat market. Just good drinks, good conversation, and good people.

5
★★★★★

This is what a bar should be. Not a sports bar, not a meat market. Just good drinks, good conversation, and good people.

Editorial from

In Short
Neighborhood regulars discuss current events (well-thumbed encyclopedias help settle disputes) among the booths, barstools and dining room of this spacious bar. There are no mass-marketed American brews--instead, an…

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