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Best Bars In Chicago To Watch The NFL's Opening Games

It's that time again! Great news for the fans — there's not long to wait until football season is in full swing. Now, where's the best place in Chicago to celebrate the season's beginnings and kick back and watch the opening games? Here are a few of our favorites.
(Photo Credit:

The Boundary Tavern And Grille
1932 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 278-1919

Beer fans will love the extensive beer list of over 150 craft beers and game fans will love the extensive collection of large television sets, the better to watch your team of choice. The food is creative bar food with an upscale tilt, and the vibe is neighborhood-like and comfortable. There is outdoor seating if you feel like taking a break, but if you came to watch the game, the servers are attentive and good about switching up channels if you need them to. It can get crowded on weekend nights, so plan accordingly.

Cactus Bar & Grill
404 S. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 922-3830

Not only is it a great place to watch the game on a Sunday (who could say no to their build your own  Bloody Mary bar) but if you're a Bears fan and looking for a place to warm up before going to an actual home game, Cactus Bar & Grill has you covered. They have a free shuttle that will drop you off at the stadium and bring you back to the bar when you're done at the game! If you want to head out early, call the bar and they'll send the shuttle over. You can even bring your drinks on the bus! Parking next to the bar is only $5 if you spend $25 in the establishment, so feel free to leave your car if you're coming from the suburbs. Not going to the game? Hanging out with the folks who are going before and after can only bring the atmosphere up!

Burke's Public House
5401 N. Broadway St.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 944-1109

Although they have a nice outdoor patio, the television sets are inside for game watching. The beer list is small but covers all bases, and the food is good solid bar fare. The owner is usually making rounds and is friendly and welcoming, as are the staff. Being in the low key Edgewater neighborhood, the fans are generally of the cheerfully vocal, rather than aggressive sort, adding to the welcoming neighborhood vibe of the establishment.

Related: Best Boozy Brunches In Chicago

(Photo Credit: Cortland's Garage's Facebook)

Cortland's Garage
1645 W. Cortland St.
Chicago, IL 60686
(773) 862-7877

For something with more of a 'find' or 'off the beaten path' feel, try Cortland's Garage. Nestled along Cortland street almost by its lonesome, the bar serves up good burgers and food, and a decent selection of beer with, of course, plenty of spots to watch the games. Its burgers have won a few awards and there's a special offered each night of the week (although it is worth noting that during some game nights, specials won't be valid). There's also a fun drink menu of mixed drinks and they do take reservations for parties and large groups. If you're bringing a large group on a game day, it's recommended to call ahead.

Bull & Bear
431 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 527-5973

If you're looking to throw down a little and want to go all out on a game, try the Bull & Bear. Where else can you grab a booth for the game that comes with its own beer taps attached right to your table? There's no waiting for the server to come by when you need a refill. As a matter of fact, you don't even need to get up to go the fridge like you would at home! The food is good with some creative and higher end twists (think truffle fries and Kobe beef burgers) and the atmosphere is upscale sports bar. Open for brunch as well as dinners.

Related: Best Sports Bars In Chicago

Meredith Lyons is an actor, competitive fighter and fitness instructor in Chicago who also owns an amazing cat named Jake. Meredith has been writing on Examiner as the Chicago Martial Arts Examiner since 2008. Her work can be found at
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