Chicago, Illinois is one of the best sports cities in the US. There are two MLB teams, NBA and NHL squads, and of course, one of NFL‘s original franchises, the Chicago Bears.
Chicago is also widely known as one of America’s best foodie cities. Add a few cold beers and high definition TVs to the mix and there’s little doubt it is one of the best places in the country to spend an NFL game day.
However, the best Chicago sports bars offer more than just brews, brats, and “Da Bears.” They deliver on the promise of a true Bears fan experience on game days–a worthy outing if you can’t make it to Soldier Field or place a legal bet in Illinois (yet).
Below is a comprehensive look at the top seven Bears Bars in the city. We chose seven in honor Bears founder, owner, head coach, and one-time player, George Halas. The team has retired Halas’ number 7 jersey and pays homage to him on game days by wearing his GSH initials on team gear even to this day.
All seven of these NFL Bars would likely be “Papa Bear” approved:
Timothy O’Toole’s Pub
622 N Fairbanks Ct, Chicago, IL 60611
Timothy O’Toole’s Pub has developed a reputation as Chicago’s Favorite Bears Bar.
Just steps from the Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier this sports fan’s haven features more than 70 HD flat screens for game viewing. Plus, with a menu including award-winning wings and the monstrous “Big Timmy” burger, sports fans won’t go hungry. Add in weekend brunch with a “build your own mimosa” and Bloody Mary bar and 48 beers on tap and Timothy O’Toole’s is the perfect place to watch football.
The restaurant opens for brunch at 9:30 a.m. on game days and they’ve even got a round trip shuttle to Soldier Field for all Bears home games, making it a great pre- and post-game location as well.
Plus, Timothy O’Toole’s now turns into “Swerski’s” A Chicago Pop-Up Bar for Superfans on game days. It is a homage to the famous Saturday Night Live Superfan’s Skit and it features a Chicago Bears themed food and drink menu and a Superfans photo backdrop with table props.
Patrons actually eat, drink, and watch “Da Bears” in a re-creation of the iconic set from the skit. The only question is: Did God create Timothy O’Toole’s Pub, and make it superior to all other Chicago Bears Bars? Or is he simply a huge fan, and Ditka made it superior to all other Chicago Bears Bars?
The Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen
1301 S Wabash Ave Chicago, IL 60605
The Scout in the South Loop neighborhood claims it will become “You’re headquarters for Bears games!” Apparently it is willing to forego good grammar and open at 9 a.m. on game days to prove it.
It has been named one of the city’s best sports bars and the chef-driven classic American road trip menu one of the best anywhere in Chicago. There’s even a game-day brunch menu and the signature footlong grilled-cheese sandwiches are a must-try.
There are as many as 15 beers on tap and a unique cocktail menu that should have you saying uncle by the fourth quarter.
Bears fans have been known to wait up to an hour for a table during games. But once they’re in they are guaranteed a view of at least one of the more than 30 TVs on site.
The Scout is also less than a mile from Soldier Field and patrons swear they can feel the place rumbling when Bears fans inside are at their loudest.
605 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654
Ordinarily, Bar Cargo is Chicago’s best Roman pizza restaurant. However, it turns into one of Chicago’s best Bears bars on game days. The same goes for Wisconsin Badgers football games too.
Bar Cargo offers full game sound and plenty of great views of the 18 flat-screen TVs in the restaurant, bar, and outdoor beer garden.
Game-day specials include $20 domestic beer buckets, $25 Corona beer buckets, and $28 hard seltzer buckets.
Bar Cargo also features a bunch of game day giveaways, raffling off prizes at halftime and the end of each Bears game. Prizes include team swag, gift cards, and maybe even tickets to a Bears game.
Mother Hubbard’s Sports Pub
5 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
You won’t miss a second of Bears action on the 45 TV monitors, including seven 10-foot screens, at Mother Hubbard’s Sports Pub in River North.
A menu that features Buffalo Wings (chosen #1 in Chicago by the local CBS affiliate) and a traditional Chicago-style hot dog is perfect for game days too.
Plus, there are more than 20 beers on tap and plenty of bottles to help wash it down.
Old Town Pour House
1419 N. Wells St. Chicago, IL 60610
Old Town Pour House is an Old Town bar and restaurant built as beer Mecca, making it one of Chicago’s best Bears bars.
In fact, there are 90 different craft beers on tap–one of the largest draft beer selections in the country.
Plus, the menu is filled with modern American fare that aims to please on game days. The Nashville Hot Chicken Wrap or the Scorpion Burger could possibly make you thirsty enough to put a dent in that massive beer list.
The dark wood interiors don’t exactly scream sports bar, but a selection of 107-inch HDTVs lining the bar makes it a great place to catch a Bears game. They even employ a DJ to play music and video clips during commercials.
1635 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60647
Gracie O’Malley’s in Wicker Park is an Irish Sports Pub. But apparently the Irish love the local Super Bowl XX-winning NFL team as much as everybody else.
There are game-day specials that include $5 Stadium Cups & Bombs for all Bears games. Plus, $5 Bloody Marys and a $15 Bottomless Mimosa package on game days.
The Pub menu features several classic Irish dishes, house-made burgers, and wings with five different hot sauces. Plus, there’s Sunday brunch.
Bears action is on full display with 14 HDTVs and a state of the art sound system.
Finley Dunne’s Tavern
3458 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
Finley Dunne’s Tavern in Lakeview is really a Chicago Blackhawks bar, but they support the Bears almost as much.
The Tavern was named after Chicago Evening Post columnist Finley Peter Dunne. He believed every great neighborhood centers around its tavern.
The menu was designed to nail the classics. It does so with its World Famous Ryan Burger and wings cooked and sauced to perfection. Plus, there’s a little something unexpected there too. There are 17 beers on tap and too many import and craft brew bottles to count.
Bears games are always on both of the two big-screen TVs.