The Top List of BYOF Breweries and Bars in the Windy City!



Here is the list. Keep reading below for a more in depth look at what each of these unique breweries and bars have to offer!

Beermiscuous

Off Color Mousetrap

Goose Island Taproom

Navigator Taproom

Great Central Brewing

Hopwell Brewing Co.

The Walk In Chicago

Dovetail Brewery

Tapster

Kibbitznest Books, Brews & Blarney

Guthrie’s Tavern

Larry’s

The Map Room

Metropolitan Brewing Taproom

Emporium Arcade Bar

Begyle Brewing

Spiteful Brewing

Midwest Coast Brewing

Temperance Beer Co.

Empirical Brewery

Looking for a fun night out with friends but don’t want to rely on bar-food to keep you going? Don’t sweat it – Chicago has a range of top-notch bars and breweries where you can BYOF!  That’s right, bring your own food. Don’t get stuck eating microwave pizza or trying to turn fries into a meal when you could be ordering from your favorite restaurant. These twenty bars and breweries focus on providing enticing drinks and exciting vibes, leaving you with the freedom to munch on anything you crave.  Pack a picnic and bring a date or order delivery with some friends for the perfect night out.

Photo by Louis Hansel / Unsplash

Beermiscuous - Lakeview, Highwood

Google Review: 4.7/5, $$

Discover Chicago’s craft beer scene at Beermiscuous’ casual coffee-shop style bar.  With an extensive selection of fresh, local beers, including exclusive releases and selections from small time microbreweries, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect brew for you.  Grab a single bottle to go from their ever changing cooler section, or enjoy a curated tap pour while settling by the fireplace. Don’t let the endless selections stress you out though – the Beeristas are there to help!

Off Color Mousetrap – Near North Side

Google Review: 4.7/5, $$

The name says it all – if you’re looking for a great brewery to discover some unique flavors and wacky exclusive drafts, Off Color Mousetrap.  Off Color offers a large industrial space with exposed brick, along with a beer garden and dog-friendly patio!  Plus, you can take advantage of their free tours offered every Sunday at 1pm and 3pm.

Goose Island Taproom – Near West Side

Google Review: 4.7/5

After exploring the unique selections at Off Color Brewing, walk on over to Goose Island Taproom – just 5 blocks – to visit the nationally known Chicago brewery.  Learn about the history of Goose Island on an entertaining and informative tour, all while enjoying their wide selection of beer.

Navigator Taproom - Logan Square

Yelp: 4.5/5

With a large open space, and a customizable experience, Navigator is a great spot to host your next party.  Enjoy the chill atmosphere as you try any of their 48 beverages on tap via PourMyBeer self-serve technology.  Just pop the provided card into any of the taps and pour as little – or as much – as you want!  Don’t forget to take advantage of their BYOF policy.  Order in or grab some grub from Serai, located just across the street!

Great Central Brewing – Near West Side

Google Review: 4.7/5, $$

Bring a crowd, play games, and enjoy a variety of beers at the Great Central Brewing Company in Near West Side.  With a wide selection of entertainment, ranging from ping pong and large Jenga to shuffleboard and board games, this large, industrial brewery will keep you entertained all night!  The beer selection ranges from German House beers to Client beers - all of which are brewed in house - so you know you’ll find something you love!

Hopwell Brewing Co. – Logan Square

Google Review: 4.5/5, $

Hopewell is a progressive craft brewery that provides fan favorite brews in a simplistic yet inviting space in Logan Square.  Large windows and natural light add to the bright and clean aesthetic, while the friendly bartenders and dog-friendly policy ensures you’re in good company.  Grab a few friends and order in while enjoying the balanced and focused beers that Hopewell has to offer.

The Walk In Chicago – Logan Square

Google Review: 4.6/5, $$

A self-proclaimed “friendly as f*ck” cocktail bar in Logan Square, The Walk In pairs their delicious drinks with an enticing 60’s and 70’s vibe.  Enjoy some gritty funk, soul, & Rock N’ Roll, or join them Friday and Saturday for a live dj set.  The Walk in is housed in a vintage space that provides a combination of modern and utilitarian vibes, while encouraging you to BYOF (and maybe your dog too).

Dovetail Brewery – Lakeview

Google Review: 4.7/5, $

Dovetail Brewery is your go-to spot if you’re looking to learn from some beer experts.  Owners Hagen and Bill treat brewing as “a fine balance of art and science, hard work and fun”, and pair their European styles with American creativity.  Relax and enjoy their sublime old-style German, Austrian, or Czech brews in their industrial, yet laid back space.

Tapster – Lincoln Park

Google Review: 4.6/5

Known as Chicago’s first self-serve tasting bar, Tapster is the perfect spot to taste-test and learn something new.  With a huge wall of self-pour taps available and a friendly bartender never too far away, you can sample your way to your favorite brew.  Have friends that aren’t beer lovers? Tapster has you covered with cocktails, wine, and even kombucha available as well!

Kibbitznest Books, Brews & Blarney – DePaul

Google Review: 4.8/5, $

A unique mix between a bookstore and bar, Kibbitznest is the best place to reconnect with your friends.  Avoid distractions with the WiFi-free policy, and engage in the rich community this space provides.  Enjoy their selection of board games, books, and even foosball while sipping on a cocktail or coffee.

Guthrie’s Tavern – Lakeview

Google Review: 4.5/5, $

Looking for a great BYOF bar that’s off the beaten path?  Guthrie’s Tavern is the perfect spot.  This space highlights an old-school Chicago feel while providing eclectic décor and a chill and cozy atmosphere.  Stay entertained all night with the large stack of board games this “hole in the wall” has to offer.  Look through their coffee can of order-in menus to find the perfect grub to compliment your night.

Larry’s – Uptown

Google Review: 4.7/5, $$

Nestled into the historic Lawrence house, this cocktail bar provides an easy-going vibe.  The combination of vintage art, a large stained-glass ceiling, low lighting, and great music gives Larry’s a warm old-timey feel.  Stop by on a Sunday to enjoy a live jazz band, or visit during the week and have food delivered to share with friends.

The Map Room – Wicker Park

Google Review: 4.6/5, $$

The Map Room is a traveler’s dream.  With countless maps, flags, and travel literature this space feels like a home away from home.  Their selections of coffee, wine, liquor, and 26 taps ensures that everyone will find the perfect drink.  Continue with the travel theme and order yourself some international cuisine as you enjoy the warm community and relaxed setting.  If you want to become a beer expert, The Map Room also offers “Beer School” where you can learn from a brewmaster as you taste a selection of their top-notch brews.

Metropolitan Brewing Taproom – Avondale

Google Review: 4.7/5

Need an escape from the city without actually leaving the city?  Look no further than this BYOF brewery in Avondale.  The Metropolitan Brewing Taproom provides a mix of modern and industrial vibes, and boasts large glass walls with stellar river views that make you forget you’re in the city.  Settle next to your pup on their outdoor patio, or order a flight with friends to test the exceptional beers that Metropolitan Brewing has to offer.

Emporium Arcade Bar – Wicker Park

Google Review: 4.4/5, $

When it comes to providing a variety of activities, Emporium Arcade Bar is the best BYOF spot around.  Choose from a plethora of arcade games, pinball machines, pool tables, and even skee ball when you walk into the bustling bar.  This lively space also offers a wide selection of beer, wine, cocktails and over 50 whiskeys!  Helpful tip: check out their events page for a schedule of foosball tournaments and live music to get the most out of your experience.

Begyle Brewing – Ravenswood

Google Review: 4.8/5, $$

With an open, industrial space and friendly, welcoming atmosphere, Begyle Brewing is the perfect place to kick back and relax.  Bring your dog and settle down with a good book, or gather some friends and bond over a board game as you enjoy their top-notch beer selection.

Spiteful Brewing – Bowmanville

Google Review: 4.7/5, $

Set in a relaxed, open space with large windows, Spiteful Brewing provides a clean and casual environment that makes it easy to enjoy their delicious brews.  Childhood friends and Spiteful owners, Shaffer and Klein, came from humble beginnings brewing over a kitchen stove.   Spiteful Brewing is their dream come true and their passion is clear in the quality of their beers.

Midwest Coast Brewing – Near West Side

Google Review: 4.5/5

Midwest Coast Brewing is a family friendly, dog friendly, and BYOF friendly brewery in Near West Side.  This spacious, industrial chic spot has tall open ceilings and plenty of windows to make everyone feel welcome.  They take their dog-friendly atmosphere a step further, hosting fundraisers and events that benefit Second City Canine Rescue, One Tail at a Time, and more.

Temperance Beer Co. – Evanston

Google Review: 4.6/5, $$

This brewery is run by self-proclaimed risk takers who like to do things differently.  They host Food Pop-Ups, Tours, and Trikonasana yoga class where 100% of the profits go to a different local nonprofit every month.  Find your center and relax as you enjoy their wide selection of top-notch beers on tap.

Empirical Brewery – Bowmanville

Google Review: 4.7/5

The perfect spot for any craft beer connoisseur, this brewery aims to explore the science of beer by making empirical (get it) observations. Come here for the scientific brews or to indulge in your nerdy side with any of their events, such as Harry Potter Trivia night!  Don’t worry if you can’t make it out to their inviting taproom, they have delivery options so you can enjoy their beers any time at home!


Written By: Maxine Kasznia

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Author bio: Maxine is a Chicago Native and UCLA grad. She has a passion for sustainable eating and loves to find the best environmentally friendly spots in every city she visits. After living in both Chicago and LA, she has an appreciation for local cuisines and continues to look for ways to expand her palate.