The Run Down

Late night brews and eats are the focus of this guide. We’re headed to Avondale, a diverse working class neighborhood on Chicago’s Northwest side that’s sandwiched between the uber popular Lakeview and Logan Square neighborhoods. The neighborhood is making a name for itself as a spot where ambitious chefs and business owners have  set up shop.  We’re visiting a few of those spots where we’ll be dining on German street food and then throwing back drinks at two breweries with distinctly different vibes. Here are the details.

1. German Street Food @ Dmen Tap

2. Lagers @ Metropolitan Brewing

3. Beers and Cocktails @ Maplewood Brewery & Distillery

1. Dmen Tap

If you’ve made your way through Chicago’s food scene, then you’ve probably come across traditional German food fare –schnitzel, spatzle, bratwurst, etc. Dmen Tap takes things a few steps further and provides us with an introduction to German street food.  It’s an amalgamation of Turkish, Indian, and German cuisine all rolled into some serious menu items.

There’s an order window next to the bar. If you’re ever around the loop during lunch time, this might be a familiar menu as this place started off as a food truck. If I had one menu item to recommend, it would be the currywurst. It’s a bed of fries topped with pork/veal sausage and dressed with this tomato and curry sauce that I like to refer to as the “nectar of the gods.”  Hopefully, that’s not overselling it too much.

While we came for the food, we stayed for their game room which houses old CRT TVs and classic Nintendo consoles.  After you order, head straight to the back and get a few game of Mario Kart in while you wait for your food. Eat there or take it away to the next stop which is BYOF.

2. Metropolitan Brewing

From Dmen Tap, we’re a few blocks to Metropolitan Brewing. While they’ve been brewing beers in Chicago for the past 10 years, it wasn’t until 2017 that they opened up a taproom to show their wares.

A lot of this block is under construction, so you might be confused when Google Maps tells you that you’ve arrived. Don’t Worry. You’re in the right place. Follow the signs through these dark passageways until you finally reach their door.

Inside is a modern space with floor to ceiling windows that open out to the Chicago River. We were there at night, but during the day time it feels like you’re on a cruise ship right on the water.

Once you’re here, grab a seat anywhere you can find space and order at the bar. As far as beers go, we’ve got the German theme going strong as this craft brewery specializes only in German style lagers. Like a lot of good breweries, they also have a wall of board game to choose from. It’s definitely our type of hang out spot.

By the way, this is the currywurst we brought over from Dmen Tap. what a trio of beer, fries, and meat.

3. Maplewood Brewery & Distillery

Last up on our plans to close out our short brewery tour is Maplewood Brewery & Distillery.  This is a smaller taproom at tucked away at the end of a dead-end street. There’s basically zero foot traffic going past this place, so it’s not the type of establishment you’d easily stumble upon and discover.

Those who don’t know about it, however, are missing out on a chill hangout spot that not only slings all types of beers, but has a whole menu of fancy cocktails.

If it’s getting late into the night and you’ve got the drunk hunger, Maplewood also has variety of elevated bar food brought you by the fine folks at Publican. Think pork belly poutine with red wine demi, cheese curds, truffle oil, pickled red onion, fries and a fried egg.