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The United Center on Chicago’s Near West Side.
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for The Laver Cup

Where to Eat Near Chicago’s United Center, Home of the Bulls and Blackhawks

Tasting menus, iconic burgers, and more

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The United Center on Chicago’s Near West Side.
| Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for The Laver Cup

The United Center, on the city’s Near West Side, is caught in limbo near the fancy restaurants along Randolph Restaurant Row and the older guard along Madison Avenue. It’s not an amusement park-type atmosphere like in Wrigleyville, where North Side developers are building hotels, restaurants, and stores close to Wrigley Field. The United Center is surrounded by parking lots and housing. That’s one reason the arena recently unveiled a new restaurant inside the United Center, as Queenie’s Supper Club hopes to offer fans convenience.

But for more discriminating tastes, the neighborhood does offer some solid eats. There’s fine dining, family-friendly casual, and iconic Chicago burgers nearby. While the arena food has improved in certain areas, there’s no need to depend on concessionaires for a good time. There’s certainly no need to wait in line for a taco while missing game action.

These are the best bets for food around the United Center.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Eden Chicago

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Eden is the first restaurant from Paramount Events, and there’s tasty Mediterranean food to be found inside. The wine list is fun, the interiors are bright, and the pitas are warm and fluffy.

Eden is from Paramount Events.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

SoJu BBQ

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SoJu BBQ is a casual Korean spot serving up unique Asian barbecue and more. Sometimes the line gets chaotic and it doesn’t move as quickly as it should, but carnivores are treated to hulking portions of short rib and other Korean classics tweaked to fit modern tastes.

Soju BBQ’s short ribs are meaty.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Billy Goat Tavern

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A Chicago icon made famous by SNL, Billy Goat Tavern has long been a favorite of fans. Customers know what to expect: thin burgers and cheap beer in an old-school setting.

Billy Goat’s famous burgers.
Billy Goat Tavern/Facebook

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

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This West Loop location of this Japanese steakhouse chain offers tabletop grills for an interactive experience. Customers can try wagyu beef without breaking the bank at Gyu-Kaku.

Gyu-Kaku
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ/Facebook

Elske may not 100 percent remind Bulls forward Lauri Marrkanen of his native Finland, but the Michelin-starred Scandinavian-inspired restaurant boosts an accessible tasting menu, great mocktails, and delicious pastries.

The interior of a fine dining restaurant with a small bar.
Elske
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

The Loyalist

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The casual sibling to Michelin-starred Smyth, the Loyalist is located in the basement and offers customers fun cocktails, a good wine list, and darts. The burger, a decadent message of cheese and beef, ranks among Chicago’s best. It’s a great place if fans are sick of the sports bros at the UC a need to detox.

The Loyalist’s burger
The Loyalist/Facebook

Mad Social

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Gina Stefani finally relented and joined her famous father’s restaurant empire, making Mad Social a surprise hit with creative Italian-American fare in a family-friendly setting. The chicken and waffles for brunch is impressive.

Mad Social
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio

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If fans want to go fancy, visit this Italian spot from James Beard Award-winning chef Sarah Grueneberg. Her pasta’s creative and made with care, and the dining room is warm and inviting. Monteverde is always bustling and reservations are recommended.

Monteverde Photos Sarah Greueneberg West Loop Italian Restaurant
Monteverde is one of the best restaurants in the country.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Bonci Pizzeria

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The first U.S. location of this Roman pizzeria serves unique square-cut slices with an eclectic array of toppings. Customers buy their pizzas buy the weight and it’s easy to get carried away at Bonci with the tremendous selections. There’s not much seating, so be warned.

Bonci Pizza
Bonci/Facebook

Kuma's Corner West Loop

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It’s a bit of a walk, but craft beer, thick burgers stacked with ridiculous toppings, and vociferous music unite at Kuma’s Corner. This is the fanciest iteration of the metal-themed burger chain to date, a modern refresh of the Avondale original.

Kuma’s Corner Fulton Market
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

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This Memphis chain has exploded with expansion, treating customers to fried chicken with a hint of heat. This is a family-friendly location with a full bar. The sides don’t live up to the quality of the chicken, but save room for pie at Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Sizzling Pot King 香鍋大王

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For folks who like Hunanese food, this chain has arrived in Greektown. Hot pot is the name of the game at Sizzling Pot King, and folks who enjoy food with a little heat have a spot to celebrate.

Sizzling Pot King
Sizzling Pot King/Facebook

Eden Chicago

Eden is from Paramount Events.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Eden is the first restaurant from Paramount Events, and there’s tasty Mediterranean food to be found inside. The wine list is fun, the interiors are bright, and the pitas are warm and fluffy.

Eden is from Paramount Events.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

SoJu BBQ

Soju BBQ’s short ribs are meaty.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

SoJu BBQ is a casual Korean spot serving up unique Asian barbecue and more. Sometimes the line gets chaotic and it doesn’t move as quickly as it should, but carnivores are treated to hulking portions of short rib and other Korean classics tweaked to fit modern tastes.

Soju BBQ’s short ribs are meaty.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Billy Goat Tavern

Billy Goat’s famous burgers.
Billy Goat Tavern/Facebook

A Chicago icon made famous by SNL, Billy Goat Tavern has long been a favorite of fans. Customers know what to expect: thin burgers and cheap beer in an old-school setting.

Billy Goat’s famous burgers.
Billy Goat Tavern/Facebook

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

Gyu-Kaku
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ/Facebook

This West Loop location of this Japanese steakhouse chain offers tabletop grills for an interactive experience. Customers can try wagyu beef without breaking the bank at Gyu-Kaku.

Gyu-Kaku
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ/Facebook

Elske

The interior of a fine dining restaurant with a small bar.
Elske
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Elske may not 100 percent remind Bulls forward Lauri Marrkanen of his native Finland, but the Michelin-starred Scandinavian-inspired restaurant boosts an accessible tasting menu, great mocktails, and delicious pastries.

The interior of a fine dining restaurant with a small bar.
Elske
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

The Loyalist

The Loyalist’s burger
The Loyalist/Facebook

The casual sibling to Michelin-starred Smyth, the Loyalist is located in the basement and offers customers fun cocktails, a good wine list, and darts. The burger, a decadent message of cheese and beef, ranks among Chicago’s best. It’s a great place if fans are sick of the sports bros at the UC a need to detox.

The Loyalist’s burger
The Loyalist/Facebook

Mad Social

Mad Social
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Gina Stefani finally relented and joined her famous father’s restaurant empire, making Mad Social a surprise hit with creative Italian-American fare in a family-friendly setting. The chicken and waffles for brunch is impressive.

Mad Social
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio

Monteverde Photos Sarah Greueneberg West Loop Italian Restaurant
Monteverde is one of the best restaurants in the country.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

If fans want to go fancy, visit this Italian spot from James Beard Award-winning chef Sarah Grueneberg. Her pasta’s creative and made with care, and the dining room is warm and inviting. Monteverde is always bustling and reservations are recommended.

Monteverde Photos Sarah Greueneberg West Loop Italian Restaurant
Monteverde is one of the best restaurants in the country.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Bonci Pizzeria

Bonci Pizza
Bonci/Facebook

The first U.S. location of this Roman pizzeria serves unique square-cut slices with an eclectic array of toppings. Customers buy their pizzas buy the weight and it’s easy to get carried away at Bonci with the tremendous selections. There’s not much seating, so be warned.

Bonci Pizza
Bonci/Facebook

Kuma's Corner West Loop

Kuma’s Corner Fulton Market
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

It’s a bit of a walk, but craft beer, thick burgers stacked with ridiculous toppings, and vociferous music unite at Kuma’s Corner. This is the fanciest iteration of the metal-themed burger chain to date, a modern refresh of the Avondale original.

Kuma’s Corner Fulton Market
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

This Memphis chain has exploded with expansion, treating customers to fried chicken with a hint of heat. This is a family-friendly location with a full bar. The sides don’t live up to the quality of the chicken, but save room for pie at Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Sizzling Pot King 香鍋大王

Sizzling Pot King
Sizzling Pot King/Facebook

For folks who like Hunanese food, this chain has arrived in Greektown. Hot pot is the name of the game at Sizzling Pot King, and folks who enjoy food with a little heat have a spot to celebrate.

Sizzling Pot King
Sizzling Pot King/Facebook

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