16 Chicago Sports Bars Where You Can Get Your Game On

Football season is upon us! Whether or not you want to waste — er, spend — your time watching the Bears or not is up to you, but if you’re wondering which sports bar is best for cheering on your favorite college team with plenty of like-minded fans, we can help you out. And listen, it can get confusing, because there’s a plethora of college sports bars to choose from in our sports-crazy town. Plus, there are some great spots included for watching Bulls and Blackhawks games … and, dare I say … the World Series?

College Game-Centric Spots

Illinois and Indiana

Joe’s Bar on Weed St.

940 W. Weed St., Chicago, 312-337-3486

There are 120 plasma TVs, 14 satellite dishes, and every possible permutation of college and professional ball happening on all of them. But they especially love the Fighting Illini and the Hoosiers.



9 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, 312-644-0004

Not the typical sports bar, Theory is upscale to match the tony River North nabe it resides in. It’s the official bar of the Chicago Iowa Club.


Rockit Bar & Grill

22 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, 312-645-6000

All the Wolverine alums in Chicago who can’t make it to the Big House hang here to watch the games and eat Lamb Nachos.

Michigan State

John Barleycorn

3524 N. Clark St., Chicago, 773-348-8899

Chicago Sports Bars: John Barleycorn

Spartans come to this cavernous space to gloat, except when they don’t. Then they drown their sorrows collectively and talk trash about U of M fans.


Sedgwick’s Bar & Grill

1935 N. Sedgwick St., Chicago, 312-337-7900

Mizzou Tigers fans congregate here for $5 22-ounce stadium cups and Irish whiskey shots. They duke it out with Spartan fans, who also have a home here. The only thing that unites them? The Tater Tot Mountain. It’s the one thing they can agree on.

Notre Dame

Declan’s Irish Pub

1240 N. Wells, Chicago, 312-642-5522

Look no further than Old Town for the Notre Dame Club of Chicago’s favorite hangout. The décor was inspired by the owner’s memories of his parent’s Belfast pub and you can eat fish ‘n’ chips while cheering on the exploits of the Fighting Irish.

Ohio State

Woodie’s Flat

1535 N. Wells St., Chicago, 312-643-0093

Chicago Sports Bars: Woodie's Flat

Official Chicago home of the Buckeyes, this “dive bar” is named for their wood-burning grill, but really brings out the Ohio spirit on game days.


Stanley’s Kitchen & Tap

1970 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, 312-642-0007

Longhorns unite at Stanley’s, which has been going strong since 1993. They love the home-style Southern cooking.


Will’s Northwoods Inn

3030 N. Racine St., Chicago, 773-528-4400

Chicago Sports Bars: Will's Northwoods Inn

Founded in Lakeview in 1991 by some hardcore Badger fans, they’ve got it all, dontcha know. Criminy, they’ve got Walleye Pike Bites, a Merkt’s Cheddar burger, Beer Brats and even something called Moose Knuckles (don’t ask). And if you have anything bad to say about the Packers, take it outside.

Don’t see your alma mater here? Check out the Chicago Bar Project for a more complete listing.

Sports Bar Generalists

Blackfinn Ameripub

65 W. Kinzie St., Chicago, 312-836-0290

This “new generation of the classic American pub” draws an upscale (but still fratty) crowd to its River North location.

The Fifty/50

2047 W. Division St., Chicago, 773-489-5050

Both Thrillist and Maxim say this is the best sports bar in the country, so who are we to disagree? This tri-level Wicker Park favorite just got a major facelift and the crave-able menu can make you forget the more than 20 flat screens around the room.

Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap

41 E. Superior St., Chicago, 312-266-0400

It’s an official Blackhawks Bar, plus there’s the added bonus of 20 TVs and really tasty wings, especially if you like ‘em hot.

WestEnd Bar

1326 W. Madison St., Chicago, 312-981-7100

There’s a free shuttle on Hawks and Bulls game days for those lucky enough to score actual game tickets; otherwise, park it here to watch your favorite Chicago teams.

Gamekeepers Sports Bar & Grill 

345 W. Armitage, Chicago, 773-549-0400

This is the big daddy of Lincoln Park sports bars; open since 1984, they’re still going strong. They’re the official spot for Arkansas, UNC and LSU, but you can also catch Georgia, Kentucky, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, DePaul and Mizzou games here.

State Restaurant and Bar

935 W. Webster Ave., Chicago, 773-975-8030

They’ve got 100 beers on tap, and Yahoo! Sports voted them the “4th Best Sports Establishment” in the country … sounds like a winning game-time combo.

Bat 17

1709 Benson Ave., Evanston, 847-733-7117

If you’re an NU student, and there’s a big sporting event happening (NCAA Basketball, Bowl games, etc.), this is where you hunker down (and eat a corned beef sandwich the size of your head).

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