The best bars in Wrigleyville

Whether you're here for the game or in search of a great cocktail, Wrigleyville has oodles of watering holes
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
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Wrigleyville bars don't exactly have the best reputation. They're known for being loud, smelly and sometimes rowdy (especially if the Cubs are on). But if you're trying to get in on the action, there's no denying that these North Side watering holes will put you in the epicenter of excitement. Whether you're looking for a casual beer bar that's plastered in TVs or a quiet cocktail lounge with sophisticated sips, there's a place for you in this exciting neighborhood. Put on your favorite Cubs T-shirt and grab a seat at our favorite Wrigleyville bars.

RECOMMENDED: Chicago Cubs baseball guide

Bars in Wrigleyville to watch the Cubs

Bars

Mordecai

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Chef Matthias Merges (A10, Billy Sunday, Gideon Sweet) and Michelin-starred chef Jared Wentworth bring sophisticated sips and bites to Wrigleyville with Mordecai. The cocktail bar offers a roster of beautiful beverages—including the Float with house-made Zima and curacao sherbert—alongside a menu of elevated entrees, small plates and desserts. Look for shoutouts to the neighborhood's biggest attraction in plates like the crackerjack donut and the goat bratwurst.

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Photograph: Max Herman
Bars, Dive bars

Gman Tavern

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Formerly known as the Gingerman, this Wrigleyville bar changed its name when it was bought by the owners of adjacent venue Metro. Now it's the official pre-show watering hole for concertgoers (and sometimes performers) who want to pump quarters into the bar's formidable jukebox. Gman's back room has been repurposed to include a second bar, a small stage for intimate performances and more room to mill about before the headlining act goes on next door.

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Lucky Dorr
Photograph: Alisar El-Farmaoui
Bars

Lucky Dorr

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Neighborhood folk and game-day revelers flock to this bar for its impressive selection of local beers on tap from brewers like Lo Rez, Pipeworks, Off Color, Maplewood and Moody Tongue. All beered out? Ask for a draft cocktail; there are four classic options from the mix masters at Billy Sunday. The abbreviated food menu—which includes lamb sticks, a warm pretzel and honey or pork pig tails—isn't much to look at, so plan your imbibing accordingly. 

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Photograph: Kendall Thacker
Bars, Lounges

Nisei Lounge

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Since opening in 1951, not much about this Wrigleyville dive has changed. The dartboards, pool table, jukebox and regulars are still a blast from decades past. A few notable modern conveniences (i.e. TVs and the fact that they accept credit cards) make it an excellent choice for game day.

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Bars, Sports Bars

Beer

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If you go to Beer during the week, you might be surprised at what a calm place it is for a cheap Budweiser, Miller Lite or 312 on draft. But on the weekend, all bets are off. You're better off getting a cheap bottled beer to minimize the risk of losing your beer when the crowds get too big. 

Bars, Sports Bars

Bernie's Tap & Grill

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For those experiencing Cubby withdrawal, here's a place to liquor up while looking longingly at Wrigley Field across the street. During baseball season, you could book one of two private rooms, each with a small bar, 15 seats and five TVs, and order some burgers, corn dogs or pulled-pork sandwiches while watching the game. Or do it now and watch a video of winning games.

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Bars, Sports Bars

Casey Moran's

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Can't snag a bleacher seat at the Friendly Confines? Don't fret. Bathed in dark wood and brimming with beer, burgers, apps and wraps, this surprisingly friendly bar just a stone's throw north is the next-best place to park your tush on game day. With 35 HD plasma TVs, you'll catch every angle without catching a single harmful UV ray.

Bars, Sports Bars

The Cubby Bear

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Located just across the street from Wrigley Field, it's no wonder that this 30,000-square-foot bar has amassed a strong following. If you've got friends in town who are looking to cheer on the Cubs with a rowdy but good-natured crowd, the Cubby Bear is a solid bet. Plan a return trip to enjoy the venue's lineup of live music or practice your fancy footwork at Live Salsa Sundays. 

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Bars, Sports Bars

Murphy’s Bleachers

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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.

Smart Bar x600
Photograph: Max Herman
Bars, Lounges

Smart Bar

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Originally housed on the fourth floor of the magnificent Wrigleyville building (also home to Metro), this venerated dance club is now in the basement. A makeover in 2006 slicked up the looks a notch and brought back a vibrant young crowd. But more important, the club boasts a world-class Funktion One sound system, which sounds tremendous on the central dance floor. Typical bills find cutting-edge DJs from Europe, Detroit and Chicago spinning for the crowd and the weekly Queen house music party takes over the venue every Sunday night.

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Bars, Sports Bars

Sluggers

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What can lure sports fans away from a sidewalk patio that’s spitting distance from Wrigley and offers a front-row view of scantily clad passersby? A bajillion TVs playing every televised game, a batting cage, Pop-A-Shot, mini bowling and more wings than even “The Fridge” Perry can handle.

Bars, Sports Bars

Houndstooth Saloon

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It's easy to get caught up in Southern pride when Alabama alums holler "Roll Tide" at the flat screens with a Lone Star in one hand and a pulled-pork hoagie in the other. The familiar Old Style lettering glows out front, lest you forget the bar's Chicago roots.

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Restaurants, Contemporary American

Vines on Clark

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This Italian-focused restaurant in Cubs territory satisfies the throngs with pastas (such as the "blackened steak alfredo," a filet served over fettuccini Alfredo) and pizzas, including an artichoke-and-goat-cheese pie.

Restaurants, American

Yak-Zies Bar & Grill in Wrigleyville

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Located just one block north of the Friendly Confines, the dual bars and large patio draw out the pre- and post-game Cubs fanatics who take comfort knowing that no matter which glazed-wood table at which they choose to eat hot wings, they'll be just feet away from at least one of the two-dozen TVs.

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