Your 2023 Guide to Game Day in Chicago

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Photograph by Adam Bielawski

As the first day of fall approaches, the air grows crisper with each passing minute. Wet leaves blanket the city streets, pants are slowly making a stylish comeback, and football season has arrived! As it kicks off, Chicago naturally transforms into a haven of prime game day spots. In this article, we’ll guide you through the top pregame spots near Soldier Field as well as the best bars to catch the game, ensuring everyone makes the most of their game day experience in the city!

Where to Pregame

Weather Mark Tavern

Weather Mark Tavern, a South Loop gem since 2006, combines nautical charm with delectable American cuisine, craft beers, and cocktails. Located just a 5-minute drive from Soldier Field, it’s the perfect spot for pregame drinks before a Bears game. As part of your Chicago game day celebration, this beloved restaurant will offer warm hospitality and a vibrant atmosphere for residents and tourists alike!

Kacey’s Tavern

Only an 8-minute drive from Soldier Field, Kasey’s Tavern awaits with 16 taps, 188 bottled options, and 62 cans to quench your thirst. With a charming vintage storefront, this sports bar complements its array of TVs with pizzas that are sure to hit the spot. Naturally, this is a grand choice if you have tickets to a Bears game this season. 

Bureau Bar + Restaurant on Game Day

Bureau Bar

Bureau Bar radiates a laid-back ambiance with its dimly lit setting, crafting a fitting atmosphere to prepare for the game day ahead. Nestled in the heart of the neighborhood, it’s a great spot for a pregame as it’s just a 4-minute drive from Soldier Field!

Flo & Santos

Getting ready for the Bears game is a breeze at Flo & Santos. This bar and pizzeria boasts 8 flat screens, easily enhanced by tavern-style pizza, flying pork wings, and an array of beer and cocktails. Flo & Santos has a family-friendly vibe during the day, but as night falls, it takes on a different energy. Whether you’re starting or ending your day here, you’ll find it conveniently located just a 5-minute drive from the stadium!

First Draft

Sports enthusiasts, look no further than First Draft for the ultimate predecessor to your game day experience. Their welcoming atmosphere, adorned with classic wooden décor, is the perfect spot to unwind before heading to a Bears game. Try their delectable American grill-style dishes while keeping in mind that Soldier Field is just a quick 8-minute Uber ride away!

Where to Watch

LG’s Bar & Kitchen

Located in Chicago’s Old Town, LG’s Bar & Kitchen is an unbeatable football destination with 15 HD TVs. Check out their game-day specials:

  • Thursday: $32 Wing special (24 House Wings), $6 shots, $20 Domestic Buckets, $20 Pitchers (Twisted Tea & Busch Light).
  • Saturdays: $32 Wing special, $35 Tailgate Platters, $20 Domestic Buckets, $20 Pitchers, and $5 Shot Wheel.
  • Sundays: Enjoy brunch from 11 am to 5 pm, plus Saturday’s specials

Jake Melnick’s

Jake Melnick's Wings for Game Day

Jake Melnick’s, nestled in Chicago’s Gold Coast, is your prime sports bar for football season. Try their delectable Smash Burger for $17.95, with beef patties seared and topped with a medley of rich ingredients. Don’t miss the shareable Da Beer Tower with a variety of draft options, and savor autumn cocktails for $16 each. And for the ultimate game day treat, their Game Day Tower entails 48 wings with up to four different sauce combos! I know, we can’t believe it’s real either.

Haymarket

Haymarket Pub & Brewery will only enhance the game day excitement with deals like their $5 Beer of the Day pint special, $4 shots of Malort or Jameson, and a $3 Wings Special! For Sunday Funday, don’t miss the Haymarket Huddle Package, priced at just $75. It includes a chilled 6-pack of your choice, a platter of appetizers, plus the option for beer refills at just $35!

Recess

Drinks at Recess

If you’re standing behind the Bears this season, Recess is your playground. They are kindly offering the ‘Beer Down’ Fan Promotion with giveaways, jersey raffles, and game day menus. Their chance to win a VIP party for 10 during each Bears broadcast is certainly the most exciting, though! Gather your friends, enjoy food and drink specials every game day, and plan for a season of passionate watching.

Bounce

Bounce in River North has seamlessly perfected the highlights of Game Day. Their nachos are a blatant example of this, carefully doused in cheddar & jack cheese and gently topped with pickled chilies, guac, sour cream, and salsa fresca! Alongside their innovative wings (with flavors such as Hot Cheetos), it is obvious that they are a natural answer to football festivities.

Big Star

Whether it is Wicker Park or Wrigleyville that you find yourself in, Big Star is waiting to make your Game Day even better. Their televisions are the perfect backdrop to their famous nachos, blanketed by melty cheese sauce, crispy tortilla chips, pico de gallo, pickled jalapeños, black beans, guacamole, and cilantro! Their tacos are also some of the best in the city, so make sure to save them for a big game!

Output

Output in the South Loop is your go-to spot for game day specialties. Fridays are all about savoring $11 Fish n’ Chips, and Saturdays bring you $13 Sliders that are sure to please. These deals pair perfectly with football action, making it a must-visit destination. Don’t miss their exotic wings, some of the best in the city. Plus, if your game day extends into a game night, no worries – Output has you covered with a late-night menu. It’s game time, all the time here.

Sutherlands

In West Irving Park, Sutherlands is the place to be for catching the game. This unassuming gem offers an extensive selection of draft beers and a menu packed with savory delights. From mini burgers and potato skins to wings and chicken fingers, there’s something to please everyone’s palate.

L.Woods

Curds at L.Woods

For the ultimate game day experience, head to L.Woods and go classic with a combination of wings, brews, and BBQ. Take a seat in the bar area and catch your favorite games on the TV. While you cheer on your team, discover an array of options like Cheese Curds, Buffalo Wings, Baby Back Ribs, and more, all while sipping on your favorite draft beers!

Aba

Planning for the big game? Aba in Chicago has you covered with their catering options. Whether you prefer selections from the regular menu or want to explore their catering offerings, they have a spread for 8-10 people. Choose from a delicious array of Mediterranean favorites, including hummus, spreads, cold and hot mezze, kebabs, desserts, and more! Just remember to place your catering order 48 hours in advance of Game Day and enjoy the convenience of pick-up or delivery!

Written by Bridget McGann

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