Food & Drink

The 5 best March Madness bars in Chicago

Published On 03/18/2014 Published On 03/18/2014
Joe's Bar
The Fifty/50
Sean Cooley
Bull & Bear
The Anthem
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1. Joe's Bar 940 W Weed St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Near North Side)

Joe's Sports Bar is exactly the place to be when any Indiana game is on. Their crazy-cheap beers lure in many walks of life... but really, just mainly those looking to scream at a TV or listen to some quality live music.

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2. The Fifty/50 2047 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

The 50's a tri-level sports temple serving gluttonous fare like in-house smoked meats (ribs, pulled pork, wings), mac 'n' cheese toppable with everything from chicken to chili, and the "Double-Secret Probation"-esque "Triple Secret:" a tri-meat fatburger with a classified recipe.

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3. American Junkie 15 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

American Junkie is a 320-seat, two-floor industrial restaurant and bar, sporting American flags carved everywhere. The food's as American as the decor, with Chef Kendal Duque (Sepia, City Tavern) running the kitchen and turning out awesome meatiness like pork & apple pizza, bison burgers, and shaved prime rib. The dinner menu is worthy of a sit-down trip, but if you're just looking to have a beer and munchies while watching a game, there might be no better place in Chicago. American Junkie claims to have the largest TV in the Midwest -- a 16x8ft 1080i LED behemoth, located on the second floor sunroom -- making it the perfect place to go in springtime to catch March Madness, or in summer to watch the Cubs and White Sox. With 26 beers on tap and a killer bar menu (think grilled octopus, 30-minute wings, and shrimp ceviche), American Junkie has everything you need to distract you from the score of the Cubs game.

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4. Bull & Bear 431 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654

Located in the heart of North River, B&B is a perfect spot for any meal of the day. They feature the likes of fantastic burgers and especially tasty brunch options, all in a space decked out with classic, rustic materials.

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5. The Anthem 1725 W DIvision St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

Because sports and nostalgia are natural companions so long as you aren't a Cubs fan, the folks behind Bangers & Lace are opening The Anthem, a retro-themed athletics bar decked with a 19thC American flag, reclaimed school lockers, and station-wagon-esque wood paneling along the L-shaped bar, which is presided over by a mere four flats and a couple of projectors, though just tell those bitter dudes to shut up and confront their dad, already!