Throw a ball near Wrigley Field and you’ll probably hit a beer-and-wings joint. We love Cubby Bear as much as anyone looking to get drunk and mingle with like-minded baseball fans, but sometimes, the heart wants more — so let’s elevate your Wrigley experience. Scratch the packed bar, skip the greasy sliders and feast on truly satisfying game-day food. Yes, it’s totally possible to eat well (and even sit down while you dine!) steps from Wrigley.
Can you imagine marching into Wrigley with a belly filled with Mediterranean sea bass, scallops and a rosemary gimlet? This adorable spot is perfect for a pre-game date — don’t forget to end your evening with the profiteroles, which rival any I’ve had in France. This is more of a slow-meal type of spot, so if you have plans to go to Wrigley after you eat, be sure to let them know so they’ll get you out in time.
1349 W Cornelia Ave., 773-935-3552
You wouldn’t expect one of the best southern Italian spots in Chicago to be minutes from Wrigley Field, but here we are. The pasta is fresh and homemade, and the staff is fantastic. You’ll find groups of people here, couples and families, along with a smaller Wrigley crowd. It’s a little on the upscale side, but they won’t bat an eye if you show up in head-to-toe Cubs gear. Trust us, we’ve done it.
3335 N Southport Ave., 773-687-8568
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Consider Big Star as your Big Compromise — but a compromise where everyone ends up happy. It’s a bar environment inside Hotel Zachary across from Wrigley that can accommodate big groups. The food, though, is spectacular. And they specialize in elevated tacos, so you really can’t go wrong. Pair them with one of Big Star’s margaritas, and you’re in for a killer evening. We recommend the yuba tofu taco with a side of guac and chips, but the menu is huge, so you’ll be able to find your perfect match there. Big Star is open late (past 10 p.m.), so stop in before or after the game.
3640 N Clark St., 773-857-7120
Sushi, bao buns, Asian beer and tuna tostada. Bites offers the perfect blend of small meals, shareable plates and yummy food — I can’t understand why Cubs fans don’t pack into Bites before and after the game. Okay, it does get a little crowded on game day, but it’s worth any wait because the food is that good.
3313 N Clark St., 773-270-5972
Located directly across from Wrigley Field, this is the unicorn. They’ve got oysters, steak sandwiches, shrimp cocktails, grilled salmon and everything else you’d expect from a relatively fancy steak joint in Lakeview. Beware: The service tends to be on the slower side (give yourselves a good two hours to dine comfortably), but since Wrigley is literally a few steps away, it shouldn’t be a problem.
3600 N Clark St., 773-360-0207
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