Enjoy Game Day at Chicago's Best Sports Bars



Although the old "Saturday Night Live" sketch about Chicago's sports "Superfans" and their "Da Bears" and "Da Bulls" refrain represents a real Chicago culture, there are so many sub-categories of sports loving characters cheering in the the hundreds of sports bars, divey and upper scale, across the city. Every sports bar tunes big-screen TVs to Chicago's pro baseball, football, basketball and hockey games. Fans gather to fixate on the screens while cheering, jeering, eating and drinking. But the biggest party takes place in the summer, around Wrigley Field. The historic, north side ballpark, where the Chicago Cubs play, spawned an entire neighborhood of sports bars and restaurants, known as Wrigleyville. The area, particularly along Clark Street, buzzes with activity long after the game's over. Elsewhere in the city, some bars are team-specific, but most welcome fans of every sport. We've chosen some sprinkled across town from Edgewater to the South Loop. 10Best readers give a thumbs-up to Murphy's Bleachers, and cheer for WestEnd Bar & Grille  for its fun crowd and shuttle bus to the United Center. The best sports bars in Chicago? Whether you lean toward riotous or completely laid back, this bar's for you! 



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An official Wisconsin Badgers college football, Bears (NFL), and Blackhawks (NHL) bar, Fatpour has a name that tantalizes beer, wine and cocktail fans. Expect all the games you're looking for broadcast on 30+ TVs. Video DJ's play music or screen funny video's in between commercials. Regulars love the raffles, giveaways, and mascots running around the space. Daily as well as game day specials aplenty, the bar has two floors, with 60 beers on tap, 200 in bottles and cans, an extensive food menu and a signature see-through two-story keg cooler in the middle of the building. Favorite noshes include bacon meatballs, chicken and waffle bites, pizza, burgers and "Fat Plates" like roasted Korean chicken.


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Not far from Soldier Field, this is where Chicago Bears fans like a pre-game brunch (the Captain Crunch French toast and Big Biscuits and gravy are favorites) or a post-game beer and yes, there are 99 from which to choose. The upscale décor and late night menu means you don't have to go only on game day. But Kroll's is a good spot to watch any Chicago sporting event. Big-screen TVs, including a few projector-sized and 20 flat screens, circle the space. Sit at the large U-shaped bar or have a more formal meal at one of the tables. Kids menu and shuffleboard tables make it as family-friendly as a bar can be.


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Sluggers World Class Sports Bar & Grill


 

The stretch of Clark Street near Wrigley Field is lined with new upscale bars, but this longtime Wrigleyville sports bar doubles as a mini indoor sports complex. Not only can you watch baseball, you can hit a few yourself. The second floor has batting cages, Skee-Ball, golf, electronic basketball, air hockey, hoops and more. And that's in addition to the standard video games, pool tables and dart boards. Music, dancing and drinking go on all night long here, too. While primarily a Chicago Cubs bar, it's owned by two Indiana University alumni, so Indiana Hoosiers games are also broadcast. Count on over 30 TVs, six 10-foot screens and HD Plasma TVs throughout the bar. Sandwiches, wraps, burgers, wings, pizza, salads round out the typical sports bar menu.


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If a crush of sweaty bros and tipsy Trixies keep you out of the sports bars, try Barrelman Tavern in Edgewater. The owners take all the best parts of a neighborhood bar and then add low key sports viewing. A place that embodies the Cheers mantra, Barrelman Tavern specializes in whiskeys and keeps the craft beer program ambitious with one-offs. local brews and hard-to-find beers. The Iowa Hawkeye bar features specials like $3 Busch Light cans and $5 Iowa lunchbox shots Saturdays and Sundays. Other liquid deals include $8 PBR pitchers, $5 Tullamore Dew shots and $3 Fireball shots. There are six TV's, an enormous amount of heart and and while there isn't a kitchen, most choose to have food delivered to the bar, which is encouraged.


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Perhaps you neither need nor want a loud, brash sports viewing experience with a menu offering the basic wings, burgers and nachos. Sports fans' looking for an alternative enjoy local games on 30 TV's in the bar and a hop, skip and jump shot from United Center, means Green Street Local works for pre and post game outing, too. Many menu items are inspired by the city itself: Maxwell Street inspired fried pork chop; Pilsen Burger with a black bean patty; and The Rizzo - char-broiled Italian sausage on toasty focaccia. The beverage roster includes 16 draft beers, 42 in bottles and cans, 23 specialty cocktails, and a 40 bottle wine list and every wine is available by the glass. Green Street Local offers the NFL Sunday Ticket, The Big 10 Package and all the UFC PPV.


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Murphy's Bleachers
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Murphy's


 

This sports bar is almost as much of a landmark as it's next door neighbor, Wrigley Field. Located on the corner outside the famed bleachers, Chicago Cubs fans pack the indoor and outdoor patio area on game day, drinking beer out of oversized cans. But the bar is not only for baseball fans. A bevy of monitors keep you posted on competitions across the globe. Sports memorabilia lines the walls, reminding folks that Murphy's is a shrine to all things athletic. Daily drink and grub specials make for a great value, they're open for lunch everyday and join bingo, trivia and karaoke nights for even more fun.


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WestEnd Bar & Grille
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of WestEnd


 

WestEnd Bar & Grille is a decent place for pre-game partying for United Center sporting events, particularly Chicago Blackhawks hockey games. Thirty-three plasma TVs broadcast the games throughout the friendly two-level bar. The best seats for sports fans are the leather, TV-equipped booths. It gets crowded on game days, but that's because fans can count on the bar food, including tacos, burritos and burgers and something from the expansive beer menu, filled with craft and locally brewed ales. Feel free to order another if you're hopping on the bar's free and regularly-running shuttle back and forth to the United Center. Brunch is favorite here often offering bottomless Mimosas and a Bloody Mary bar.


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The retro decor in this Wicker Park sports bar - wood paneling, old lockers, trophies, a colossal American flag hanging across the ceiling, and an old scoreboard - add to its upbeat neighborhood atmosphere. It's the kind of place where you can order a 16-ounce can of Schlitz and jumbo chicken wings or a nuanced craft cocktail with a burger that many rate in their top 10 - the Minnesota born Juicy Lucy stuffed with Velveeta. Count on daily drink specials and a great happy hour. Watch sporting events on two colossal projectors, eight 65-inch flat screen TVs and three 60-inch screen TV's. Afterward, DJs play music to keep the party going.


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You will not miss a minute of the action at Timothy O'Toole's Pub, a subterranean spot in Streeterville that contains everything a great sports bar needs - 74 screens, 48 craft brews on draught and award-winning wings. O'Toole's raises a pint to 25 years as a fan favorite claiming title as an Official Chicago Blackhawks bar - but that's not all. The pub offers a Bears Bus to Soldier Field, hosts the American Outlaws viewing parties and is known to welcome professional athletes for a cold one after a game. Pool tables, darts, Tuesday trivia night and more offer your own form of competition. There are O'Toole's outposts in Gurnee, Libertyville and Lake Villa, too.


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Public House has perfected comfort food without pretension and priciness and the gastropub simultaneously outdoes legions of other sports bars in its viewing capabilities. There's a 30-foot video screen, spanning the length of the bar providing a genuine sense of being field side at a football game or courtside at a basketball game. The screen can also split into two, four, or eight screens displaying different games. Count 'em - 27 other TV's throughout the area which means a play from your favorite team will not be missed if you are stuck in the corner of the bar. Sports and drink hoppiness is always within reach because In addition to more than 100 beers, the gastropub also includes 12 table TAP booths with two types of beer on one and a liquor tap on the other. The table taps allow guests to pour beer and cocktails without having to get up and order from the bar and miss a foul, strike or field goal.


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Meet Jacky Runice

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and...  More About Jacky

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