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NFL: AUG 08 Preseason - Panthers at Bears
The Chicago Bears are hungry for a title.
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Where To Watch College & NFL Football in Chicago

This could be the year, Bears fans

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The Chicago Bears are hungry for a title.
| Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

College football season is already underway, and the NFL will soon follow. Some are banking that the Chicago Bears will recover from last year’s playoff heartbreaker and be Super Bowl contenders. Whatever the future may hold for the Bears, watching the game at a bar with good food and drink is always as smart option.

The following list isn’t meant to be an exhaustive ranking, but feature some of Eater’s favorite sports bars. They’re a mix of spots with fun atmospheres, good specials, and tasty food. Every sports fan has been in a situation where they’re stuck at a bar with uncooked chicken tenders that didn’t sit long enough in the fryer. These spots are a cut above and meant to avoid that nefarious predicament.

Know of any other bars with screening events for out-of-town football teams? Send a note to the tipline, an anoymous tip or leave a comment.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern

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Stationed in the plaza in front of Wrigley Field, this Four Corners bar has plenty of baseball memorabilia, but the food will cater to fans of all sports.

A bar space with exposed brick flooring, high-top tables and chairs, and warm yellow lighting. The space has a wood paneled ceiling and a glowing blue light fixture sits in a back corner.
Brickhouse Tavern in front of Wrigley Field
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Sheffield's Wine & Beer Garden

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Sheffield’s gets crowded after Cubs games thanks to three indoor bars, and outdoor bar, and one of the biggest beer lists in town. It’s also got some solid smoked meats.

The Pony

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Teams: Kentucky, Texas A&M, Central Florida

The Pony continues to draw fans Lakeview thanks to specials and tons of TVs.

A bar space has a polished light wood floor and bar lined with eight brown backed bar stools. Three televisions sit behind the bar, situated inside a geometric shelving and lighting unit.
Pony up to the bar at the Pony.
The Pony [Official Photo]

Will's Northwoods Inn

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Team: Wisconsin, Green Bay Packers.

It’s safe to wear your green and gold inside Will’s, where crowds fill the bar and participate in halftime raffles.

A plate-glass window in front of the bar reads “Will’s Northwoods Inn Tavern and Bier Garden, est. 1991” in yellow letters with black outlines. A small Cubs sticker is visible on the window below the letters.
Packers pride is welcome at Will’s.
Will’s Northwoods Inn [Official Photo]

Vaughan's Pub

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Teams: Ohio State, Browns

Chicago's home for Clevelanders will feature Saturday gameday specials. The comfy pub is always a fun time.

The outside of a brick pub at night. A large green hanging sign reads “Vaughan’s Pub.” Large flags hang outside.
Vaughan’s Pub attracts Ohioans.
Vaughan’s Pub [Official Photo]

The Whale Chicago

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Over in Old Town, the Vig broke ground as an upscale sports bar that was gambling themed. Ownership tweaked the sports booking themed and created the Whale, where it’s like the casino scene from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

View this post on Instagram

Just wait until it’s finished...

A post shared by The Whale Chicago (@thewhalechicago) on

Park & Field

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Logan Square's retro sports bar will offer a full buffet with a chili bar and bottomless drinks.

A white-walled room is filled with several four-top wooden tables. A chandelier hangs over head in the brightly-lit space, and art hangs on the walls.
Park & Field offers a vintage take on sports bars.
Nick Fochtman/Eater Chicago

Beck's Chicago

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Beck’s is from the same team behind Toon’s. Those familiar with the Lakeview menu know what to expect in Lincoln Park. Great wings and burgers, a comfy setting, and nice people.

Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Joe's Bar

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Teams: Illinois, Texas A&M, Indiana, Arizona, Florida

Illinois bars are a dime a dozen, but every alum seemingly eventually finds themselves at Joe’s.

Whiskey Business

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A tribute to nostalgia, this two-level Wicker Park bar has a fun rooftop outdoor area. There’s outdoor TVs and spiked slushies, too.

Whiskey Business Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Bounce Sporting Club

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This N.Y. import features fancy bar food and morphs into a club at night at the Old Town/River North border.

Large U-shaped brown leather booths sit side-by-side in a low-lit room with a geometric tiled floor. A light-up sign on the wall behind the booths reads “Bounce” in cursive letters.
Bounce Sporting Club is a luxe spot to catch a game.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Cleos Bar And Grill

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Cleo’s is more known as an international soccer bar, but they also offer NFL Sunday Ticket on its 16 HD screens for the other type of football.

Timothy O'Toole's Pub

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A Streeterville classic, this pub has great bar food and offers shuttle service to Soldier Field. This year, the bar is also doing an SNL tribute to the Superfans.

Timothy O’Toole’s
Google

One of the city’s best sports bars has a quality menu that will satisfy non-sports fans dragged to a gamewatch.

On Tour Brewing Company

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On Tour Brewing is one of the most fun spaces in the city for any occasion, and they’ll welcome football fans this year. Bring your own food or grab some from a food truck outside or regular contributor Arigato Market.

Throwing it back to Chicago Brewing District's Dancing in the Streets. #TBT

Posted by On Tour Brewing Co. on Thursday, August 15, 2019

WestEnd

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Whotever the sport, WestEnd is in season along Madison near the United Center. This Four Corners venue is partial to the Michigan Wolverines.

The Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen

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One of the better sports bars on the South Side features delicious wings and craft beer.

Bracket Room Sports Lounge & Eatery

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This newish sports bar near UIC features upscale bar food and plenty of TVs. Try the homemade tater tots.

We’re here waiting for you, come have a drink with us! #BRChicago #312food #BracketRoom

Posted by Bracket Room Chicago on Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Kroll's South Loop

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Team: Wisconsin

This South Loop sports bar has giant screens, and quality food and service.

Fatpour Tap Works - McCormick

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The South Loop spinoff of the Wicker Park bar is back near McCormick. It features a large beer list, Sunday brunch, and it’s probably the closest bar to Soldier Field.

A large bar space is filled with dark wood tables and chairs. A tiled wall behind the bar offsets bottles, taps, and coolers. The brown ceiling appears to be wood woven into a basket-weave texture. Three TVs hang over the bar. Fatpour Tap Works - McCormick [Official Photo]

Turtle's Bar & Grill

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A quick walk from Sox Park, Turtle’s gets crowded after baseball games as fans crowd the space. It’s got a deep beer list, popular burgers, and pizza to sate any fan.

Turtle’s
Google

Cork & Kerry

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This Beverly stalwart has been around for more than two decades. It’s more of a White Sox bar, but the Chicago Cardinals are no longer on the South Side so they’ll proudly root for the Bears.

Cork & Kerry
Google

Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern

A bar space with exposed brick flooring, high-top tables and chairs, and warm yellow lighting. The space has a wood paneled ceiling and a glowing blue light fixture sits in a back corner.
Brickhouse Tavern in front of Wrigley Field
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Stationed in the plaza in front of Wrigley Field, this Four Corners bar has plenty of baseball memorabilia, but the food will cater to fans of all sports.

A bar space with exposed brick flooring, high-top tables and chairs, and warm yellow lighting. The space has a wood paneled ceiling and a glowing blue light fixture sits in a back corner.
Brickhouse Tavern in front of Wrigley Field
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Sheffield's Wine & Beer Garden

Sheffield’s gets crowded after Cubs games thanks to three indoor bars, and outdoor bar, and one of the biggest beer lists in town. It’s also got some solid smoked meats.

The Pony

A bar space has a polished light wood floor and bar lined with eight brown backed bar stools. Three televisions sit behind the bar, situated inside a geometric shelving and lighting unit.
Pony up to the bar at the Pony.
The Pony [Official Photo]

Teams: Kentucky, Texas A&M, Central Florida

The Pony continues to draw fans Lakeview thanks to specials and tons of TVs.

A bar space has a polished light wood floor and bar lined with eight brown backed bar stools. Three televisions sit behind the bar, situated inside a geometric shelving and lighting unit.
Pony up to the bar at the Pony.
The Pony [Official Photo]

Will's Northwoods Inn

A plate-glass window in front of the bar reads “Will’s Northwoods Inn Tavern and Bier Garden, est. 1991” in yellow letters with black outlines. A small Cubs sticker is visible on the window below the letters.
Packers pride is welcome at Will’s.
Will’s Northwoods Inn [Official Photo]

Team: Wisconsin, Green Bay Packers.

It’s safe to wear your green and gold inside Will’s, where crowds fill the bar and participate in halftime raffles.

A plate-glass window in front of the bar reads “Will’s Northwoods Inn Tavern and Bier Garden, est. 1991” in yellow letters with black outlines. A small Cubs sticker is visible on the window below the letters.
Packers pride is welcome at Will’s.
Will’s Northwoods Inn [Official Photo]

Vaughan's Pub

The outside of a brick pub at night. A large green hanging sign reads “Vaughan’s Pub.” Large flags hang outside.
Vaughan’s Pub attracts Ohioans.
Vaughan’s Pub [Official Photo]

Teams: Ohio State, Browns

Chicago's home for Clevelanders will feature Saturday gameday specials. The comfy pub is always a fun time.

The outside of a brick pub at night. A large green hanging sign reads “Vaughan’s Pub.” Large flags hang outside.
Vaughan’s Pub attracts Ohioans.
Vaughan’s Pub [Official Photo]

The Whale Chicago

Over in Old Town, the Vig broke ground as an upscale sports bar that was gambling themed. Ownership tweaked the sports booking themed and created the Whale, where it’s like the casino scene from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

View this post on Instagram

Just wait until it’s finished...

A post shared by The Whale Chicago (@thewhalechicago) on

Park & Field

A white-walled room is filled with several four-top wooden tables. A chandelier hangs over head in the brightly-lit space, and art hangs on the walls.
Park & Field offers a vintage take on sports bars.
Nick Fochtman/Eater Chicago

Logan Square's retro sports bar will offer a full buffet with a chili bar and bottomless drinks.

A white-walled room is filled with several four-top wooden tables. A chandelier hangs over head in the brightly-lit space, and art hangs on the walls.
Park & Field offers a vintage take on sports bars.
Nick Fochtman/Eater Chicago

Beck's Chicago

Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Beck’s is from the same team behind Toon’s. Those familiar with the Lakeview menu know what to expect in Lincoln Park. Great wings and burgers, a comfy setting, and nice people.

Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Joe's Bar

Teams: Illinois, Texas A&M, Indiana, Arizona, Florida

Illinois bars are a dime a dozen, but every alum seemingly eventually finds themselves at Joe’s.

Whiskey Business

Whiskey Business Marc Much/Eater Chicago

A tribute to nostalgia, this two-level Wicker Park bar has a fun rooftop outdoor area. There’s outdoor TVs and spiked slushies, too.

Whiskey Business Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Bounce Sporting Club

Large U-shaped brown leather booths sit side-by-side in a low-lit room with a geometric tiled floor. A light-up sign on the wall behind the booths reads “Bounce” in cursive letters.
Bounce Sporting Club is a luxe spot to catch a game.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

This N.Y. import features fancy bar food and morphs into a club at night at the Old Town/River North border.

Large U-shaped brown leather booths sit side-by-side in a low-lit room with a geometric tiled floor. A light-up sign on the wall behind the booths reads “Bounce” in cursive letters.
Bounce Sporting Club is a luxe spot to catch a game.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Cleos Bar And Grill

Cleo’s is more known as an international soccer bar, but they also offer NFL Sunday Ticket on its 16 HD screens for the other type of football.

Timothy O'Toole's Pub

Timothy O’Toole’s
Google

A Streeterville classic, this pub has great bar food and offers shuttle service to Soldier Field. This year, the bar is also doing an SNL tribute to the Superfans.

Timothy O’Toole’s
Google

Theory

One of the city’s best sports bars has a quality menu that will satisfy non-sports fans dragged to a gamewatch.

On Tour Brewing Company

On Tour Brewing is one of the most fun spaces in the city for any occasion, and they’ll welcome football fans this year. Bring your own food or grab some from a food truck outside or regular contributor Arigato Market.

Throwing it back to Chicago Brewing District's Dancing in the Streets. #TBT

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