CHICAGO’S TOP 26 BARS TO ROOT FOR OUT-OF-TOWN NCAA FOOTBALL AND NFL TEAMS
CHICAGO’S TOP 26 BARS TO ROOT FOR OUT-OF-TOWN NCAA FOOTBALL AND NFL TEAMS
By Eater Staff
Despite what you’ve heard, it’s okay to root for a football team other than the Bears or Notre Dame while living in Chicago. Given how frustrating it can be to follow a team other than the home team, Eater Chicago compiled a list of the best bars to watch other NCAA and NFL football teams by sifting through bars representing the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Pac 12, along with bars which feature game watches for every NFL team not named the Bears.
Most of these bars hovered around Lakeview and Lincoln Park, the traditional starter neighborhoods for recent college grads. Hey, it’s not like Wrigleyville bars have to worry much about scheduling conflicts against a Cubs postseason run. While there are lovely establishments south of Madison, they all seem intent on backing hometown teams. So with that, check out the map.
Teams: Virginia, South Carolina, Auburn, Purdue, Minnesota. This bar has a strong group of Gamecock fans, but invites fans of all teams to enjoy Saturday specials of $18 towers of Coors Light and Miller Lite; $4 Blue Moon and $5 Leinenkugels.
CHOP SHOP & 1ST WARD EVENTS
Team: University of Colorado. Owned by a CU alum, the Chop Shop will open up its back room and throw games up on its 30-foot projection screen. Food and drink specials for CU gameday are $5 CU vodka lemonades; $5 well drinks; $12 Coors and Coors Light buckets; $3 Jameson or Fireball shots; $12 cheesesteak poutine and $12 house-smoked pulled pork sandwiches.
CITIZEN BAR CHICAGO
Team: Notre Dame. Although there’s plenty of Notre Dame support in the city, few offer a rooftop patio that depending on how big of a crowd, could be open — even in freezing temperatures — thanks to a a heated tent. Citizen Bar also offers $18 Bud Light buckets, $5 stadium cups, $5 Fireball shots and half-priced wings during Irish games. And the bar management said they’re working on a build-your-own tater tot bowl for Sunday NFL games.
Team: Buffalo Bills. No Bears fans wanted to be inside this Bills backers bar during that week one Bills win. Besides figuring out that punk rock, bourbon and football mix, Delilah’s also offers Sunday fans $3 Labatt Blue Blue Light or Genessee Cream Ale pints.
FINLEY DUNNE’S TAVERN
Teams: Arizona, Louisville, Oakland Raiders. Fans of the Arizona Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals can enjoy $8 Tito’s pepper bacon Bloody Mary’s and $4 stadium cups on Saturdays.
FIZZ BAR & GRILL
Teams: Iowa State, Maryland, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens. Fizz offers $3 mimosas and $5 Fireball shots on Saturday with the same specials, plus $4 all drafts on Sundays.
FLAGSHIP TAVERN & GRILL
Teams: Indiana, Miami. Saturday specials for Cane fans are $15 Miller/Coors buckets, $8 22 oz Miller Lite keeper cups, $8 22 oz Miami drinks (Hurricane, PK3, Moosejuice) and $5 Miami bombs. Fans on Sundays can drink up with $15 domestic buckets, $3 Busch Light/PBR tall boy cans, $5 16-oz Bloody Marys and $4 shots of Fireball.
Teams: Iowa, Indianapolis Colts. The bar features Saturday specials for Hawkeyes fans: $8 domestic pitchers and $25 Mimosa buckets.
Teams: North Carolina, Syracuse. Gamekeepers has Saturday specials for Tar Heel and Orange supporters: $9 Bud Light pitchers and $18 Bud or Bud Light buckets. Sunday NFL fans get 25-cent wings; $9 double burgers on a pretzel roll and fries; $6 foot-long Chicago hot dogs with fries; $16 buckets of Bud Light; $12 all beer pitchers; $5 Smirnoff or Jameson bombs; $6 Smirnoff Bloody Marys.
Teams: Michigan State, Detroit Lions. Michiganders who can’t find their ways back to the mitten can enjoy Spartan Saturdays with $5 Angus burgers, $6 Bloody Marys, and $4 stadium cups. Lions fans on Sunday can scarf down $2.50 sliders and sip $4 Jim Beam & picklebacks; and $4 stadium cups and $7 Bloody Marys with beerbacks.
Team: Auburn. Hamburger Mary’s is owned by two Auburn alums and the bar’s brewing arm, Andersonville Brewing, brews a copper rye ale, “Rye of the Tiger,” especially for football fans. The bar also donates $1 from each pint sold to the Chicago Auburn scholarship fund.
Teams: Illinois, Texas Christian. Illinois bars are a dime a dozen, but every alum seemingly eventually finds themselves at Joe’s. This year, they’re also hosting TCU and on Saturdays and Sundays pigskin fans can enjoy specials of $5 mimosas; $4 Fireball shots; $7 Bloody Marys; $9.50 Smokehouse Bloody Marys; $8.50 domestic pitchers; $8 Coors Light/Bud Light buckets and $4 TCU Frog Shots.
KIRKWOOD BAR & GRILL
Teams: Indiana, Nebraska. There’s a lot of red at Kirkwood thanks to the Hoosier and Husker supporters. Nebraska gamedays bring $5 Miller/Coors stadium cups, $5 Miller and Coors tallboy cans, $5 Husker bombs, $25 Big Red fishbowls, $7 Husker burgers and $7 Totchos. NFL Sundays bring $5 Miller and Coors stadium cups, $5 Miller and Coors tallboy cans, $25 Revolution and Lagunitas buckets, and $5 for three mini burgers.
LINCOLN TAP ROOM
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers. Steelers fans can enjoy $2.50 Rolling Rock or Olde Frothingslosh cans; $3 Iron City or Iron City Light bottles; $3.50 Olde German Ale 24-oz cans; $4 Mean Joe Greene (vodka, pineapple and Midori) cocktails; $15 Iron City or Iron City Light buckets and $5 Frothing Balls (Olde Frothingslosh/Fireball); $6 Olde German Balls (Olde German Ale and Fireball); $7 Black & Gold (Jager and Revolution Cross of Gold) cocktails.
NEWPORT BAR AND GRILL
Teams: Washington, Seattle Seahawks. Huskies Saturdays call for $15 domestic bottle buckets and $5 22-oz stadium cups. Seattle’s 12th Man members on Sundays get $2.50 domestic bottles and $4 Red Hook drafts. All Saturdays and Sundays call for $5 bombs and $5 Bloody Mary’s.
NIK & DINO’S TRIPOLI TAP
Teams: Boston College, New England Patriots. Management says they don’t typically offer specials because they are filled to the rafters with fans for Pats games.
Teams: Utah, Washington State. For both Saturdays and Sundays, Nisei features $5 Bud Light stadium cups, $5 call Bloody Mary’s and $5 Fireball shots.
Teams: Notre Dame and New York Giants. Racine Plumbing’s Saturday Notre Dame specials are $4 Guinness; $4 Jameson Shots; $5 mimosas and Bloody Marys; $14 Bud Light Pitchers Sunday. Giants gameday brings $4 mimosas, Bloodys and draft beer; $10 Bud Light pitchers and half-price wings.
Teams: Purdue, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Cleveland Browns. The bar plays Boilermaker, Golden Gopher, Yellow Jackets and Browns games with full sound.
Teams: Wisconsin, Minnesota Vikings. Yet another Badger bar in Wrigleyville, but one that offers Saturday specials of $8 32-oz Bud Light Wisconsin mugs and $5 Jeremiah Weed Sarsaparilla shots. Vikes fans on Sunday get $15 Bud or Bud Light buckets.
SULLY’S HOUSE TAP ROOM & GRILL
Teams: Florida, Cincinnati Bengals. Sully’s is geared for Gator Nation providing $4 Miller Lite or Coors Light stadium cups; $5 Swampwater cocktails; $4 Fireball or Southern Comfort shots; $4 Abita drafts; $8 12 jumbo or boneless wings and $5 Cheese Sully Breadsticks.
Teams: UCLA, Dallas Cowboys. Don’t be caught wearing Trojan red at this UCLA hangout where Saturdays bring $5 Jack and Coke stadium cups, $5 “Bruin Bombs” and $5 vodka lemonades.
Teams: Kentucky, Texas A&M, University of Central Florida. UK gameday brings $4 John Wall shots; $5 UK stadium cups (with $1 goes toward the UK alumni group); $5 Lexington punch and $5 Wildcat Pony punch. UCF gameday: $10 Miller and Coors pitchers, $5 Sweet Tea vodka lemonade cocktails and $4 Nitro shots. A&M gameday: $5 Sam Houston bourbon, $5 Tito’s cocktails and $5 Shiner stadium cups.
Team: Michigan. Sure, there are plenty of Wolverine bars around the city, but when you’re grown-up enough to stray away from the Red Line, try WestEnd where Saturdays bring $6 Millers, Coors and rotating draft stadium cups; $25 Bells or Founders buckets; $5 O bombs; $8-10 Michigan “Block M” pizzas and $6 Big House loaded waffle fries.
WILL’S NORTHWOODS INN
Team: Wisconsin, Green Bay Packers. It’s safe to wear your green and gold inside Will’s, where crowds fill the bar and participate in halftime raffles. The granddaddy of Chicago Cheesehead bars offers both Badger and Packer fans $2 hot dogs and brats on gamedays.
Teams: FSU, New York Jets. The former Rebel Bar keeps up the FSU tradition. If you the join the Windy City Seminoles alum association, fans can get a $25 game day package that includes all you can drink Bud Light and Shiner premium or well drinks and one sandwich with either an appetizer, side or salad. There’s also a $30 FSU package with the same food special plus all-you-can-drink well and call drinks/Bud Light/Shiner premium and Goose Island Green Line drafts. You’ll be also able to hear “J-E-T-S” cheers as the bar will play all Jets games with sound while offering $3 Fireball shots, $7 Bud Light pitchers, $6 40s and $4 Apple Pie Moonshine.
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