Hopleaf Bar

5148 N Clark St., Chicago, IL, 60640, United States
(773) 334-9851
Latitude: 41.97582, Longitude: -87.66857

website

  • Monday: 12:00 PM – 2:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 12:00 PM – 2:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 PM – 2:00 AM
  • Thursday: 12:00 PM – 2:00 AM
  • Friday: 12:00 PM – 2:00 AM
  • Saturday: 12:00 PM – 3:00 AM
  • Sunday: 12:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Wifi Available
Cask Beer
Indoor Smoking
Available Parking
Beer Pricing: $$$$
Public Transit
Proper Glassware
Outdoor Seating
Family Friendly
Selection: 4.69 | Atmosphere: 4.25 | Service: 4.16 | Food: 5.00
87.3
out of 100
Overall Beer Mapping Score
Based on 8 reviews.
Score from Google Reviews:
4.6
out of 5
View Google reviews
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emerge077 (358)
Friday 4th of June 2010 08:14:38 PM
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3/08
I've been here over a dozen times, and will keep going back. It's not my 1st choice beer bar in the city, as I enjoy more low-key places that are a bit more relaxing. It can be cozy at the right time of day, and they do have an amazing collection of breweriana throughout the place.

Hopleaf definitely is #1 for Belgian food and beer pairing, which is it's most unique aspect. The bottle selection is broad and especially deep if you are into Trappists, Saison, Gueuze, and other Belgian specialties. They are pretty well rounded for craft brew options, and other top quality imports as well. The US craft leans toward Belgian-style offerings such as Allagash, Ommegang, even a couple from Jolly Pumpkin. Their bottle menu is very well laid out into clear sections, with descriptions for each entry. Be sure to ask for the list if you are at the bar. My value rating reflects the high markup on 750s (3F for $45) and some entree prices. Tap selections are about 80% standards, with roating seasonals, and specialties now and then.

Service at the bar has always been friendly, the same 3 bartenders for over a year now have always been quick and attentive even when under pressure. Table service may vary, but is usually adequate. Glassware is emphasized here, it never fails that there is a Kwak being poured here daily/hourly into it's ridiculous glass :)

The food is pretty good, the sandwiches and salads are the best value. The menu occasionally has seasonal specials. Quality is good, but be prepared to pay plenty for the entrees. Mussels and salty frites are fun now and then. The sausage & cheese plates are a favorite.

Really the only reason I tend not to go here more often are the crowds. It's popular among the trendy/foodie/yupster crowd, and practically every night it's packed to the gills. Almost every time someone is ordering Stella and asking why they don't carry it. Sometimes the crowd seems like they just got off a tour bus and treat the place like some precious novelty. In other words, not a beer geek crowd by any means. End rant. Go during the week, or late afternoon on weekends.

They host great beer events on occasion, such as release parties for Surly and Dark Horse, and a special tapping of unblended Lambic from Boon last year that was intimate and really fantastic.

All in all, a great concept here, and well-worth the experience.
Selection: 4.75 | Atmosphere: 3.75 | Service: 4 | Food: 4.0
83.3
Overall

stoptime (15)
Saturday 28th of November 2009 11:39:47 AM
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What more can be said about the Hop Leaf that hasn’t been said already? Amazing (mostly Belgian) beer selection, amazing food. I dream often of the mussels. The CB&J, and mac ’n cheese are also fantastic. Servers are very knowledgeable about the massive beer list, and always have a good recommendation.

Get there early, as it’s always packed. The outdoor seating is especially nice in the spring and summer. Be patient, it's well worth the wait. In fact, you'll most likely be pretty tipsy by the time you get seated.
Selection: 4.75 | Atmosphere: 4.75 | Service: 4.75 | Food: 4.75
95.0
Overall

JB (6)
Tuesday 26th of May 2009 01:48:47 PM
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This is a great Beer bar! They have a huge selection of local and Belgian beers and almost anything else you could want.

The food is fantastic! I have a hard time NOT ordering the Belgian style steamed mussels. But the rest of the menu is really good from what I have sampled.

This place can get crowded but it is well worth the wait.

This place is located within walking distance of a few other beer bars that are also worth checking out.
Selection: 5 | Atmosphere: 4 | Service: 4 | Food: 4.5
86.7
Overall

braconid (4)
Thursday 8th of November 2007 01:08:59 PM
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Hopleaf is one of my neighborhood bars. They have around 40 taps, with a bottle list the length of my arm, or the arm of someone taller than me since I have short arms. The food here has always been good, though not my first choice of somewhere to grab a bite just due to personal taste.

The room you enter in is the lower bar. They have bar seating, tables and booths, with a unisex bathroom right off the seating area. Moving back, there is a dining room, with an upstiars that supposedly has a separate bar, but I have never been up there. Service can be slow, as there are often 2 servers to handle all drink orders for both the bar and restaurant, so it is easy to wait 5 minutes to be noticed.

The beer has always been fresh, glassware is proper, and after a few trips they even start to recognize you. I like the feel of this place, as it has tall ceilings with a moderate sized area for people to mingle. It just happens to usually be crowded because it is popular. It is certainly a spot I don't hit enough given its proximity.
Selection: 4.75 | Atmosphere: 4.25 | Service: 4 | Food: 4.0
86.7
Overall
Friday 13th of July 2007 11:08:38 AM
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Hopleaf prides itself of it's large variety of beers both Belgian and American. And I will agree that it is impressive.

Food service starts at 5pm and it is fantastic. I have never had a bad food experience here. Their take on a PB&J, which they call the CB&J consists of cashew butter, fig jam, and cheese which is then gridled. YUM! They are also known for their mussels steamed in beer with some of the best frites you'll find.

The beer list is expansive. With the fairly recent addition of about 12 new taps, you can't go wrong here. They also have an extensive bottled beer list. The focus is on Belgian beers, but they also have a great selection of Americans on tap. You can always find Three Floyd's, Goose Island, and Dogfishhead selections among others. Last time I was there, I was able to have DFH's Black and Blue on draught.

Service is really spotty in the bar area, but I've always had decent service in the restaurant. The bar is always packed and usually really smoky. Everytime I go, it's hard to get service and it's never very friendly. The restaurant in the back (you can also get food in the bar, but you have to order at the bar as there is no table service) is non-smoking and service is much friendlier. There is usually a wait for a table unless you go early in the evening. I recommend putting your name on the list for a table in the back and getting a beer at the bar while you wait.

Since it's not very close to an El stop, we usually drive here. You can find street parking, but expect to walk a few blocks. It is a nice walk though, since the Hopleaf is located in Andersonville, which was the heart of the Swedish neighborhood and still has some great bakeries and a very charming atmosphere.
Selection: 4.75 | Atmosphere: 4.25 | Service: 3.75 | Food: 5.0
85.0
Overall

Evil_Keith (44)
Sunday 24th of June 2007 08:17:52 AM
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This was my first time a Hopleaf and I arrived with high expectations. (Much to my surprise there was no chior of angels singing on the roof)Other beer lovers I know have always told me what a great place this was.
My visit was on a Saturday in the early afternoon. The large wood framed glass doors were flung wide open allowing in a gentle breeze and street sounds.
Light uptempo jazz music was playing on the sound system. Tap handles sprouted everywhere, vintage posters adorned the walls with a smattering of antique beer signage. I began to salivate.
We positioned ourselves at the bar and began to try and decide what to order from the draft list. Aprihop caught my eyes, "we're out of that". I heard "We're out of that" a total of five times during my 2 hour visit.
The draft and bottle lists were quite impressive, but would have been more impressive if they actually had the beers on those lists.
We have unknowingly arrive too early for food. They begin serving at 5pm.
I was not as impressed as I expected, but as I said this was only my first visit. They may have been having an off day there. I will return here to give it another try and adjust my review scores as needed.
Selection: 3.5 | Atmosphere: 4 | Service: 3.75 | Food: N/A
75.0
Overall

mynie (2)
Thursday 22nd of March 2007 02:35:07 PM
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This person needs 3 or more reviews on the site for their scores to start counting.

Take the Metra from Harvard to Jefferson Park. Then take the #92 bus towards Clark. Total travel time from Palatine was right around an hour.

We got there around eight and the only word I can use to describe it was "packed." The upstairs AND the downstairs. Yes, it was prime time on a Friday, but damn this place was packed.

But the crowd was great. Not the hepsters you get at other beer bars. Mostly people in their 30s and professionals. Nice crowd. I got along with them just fine.

Best tap selection ever. Better even than the maproom. And the upstairs bar has bottles like you wouldn't believe. EVERYTHING comes in proper glassware. The bartenders were busy as hell but nice as hell, too.

Slightly better than the maproom, even when it's crowded.
Selection: 5 | Atmosphere: 4.25 | Service: 4.75 | Food: N/A
93.3
Overall

beerinator (131)
Wednesday 21st of March 2007 08:46:12 AM
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edit: Jan 2017. Obviously, no smoking. The bar has expanded a lot (next door) and the food and service is a lot better. This is a destination bar. Do it.

---

Hopleaf is a great bar. Hopleaf has great food and a solid to awesome beer selection. And the Hopleaf has the potential to be one of my favorite bars of all time.

With all that being said, I just can't rank Hopleaf up there alongside Map Room.

They're both smoky, and they both get cramped. But for the most part Hopleaf just doesn't have the "feel" of comfort and relaxed atmosphere that I experience at Map Room.

But this is a review of Hopleaf (which really is a great bar/restaurant!). There are somewhere close to 40! taps available at Hopleaf. Ranging from Belgian to regional American beer, you can find pretty much anything you're looking for on tap here.

The bar is often crowded and it is sometimes difficult to get any sort of service here. But if you can catch this place during off hours, you will find a treat. The main bar is a smoking bar and it does get smoky in there. But if you are hungry, you should try to get a table, because the back of the restaurant is non-smoking and it will be a much more pleasant drinking experience there.

The food is great. I strongly suggest the steak frites, and many friends swear by the ham sandwich (yes, I said ham sandwich). The food menu is strongly influenced by Belgian menus; including mussels, duck and an occasional rabbit.

The Hopleaf is 6 blocks west of the Berwyn stop of the red line. There are plenty of taxis circling around the area and I am usually able to find street parking within a block or two.

They should be opening a beer garden sometime in the spring/summer of 2007 (so I'm checking 'outdoor seating' as an option).
Selection: 5.00 | Atmosphere: 4.75 | Service: 4.25 | Food: 4.75
93.3
Overall
Out front.
Out front.
Image credit: beerinator
Uploaded: January 2, 2017 08:55 PM
Half of the front room taps.
Half of the front room taps.
Image credit: beerinator
Uploaded: January 2, 2017 08:53 PM
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