Bars | March Madness 2013
Grab a barstool and catch all the NCAA tourney action, March 19–April 8.
AJ Hudson’s Public House
With more than 25 flat-screen TVs, this Lakeview bar is committed to showing sports. During every game in the tournament, it offers drink specials and $5 appetizers. 3801 N Ashland Ave (773-348-2767).
Chow down on a pulled-pork pizza while watching the games with sound and without commercials. Music is played during breaks. 1510 N Wells St (312-649-9640).
Bull & Bear
Catch every dribble and dunk on the 25 plasma TVs at this downtown bar, a perfect spot for happy-hour hoop watching. 431 N Wells St (312-527-5973).
Brasserie by LM
Feeling fancy? Leave the jersey at home to sip wine and dine at this French restaurant that doubles as an Indiana University bar. Who knew? 800 S Michigan Ave (312-431-1788).
It may not be the traditional game-time refreshment, but the frozen Mexican Firing Squad cocktail by bartender Paul McGee is for fans of something special. 435 N Clark St (312-610-4200).
Cactus Bar & Grill
Ascribing to the “bigger is better” motto, this South Side bar shows the games on ten-foot projection screens. Three of them. 404 S Wells St (312-922-3830).
Go all out on the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament with a $25 Game Day package featuring domestic drafts, well cocktails and a tailgate buffet. 3660 N Clark St (773-755-4444).
Crew Bar and Grill
With sporty décor and great pub grub, this straight-friendly gay sports bar is a perfect place to catch the games. 4804 N Broadway (773-784-2739).
Deuces & The Diamond Club
Forget basketball—or at least take your eyes off the screen for a minute or two—and tackle a plate of finger-lickin’ 50-cent wings. 3505 N Clark St (773-644-5554).
Patrons at this Lincoln Park bar might care more about horse racing than hoops, but Derby is still showing all of the March Madness games. 1224 W Webster Ave (773-248-0900).
For some serious game-time eats, dive into the bacon-wrapped andouille-stuffed meatloaf, or the more manageable firecracker shrimp. 2856 N Southport Ave (773-404-8400).
Fatpour Tap Work
Two floors of seating, table taps and TVs aplenty means an entire staircase can separate you and that friend (er, frenemy) who’s rooting for the other team. 2005 W Division St (773-698-8940).
This multilevel Wicker Park establishment opened five years ago on the first day of March Madness. To celebrate, it’s offering anniversary drink specials. 2047 W Division St (773-489-5050).
Nothing says “college basketball” season like a whole roasted pig. Okay, we made up this saying, but still: You’ll go hog wild for the whole animal package ($550, serves 12–15), which you can enjoy while watching the game on one of Frontier’s flat-screens. 1072 N Milwaukee Ave (773-772-4322).
This Loop bar and grill offers daily specials, such as half-priced cocktails on Mondays, plus other food and drink specials during games. 325 S Franklin St (312-212-3262).
Gino’s East Sports Bar
Pizza and basketball go together like…never mind. Pizza goes with everything. Enjoy a slice while you cheer on your team. 521 S Dearborn St (312-939-1818).
It’s March Draftness at this Lakeview arcade bar with craft beer specials during the Sweet Sixteen and free T-shirts during the first tournament weekend. 950 W Wolfram St (773-665-5660).
Say what you will about Notre Dame, but its official sports bar will satisfy even the most vocal haters with a $6 “perfect pint of Guinness.” The pub also specializes in whiskey. 3511 N Clark St (773-935-6669).
Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap
The burger of the month puts its game face on with the Madness Burger, also known as nine ounces of beef between two grilled cheese sandwiches. 41 E Superior St (312-266-0400).
With wood paneling and exposed rafters, this sophisticated restaurant and bar appeals to the low-key sports fan. 18 E Bellevue Pl (312-642-3400).
The go-to accessory for all the Big Ten games will be a custom March Madness Mug ($10). Fill it with $4 domestic or $6 imported and craft beers. 551 N Ogden Ave (312-733-2121).
This quiet neighborhood bar simply offers some of the best beer in Chicago, plus wine, spirits, a no-attitude-allowed atmosphere and plenty of TVs. 1949 N Hoyne Ave (773-252-7636).
Bring along your bracket for a chance to win prizes, or just stop by for $2.99 chili-cheese corn dogs. 1824 W Division St (773-862-8686).
Municipal Bar + Dining Co.
Cheer on your team at this new sports bar, which features a Chicago architecture design theme. There are wall murals of city streets and drinks named after local neighborhoods. 216 W Ohio St (312-951-2125).
With three private rooms, this bar lets the entire team crash the party. The only requirement is a minimum bar tab or wristband package. 2100 W Irving Park Rd (773-478-2100).
Picking one superior team out of 64 is almost as daunting a decision as choosing a beverage at this sprawling sports bar, where you can enjoy a beer or spirit from your own tap provided at the table. 400 N State St (312-265-1240).
The TV-bedecked sports lounge and restaurant offers food and drink specials throughout the tourney. Enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail and appetizer while watching the game. 465 E Illinois St (312-981-8400).
It’s inevitable that you and your friends will argue over whose team will reign supreme, but why not do it over a Gruntburger and a cold one? 2056 N Lincoln Park West (773-929-5363).
Rockit Bar & Grill
With 50-inch flat-screens and a full lineup of appetizer options—from fried calamari to cheese fries—this River North bar is a popular viewing destination during the tourney. 22 W Hubbard St (312-645-6000).
No matter how your team is doing, the BBQ joint's smoky ribs and sweet-potato fries are something to cheer about. 1804 W Division St (773-772-6656).