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Get Your Game on this Weekend

Best places in the city to watch your team(s) triumph year-round

Photo via Rockit Bar & Grill

Chicago is a sports town, no doubt about it. Year-round, sports lovers can catch their favorite teams in action and even play sports in the many amateur sports leagues across the city. Whether you are a fan of the Bulls, the Bears, the Blackhawks, the Sox or the Cubs, a Big 10 team, or anything in between, the city’s restaurants make a great place to eat, drink, and watch the game with fellow fans. These area sports havens make great venues to relax and cheer on your team—so put on your team colors, pull up a chair, and show your spirit!

Photo via The Fifty/50

The Fifty/50 {2047 West Division Street; 773.489.5050}

A Wicker Park staple, The Fifty/50 has been voted the best sports bar in America. One visit and you’ll know why. The Fifty/50 goes beyond just bar snacks; in fact, their menu has been rated as one of the city’s best places for bar food by dining critics. Their recent remodel opened the main floor and expanded the space, which now spans three levels, boasting a full bar on each floor, each with its own distinctive vibe. To quench your thirst, look to Beverage Director Benjamin Schiller’s menu of top-notch cocktails—rivaling those in Chicago’s best cocktail bars—or opt for a beer and a shot. Groups will love The Fifty/50’s classic punch service and daily Beer Bucket deals.

Rockit {22 West Hubbard Street; 312.645.6000}

You’ll find delicious takes on modern comfort foods at Rockit, where you can take a seat at the cool marble bar or opt for a cozy spot in a plush leather booth. Every seat in the house has a view of the TV. You can whet your appetite any time of day—brunch will have you craving the Rockit Rancheros, while at lunch or dinner, you can order up a juicy burger or something to share, like the hummus. Their eclectic menu also includes dishes like Tuna Poke, Wagyu Beef Sliders, Green Chile Chicken Nachos, and Mango Curry Wings.

Burger Bar Chicago {1578 North Clybourn; 312.255.0055 and 1150 South Michigan Avenue; 312.988.0162}

Burger Bar Chicago features build you own, hand-crafted, chef-inspired burgers, Mac and Cheese, Poutine, and sundaes. These burgers are served alongside mouth-watering fresh-cut Truffle Fries, Sweet Potato Tots, Chili-Fried Crispy Chicken, or Fried Pickles. If wings are your thing, Burger Bar Chicago grills their jumbo wings and tosses them in unique, delicious, housemade sauces. You won’t go hungry while cheering on your team.

Public House {400 North State Street; 312.265.1240}

Sports fanatics and gourmands alike will love this 10,000-square-foot sports-lovers’ destination, located in the heart of River North. Beer aficionados will find heaven here, with 100 beers on the menu. More allure for beer lovers: Public House has 10 booths that feature built-in tabletop taps, with two types of beer or liquor that guests can customize. The menu features classic American smokehouse fare ranging from Deviled Eggs and Housemade Soft Pretzels to a build-your-own Mac ’N’ Cheese menu. Public House offers several game viewing options, whether you’re drawn to one of the 30 flat screens or to the 30-foot video wall made up of 12 separate 42-inch plasma TVs.

Photo via Frontier

Frontier {1072 North Milwaukee Avenue; 773.772.4322}

Get in touch with your inner pioneer at Frontier. This eatery, inspired by the American West, features a menu of wild game, from boar to venison. They’re best known for their whole animal service, where they’ll smoke a whole beast and serve it tableside with hearty family-style sides and punch bowl drinks. Options range from pig, boar, and lamb, to goat, salmon, shrimp boil, and even alligator. While you’re there, belly up to the bar—the long 20-seat counter flanked by TVs is reminiscent of a wild west saloon, complete with a mounted bison head on the wall. It’s truly the perfect place to sit and game-watch.

Photo via Fremont

Fremont {15 West Illinois Street; 312.874.7270}

Fremont is the ultimate sports-watchers paradise. With 18 TVs, 50 bar seats, a video wall in the upstairs bar that can be split into four screens, and seating for more than 175 upstairs and almost 200 downstairs, it’s the perfect place to celebrate your team’s win with a big group of friends. Fremont features a long list of craft cocktails and unique beers, not to mention bottle service, adding a real VIP feel to your experience. Shareable platters are a must at Fremont, where you can opt for dishes like the popular Hot Fried Chicken Platter, Sweet Potato Tater Tots, Jumbo Lump Crab Dip, or Oysters. There are also selections of hand-helds, salads, and flatbreads.

The Beer Bistro {1061 West Madison Street; 312.433.0013}

The Beer Bistro is the place to watch games in Chicago—they show all the Chicago home team games and are one of the official Blackhawks bars. They’ve got daily specials—they don’t reserve them for game day—and whether you want a craft beer like Pipeworks or any number of local craft beers, this casual bar with a warm, friendly vibe will make you feel right at home. Grab a stool at the 20-seat bar, and order a bite to go with your suds. The menu features bar classics like Spinach Artichoke Dip, Wisconsin-Style Cheese Curds, Beer-Battered Chicken Fingers, and Nachos.

Photo via The Smoke Daddy

Smoke Daddy {1804 West Division Street; 773.772.6656}

Nothing goes better with watching a game than a rack of smoky, delicious ribs and a slew of classic sides like coleslaw and cornbread from Smoke Daddy. Their Bloody Marys are also legendary, topped with pulled pork and coupled with a Pony beer, and they have plenty of beers on tap. It’s the perfect place to catch the game—and some live tunes; with its black and white checkered tile floor, it looks and feels like an old-school juke joint. There are even TVs on the outdoor patio, the ideal place to watch a summertime game and eat some ’cue.

Barn & Company {950 West Wrightwood Avenue; 773.832.4000}

Barn & Company is smack dab in the heart of Lincoln Park, where it serves up an urban, modern twist on traditional Southern favorites. Guests will experience barbecue cooked “low and slow” by pitmaster Gary Wiviott, who smokes the meats in an all-natural wood burning pit for over 12 hours, using a variety of dry rubs and sauces to sweeten the meats. They’ve been awarded prizes for their wings, and have been noted as being one of the best bars in Chicago to watch sports and eat great food.

Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap {41 East Superior Street; 312.266.0400}

This relaxed neighborhood spot is the perfect place to hang out…and eat … and eat. Wings aficionados will already be familiar with Jake Melnick’s Wall of Flame, where only the lucky (or crazy) few who eat their XXX hot wings (made with Trinidad Scorpion Pepper Sauce) will get their photo posted on the wall and their own fireman’s hat. Their award-winning wings are accompanied by a vast selection of pub food from Beer-Battered Onion Rings, Nachos, and Potato Skins to Pulled Pork Sandwiches and an Eight-Pound Burger that serves eight.

Looking for more spots to hit before the big games? Pick up the full article in our Winter 2017 issue. Get it while you can—our next issue hits newsstands next week!

Original article by Rebecca Treon