The Best Sports Bars in Chicago

If you're deciding where to watch the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles faceoff in Super Bowl LVII, look no further than these sports bars.

Photo courtesy of Old Town Pour House
Photo courtesy of Old Town Pour House

In Chicago, sports aren’t just a leisurely pastime or cultural hobby—they’re a timeless tradition taken as dead seriously as hot dogs. Home to some of the most hallowed teams in the nation, from the Cubs and the Bulls to the Blackhawks and da Bears, this is a town that respects the game. And that means airing them in sports bars as loyally adored as the sports themselves. All over town, from colossal stadium-sized bars to pint-sized neighborhood watering holes, and from handsome British pubs to bedazzled downtown lounges, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to holding court for a few fanatical hours. Here are the best sports bars in Chicago for cheering on your animal-themed sports team of choice.

Photo courtesy of Roundhouse Sports Bar

Logan Square
Typified by chicken wings, nachos, and burgers, sports bars aren’t typically regarded as temples of gastronomy, but this funky and fun Logan Square newbie is out to raise the bar on bar fare. All the requisites are represented, albeit elevated and reinvented—wings come slathered in General Tso’s glaze, nachos are heaped with Mongolian beef, and cheeseburger filling gets stuffed inside crispy egg rolls. It’s all part of Roundhouse’s Chinese takeout-inspired theme, mashing together familiar comfort flavors and serving it up in a cool, lofty space with more than 20 screens, a forthcoming back patio, and a bevy of brews, from the cheap and reliable (e.g. Blue Moon) to the culinary (Moody Tongue Toasted Rice Lager).

Photo courtesy of Passport Bar Room

West Town
With a name like Passport, it’s safe to expect an international appeal at West Town’s latest corner bar. Decidedly modern and eccentric, bedecked in atypical sports bar decor like dainty chandeliers and velvet banquettes, the vibe and menu offers an EPCOT-esque around-the-world experience, where both American and European sports share TV turf, and the menu from chef Marissa Tuñon features the likes of chicharrones, Hot Pocket-like Italian panzerotti, Thai noodles, and Mexican-style donuts. The cozy venue sports 17 TVs, including two on the winterized patio, providing plenty of room for tennis, soccer, football, basketball, Formula 1 racing, and more. The drink list features a deep selection of domestic and international offerings alongside cocktails and a swanky basement speakeasy called Bootleg.

Photo by Barry Brecheisen, courtesy of The Albion Manor

Lincoln Park
Any European transplants will feel right at home at The Albion Manor, a stately looking British pub with all manner of comforts—both of the visual and edible varieties. The two-level space (upstairs is a sultry cocktail lounge called Parlour) transports guests to London via a dark and cozy space with a long bar, high-top tables, and TVs streaming an ever-changing range of sports. The ongoing TV schedule offers some of the most unique sports-viewing in Chicago, from the West London Derby and the World Cup to football from Milan, Spain, and of course, the UK. The menu is just as cultured, from curry fries and fish & chips to traditional Ploughman’s plates strewn with cheese, pâté, pickled eggs, and baguette. To drink, the pub’s beer list skews British as well, with a well-represented roster of porters, stouts, lagers, and ciders.

River North
When the owners of Public House opted to configure their prime downtown sports bar into something new, it presented the opportunity for a sporty glow up. Indeed, Radio Room is a sports bar with style and sex appeal. While rows of TVs steadily stream the game du jour, the rest of the enormous 10,000-square-foot space is outfitted with twinkling lights, chandeliers, and DJ-driven dance parties. The food goes above and beyond, too, with the likes of miso-glazed salmon bowls, steak frites, and fried cheese curds with chipotle ranch alongside must-haves like smash burgers and guacamole. Radio Room also offers special game day menus during football season—think beer buckets, tater tot nachos, buffalo chicken flatbreads, and bottles of Jameson.

Photo by Papergirl PR

In Wrigleyville, Chicago’s sporty epicenter and homebase for the Cubs, casual come-as-you-are bars are in surprisingly short supply. Around here, most sports bars fall into the category of colossal and clamorous. Which is what makes this relaxed neighborhood charmer such a breath of fresh air. While just a short jaunt from Wrigley Field, it feels just tucked away enough to provide a comforting reprieve, while TVs (nine in the bar and six in the beer garden) keep the action front-and-center. Naturally, baseball is the star of the show here, but the tavern also features European football—The Graystone is home to Chelsea Chicago, aka fans of the English premier league. There are over 42 beers and ciders to choose from, along with more wine than you’d typically expect to find in a Wrigleyville sports bar, while hearty food options run the gamut from Philly egg rolls and spicy chicken sandwiches to Wisconsin cheddar cheese curds.

Photo courtesy of Old Town Pour House

Old Town
With more than 90 beers on tap, with a third of them dedicated to local brews, this cavernous Old Town mainstay ranks as one of the booziest sports bars in town. A bucket list bar for any craft beer connoisseur, it also just so happens to contain numerous TVs spread across two floors, including a huge HDTV wall. With so many TVs, the mahogany-filled bar is able to accommodate basically any and every sport, from the mainstream game day fodder to the more esoteric international offerings. Food-wise, crab fondue and kung pao cauliflower offer some unexpected options along with fried chicken sandwiches, burgers, and mac & cheese.

Photo courtesy of Fifty/50

Wicker Park
A now-iconic fixture on Wicker Park’s Division Street drag, and a game-changing sports bar for the city at large, this ever-popular go-to still reigns as having one of the best sidewalk patios in the neighborhood and some of the best chicken wings in the whole city. Inside, the bi-level TV-filled haunt compliments its raved-about wings with other singular crowd-pleasers like Montreal-style brisket sandwiches, buffalo cauliflower bites, and cornbread elote fritters. In addition to beer, the drink list exceeds the call of sports bar standards with crafty cocktails like cider martinis and negroni sours.

Photo courtesy of The Globe Pub

North Center
For those who prefer the kind of football with less tackling and more kicking, this British-style pub endures as one of Chicago’s most beloved international sports bars. The OG football is the primary fodder here, displayed across several TVs interspersed amongst flags and sports ephemera. It’s all accented by an excellent collection of soulful Euro-style grub, like shepherd’s pie, bangers & mash, panko-crusted Scotch eggs, and for a booze-soaked brunch, Guinness French toast. Open since 2004, the classic bar underwent an extensive remodel in 2018, emerging anew with a huge 54-foot, and new owners last year added larger TVs (including one that faces the patio), and a new frozen Jameson coffee drink special.

Photo courtesy of Timothy O'Tooles'

A refreshing break from other most of the touristy Magnificent Mile miscellany in the area, Timothy O’Toole’s is a dark, moody pub that feels more Dublin than Chicago. It’s a cozy place to hunker down for the game, easily seen from any seat thanks to 72 flatscreen TVs, and chow down on Irish and American comforts like Reuben sandwiches, stout meatloaf, shepherd’s pie, chicken wings, and Irish nachos runneth over with french fries, cheese, bacon, and sour cream. And in case your team loses, you can still be a winner—the Big Timmy burger challenge entails consuming two half-pound cheeseburger patties and a side of Irish nachos, all for the chance to win a T-shirt.

A far cry from the stereotypical frat bro bars that populate the areas surrounding Wrigley Field and the United Center, it doesn’t get much more frills-free than this relaxed neighborhood watering hole. Nestled in a nondescript corner slot in the decidedly non-sporty neighborhood of Hermosa, Uncle Mike’s is the kind of joint that feels preserved in time, where friendly barflies bump elbows over cheap beer and rounds of pool, while casually rooting for whichever sports team fits your fancy. Exceedingly comfortable and casual, this is the kind of place where customers are welcome to toggle between channels and bring their own food (might we suggest tacos from L’Patron or a sandwich from Wyler Road?).

Photo courtesy of The Ogden

West Loop
Any bar within free throw distance of the United Center is basically required to build NBA games into its DNA. Indeed, The Ogden keeps its sporty spectators satisfied with two 70-inch TVs behind the bar, as well as smaller personal TVs in every booth. An ideal stopover before or after a game, it’s the next best thing for anyone unable to snag Bulls or Blackhawks tickets, with a something-for-everyone menu that spans the spectrum from giant pretzels and Italian beef sandwiches to thin-crust pizza and spaghetti & meatballs. They take their drinking seriously too, with craft beer from around the city and the country, along with a deep whiskey list and cocktails. In true something-for-everyone fashion, this is one of the few sports bars in town to feature espresso martinis.

Photo courtesy of The Pony

Pro and collegiate football share top billing with the Blackhawks at this treasured neighborhood sports bar, where polished wood paneling, a 38-foot copper bar, and a chef-driven menu make for one of the more distinct sports-watching experiences in Chicago. On the ground floor, guests can expect upwards of 30 TVs, while an upstairs bar called The Pony Up Lounge boasts a retractable roof and weekend DJs. The menu, courtesy of revered chef Brian Jupiter, is all over the map, from smoked chicken chili and filet mignon sliders to charred oyster mushroom tacos and a rather infamous 16-inch grilled cheese called the Clydesdale.

The Moonlighter
The Moonlighter

Logan Square
A sports bar like no other, this quintessentially Logan Square spot is the rare breed where sports diehards, families, couples, and dog-owners (the huge front patio is dog-friendly). Although indoor TVs show a steady roster of NFL fare and other games, The Moonlighter looks and feels more like a cool bar that just so happens to show a lot of sports to a wide, diverse audience. Inside, the sprawling lofty bar serves a menu that’s just as diverse as its clientele—we’re talkin’ vegan barbecue cheeseburgers, roasted corn salad, crunchy tacos, beer cheese pretzels, and carrot cake, along with cocktails and rosé both on draft.

Kroll's South Loop
Kroll's South Loop

South Loop
Rather than pander primarily to one sport, one team, or one demographic, this lack-back neighborhood fixture is the kind of place where all are welcome (kids included, as evidenced by the children’s menu), the volume won’t blow your ears off, and locals gather to quietly cheer their team on while other patrons are on dates or meeting for a friends’ happy hour. The menu is as accommodating as the ambience, featuring everything from ribs and broasted chicken to pizza, burgers, bruschetta, tater tots, and brisket sliders. Considering its South Loop locale, proximal to Soldier Field, it’s safe to expect a steady stream of Bears games on the TVs, of which there are 20 flatscreens and four large projector screens, along with Wisconsin football and White Sox.

Nestled in a homey pocket of Bridgeport, so close to Guaranteed Rate Field that you can almost catch a foul ball, Cork & Kerry presides as one of the city’s foremost White Sox bars. The second location of Beverly’s Cork & Kerry, this modest Irish pub has all the trappings for good game day grub—Reubens, fish & chips, and Paddy O’Melts among them. Whatever you do, don’t miss the Irish egg rolls, made with corned beef, cabbage, and Irish cheddar. The popular game day hang also features live music after every home Sox game, and a row of TVs within its rustic turn-of-the-century space.

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Jay Gentile is a Thrillist contributor and he’s already booked his tickets to the Bears Super Bowl. And Cubs World Series. Follow @thejaygentile
Matt Kirouac is a travel writer with a passion for national parks, Disney, and food. He's the co-founder and co-host of Hello Ranger, a national parks community blog, podcast, and app. Follow him on Instagram.