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Chicago Sky v Las Vegas Aces
Kahleah Copper and the Chicago Sky are looking for a repeat.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Great Chicago Sports Bars Worth Leaving the House For on Game Day

Catch the reigning WNBA champion Chicago Sky or some pigskin action

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Kahleah Copper and the Chicago Sky are looking for a repeat.
| Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Post-season baseball is an unlikely endeavor for Chicago (at least the South Side has its Italian beef balls). But not all’s lost for the city’s loyal sports fans. The Chicago Sky and Kahleah Copper (“KFC” for those in the know) made basketball fans feel like it was the ‘90s when the reigning WNBA champions dispatched the New York Liberty in the Big Apple. It brought back the joy of seeing Michael Jeffrey Jordan send the Knicks packing. The excitement isn’t limited to hoops as the NFL and college football are back in action. For those battling cabin fever, a sports bar offers an escape.

But finding the right venue is a challenge. Fear not and check out Eater Chicago’s picks for best sports bars in the city. These spots provide the right ambience to check out a game and won’t shame customers who want to play dress up in their baseball cap and jersey. Put on some face paint, it’s OK.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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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.

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.

Kirkwood

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Kirkwood might be a considered a relic of sports bars past, when food wasn’t a draw and cheap pitchers dominated the landscape. But the world has changed and so has the Kirkwood. Over the years, ownership has upgraded its menu and beer lists. That’s enabled the bar to draw college alumni groups and out-of-town fanbases who keep calling Kirkwood their home away from home.

Bob Inn

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The Bob Inn is an old person’s bar only until it isn’t. This is a dive for shots and a beer, with the type of aesthetic that big beer companies love to steal for its commercials. Yes, the crowd skews younger as the night goes on, but make no mistake: This bar takes its baseball seriously. Check out the neon sign in the front declaring it a North Side White Sox bar.

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]

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

Radio Room

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The bar’s owners, DineAmic Hospitality, know what it takes to throw a party. They revamped the former Public House, added twinkle lights, high-end finishes, and a new menu. This place has all the amenities a sports fan would want, and there’s no need to move if postgame festivities are desired. DineAmic will bring the party to the fans.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Miller's Pub

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Drinking at the Loop can be an adventure, and Miller’s Pub, with its familiar green and red sign, wants to be part of your night. The pizza and ribs are Chicago classics, while the bar oozes history with vintage photos and other trinkets throughout the space. There aren’t too many TVs in the space, but the fans who are paying attention to the game will soon become your best friends. You may even become penpals.

Miller’s Pub/Facebook

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.

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.

Kirkwood

Kirkwood might be a considered a relic of sports bars past, when food wasn’t a draw and cheap pitchers dominated the landscape. But the world has changed and so has the Kirkwood. Over the years, ownership has upgraded its menu and beer lists. That’s enabled the bar to draw college alumni groups and out-of-town fanbases who keep calling Kirkwood their home away from home.

Bob Inn

The Bob Inn is an old person’s bar only until it isn’t. This is a dive for shots and a beer, with the type of aesthetic that big beer companies love to steal for its commercials. Yes, the crowd skews younger as the night goes on, but make no mistake: This bar takes its baseball seriously. Check out the neon sign in the front declaring it a North Side White Sox bar.

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]

Theory

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

Radio Room

The bar’s owners, DineAmic Hospitality, know what it takes to throw a party. They revamped the former Public House, added twinkle lights, high-end finishes, and a new menu. This place has all the amenities a sports fan would want, and there’s no need to move if postgame festivities are desired. DineAmic will bring the party to the fans.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Miller's Pub

Drinking at the Loop can be an adventure, and Miller’s Pub, with its familiar green and red sign, wants to be part of your night. The pizza and ribs are Chicago classics, while the bar oozes history with vintage photos and other trinkets throughout the space. There aren’t too many TVs in the space, but the fans who are paying attention to the game will soon become your best friends. You may even become penpals.

Miller’s Pub/Facebook

Related Maps

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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