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.
Doing its part to keep the West Loop from succumbing to all the glitz and glamour of Randolph Street is this tavern, which carries upwards of 100 beers, including local brews like Ale Syndicate, Three Floyds and Virtue ciders.
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.
If you want great cocktails at the end of the night, the Dawson's bar is the place to go. Infused whiskey shots are available, the patio is huge and two bars means getting a seat isn't too hard.
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.
Stephanie Izard's diner takes gluttony to another level—the burgers are towering, the goat chili cheese fries are enough for four and peanut butter-banana waffles are served all day. Go hungry and share everything.
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.
Gastropub Park Tavern cuts out visits to the bar—there are table-tap systems, so you can pour your own draft while snacking on Animal Tots. The bar has a free shuttle service to and from the United Center before and after games.
The bar, which bills itself as "Keith Richards' basement bar," is an ideal place to drink after a game. It's loud, there are cocktails that are well-made but not fancy, lots of beer, and snacks to soak it all up. The pizzas and bolognese fries will get the job done.