Chicago Gastropubs Overview

Scofflaw - New American Restaurant | Gin Bar | Gastropub in Chicago

In a city that has a love affair with food and beer, it’s no surprise that the gastropub trend is playing for keeps. Gastropubs in Chicago range in ambiance from polished downtown spots to scrappy neighborhood joints that feel like home, but they all take their food and beer programs really seriously. Beer lists may have a local focus or astound you with pages upon pages of brands presented in menus the size of novels. The food may rival many high-end restaurants in quality and daring, but the pub-like feel of Chicago gastropubs keep them unpretentious and welcoming.

The Hopleaf in Andersonville is perhaps the granddaddy of the Chicago gastropub scene. Hundreds of beers, many served in special glasses created for just that variety, go well with Belgian-style mussels and…octopus carpaccio. Why not?

Want to avoid elbowing through the permanent crowd installed at the Hopleaf? There are dozens of places with competing beer lists. The Map Room in Bucktown has a travel theme and stacks of National Geographics to keep you busy. Upstarts like Owen and Engine bring the concept to less popular neighborhoods, letting everyone in on foodie delights and rare Belgian brews, while downtown spots like The Publican and The Gage bring in scenesters and yuppies who want a rare low-key evening.

Gastropubs in Chicago have tapped into something natural in this city, and they aren’t declining in popularity anytime soon.

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