West Loop restaurants and bars to hit before a United Center game

Going to see the Blawkhawks or Bulls? You'll need a pregame eat and drink before hitting the United Center. Here are our picks of West Loop restaurants and bars.

0

Comments

Add +
  • Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Aberdeen

  • The Beer Bistro North

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Nduja pizza at Coalfire

  • Photograph: Vincent Glielmi

    de cero

  • Arrow on Ogden

  • Photograph: Jason Little

    Publican Quality Meats

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Urbanbelly

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Grange Hall Burger Bar

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    WestEnd

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Palace Grill

Photograph: Nicole Radja

Aberdeen

Before a Blackhawks game, you'll need to fuel up—cheering on the home team requires energy and a pregame drink will be much cheaper outside the United Center. Whether you're looking for a sports bar, a place for a quick beer or cocktail or a fast dinner, you'll find it at these West Loop restaurants.


RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to the Chicago Blackhawks


Aberdeen Tap

  • Price band: 1/4

The jukebox plays Neil Young, the craft-beer selection is serious, and the kitchen turns out bar food with occasional surprises, such as an appetizer of cevapi (hand-formed beef-lamb-and-pork patties served with tzatziki and pita). But don’t let the Aberdeen’s quiet, residential location fool you: The vibe is industrial-rocker (garage doors, dark wood), and the curt bartender takes very little bullshit.

  1. 440 N Aberdeen St
More info

Athena

  • Price band: 2/4

The massive outdoor patio with a close-up view of the city skyline is the main draw of this Greektown spot in the warmer months, but there are reasons to dine inside, too, such as creamy taramasalata (fish roe spread), charbroiled octopus and well-seasoned gyros. Opt for the dreamy galaktobouriko, lemon custard in honey-coated phyllo dough, for dessert.

  1. 212 S Halsted St
Book online

Coalfire

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

One of the best pizza places in Chicago isn't far from the United Center, so get there early and dig into the pies, which have a charred, bubbly crust and crisp edges. We're fans of the 'nduja, with Calabrian salami, fresh mozzarella and chopped basil.

  1. 1321 W Grand Ave
More info

de cero

  • Price band: 2/4

You may not have time to wait for a table, so beeline to the bar and drink tart hibiscus margaritas while snacking on guacamole and ahi tuna tacos.

  1. 814 W Randolph St
More info

Grange Hall Burger Bar

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

For juicy, flavorful burgers, terrific fries and a killer meatloaf sandwich, Grange Hall is a spot for a casual meal before the game. Leave room for ice cream, as the shakes and sundaes are perhaps the best things on the menu.

  1. 844 W Randolph St
More info

The Ogden

  • Price band: 1/4

By selling beer and being located in the direct path of the throngs of people coming to and from the United Center, this slick sports bar has the hard part of its job covered. Completing the task are superbright TVs on every surface, including in the booths; a surprisingly good beer selection; and a hell of a burger.

  1. 1659 W Ogden Ave
More info

Palace Grill

  • Price band: 1/4

Even on non-game days, the Palace Grill feels like an off-shoot of the United Center. The space is bedecked with Blackhawks paraphernalia and the patrons wear it as well (the diner is open late on Blackhawks game nights). It's a classic diner, which means it serves all-day breakfast and a menu of sandwiches, salads and burgers, including a superlative patty melt, layered with grilled onions.

  1. 1408 W Madison St
More info

Publican Quality Meats

  • Price band: 1/4

Paul Kahan's butcher/sandwich shop is one of the best spots for a fast meal in town. There's the deeply flavorful ribollita soup, ideal for freezing days, the tuna muffuletta with olive oil–poached tuna and soft-boiled eggs, cured meats and fresh-baked breads.

  1. 825 W Fulton Mkt
More info

Urbanbelly

  • Price band: 1/4

Bill Kim's casual counter spot is fast, so place your order then grab a seat. Start with dumplings, like the pork- and cilantro-stuffed potstickers, or the buffalo chicken dumplings, which are fried and tossed with Belly Fire hot sauce. The pork and pineapple fried rice will also fill you up before the game.

  1. 1400 W Randolph St
More info

WestEnd

  • Price band: 2/4

The bar stools at this sports bar are extra-wide, and the dark room (yes, even in the middle of the day) draws the focus to the game shining brightly from the numerous TVs. It looks as if the nearby United Center may have some competition on its hands: Here you see the game better, cheaper and more comfortably than you would if you were actually there.

  1. 1326 W Madison St
More info


Users say

1 comments
Turan Y
Turan Y

The Aberdeen Tap appreciates the mention on TOC but we would like to make a correction. The photo you are using is not The Aberdeen Tap, it is a photo of a now nonexistent bar that used to just be called Aberdeen on North Ave. Also, The Aberdeen Tap is not an "industrial rocker" bar, it is a neighborhood bar full of a diverse mixture of people with an unpredictable mix of music. Photos of Aberdeen Tap and current menu selections can be found at www.theaberdeentap.com. Thanks everybody!