Hopleaf Bar

30s / 50s Music / After Work / Bar / Beer Lovers / Belgian Beer / Belgian Food / Blouses / Button-downs / Conversational / Couples / Dinner / Down-to-earth / Food Specials / Friendly / Good for Groups / Grad Students / Groups / Hipster Style / Intellectuals / Jazz / Jeans / Mid 20s / Patio / Pub / Restaurant / Sandals / Seafood / Skirts / Sophisticated / Specialty Beer / T-shirts / Trendy Casual / Vintage / Young Professionals
Hopleaf Bar Popular with an amiable bunch of grad students and young professionals bent on conversation, the modest Hopleaf Bar harbors an intense dedication to beer, and lots of it. Chicago United States 41.975814 -87.668739
4.44 9
Hopleaf Bar - Bar | Pub | Restaurant in Chicago.
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Party Earth Review Popular with an amiable bunch of grad students and young professionals bent on conversation, the modest Hopleaf Bar harbors an intense dedication to beer, and lots of it. Every night, the worn wooden tables and booths... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Bar: M–F, Su 3pm–2am, Sa 3pm–3am
    Restaurant: M–Th 5–11pm, F–Sa 5pm–midnight, Su 4–10pm

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Hopleaf Bar Review

The Scene

Popular with an amiable bunch of grad students and young professionals bent on conversation, the modest Hopleaf Bar harbors an intense dedication to beer, and lots of it.

Popular with an amiable bunch of grad students and young professionals bent on conversation, the modest Hopleaf Bar harbors an intense dedication to beer, and lots of it.

Every night, the worn wooden tables and booths on the first floor quickly fill up with easygoing patrons pouring over the selection of more than two hundred beers, each meticulously described in the venue’s weighty drinks menu.

A bar adorned with hopleaf vines and beer signs features a wall of ninety different types of glasses, each designed for a particular kind of beer. In the back, trendy couples and groups of friends chat beneath the vaulted ceilings of the brick dining area, ordering from a selection of authentic Belgian cuisine like the signature mussels steamed in Wittekerke White Ale.

Those looking for a bit of air can step through the glass door to the patio, where the venue also grows its own herbs and spices for use in the kitchen.

Upstairs, a second dining area overlooking the first offers a prime vantage point for viewing the venue’s collection of art and retro ads – not to mention scoping out the action below – while another room with group tables and a half bar sees an influx of intellectual types when the bar hosts its monthly literary events and occasional (and very popular) beer tastings.

A utopia for beer and food lovers, Hopleaf Bar impresses with its obsessive focus on specialty and rare beers and on delivering an authentic experience for its sophisticated and jovial patrons.

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Tip from Emma:

Don’t ever order a light beer here unless you want the bartender to ignore you for the rest of the night. To paraphrase one: ‘Light beer is just a watery, crappier version of an already crappy beer.’ Just tell the bartender the flavors and styles you like – one of the few hundred options is bound to please your palate.

  • Crowd

    Down to earth and amiable social groups, after-work conversationalists, and sophisticated graduate students, mid-20s to late 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Playlist ranging from contemporary jazz to 50s rock and roll. Reading and storytelling events on the first and second Tuesdays of the month. Occasional beer/wine tasting and brewing events. Check website for details.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Extensive menu of authentic Belgian cuisine served during dinner hours, including steamed mussels.

  • Prices

    Mussels $12/person or $22/two people, appetizers $5–$12, entrées $10–$24. Beer $5–$75, wine $8/glass or $18–$30/bottle.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Vintage hipster and stylish casual: loose button-downs, and graphic t-shirts for men, long skirts, scarves, blouses, and cardigans for women. Stylishly ripped jeans and sandals acceptable.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Any time when there’s a literary event or tasting, Sundays through Wednesdays for no wait and a conversational atmosphere, or Thursdays through Saturdays for large crowds and lots of mingling, though there will be a wait.

  • Close By

    Just down the street is Simon’s Tavern (5210 North Clark Street), a Swedish pub known for their authentic drinks.

Hopleaf Bar User Reviews

Average rating:
Great vibe, great food, great beer
Emily L. Apr 11, 2013
Hopleaf is my go-to place for a laid-back night out. It's ambiance is casual without being too divey and the people who work there are friendly and helpful. The beer list is huge! As I am gluten-free, I don't usually get to partake in the wonderfulness, but Hopleaf has multiple (good!) gluten-free beers, ciders and a great wine selection (though they only sell by the carafe). The menu is small, but I've never had a meal I regretted. It's a great and easy night out in Andersonville!
Hop into Hopleaf ASAP!!!
cornelius l. Mar 3, 2013
When it comes down to it, there are several bars where you can easily get your ‘limited/rare’ craft beer fix in Chicago; however, there’s one bar that comes to mind as a Zeus amongst Gods on the beer Mount Olympus: Hopleaf. As an avid beer drinker, who’s spent months in the heart of Western Europe gulping down some of the world’s best beer in some of the world’s largest beer cups (Steins), Hopleaf is a breath of hop-filled fresh air. Located in the heart of Andersonville, Hopleaf is reminiscent of the bar from Cheers with a stylish, modern spin. The staff is chic, endearing, and extremely helpful in terms of sifting through their crazy-amazing menu of beers or choosing a complimentary food dish that will go along with the type of beer you’re drinking. Although the front bar gets a little crowded on the more popular weekend nights, there are two more bars (one upstairs that serves a limited selection of beer) and a dining area towards the back of the first floor. Their draft selection is hands down better than most “good” bars bottled selection. Whether it’s a Founder’s Breakfast Stout or a Lagunitas I.P.A—more than likely they’ll have it on tap. During the daytime, the ambiance turns into a coffee-shop feel where the bar tenders assume the charisma of baristas and people are casually reading, talking, or playing cards. Regardless of the time of day, Hopleaf is your one-stop-shop for craft beer. If you’re a beer lover and you haven’t been there yet, then I demand you stop whatever you’re doing and go now. Oh, and p.s- look for Meaghan Fiore—she worked at the main bar since the place opened. She’s a tiny lady with a fierce, black bowl cut and charming black-framed glasses; there’s no doubt in my mind you’ll know here when you see her.
Beer haven with food to match
Kristen K. Feb 21, 2013
Who knew in this quite neighborhood sits a beer mecca? Well, a lot of people know hence why this bar is constantly appearing on lists of the best beer bars to visit in the entire country. And once you pay a visit, you'll know why. There are always 20 plus coveted beers on tap alone. Even though the beer clearly steals the show, I highly recommend getting something to eat here. The same clear passion for good beers that go into Hopleaf is evident with the food menu. The Organic Black Earth Farms Brisket sandwich is unforgettable. Tender, flavorful beef wrapped in bacon served on sourdough rye - not to be missed!
The beer-lover's dream
Christina W. Dec 8, 2012
I don't know quite how to put this place into words. It is incredible. The front room and back room are like two different worlds, so no matter what mood you're in you will probably find a place where you can fully enjoy yourself. The front room, like what you would expect from a beer bar, is dark, wood-paneled, and a tad loud on busy evenings. The back room has huge glass windows and skylights, and the "garden" outside is actually a patio in the summertime, so you kind of feel like you're in a rainforest when you eat there. The food is certainly high quality, but the real reason to go is the beer. Oh man. The beer. I can't even explain. Yes, some of the beer is the local midwest microbrews that you would expect to find at any good beer bar in Chicago. But then the special ones appear. For example, the best beer any Chicago brewery has ever produced is Bourbon County Stout by Goose Island. And Hopleaf had it ON TAP. I almost died. It was served in a 6oz glass (because it's like 14%abv) and it was the most wonderful beer experience I have ever had at a bar. So if you like beer, you have to come here. Yes, it's a fair ways north of the downtown area. Yes, it's not in a neighborhood that you would visit otherwise. But if you are a true beer-lover and you are visiting Chicago, it would be a shame not to visit Hopleaf.
THE best beer bar in Chicago.
Brinda G. Dec 4, 2012
A lot of gastropubs and microbreweries have shown up on the scene recently, but Hopleaf is still the gold standard when it comes to beer. The list blows my mind. If you don't want to sit there all night making a decision, just pick one at random...it'll likely be awesome. Hopleaf's greatness leads to its downfall: it is always packed. Don't show up with a party of 15. Even a party of 2 might have to do some elbow jostling and rearranging and may never get a seat. Fortunately, the crowd is laid-back and friendly, so you won't have some bro spilling beer on your shoes. If you want to really savor the place, try to head there on an off night....weekends might drive you bananas.
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