Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar

Bar / Restaurant / Wine Bar
Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar Immersed in the gritty, working-class neighborhood of Humboldt Park, Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar is a rare area outpost for carefully crafted organic dining and specialty drinks. Chicago United States 41.899023 -87.696883
4.27 6
Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar - Bar | Restaurant | Wine Bar in Chicago.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Immersed in the gritty, working-class neighborhood of Humboldt Park, Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar is a rare area outpost for carefully crafted organic dining and specialty drinks. Housed in a simple brick building, the one... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    M–F 5pm–2am, Sa 5pm–3am, Su 11am–4pm; Kitchen open M–Sa until 1am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar Review

The Scene

Immersed in the gritty, working-class neighborhood of Humboldt Park, Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar is a rare area outpost for carefully crafted organic dining and specialty drinks.

Immersed in the gritty, working-class neighborhood of Humboldt Park, Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar is a rare area outpost for carefully crafted organic dining and specialty drinks.

Housed in a simple brick building, the one-room venue consists of a small bar and a hodgepodge of funky furniture, with mismatched antique chairs sandwiched between chipped round tables and shoddy pine bookcases.

Reddish-brown walls get a lift from a collection of postmodern paintings, under which young hipster couples sip craft beers and savor paired plates of fine meats and cheeses, while businessmen and young entrepreneurs park themselves at the bar in the dim glow of orange burlap-covered lamps.

Small-batch wines flow freely throughout the night, with brief histories of each vintner detailed in Rootstock’s menu, while beers range from local favorites to rare European batches brewed with bananas and cloves, and an organic menu offers late-night options to patrons with the munchies.

In the summer, the small front patio provides some additional bench seating where easygoing friends gather to enjoy the brief Chicago warmth.

Despite the seeming disorder of its mismatched furniture and tableware, Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar manages to create an atmosphere of calm and tranquility that makes it easy for young hipsters and older couples alike to completely relax and forget about the outside world.

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Tip from Jonah:

Though Humboldt Park is a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, its namesake park up the street has a sizable gang problem at night. Don’t venture too far north of here unless you know where you’re going.

  • Crowd

    Young neighborhood hipsters and blue-collar workers, older couples, local business owners, and entrepreneurs, mid-20s to mid-30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Playlist of mellow alternative and indie-rock tunes.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Organic gastropub fare, including paired meat and cheese plates, mussels, and burgers. Vegetarian and gluten-free options also available.

  • Prices

    Appetizers $5–$8, charcuterie and cheeses $4.50–$6.50, entrées $9–$14. Beer $5–$12, wine $7.50–$12/glass or $30–$150/bottle, whiskey and liqueurs $5–$18. Seasonal menus can affect prices slightly.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes: hipster casual, a few suits, skinny jeans, sundresses, flannel shirts, Vans, flip-flops.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Weeknights for dinner and drinks, or Fridays and Saturdays for energetic crowds (and potentially long waits).

  • Close By

    The California Clipper (1002 North California Avenue) is a retro lounge with live music on Fridays and Saturdays, and provides easy access to a few cocktails while waiting for a table at Rootstock.

Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar User Reviews

Average rating:
An oasis in the Humboldt Park desert
Craig B. Dec 11, 2012
The Humboldt Park area is not pretty. Even the buses seem like they’re second guessing themselves as they enter, and they barely stop to pick up passengers before hightailing it out of there. But there are two reasons to brave the neighborhood, and Rootstock is one of them (the California Clipper, next door, is the other). The beer? Great. The wine? Also great. But the food? Words cannot describe the wonders that are Rootstock’s menu. Olives like woah. A burger crafted by angels. And for dessert, bacon brittle (seen in one of the pictures). Seriously, you just have to go here.
Totally worth the trek
Christina W. Dec 10, 2012
This place is certainly off the beaten path, and you might find yourself wondering if you are in the right place when you arrive. The neighborhood is not what you would call "friendly," but the restaurant makes you feel like you are walking into your own little world when you arrive, so you'll soon forget you're in the edgy Humboldt Park area of Chicago. The beer and wine list here is actually really impressive. But the real reason to go is the food. It is absolutely incredible. All locally-sourced organic ingredients make for some of the freshest and most succulent entrees you will ever see. I barely remember what I actually ordered, but I am pretty sure it was quail or some other unusual fowl served on a bed of fava beans. I was so sad when i finished it. My friend ordered the burger, which was cooked perfectly and with some great condiments. I highly recommend this place for any foodie, or just anyone who really likes good, fresh food.
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