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One Chicago restaurant owner says Taylor Swift fans helped bring 300 lunch reservations on Friday.
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Where to Eat & Drink Around Soldier Field

The stadium will still be around even if the Bears are not

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One Chicago restaurant owner says Taylor Swift fans helped bring 300 lunch reservations on Friday.
| Photo by Kevin Mazur/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Soldier Field was built as a monument to armed forces members who served in World War I, and in 1926 it hosted the Army-Navy football game, one of the few times the contest was played away from the northeast.

The stadium, maintained by the Chicago Park District, has had a life before the Chicago Bears, and it will live on even if the team moves to the suburbs. The stadium is perfectly capable of hosting concerts like Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and Metallica. The stadium won’t disintegrate. If the franchise can survive this long without a consistent quarterback, life will also manage to find a way along the frozen tundra of Chicago’s lakeshore.

The South Loop isn’t known for its restaurants, but there are quality eats to be found around the stadium for sports and music fans looking for a pre- or post-event bite. Check out the following listing of Eater Chicago’s favorite restaurants and bars around Soldier Field.

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Roots Handmade Pizza - South Loop

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Roots continues to spread the gospel of Quad Cities Pizza — pizza cut into strips with a malted crust. This Printer’s Row/South Loop location retains the family-friendly feel of the other locations, but also adds a retractable roof that can take advantage of adults who want their nights to last a little longer. Oh, let’s not forget about those mozzarella sticks. 

Roots Handmade Pizza - South Loop

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The Printer’s Row off-shoot of the pizza spot has a patio with a retractable roof and that Quad City-style pies with malted crust and cut into strips. Find great salads and a strong beer list, too.

A patio with roofs. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Half Sour

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It’s a little north of the stadium, but Half Sour is a solid deli with some great breakfast specials and creative dishes like pastrami poutine.

Chicago Curry House

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Fans of South Asian cuisine will be happy to find this neighborhood gem that serves both Nepalese and Indian food. The restaurant’s owner is also behind Nepal House and Momo House, two popular mini chains.

Lowcountry South Loop

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Seafood boils and a machine for Japanese high balls are featured at Lowcountry. A Lakeview location opened in 2015, and this comfy space takes the same successful formula.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Eleven City Diner

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Eleven City Diner is a Jewish diner and soda fountain with giant sandwiches, matzo ball soup and all the traditional fare eaters should expect. Also indulge by ordering a float made with house-made, barrel-aged root beer.

Burger Bar Chicago

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Burger Bar was ahead of its time for its cheffy burgers and craft beer lineup (back then, craft beer was better known as microbrews; marketing is funny). The Prime beef burgers are thick and come in a number of permutations. Bison patties are also available, and there are chicken, shrimp, and veggie (made in-house) options.

Aurelio's Pizza - Chicago-South Loop

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Aurelio's patio overlooking Michigan Avenue provides fans of pizza and sport an ideal vantage point. A great place for Chicago-style thin-crust pizza with giardiniera.

Minghin Cuisine

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Minghin is a dim sum specialist that originated nearby in Chicago’s Chinatown. It mixes tradition — diners will find those large round tables equipped with Lazy Susan trays — inside a modern restaurant with all the bells and whistles Chicago diners expect. The menu features noodles, dumplings, and all the hallmarks of great Cantonese cuisine.

Little Branch Cafe

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The little cafe that could keeps on chugging along during the pandemic with one of the cutest spaces in town. Don’t sleep on larger entrees for more robust hungers. This is a family-friendly spot with a lot of fuss.

Flo & Santos

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Find classic Chicago thin-crust pizza, pierogi, and more. There's also the special flying pork wings. Flo & Santos has an old-school vibe and an ample-sized bar to hang out.

AO Hawaiian Hideout

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This Hot Woks Cool Sushi spinoff saw another transformation, reacting to how the poke boom showed Chicago’s appreciation for Hawaiian food. For folks who enjoy tiki drinks presented without the cultural appropriation, this tropical spot is great. Find tasty soups, noodles, and poke bowls in this

The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant

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This traditional Chicago steakhouse sits in a former fire station. It’s great for special occasions and groups with its dimly lit dining room. There’s also a special game day menu with sausage and peppers, chicken and waffles, and lamb lollipops. The upscale bar food is perfect for game-watching or a bite before.

Victory Tap | South Loop

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Victory Tap is one of the top red sauce chains in the city with great pastas, chops, soups, and more from chef Joe Farina. A throwback to simpler times, the restaurant is comfy with solid cocktails and something for everyone.

Weather Mark Tavern

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This nautical-themed bar/restaurant is more laid-back and welcoming than most. Diners will find the typical burgers, sandwiches and salads they'll find at most bars.

M Lounge

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This sleek and sophisticated lounge is welcoming, with a friendly selection of cocktails. But this isn't somewhere to spend football Sundays during the daytime, as the bar opens at 6 p.m. on Sundays. This is the place to escape the hoopla, and it packs them in on the weekends nights with plenty of live music and DJ sets.

Spoke & Bird Cafe (South Loop)

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Spoke & Bird’s pastries are legendary. Fun, craveable, and creative in the morning. But this cafe also serves an outstanding smash burger that shows they’re about more than baked goods. 

Fatpour Tap Works - McCormick

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Fatpour helped redefine Division Street in Wicker Park, one of the first sports bars along the strip. Big Onion has brought similar energy to the South Side with a big beer selection and a dependable pub menu.

VU Rooftop Bar

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VU has quite a view — the rooftop bar offers a rare sight of the city’s skyline from south of Madison. And while there’s a scene at night with DJs and folks playing dress up, the small plates are tops — sliders, fried shrimp, and more are stars of an underrated menu. VU doesn’t offer a sports crowd, but folks who want a chill space to watch a game without having beer spilled on them have found the ideal shelter.

Apolonia

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Chef Stephen Gillanders South Loop restaurant is a chic and fun way to enjoy pasta, fresh seafood, and more, crossing the Mediterranean for brunch, lunch, and dinner. There’s also a tasting menu for $55, one of the best values around.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Roots Handmade Pizza - South Loop

Roots continues to spread the gospel of Quad Cities Pizza — pizza cut into strips with a malted crust. This Printer’s Row/South Loop location retains the family-friendly feel of the other locations, but also adds a retractable roof that can take advantage of adults who want their nights to last a little longer. Oh, let’s not forget about those mozzarella sticks. 

Roots Handmade Pizza - South Loop

The Printer’s Row off-shoot of the pizza spot has a patio with a retractable roof and that Quad City-style pies with malted crust and cut into strips. Find great salads and a strong beer list, too.

A patio with roofs. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Half Sour

It’s a little north of the stadium, but Half Sour is a solid deli with some great breakfast specials and creative dishes like pastrami poutine.

Chicago Curry House

Fans of South Asian cuisine will be happy to find this neighborhood gem that serves both Nepalese and Indian food. The restaurant’s owner is also behind Nepal House and Momo House, two popular mini chains.

Lowcountry South Loop

Seafood boils and a machine for Japanese high balls are featured at Lowcountry. A Lakeview location opened in 2015, and this comfy space takes the same successful formula.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Eleven City Diner

Eleven City Diner is a Jewish diner and soda fountain with giant sandwiches, matzo ball soup and all the traditional fare eaters should expect. Also indulge by ordering a float made with house-made, barrel-aged root beer.

Burger Bar Chicago

Burger Bar was ahead of its time for its cheffy burgers and craft beer lineup (back then, craft beer was better known as microbrews; marketing is funny). The Prime beef burgers are thick and come in a number of permutations. Bison patties are also available, and there are chicken, shrimp, and veggie (made in-house) options.

Aurelio's Pizza - Chicago-South Loop

Aurelio's patio overlooking Michigan Avenue provides fans of pizza and sport an ideal vantage point. A great place for Chicago-style thin-crust pizza with giardiniera.

Minghin Cuisine

Minghin is a dim sum specialist that originated nearby in Chicago’s Chinatown. It mixes tradition — diners will find those large round tables equipped with Lazy Susan trays — inside a modern restaurant with all the bells and whistles Chicago diners expect. The menu features noodles, dumplings, and all the hallmarks of great Cantonese cuisine.

Little Branch Cafe

The little cafe that could keeps on chugging along during the pandemic with one of the cutest spaces in town. Don’t sleep on larger entrees for more robust hungers. This is a family-friendly spot with a lot of fuss.

Flo & Santos

Find classic Chicago thin-crust pizza, pierogi, and more. There's also the special flying pork wings. Flo & Santos has an old-school vibe and an ample-sized bar to hang out.

AO Hawaiian Hideout

This Hot Woks Cool Sushi spinoff saw another transformation, reacting to how the poke boom showed Chicago’s appreciation for Hawaiian food. For folks who enjoy tiki drinks presented without the cultural appropriation, this tropical spot is great. Find tasty soups, noodles, and poke bowls in this

The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant

This traditional Chicago steakhouse sits in a former fire station. It’s great for special occasions and groups with its dimly lit dining room. There’s also a special game day menu with sausage and peppers, chicken and waffles, and lamb lollipops. The upscale bar food is perfect for game-watching or a bite before.

Victory Tap | South Loop

Victory Tap is one of the top red sauce chains in the city with great pastas, chops, soups, and more from chef Joe Farina. A throwback to simpler times, the restaurant is comfy with solid cocktails and something for everyone.

Weather Mark Tavern

This nautical-themed bar/restaurant is more laid-back and welcoming than most. Diners will find the typical burgers, sandwiches and salads they'll find at most bars.

Related Maps

M Lounge

This sleek and sophisticated lounge is welcoming, with a friendly selection of cocktails. But this isn't somewhere to spend football Sundays during the daytime, as the bar opens at 6 p.m. on Sundays. This is the place to escape the hoopla, and it packs them in on the weekends nights with plenty of live music and DJ sets.

Spoke & Bird Cafe (South Loop)

Spoke & Bird’s pastries are legendary. Fun, craveable, and creative in the morning. But this cafe also serves an outstanding smash burger that shows they’re about more than baked goods. 

Fatpour Tap Works - McCormick

Fatpour helped redefine Division Street in Wicker Park, one of the first sports bars along the strip. Big Onion has brought similar energy to the South Side with a big beer selection and a dependable pub menu.

VU Rooftop Bar

VU has quite a view — the rooftop bar offers a rare sight of the city’s skyline from south of Madison. And while there’s a scene at night with DJs and folks playing dress up, the small plates are tops — sliders, fried shrimp, and more are stars of an underrated menu. VU doesn’t offer a sports crowd, but folks who want a chill space to watch a game without having beer spilled on them have found the ideal shelter.

Apolonia

Chef Stephen Gillanders South Loop restaurant is a chic and fun way to enjoy pasta, fresh seafood, and more, crossing the Mediterranean for brunch, lunch, and dinner. There’s also a tasting menu for $55, one of the best values around.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Related Maps