Bars and Coffeehouses

Favorite Bars -- all these places are pretty serious about their beer: The Hop Leaf (an amazing bar focused on Belgian beers, but with an incredible menu of non-Belgian brews, too); the Map Room, Quenchers (a little divey, but in a nice way); and The Pub (divey to be sure, but it has the best beer selection in Hyde Park by far -- their bottled beer selection is enormous). Piece (in Wicker Park) is an awesome brewpub, with very good beer and great New Haven-style pizza (which apparently means sorta thin-crust with no mozzerella, only parmesan -- a nice antidote to the slabs of cheese and bread that pass for pizza around here :) ).

Coffeehouses: Intelligentsia (great coffee beans sold to cafes throughout the city, and Intelligentsia's own coffeehouses are lovely and make a mean espresso); Cafe Ballou (a very serene place); Gourmand; Kopi Cafe (cute coffeehouse/cafe/shop with a travel theme, lushly decorated); The Bourgeois Pig; Filter (a smoky, intense city coffeehouse with mirrors on the ceiling for people-watching, but nonetheless a good place to study);Cafe Jumping Bean (a small place in Pilsen); and Hyde Park's own Istria Cafe.