Spots near the United Center
Long dinnertime waits mean you can't likely squeeze in the perfect griddled burger before a game, but once the buzzer sounds, put your name in and grab some beers at the bar. The house-made bologna sandwich, fried chicken and egg-topped fries are all must-orders and ideal for celebrating or drowning your feelings after a tough loss.
This live music venue is so impressively large that lounge seems totally inappropriate as a part of the name. The bar feels like a rocker hangout that thrives regardless of what is happening in the live room, which (with its own absinthe-serving bar) is well proportioned. Kitschy bonus: The tiki-themed Volcano Room upstairs.
There’s no doubt Pete Crowley is a great brewer. For his breakout bar, Haymarket, the former Rock Bottom brewmaster amassed an amazing bottle list, and some of the beers he’s brewed, such as the Mathias Imperial IPA and the Defender Imperial Stout, are awesome. Now, with so many restaurants dotting the surrounding storefronts, it's a comfortable spot to wait for a table as well.
If you’re wondering what sets this friendly West Loop bar and grill apart from every other pub that’s packed tightly with law school types, it’s the selection of 40 draft beers (including three tasty styles from our Hoosier fave Three Floyds). The large food menu goes beyond the average pub, with eats like baby back ribs, a hummus platter and an assortment of salads.
By selling beer and being 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 super bright TVs on every surface, including in the booths; a surprisingly good beer selection; and a hell of a burger.