Chicago Neighborhoods Craft Beer Adventure

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Advisor - Jean Zelt
Curated By

Jean Zelt

  • Chicago

  • Active Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Illinois

  • City Travel

  • Local Travel

  • Outdoors

  • Nightlife

  • Entertainment

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Curator’s statement

Chicago's diverse neighborhoods offer an enticing craft beer experience, but with so many choices, where should you begin? While there are fantastic breweries all over the Chicagoland area, The North Center and Logan Square neighborhoods are some of the most accessible (they can be reached easily by the L, Chicago’s elevated train) and densely packed with brewpubs and taprooms. Each neighborhood features its own unique charm, flavors and flair. Read on for a delightful journey through Chicago's neighborhood craft beer scene, where you can uncover the local culture, sip exceptional brews and indulge in culinary delights that make the neighborhoods extraordinary destinations in their own right.

Note: This limited selection only scratches the surface of the city's robust craft beer landscape, with countless other breweries waiting to be discovered, making Chicago a dream destination for beer lovers.

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Located on the city's north side, North Center is a vibrant neighborhood known for its tree-lined streets, family-friendly atmosphere and a Malt Row, a stretch along Ravenswood Avenue, which is home to several craft breweries that have contributed to the area's reputation as a beer lover's haven.

Getting there: Take the CTA Brown Line to Irving Park.


  • Dovetail Brewery: A small-scale craft brewery with meticulous German-trained brewers specializing in traditional European-style lagers and ales. Beer recommendations: Vienna Lager, Rauchbier and Kriek.

  • Begyle Brewing: A community-focused brewery with a warm and friendly vibe brewing creative yet approachable beers. Beer recommendations: Begyle Blonde, Freebird Pale Ale and Flannel Pajamas Stout.

  • Hop Butcher for the World: A hop-focused brewery that merges the art of brewing with the science of hops, creating bold and imaginative beers. Beer recommendations: Blazed Orange Milkshake IPA, but check their rotating list, updated daily.

Side note: Hop Butcher is located in the original facility of Half Acre Brewing, which has since migrated barely two miles north alongside another Malt Row alum, Spiteful Brewing.


If you want something to drink besides beer, skip Hop Butcher (purely for logistics) and head north along Ravenswood, stopping at Koval Distillery’s tasting room before (or after) dinner at a nearby restaurant.

If you fancy some shopping after you visit Hop Butcher, stroll up Lincoln Avenue to the Lincoln Square neighborhood, with its European-inspired streetscape, unique shops selling local wares, diverse culinary scene and a vibrant community that embraces the arts and local traditions. The Western L station makes it easy to head back to the Loop after you've made a day of it.


While the breweries offer snacks, allow you to order in food, and often have food trucks nearby on the weekends, you’re going to need a proper meal to sustain you.

  • Spacca Napoli: Technically in Ravenswood, a bit north of North Center, but it’s close enough and happens to be my favorite pizza in the city, making authentic Neapolitan pizzas in a wood-fired oven imported straight from Italy.

  • Laschet's Inn: A little further west along Irving Park Road serves hearty traditional German fare, making it the perfect follow-up (or starting place) for your brewery visits.

  • Bistro Campagne: On Lincoln Avenue, exudes an enchanting French countryside charm, offering a delightful menu of classic French dishes prepared with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. It’s particularly charming when it’s warm enough to sit outside.


Logan Square is a trendy and eclectic neighborhood offering an array of dining, nightlife, and cultural attractions, along with beautiful historic architecture.

Getting there: Take the CTA Blue Line to Logan Square or California station, depending on which brewery you want to start with.


  • Pilot Project: An innovative and collaborative brewery that serves as a playground for brewers to experiment and push the boundaries of brewing, resulting in a constantly evolving and exciting tap list.

  • Revolution Brewing: Illinois’ largest independent brewer, is a trailblazing Chicago institution that played a pivotal role in establishing the city as a craft beer hub. Their fantastic pub fare makes this a one-stop shop for drinks and dinner. Beer recommendations: Fist City Pale Ale, Working Woman Brown, Eugene Porter and Rosa Hibiscus Ale.

  • BiXi Beer: A trendy, innovative brewery, marries traditional Asian flavors with modern craft brewing techniques, creating unique beers that blend the essence of the East and the spirit of Chicago's vibrant craft beer scene. Beer recommendations: See what they’re serving when you visit.

  • Hopewell Brewing: A cozy, neighborhood spot with a focus on approachable and sessionable brews, creating a warm and welcoming environment for beer lovers. Beer recommendations: First Lager, Swift IPA and Lightbeam Hazy IPA.

  • Also calling Logan Square home are Life on Marz (the northern outpost of Bridgeport’s Marz Community Brewing), Middlebrow and Solemn Oath (which hails originally from suburban Naperville). If you want to visit these, take the Blue Line to Western and head west along Armitage Avenue.


Stop between breweries to explore the local shops, boutiques and vintage stores along Milwaukee Avenue.

If you’d like to roam a bit farther afield for some urban nature, stroll along the Kedzie Boulevard, which connects Logan Square and Palmer Square parks, both great places to relax on a nice day.

A little further to the south, The 606 Trail, an elevated linear park built on an abandoned train line, stretches across the neighborhood, offering a scenic pathway for walking, jogging and biking while enjoying public art installations.


If you don’t grab food at the breweries, I highly recommend one of these neighborhood institutions, though Logan Square has countless amazing places to eat.

  • Lula Café: A beloved neighborhood gem, serves up seasonally inspired and locally sourced dishes that celebrate the flavors of the Midwest in an inviting and cozy setting.

  • Chicago Diner: A pioneering vegetarian and vegan restaurant, offering creative and delicious plant-based comfort food that have earned it a loyal following among vegetarians and omnivores alike.

  • Table, Donkey and Stick: Draws inspiration from the Alps, transporting guests to a rustic mountain chalet with its elevated European-inspired fare, focusing on wood-fired dishes and house-made charcuterie. (The name makes sense once you read their story.)

Advisor - Jean Zelt

Travel Advisor

Jean Zelt

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Chicago.