Chicago — being the mega sports city it is — does the sports bar like no other! Think wall upon wall covered with television screens... above the bar, in the beer gardens, on the patios. You'll find even sprawling dual level sports bars packed on game day, whether that means baseball, football, hockey or basketball — the fans come out in droves.
Here is a field guide to some of Chicago's best sports bars.
Head to Chicago's Wrigleyville in the Lakeview neighborhood where the streets are lined with sports bar after sports bar. You can't go wrong with a neighborhood named after its historic field. Join the cheering and beer-ing at places like the Cubby Bear and Murphy's Bleachers. These long-time favorites are nearly as much fun as being at the stadium.
Step things up a notch at Sports Corner, where three levels are filled with fan madness on game day. Facing Wrigley Field at the corner of Addison and Sheffield, you can look right out at the stadium from the open-air roof deck
Also in the neighborhood is Deuces & The Diamond Club, an industrially hip bar complete with a Miami-style patio and gourmet burgers that won't disappoint.
Just a few train stops from downtown, and right along the lakefront, the intersection of Wells Street and North Avenue has a few raucous picks for sports fans. There's Old Town Social with its star charcuterie platters, Benchmark with its year round rooftop, and Old Town Pour House with its lofty interior and wide open windows that draw the crowds in.
For more pre- or post-game fun near United Center, check out the West End in Chicago's West Loop. This favorite during hockey and basketball season, or really just any time of year, has 32 plasma TVs. You can catch a game from any angle. And just up the street is Beer Bistro, where you can belly up to the bar for a craft beer and conversation with the locals.
Downtown Loop & River North
Downtown you'll find plenty of sports bars that will entertain regardless of a game. Head to Rockit Bar & Grill on Chicago's Hubbard Street, a trendy hot spot for locals and visitors alike. Want something to nosh on while you enjoy a tasty cold beverage? Do yourself a favor and try their famous Rockcorn Shrimp with chili lime sauce.
With a location inside a massive shopping mall (Water Tower Place) on The Magnificent Mile, you may be surprised that this is one of the biggest Chicago sports memorabilia collections on display. The Chicago Sports Museum is the place to see the Infamous Cubs Foul Ball in all its tattered glory and Sammy Sosa's corked bat — and right next door Harry Caray's 7th Inning Stretch is the place to watch all the games. Named after the legendary sportscaster, the restaurant and bar has a menu dominated by local craft beers and classic comfort foods. Planning to be at Navy Pier? Then plan to hang out at the Harry Caray's Tavern outpost there and if its summertime (aka baseball season!), have your drinks on the patio where tvs light up the outside bar.
For more elevated pub fare, try Municipal Bar + Dining Co. or Public House — both are also found in high energy River North. Masculine decor that is both modern and rustic set the scene, as do the walls of tv screens and handy table tap booths. YES you can pour your own beer in Chicago!
Also downtown is Fadó, an authentic Irish pub with double-barreled Guinness taps on all three levels. Stay for the live music. You may not be lucky enough to spot a leprechaun, but you may catch a glimpse of a glowing bride; it's a popular spot after downtown weddings. For more Irish fun, check out Timothy O'Toole's for pub grub and the game or stop in at Butch McGuire's, on Division Street, a staple since the advent of singles bar, where even Hugh Hefner used to frequent.
Miller's Pub, which opened in 1935, is a favorite Loop locale. Grab a beer during the week and toast to the legendary Bill Veeck, who has his own honorary corner of the bar. Veeck's Corner pays tribute to the man who brought ivy to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, and fireworks to home run moments for the Chicago White Sox.
Cold beer, great food, multiple screens — what's not to love?