Food & Drink | April 12, 2019 9:50 am

The 11 Best Bars Near Wrigley Field, Mapped

From dive bars to dinner spots, and everywhere in between.

best bars near Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field.

It’s that time of year again.

Wrigley Field threw open its gates yesterday, and thousands of party-hardy fans will flood the neighborhood in its honor. Now you just have to figure out which of Wrigleyville’s many watering holes fits your particular needs and predilections.

Enter our compendium of 11 stellar options ready and able to suit any game-day situation. Whether you’re hosting clients, getting rowdy with the boys or out for a ballpark date night, the perfect spot awaits.

Best for staging your next family reunion: Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern
Mon-Fri 11:00am-2am, Sat 10:00am-3am, Sun 10:00am-2am
On deck: Beer, Wine, Spirits/Cocktails, Full Menu, Daily Food & Drink Deals
Game summary: The website’s tagline — “You can’t get any more Wrigleyville than this” — is pretty literal, at least in a physical sense. The modern, open-air and verifiably kid-friendly joint sits in the direct shadow of the ballpark overlooking Gallagher Way and bleeds Cubbie pride. It’s named after legendary broadcaster Jack Brickhouse, after all. Four full bars are on hand to quench your thirst, with a handful of brews (read: it’s not just Bud) and signature cocktails, including a boozy (or non-boozy) Cubs-inspired, cake-infused milkshake, alongside a big menu of updated pub grub plus brunch and lots of daily specials and discounts. If you’re heading to the park with hungry tots in tow, this is a solid pre-game option.

3647 N. Clark St.

Best for impressing visiting clients: Mordecai
Hours: Mon 11:00am-11:00pm, Tues-Wed 5:00pm-10:00pm, Thurs 5:00pm-11:00pm, Fri 5:00pm-11:00pm, Sat 11:00am-12:00am, Sun 11:00am-9:00pm
On deck: Beer, Wine, Specialty Spirits/Craft Cocktails, Full Menu
Game summary: Rare, collectible vintage spirits — one of the largest collections in the country, in fact — tops the menu at this polished Hotel Zachary outpost from the folks behind drinks den Billy Sunday. Naturally, inventive cocktails follow closely behind, as do cheffy comforts like tempura cheese curds with Calabrian chiles, goat bratwurst with 18-hour sauerkraut. The decor, all sleek inlaid wood and butterscotch-hued leather banquettes, is Mad Men-worthy mid-century modern. The illuminated back bar is armed with flat screens for game day, hidden slyly behind sliding gold circular screens designed to look like a baseball hurtling toward home. And lest you think this place is too dapper to play ball, note that its namesake, Cubs hall-of-famer Mordecai Brown, was a particularly badass three-fingered pitcher.

3632 N Clark St.

Instagram/ @luckydorrchicago

Best for hardcore beer geeks: Lucky Dorr
Hours: Mon-Thurs 4:00pm-11:00pm, Fri-Sat 4:00pm-12am, Sunday 4:00pm-10:00 pm 
On deck: Local Craft Beer, Draft Cocktails, Bar Snacks
Game summary: Reopening on April 5th after an offseason renovation, this unique gameday hideaway maintains an unparalleled roster of locally-brewed beers from cult favorites like Lo Rez, Pipeworks, Off Color, Maplewood, Moody Tongue, Whiney, Lake Effect, Alarmist, Begyle and others, many of which fall squarely into the limited-batch category. Inside the warehouse-like brick-lined space, the Billy Sunday team provides batched cocktails (whiskey sour on tap, anyone?) and a few beer-friendly bites like pork pig tails and warm pretzels with beer cheese keep all those pints company. The front wall also opens up garage-style for prime people-watching.

1101 W Waveland Ave.

Instagram/ @bigstarchicago

Best for lost Wicker Park hipsters: Big Star Wrigleyville
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-12:00am, Fri 11:30am-2:00am, Sat 10:00am-2:00am, Sun 10:00am-12:00am
On deck: Beer, Specialty Spirits/Cocktails, Full Menu
Game summary: If you like One Off Hospitality Group’s OG Wicker Park location, rest assured you’ll feel right at home inside Wrigleyville’s shiny new massive, industrial-chic taco and whiskey emporium. Handpicked single-barrel bourbons line the shelves, backed up by pitchers brimming with fresh fruit juice for agave cocktails and a host of expertly prepared Mexican street eats (the queso!) served from brunch to late night. Giant wraparound windows open wide all summer long, so you can bask in the stadium’s warm glow while you sip and snack.

3640 N Clark St.

Best for Big League hopefuls: Sluggers World Class Sports Bar and Grill
Hours: Sun-Fri 11:00am-2:00am, Sat 11:00am-3:00am
On deck: Beer, Spirits/Basic Cocktails, Full Menu
Game summary: Sure, it’s got a lengthy menu featuring everything from Kobe beef burgers to deep dish pizza and saucy wings served up in orders of 25-50. And yes, non-game day drink specials include slick bargains like $5 Patron XO shots, $5 Tito’s cocktails and $3 Bud drafts. But the real reason the Cubs faithful continues to flock to this Clark Street mainstay is because just above the sports ephemera-strewn bar lurks a jam-packed game room that makes the average pool table and shuffleboard set-up look like child’s play. We’re talking Pop-A-Shot basketball, mini-bowling, Skee-ball, air hockey, pinball, old-school video games and, fittingly, full-sized batting cages so you can swing for the fences within spitting distance of the Bigs. Because, let’s face it, it’s probably as close as you’ll ever get.

3540 North Clark St.

Best for for post-game partiers: Cubby Bear
Hours: Wed-Sun 11:00am-2:00am
On deck: Beer, Spirits/Basic Cocktails, Full Menu
Game summary: Win or lose, this 30,000-square-foot no-frills throwback reliably erupts into good old-fashioned rowdy revelry mere seconds after the final out is called. A packed calendar of off-day and post-game concerts spanning everything from ‘90s cover bands to original funk powerhouses sets the tone for sports-bar staples like nachos, sandwiches, dogs and all things fried, and there’s no shortage of cold draft beer, shots and mixed drinks to help wash it down. Go for the energy and the stadium view, stay for the World Famous Cubby Bear Garlic Fries.

1059 West Addison St.

Instagram/ @murphysbleachers

Best for ticketless superfans: Murphy’s Bleachers
Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00am-2:00am
On deck: Beer, Wine, Spirits/Cocktails, Full Menu
Game summary: This trusty wood-paneled relic oozes with Cubs fanaticism. The spacious, sunny patio is almost always filled to capacity with loyal blue- and red-clad patrons, all tossing back cans of Old Style and shots of Jameson while digging into heaps of award-winning ribs and juicy half-pound burgers. Cubs memorabilia covers the walls, there’s always a flat screen in sight, and for a real piece of the action, you can even throw a party on the tavern’s famous private rooftop, complete with brats, beer and a clear view of the diamond.

3655 N Sheffield Ave.

Best for concert-bound music lovers: GMan Tavern
Hours: Mon-Sun 3:00pm-2:00am
On deck: Craft Beer, Cider, Spirits/Cocktails
Game summary: Metro’s owners recently took over this ultra-chill Clark Street hideout, shortening its name from the Gingerman to the GMan and transforming it into THE spot for pre-show pre-gaming. As expected, the jukebox and sound system are still some of the best around, while the pool table, retro pinball machine, gorgeous dark-wood back bar and relaxed, 1970s-finished basement vibe (complete with the Cubs on TV, of course) are all intact. They’ve also turned the back room into a second bar with a stage for smaller acts, so if you’d prefer catching an extra round of tunes to agonizing over the last few innings, you’re covered.

3740 North Clark St.

Best for an intimate date night: Tinker to Evers
Hours: Thurs-Sat 6:00pm-12:00am
On deck: Craft Beer, Specialty Spirits/Craft Cocktails, Small Menu
Game summary: Protect your special someone from the post-game riff-raff at this subterranean speakeasy stashed beneath the Wheelhouse Hotel’s Union Pizza. Local spirits take center stage inside the sexy, 40-seat space, while elevated bar bites dominate the limited menu. Curious about the name? It’s a reference to Franklin Pierce Adams’ famous Cubs poem “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon,” also known as “Tinkers to Evers to Chance” (vintage-style portraits of the players in question hang on the bar’s cobalt blue walls).

3506 North Clark St

Instagram/ @caseymorans

Best for pregaming with your dad: Casey Moran’s
Hours: Fri 10:00am-2:00am, Sat 10:00am-3:00am, Sun 10:00am-2:00am
Cubs Game Hours: 10:00am for 12:05pm and 1:20pm start times, 11:00am for 3:05pm start time, 4:00pm for 7:05pm start time
On deck: Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Full Menu
Game summary: Six complete bars, including a rooftop lounge and sun-drenched beer garden with a retractable roof, plus a huge, varied menu of well-executed comforts means this handsome stalwart has something for every Cubbies fan. Throw a whopping 30-odd televisions along with a stately walnut bar with a classic, scotch-sipping vibe into the mix, and you (and your pops) are in business.

3660 North Clark St.

Best for Malört enthusiasts: Nisei Lounge
Hours: Sun-Thurs 5:00pm-2:00am, Fri 1:20pm-2:00am, Sat 1:20pm-3:00am
On deck: Craft Beer, Spirits/Basic Cocktails
Game summary: The neighborhood’s oldest tavern and one of the city’s friendliest dives, Nisei has been keeping Wrigleyville’s finest in good spirits since 1951. Menu-wise, local craft brews share a bill with Old Style tallboys and Malört … lots and lots of Malört. And we’re not just talking shots — these guys are known for coming up with inventive ways to mix the notoriously bitter liqueur, and they’re usually worth risking potential Malört face. The dartboard is always in high demand, there’s a quality pool table and fantastic jukebox, and they’ve even installed a few flatscreens so you can keep an eye on whatever’s happening down the street at the Friendly Confines.

3439 N Sheffield Ave.