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The NBA All Star Game comes to Chicago.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Where to Eat and Drink Before NBA All Star Weekend Near Downtown Chicago

Eat, drink, and celebrate like no scrub

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The NBA All Star Game comes to Chicago.
| Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Chicago will host the NBA All Star Game on February 16 for the first time in 32 years — back then it was held at the original “Madhouse on Madison.” Chicago Stadium has since been razed as workers built the United Center across the street. Basketball’s biggest stars will be in town to hang out, along with some of the country’s biggest musicians. The event gives restaurants a chance to pander to NBA fans with pop-up bars, special basketball-themed menus, and other events.

Below is a sampling of some of the many public-facing events that will take place this week around town. The majority are downtown and in River North, but this list is not meant to be comprehensive. Beyond this, fans might see players hanging out at Soule in West Town or Avli in River North or Lincoln Park. NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks is a fan of the Greek fare at Avli. Meanwhile, game is a welcome distraction for Chicago Bulls fans who welcome the All Star Break during a difficult season. Check out the picks below.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Fifty/50

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2047 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 489-5050
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Wicker Park sports bar the Fifty/50 is hosting a week-long All Star pop-up that runs Tuesday through Sunday. Patrons can expect two floors of 90s-era basketball decor and taped playoff games, as well as a themed menu with cocktails such as the NBA Jam-inspired “Boomshakalaka” (Midori, triple sec, lemon) and a tribute to Madonna and Dennis Rodman’s relationship called “Madge & the Worm” (vodka, malört, triple sec, lemon, cranberry). Other ‘90s Bulls players also get homages.

Fifty/50 Restaurant Group [Official Logo]

2. Mariposa

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737 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 642-5900
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Neiman Marcus’s upscale restaurant Mariposa plans to host a few players from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, so eager fans can “meet and greet” while sipping specialty cocktails and trying game day menu offerings. Drinks include the “Double Dribble” (Hennessy VSOP, Grand Marnier, stone fruit) and the “Perfect Layup” (Belvedere Mango Passion vodka, lemongrass, lime), with fancy twists on game day fare like “Deviled Eggs 4 Ways” (applewood bacon, tomato jam, smoked salmon, caviar) and turkey chili (blue corn chips, pico de gallo, cheddar). Check out the various events.

A table with food
Mariposa is going all-out for game day.
Mariposa/ettakit/Dana Ann Photography

3. TAO Chicago

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632 N Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60654
(224) 888-0388
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TAO, which is part club and part restaurant has a pair of events. On Thursday, the club will host DJ Space with tickets available at the door by doorman discretion. Folks can also make a reservation for a table. DJ Khaled will make another appearance on Friday with bottle service available via reservations. GA tickets are also available at the door.

 

 

TAO Chicago
TAO Chicago/Warren Jagger

4. Michael Jordan's Steak House Chicago

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505 Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 321-8823
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The steakhouse named for Chicago’s legendary basketball player is an ideal spot for NBA fans. The “Space Jam Combo” features a burger (barbecue braised pork belly, pickled onions, dill pickle, stout mustard, butterkäse, aged cheddar) with fries and a “Mike’s Secret Stuff” salted-caramel milkshake.

5. Fremont

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15 W Illinois St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 874-7270
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Get the party started early at Fremont in River North with a “Baller Brunch” in partnership with Jack Daniel’s on Saturday and Sunday. Specials include a $40 brunch buffet and $25 mimosa package, and popular sneaker producer the Shoe Surgeon will give away a pair of custom Jack Daniel’s sneakers on both days. There’ll also be sets from DJ Sean Mac & Mr. Shaw on Saturday, and DJ Heavy & Miss Meg on Sunday. Reservations are recommended.

A brunch buffet
Fremont features a “Baller Brunch” buffet for $40.
Four Corners [Official Photo]

6. Joy District Chicago

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112 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 955-0339
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River North nightclub destination Joy District is known for attracting celebs, and this All-Star Weekend is no different: DJ Khaled is slated to perform Saturday night, and reps also promise special appearances from “NBA stars and celebrities.” Staff are also throwing a “South Beach Day” party with music from Tory Lanez, DJ Stevie J, and DJ E Feez. A star of Khaled’s caliber is likely to draw crowds, so table reservations are a smart move.

7. Dance Studio

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58 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 377-9944
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Chicago’s largest restaurant group opened this new clubby hotspot last month in the former celeb-studded Studio Paris space in River North. Revelers can celebrate the All-Star Weekend with a Friday DJ set from venerable rapper Lil Jon and a set on Saturday from none other than the legendary Shaquille O’Neal. Finally, on Sunday there’s a dance party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. with a “surprise guest” to be named later. Reps note that tickets are “extremely” limited, so it’s a good idea to snag them soon.

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All of the lights Doors at 9. #GetOutThere

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8. El Che Steakhouse & Bar

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845 W Washington Blvd
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 265-1130
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John Manion’s essential steakhouse El Che will celebrate the game with an opulent $159 “All-Star Parrillada platter” on Saturday and Sunday, featuring grilled beef short rib, bife angosto, sweetbreads, morcilla, chorizo, bone marrow, salsa criolla, chimichurri, and bone-in ribeye. Staff will also offer a special cocktail menu with drinks named for notable players: these include “the Greek Freak” (ouzo, orange juice, lemon juice, PBR), a reference to the Milwaukee Bucks’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, and “the King” (white and spiced rum, lime juice, St. Germain, dry curacao), honoring Lakers’s star LeBron James.

A platter of meats
El Che’s “All-Star Parrillada platter”
Neil John Burger

1. The Fifty/50

2047 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
Fifty/50 Restaurant Group [Official Logo]

Wicker Park sports bar the Fifty/50 is hosting a week-long All Star pop-up that runs Tuesday through Sunday. Patrons can expect two floors of 90s-era basketball decor and taped playoff games, as well as a themed menu with cocktails such as the NBA Jam-inspired “Boomshakalaka” (Midori, triple sec, lemon) and a tribute to Madonna and Dennis Rodman’s relationship called “Madge & the Worm” (vodka, malört, triple sec, lemon, cranberry). Other ‘90s Bulls players also get homages.

2047 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622

2. Mariposa

737 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
A table with food
Mariposa is going all-out for game day.
Mariposa/ettakit/Dana Ann Photography

Neiman Marcus’s upscale restaurant Mariposa plans to host a few players from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, so eager fans can “meet and greet” while sipping specialty cocktails and trying game day menu offerings. Drinks include the “Double Dribble” (Hennessy VSOP, Grand Marnier, stone fruit) and the “Perfect Layup” (Belvedere Mango Passion vodka, lemongrass, lime), with fancy twists on game day fare like “Deviled Eggs 4 Ways” (applewood bacon, tomato jam, smoked salmon, caviar) and turkey chili (blue corn chips, pico de gallo, cheddar). Check out the various events.

737 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

3. TAO Chicago

632 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654
TAO Chicago
TAO Chicago/Warren Jagger

TAO, which is part club and part restaurant has a pair of events. On Thursday, the club will host DJ Space with tickets available at the door by doorman discretion. Folks can also make a reservation for a table. DJ Khaled will make another appearance on Friday with bottle service available via reservations. GA tickets are also available at the door.

 

 

632 N Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60654

4. Michael Jordan's Steak House Chicago

505 Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

The steakhouse named for Chicago’s legendary basketball player is an ideal spot for NBA fans. The “Space Jam Combo” features a burger (barbecue braised pork belly, pickled onions, dill pickle, stout mustard, butterkäse, aged cheddar) with fries and a “Mike’s Secret Stuff” salted-caramel milkshake.

505 Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

5. Fremont

15 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654
A brunch buffet
Fremont features a “Baller Brunch” buffet for $40.
Four Corners [Official Photo]

Get the party started early at Fremont in River North with a “Baller Brunch” in partnership with Jack Daniel’s on Saturday and Sunday. Specials include a $40 brunch buffet and $25 mimosa package, and popular sneaker producer the Shoe Surgeon will give away a pair of custom Jack Daniel’s sneakers on both days. There’ll also be sets from DJ Sean Mac & Mr. Shaw on Saturday, and DJ Heavy & Miss Meg on Sunday. Reservations are recommended.

15 W Illinois St
Chicago, IL 60654

6. Joy District Chicago

112 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654

River North nightclub destination Joy District is known for attracting celebs, and this All-Star Weekend is no different: DJ Khaled is slated to perform Saturday night, and reps also promise special appearances from “NBA stars and celebrities.” Staff are also throwing a “South Beach Day” party with music from Tory Lanez, DJ Stevie J, and DJ E Feez. A star of Khaled’s caliber is likely to draw crowds, so table reservations are a smart move.

112 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654

7. Dance Studio

58 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654

Chicago’s largest restaurant group opened this new clubby hotspot last month in the former celeb-studded Studio Paris space in River North. Revelers can celebrate the All-Star Weekend with a Friday DJ set from venerable rapper Lil Jon and a set on Saturday from none other than the legendary Shaquille O’Neal. Finally, on Sunday there’s a dance party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. with a “surprise guest” to be named later. Reps note that tickets are “extremely” limited, so it’s a good idea to snag them soon.

58 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60654

8. El Che Steakhouse & Bar

845 W Washington Blvd, Chicago, IL 60607
A platter of meats
El Che’s “All-Star Parrillada platter”
Neil John Burger

John Manion’s essential steakhouse El Che will celebrate the game with an opulent $159 “All-Star Parrillada platter” on Saturday and Sunday, featuring grilled beef short rib, bife angosto, sweetbreads, morcilla, chorizo, bone marrow, salsa criolla, chimichurri, and bone-in ribeye. Staff will also offer a special cocktail menu with drinks named for notable players: these include “the Greek Freak” (ouzo, orange juice, lemon juice, PBR), a reference to the Milwaukee Bucks’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, and “the King” (white and spiced rum, lime juice, St. Germain, dry curacao), honoring Lakers’s star LeBron James.

845 W Washington Blvd
Chicago, IL 60607

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