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The interior of the globe pub
Photograph: Max Herman

The 18 best sports bars in Chicago

Root on your favorite teams with delicious wings, cold pints and tons of big screens.

Written by
Amy Cavanaugh
,
Elizabeth Atkinson
&
Jeffy Mai
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Chicagoans are very passionate about their teams. Whether it’s the Bears, Cubs, Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks or an alma mater, there are numerous games to watch every night. It’s a good thing, then, that Chicago has plenty of good sports bars. They offer everything from spacious patios and retractable roofs to dozens of beers on tap. Want award-winning wings to go with your football? Jake Melnick’s and the Fifty/50 should be at the top of your list. Prefer to sit outside and catch some rays instead? Park & Field and the Moonlighter won’t disappoint. Big Ten alums can also root on their schools at the best Big Ten bars in town. So dust off your favorite jersey and read on to find the best sports bars in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Best bars in Chicago

Best sports bars in Chicago

  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Ukrainian Village
  • price 1 of 4

Established in 2008, this West Town sports bar’s popularity helped launch a local empire, the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group. Join the fun on weekends, when the lively crowds are always passionate about football and the action spills out onto the sidewalk patio. And don’t skip the jumbo buffalo wings—they’re among the best in the city. The hot sauce is produced from four kinds of peppers and aged for weeks.

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Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • North Center
  • price 1 of 4

Whether 11am or 11pm, it’s hard to find a seat at this North Center Brit pub. Call it European-style drinking, buffered by U.K. pub grub. During soccer and rugby matches, the crowd of regulars vacillates between raucous and downright scary, but fair-weather fans are welcome to join the zoo.

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  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4

Housed in what was once an auto repair garage, this Logan Square sports club has plenty of charm. The space is modeled after a ‘50s gymnasium and boasts touches like a vintage pommel horse, a scoreboard, Chesterfield sofas and hanging chandeliers. But the main attraction is outside on the 6,000-square-foot, all-seasons patio. It’s equipped with fire pits, bocce ball courts and a camper that has been converted into a bar. On Saturdays and Sundays, stop by for bottomless boozy brunch while football plays on the big screens.

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Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
  • Restaurants
  • Logan Square

Run by the same folks behind gin-centric cocktail bar Scofflaw, the Moonlighter is a casual beer and burger spot in Logan Square. Expect unfussy game day snacks like wings and giant pretzels served with beer cheese, plus a good number of sour beers and frozen drinks. When the weather’s nice, hang out on the spacious patio with your favorite furry companion.

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Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
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  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Lake View
  • price 1 of 4

Function trumps form and comfort at this woody, yet cavernous Cubbie corral and outdoor stable (er, patio) behind the Friendly Confines. The clientele of former frat brothers and sorority sisters wants its alma mater’s game on the TV and it wants it now—not a problem considering the prevalence of flat-screens.

  • Bars
  • Gastropubs
  • Old Town
  • price 1 of 4

With 90 craft beers on tap and rotating handles for seasonal releases, there’s always something new to discover at Old Town Pour House (especially since it offers six-ounce tasting pours). The sprawling space has high ceilings, huge televisions and classic wood accents that help elevate it above the typical sports bar experience. That refinement extends to the food as well, where you’ll find items like kung pao cauliflower, crab fondue and Nashville hot mac and cheese with spicy chorizo.

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Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
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  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Old Town
  • price 2 of 4

Two floors, more than 40 screens and a retractable roof make Benchmark one of the preeminent places to watch a game in Old Town. Be sure to grab a seat upstairs when it’s warm out. The approachable food menu appeals to all with pizzas, handhelds and an indulgent skillet cookie. If you like to live life dangerously, order the shot roulette—eight shots are poured, with one unlucky soul receiving Malört.

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Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
  • Bars
  • River North

DineAmic Hospitality gave River North favorite Public House a makeover in 2021, rebooting it into Radio Room. The new concept is an elevated sports bar featuring twinkle lights hanging from the ceiling, DJ sets and a 50-foot video wall. Southern comforts drive the menu alongside healthier items like charred cauliflower and a miso-glazed salmon bowl. Large parties should opt for the grand plateau, a tower of chicken tenders, fried cheese curds and pickles, truffle fries, wings, the aforementioned cauliflower and dipping sauces.

https://media.timeout.com/images/105925010/image.jpg
Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
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  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

Billing itself as an upscale sports lounge and restaurant, Theory boasts more than 35 televisions so you won’t have to miss a minute of the action. On Saturdays in the fall, University of Iowa fans congregate here for football and nacho bites, loaded waffle fries, wings and sliders. There’s also a solid whiskey selection and an old fashioned that’s sweetened with barrel-aged maple syrup.

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Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • River North
  • price 1 of 4

Wings are one of the ultimate game day eats and few places do it better than Jake Melnick’s. Yes, the burgers and barbecue are commendable but you’re here for the chicken. They’re meaty, crispy and slathered in a variety of different sauces. For those who like their food insanely spicy, the XXXX wings are made with habanero, ghost, scorpion and reaper peppers. It’s definitely not suggested unless you’re a glutton for punishment; we recommend the much more manageable firecracker wings.

https://media.timeout.com/images/105925010/image.jpg
Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
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  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Lake View
  • price 1 of 4

Good food and cold beer is what the sign outside the Pony Inn promises, and it’s exactly what the bar delivers. Get the Clydesdale, a 16-inch grilled cheese served with tomato basil dip, to soak up the suds and head up to the second floor for a nice breeze when the retractable roof is open. In addition to supporting Chicago’s pro teams, the bar is also a haven for fans of schools including Kentucky, Texas A&M and Central Florida.

https://media.timeout.com/images/105925010/image.jpg
Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Lake View
  • price 2 of 4

Escape to the great outdoors Wisconsin-style with your Leinenkugel, Point or Sprecher and shoot the breeze under the watchful eye of the giant moose that stands sentry. Friends meet at picnic tables, tunes float out from the jukebox (Phish and fowl with "Free Bird" represented) and the occasional neighborhood Labrador mingles with the regulars.

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  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • North Center
  • price 1 of 4

The paint's chipping off the walls here and there, the bathroom is a claustrophobe's nightmare, and if it's busy, you might be forced to belly up to a folding table. Then again, this surprisingly spacious bar is filled with so many flat-screen and projection TVs and fills our stomachs with enough good bar food that we almost don't notice.

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  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Loop
  • price 1 of 4

We certainly understand why this bar is packed with suits after quitting time. The tall bay windows allow for a fantastic view of the city, there are plenty of beers on tap, and the menu (which is on offer from breakfast through dinner) is an expansive collection of better-than-average pub grub. Just don't come expecting old-school Dublin; it's more like an upscale sports lounge, Chicago-style.

  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • East Village

With Three Floyds Gumballhead and Bell's Porter on tap and wings hot off the grill, this well-lit bar will never truly be a dive. But we don’t care, because we feel at home among the concert posters on the walls and the red-velvet booths. And if we’re going to drink out of bottles, it might as well be from this 50 beer–strong selection.

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  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • North Center
  • price 1 of 4

The corner where this North Center tap sits has been a neighborhood hot spot since Prohibition: the former Schulien's featured a basement speakeasy and a house magician. The ’hood has changed—today's O'Donovan's operates as a laid-back hangout for younger couples and small groups—but the tableside magic shows (and the occasional balloon sculptor) remain on weekends. Escape the crowds in the tucked-away beer garden, heated and enclosed in the winter.

  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Garfield Ridge
  • price 1 of 4

If you're looking for a laid back sports bar, head to Guide's. This large bar has plenty of TVs to tune into the football game or baseball game, but there's also a pool table and a small refrigerator of beers for carryout. Whether you pull a seat up to the bar or hunker down at a table, just get a basket of wings and settle in with a pitcher of beer and you'll fit right in.

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