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Kansas City Chiefs take on the Denver Broncos during week 6 of the NFL season
We’re just here for Taylor Swift.
Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Great Chicago Sports Bars to Watch Football and Other Games

Great food and drink make the losses feel a little less worse

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We’re just here for Taylor Swift.
| Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Chicago sure loves to root for its local teams, no matter how miserable doing that can be. Fortunately, this city also likes to drink and eat, so that helps when a team isn’t performing up to expectations. The nectar obviously tastes sweeter when the teams do what their management wants. In Chicago, apparently, that’s to stay just competitive enough — perhaps a second-place finish — to leave fans wanting more. Championships aren’t important. No one would ever actually want to pretend this is the third-largest market in the country and spend money properly.

If that’s a bitter perspective, just remember: this is the city that produces Jeppson’s Malört. Turn those frowns upside down and try to enjoy some sports at one of these wonderful bars with great ambiance, food, and drink.

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Mullen's Sports Bar & Grill

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A friendly Rogers Park place that has the hallmarks of a dive, but can also accommodate families with young children during the day. The food can be hit or miss depending on who’s in the kitchen. The atmosphere and staff are the main draws, and that energy helps create a fun game day.

Murphy's Bleachers

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In an area of the city saturated by sports bars, Murphy’s Bleachers rises above the fray. Open under various “bleachers” names since the 1930’s, it offers a singular gameday experience just across the street from Wrigley Field with plenty of streetside space for watching the world go by.

DraftKings Sportsbook at Wrigley Field

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Winters don’t have to be drab in Wrigleyvile. DraftKings, the online sportsbook, has built a bar outside of the Friendly Confines, a two-level space where fans can rent out private events and be overloaded with sports info on the many screens. The food is from Levy, the Cubs’ caterer. As for January, the venue still lacks a gaming license, so visitors can’t place a bet in this 21+ spot. The Cubs are hopeful that it will happen by March Madness.

A long bar space with walls entirely covered in TV screens. Chris Peters/Eater Chicago

The Pony Inn

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A Lakeview classic for a lot of University of Kentucky fans. There’s a classic pub menu with wings, tacos, and more. The fans here tend to get hyped for the games, so if you’re there on a gameday on a date — unless you and your partner are there for the sports — maybe take your night elsewhere.

Broken Barrel Bar

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Lincoln Park has seemingly lost its title as the neighborhood with the most annoying sports bars in Chicago. The current champion may be Wicker Park. But not all sports bars are awful. Broken Barrel, on a quiet residential strip, is an example. It’s got plenty of TVs, a friendly waitstaff, and a bar menu that won’t make fans regret staying through overtime. The chicken wings come in fried or smoked, which are some of the best. And there’s a patio.

Park & Field

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Logan Square’s retro sports bar offers daily games on the bocce court, a massive outdoor space in front, and weekend bottomless boozy brunches.

A white room filled with leather couches, tables, and two televisions.
Park & Field’s unusual sports bar
Nick Fochtman/Eater Chicago

The Albion Manor

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Julia Shell knows a thing about bars. The longtime PR executive has taken over a Lincoln Park space with a charming sports bar with a serious food menu. Albion Manor should appeal to soccer fans of all leagues with thoughtful drinks and a menu that includes sausage sliders, wings, and fish and chips.

A bar with dark wood stools.
Albion Manor is a champion.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

The Moonlighter

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From the owners of the Scofflaw, this Logan Square bar caters to sports fans with TVs and a pub menu that includes burgers, wings, and salads. The beer selection is simple (with an emphasis on sours), but the cocktails are the highlights, as Scofflaw is one of the city’s best cocktail bars, and they’ve shared some of that magic to their younger sibling. There’s also a patio.

A blue building sits far back with the words “the Moonlighter” written in yellow. In front, there is a large patio with yellow umbrellas over black tables. Two short wooden walls separate the patio from the sidewalk. The Moonlighter [Official Photo]

Lottie's Pub

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This longtime Wisconsin and Kansas bar in Bucktown is always packed. It’s also a popular setting for TV’s Chicago Fire.

An awning outside a brick bar reads “Lottie’s Since 1934”
Lottie’s first opened in 1934.
Lottie’s [Official Photo]

Joe's on Weed St.

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Illinois bars are a dime a dozen, but all alums seemingly eventually find themselves at Joe’s. This large entertainment complex near Lincoln Park is good for those who want to start the day with sports and end with some music.

View this post on Instagram

No regrets here. #DaBears #Bears100

A post shared by Joe's on Weed St. (@joesonweedst) on

The Fifty/50

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The Fifty/50, with their infamous chicken wings and 25 TVs, is one of Wicker Park’s OGs for sports.

Cleo’s Bar and Grill

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

A corner of a sports bar with a television and soccer scarves on the wall.
Cleos leans toward soccer but doesn’t discriminate.
Cleos Bar and Grill [Official Photo]

No Vacancy

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No Vacancy is another bar that doesn’t want to be put in a single category, claiming it has fancy cocktails, plenty of TV screens, but still will be comfy for lovers of dive bars. It’s a tall order, but this sleek River North bar manages to straddle the line — at least on weekdays. Weekends in River North are hard to escape. Birria egg rolls, chicken tenders, burgers, and salads fill the menu. 

A long black bar lined with backed leather stools. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Monarch & Lion, A British Pub

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A new bar that specializes in British food — which is fish and chips or chicken tikka — has opened in Streeterville. It’s from the owners of Rooh Chicago and Bar Goa, a classy spot for the big game, even soccer and races.

The interior of a pub. Chris Peters/Eater Chicago

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

Ranalli's West Loop

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For 14 years, WestEnd served the sports fans near the United Center, living between dive and upscale, providing patrons with something for everyone. WestEnd’s owners closed the bar during the pandemic to convert it into a location of its popular Ranalli’s bar that’s been a Lincoln Park fan favorite. Customers haven’t missed much. The decor is brighter and there’s build-your-own tavern-style pizzas. 

The Barn Hockey Bar

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Hockey bars aren’t plenty in Chicago, but this new Near West Side establishment near the United Center appears to be on the Connor Bedard bandwagon, dedicating its venue to the sport. The Barn, a reference to the old Chicago Stadium, promises that they’ll always show Hawks games with the sound on, which is a spectacular commitment. The menu is even organized with hockey acumen. Each booth has a TV and there’s a large menu with typical sports bar food — pizza, sandwiches, and more.

Fatpour Tap Works - McCormick

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The South Loop spinoff of the Wicker Park bar is back near McCormick Place. 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 McCormick boasts beer and brunch.
Fatpour Tap Works - McCormick [Official Photo]

Williams Inn Pizza & Sports Bar

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South Siders of a certain age have warm feeling surrounding Williams Inn, a restaurant that featured Chicago-style stuffed pizza. Closed for years, Williams Inn reopened in September as a sports bar that strives inclusivity. Watch the Bears, the Sky, and baseball while sinking your teeth into the same stuffed pizza that fueled so many memories.

Two glorious Chicago deep-dish pizzas Williams Inn Pizzeria [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. This is a favorite among South Side Chicago chefs.

Daisy's Po' Boy and Tavern

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When a James Beard Award winner opens a sports bar, food-loving fans should take notice. Daisy’s Po-Boy opened in August with sandwiches, gumbo, fried chicken, and more. Williams is channeling is aunt with southern food inside a spacious restaurant with plenty of TVs and draft and packaged beer. It’s a rare Black-owned sports bar in the city of Chicago.

An empty bar with tables with green and white tablecloths.
Daisy’s is a sports bar in Hyde Park with food from a James Beard Award winning chef.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Woodlawn Tap

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This Hyde Park classic continues to chug with a friendly clientele and famous pitchers and burgers. The cheap prices may appeal to college kids at the University of Chicago, but the bar formerly known as Jimmy’s welcomes all. Note: They’re cash only.

Woodlawn tap chicago Woodlawn Tap

Mullen's Sports Bar & Grill

A friendly Rogers Park place that has the hallmarks of a dive, but can also accommodate families with young children during the day. The food can be hit or miss depending on who’s in the kitchen. The atmosphere and staff are the main draws, and that energy helps create a fun game day.

Murphy's Bleachers

In an area of the city saturated by sports bars, Murphy’s Bleachers rises above the fray. Open under various “bleachers” names since the 1930’s, it offers a singular gameday experience just across the street from Wrigley Field with plenty of streetside space for watching the world go by.

DraftKings Sportsbook at Wrigley Field

Winters don’t have to be drab in Wrigleyvile. DraftKings, the online sportsbook, has built a bar outside of the Friendly Confines, a two-level space where fans can rent out private events and be overloaded with sports info on the many screens. The food is from Levy, the Cubs’ caterer. As for January, the venue still lacks a gaming license, so visitors can’t place a bet in this 21+ spot. The Cubs are hopeful that it will happen by March Madness.

A long bar space with walls entirely covered in TV screens. Chris Peters/Eater Chicago

The Pony Inn

A Lakeview classic for a lot of University of Kentucky fans. There’s a classic pub menu with wings, tacos, and more. The fans here tend to get hyped for the games, so if you’re there on a gameday on a date — unless you and your partner are there for the sports — maybe take your night elsewhere.

Broken Barrel Bar

Lincoln Park has seemingly lost its title as the neighborhood with the most annoying sports bars in Chicago. The current champion may be Wicker Park. But not all sports bars are awful. Broken Barrel, on a quiet residential strip, is an example. It’s got plenty of TVs, a friendly waitstaff, and a bar menu that won’t make fans regret staying through overtime. The chicken wings come in fried or smoked, which are some of the best. And there’s a patio.

Park & Field

Logan Square’s retro sports bar offers daily games on the bocce court, a massive outdoor space in front, and weekend bottomless boozy brunches.

A white room filled with leather couches, tables, and two televisions.
Park & Field’s unusual sports bar
Nick Fochtman/Eater Chicago

The Albion Manor

Julia Shell knows a thing about bars. The longtime PR executive has taken over a Lincoln Park space with a charming sports bar with a serious food menu. Albion Manor should appeal to soccer fans of all leagues with thoughtful drinks and a menu that includes sausage sliders, wings, and fish and chips.

A bar with dark wood stools.
Albion Manor is a champion.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

The Moonlighter

From the owners of the Scofflaw, this Logan Square bar caters to sports fans with TVs and a pub menu that includes burgers, wings, and salads. The beer selection is simple (with an emphasis on sours), but the cocktails are the highlights, as Scofflaw is one of the city’s best cocktail bars, and they’ve shared some of that magic to their younger sibling. There’s also a patio.

A blue building sits far back with the words “the Moonlighter” written in yellow. In front, there is a large patio with yellow umbrellas over black tables. Two short wooden walls separate the patio from the sidewalk. The Moonlighter [Official Photo]

Lottie's Pub

This longtime Wisconsin and Kansas bar in Bucktown is always packed. It’s also a popular setting for TV’s Chicago Fire.

An awning outside a brick bar reads “Lottie’s Since 1934”
Lottie’s first opened in 1934.
Lottie’s [Official Photo]

Joe's on Weed St.

Illinois bars are a dime a dozen, but all alums seemingly eventually find themselves at Joe’s. This large entertainment complex near Lincoln Park is good for those who want to start the day with sports and end with some music.

View this post on Instagram

No regrets here. #DaBears #Bears100

A post shared by Joe's on Weed St. (@joesonweedst) on

The Fifty/50

The Fifty/50, with their infamous chicken wings and 25 TVs, is one of Wicker Park’s OGs for sports.

Cleo’s Bar and Grill

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

A corner of a sports bar with a television and soccer scarves on the wall.
Cleos leans toward soccer but doesn’t discriminate.
Cleos Bar and Grill [Official Photo]

No Vacancy

No Vacancy is another bar that doesn’t want to be put in a single category, claiming it has fancy cocktails, plenty of TV screens, but still will be comfy for lovers of dive bars. It’s a tall order, but this sleek River North bar manages to straddle the line — at least on weekdays. Weekends in River North are hard to escape. Birria egg rolls, chicken tenders, burgers, and salads fill the menu. 

A long black bar lined with backed leather stools. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Monarch & Lion, A British Pub

A new bar that specializes in British food — which is fish and chips or chicken tikka — has opened in Streeterville. It’s from the owners of Rooh Chicago and Bar Goa, a classy spot for the big game, even soccer and races.

The interior of a pub. Chris Peters/Eater Chicago

Theory

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

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Ranalli's West Loop

For 14 years, WestEnd served the sports fans near the United Center, living between dive and upscale, providing patrons with something for everyone. WestEnd’s owners closed the bar during the pandemic to convert it into a location of its popular Ranalli’s bar that’s been a Lincoln Park fan favorite. Customers haven’t missed much. The decor is brighter and there’s build-your-own tavern-style pizzas. 

The Barn Hockey Bar

Hockey bars aren’t plenty in Chicago, but this new Near West Side establishment near the United Center appears to be on the Connor Bedard bandwagon, dedicating its venue to the sport. The Barn, a reference to the old Chicago Stadium, promises that they’ll always show Hawks games with the sound on, which is a spectacular commitment. The menu is even organized with hockey acumen. Each booth has a TV and there’s a large menu with typical sports bar food — pizza, sandwiches, and more.

Fatpour Tap Works - McCormick

The South Loop spinoff of the Wicker Park bar is back near McCormick Place. 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 McCormick boasts beer and brunch.
Fatpour Tap Works - McCormick [Official Photo]

Williams Inn Pizza & Sports Bar

South Siders of a certain age have warm feeling surrounding Williams Inn, a restaurant that featured Chicago-style stuffed pizza. Closed for years, Williams Inn reopened in September as a sports bar that strives inclusivity. Watch the Bears, the Sky, and baseball while sinking your teeth into the same stuffed pizza that fueled so many memories.

Two glorious Chicago deep-dish pizzas Williams Inn Pizzeria [Official Photo]

Turtle's Bar & Grill

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. This is a favorite among South Side Chicago chefs.

Daisy's Po' Boy and Tavern

When a James Beard Award winner opens a sports bar, food-loving fans should take notice. Daisy’s Po-Boy opened in August with sandwiches, gumbo, fried chicken, and more. Williams is channeling is aunt with southern food inside a spacious restaurant with plenty of TVs and draft and packaged beer. It’s a rare Black-owned sports bar in the city of Chicago.

An empty bar with tables with green and white tablecloths.
Daisy’s is a sports bar in Hyde Park with food from a James Beard Award winning chef.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Woodlawn Tap

This Hyde Park classic continues to chug with a friendly clientele and famous pitchers and burgers. The cheap prices may appeal to college kids at the University of Chicago, but the bar formerly known as Jimmy’s welcomes all. Note: They’re cash only.

Woodlawn tap chicago Woodlawn Tap

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