Best Sports Bars in River North, Chicago

Ironside and Gallery | Bubbly Moments

If you are a sports lover, you will know that there is no better spot to enjoy watching the biggest games than at a great sports bar. Not only are you surrounded by the buzz of fellow fans, you can also indulge in some awesome food and drink choices. There is usually a fun charged atmosphere, especially when you find yourself in the same bar with fans of opposing teams!

There are plenty of fantastic sports bars to be found across the whole of the United States, particularly in Chicago. The sports bar here have really been upping their game recently, especially in terms of their food and drink offerings. It can be hard to know which one to pick when you’re so spoilt for choice in the neighborhood.

That’s where we come in to help. Read on for our thorough guide to the best sports bar in River North, Chicago.

Theory Sports Bar and Grill Chicago

If you’re looking for one of the best sports bars in River North, Chicago area that is a little more upscale, Theory bar is definitely the perfect choice. A spacious venue with friendly and attentive servers, you’ll find it pretty packed on most evenings.

The drinks offering here includes a wide selection of beers and cocktails with something for everyone. The extensive food menu is full of all the classic American favorites, with Southern and Mexican touches. With over 35 TV screens and lots of comfy oversized leather booths, you’ll be able to enjoy a great view of the game no matter where you’re seated. They do tend to fill up quite quickly on most evenings, so on big game nights it’s best to arrive early.

At Theory Bar Chicago, they also have a private VIP room available with a 133” screen. Perfect for those of you who want to hold a private viewing party for a game you’re particularly excited about.

Theory bar: 9 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654; or

Ironside Bar & Galley

Nestled in the center of River North, Chicago, Iron Side Bar & Gallery definitely has more than enough television screens on offer for those of you who’d like your own viewing space! With a total of 23 flat screens within the bar, you’re unlikely to have an obstructed view, even during the bigger games.

As one of the best sports bars in River North, Iron Side Bar & Gallery has a decor based on a nautical ship theme. It helps the place to stand out from the other sports bars in the neighborhoods. There are wooden beams, coastal inspired paintings and metal pipes on display. The ceiling depicts a pirate party on the Caribbean, making you feel like you’re inside a ship. Just like in a luxury ship, the bar is divided into different areas. There’s a dining room that can fit 10 people, a basement bar for 50, and a patio that can hold around 40.

Food lovers, you won’t be disappointed with the wide range of delectable options on offer here. They have all the classic American favorites, from chicken and waffles, to burgers, bacon, and roasted tomatoes on their menu. To keep up with the oceanic theme, the menu also includes popular seafood options, such as shrimp and lobster. Our personal favorite is the Oyster Rockefeller, made of a couple of bivalves filled with creamed spinach, bacon, and some crumbs of bread.

Let’s get down to the drinks. The Iron Side Bar has some fantastic cocktail, wine and beer choices. There are also a few unusual choices, including an interesting concoction they call Brosé (basically Red Bull and Rosé mixed together – try it before you dismiss it!).

Ironside Bar & Galley: 546 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654; or

Trophy Room Bar

One of the biggest and best sports bars in River North, Chicago, the Trophy Room bar truly lives up to its name. It has all the ingredients of a perfect sports bar, including great local beers, firestone pizzas and regular screenings of the biggest international sports games. This spacious bar has a more chilled out atmosphere that makes it a great spot to relax in, whether you’re a huge sports fan or not.

Let’s move on to the drinks and food options. There’s a large variety of cocktails and beers, so you are bound to find one that you love. And pizza lovers, this is a great spot for you with a variety of firestone pizzas and lots of different topping choices.

The Trophy Room bar transforms from a typical restaurant during the day to a vibrant sports bar at night where you can enjoy the biggest games. Also, keep in mind that though there is no dress code during the day, the venue prefers if you don’t wear sportswear at night!

Trophy Room: 170 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654; or

Highline Bar Chicago

With its chic and modern interior, the Highline Bar in Chicago offers a stylish atmosphere for you to enjoy watching the biggest games in. With over 24 television screens and a fantastic sound system, watching the game here will make for a memorable experience for you and your friends.

If you’re looking to hold a private event, the Highline Bar offers various rooms of all sizes. You can fit groups of between 20-400 and create a customized menu just for your event. In terms of their food menu, we’d recommend the fish tacos, and for dessert, the skillet cookie. As one of the best sports bars in River North, Highline also has a great happy hour that’s worth checking out!

Highline Bar: 169 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654, (312) 533-2742; or

Concrete Cowboy Bar

With its minimalist and modern interior, the Concrete Cowboy Bar is one of the coolest news and best sports bars in River North, Chicago. You will find this spot buzzing with people on any given evening, but you will still be able to get a good view of the game via one of their 40 big screen televisions. The drink prices can be a little higher than other sports bars in the area, but there’s a great energy and atmosphere for an enjoyable evening with friends.

Concrete Cowboy Bar also has an extensive food menu full of the sport bar classics, including their jumbo chicken wings and mac & cheese squares. For meat eaters, you will find yourself spoilt for choice with their burger choices and juicy barbeque ribs. If you are after something a little healthier, they also do a great chopped salad. Finish off your meal with their delicious chocolate chip cookie skillet and you will be left more than satisfied.

This place isn’t just a good choice for sports viewings or dinner, they also have a surprisingly good brunch menu. Definitely one of the best sports bars in River North!

Concrete Cowboy: 646 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654, (312) 477-9500; or

Old Crow Smokehouse – River North

The Old Crow Smokehouse, located in the heart of River North, is open 7 days a week all year round. Foodwise, you won’t be disappointed. They offer a delicious range of barbeque food options that any meat eater will love. Their homemade barbeque sauce is well-known. And you won’t be leaving hungry. The serving sizes for the mains are fairly large, making it a great choice of restaurant if you are looking for value for money.

If you are not a huge fan of barbequed food, they also have other appetizers including corn dogs, pigskin nachos, crispy fried pickled okra, fried ribs, and smoked stuffed poppers. And the best part is, most of these options are less than $15!

On top of sports games and food, the Old Crow Smokehouse also has live music performances to keep you entertained. Every night, you will find a host of emerging local artists performing here. Music, good food, and sports screenings under one roof – what more could you ask for?

Old Crow Smokehouse River North: 149 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654, (312) 477-3983; or

Municipal Bar & Dining Co.

Though there are plenty of sports bars in the area, the arrival of Municipal Bar in River North, Chicago in 2012 still managed to shake up the sports bar scene here. The team behind Municipal Bar & Dining Co. have truly raised the bar with their level of service, spacious layout of the venue, and high-quality food and drink options.

The interior of the bar has an airy and pleasant feel, with lots of brick and woodwork on display. And with a wide range of flat screen televisions conveniently located in different sections of the bar, you won’t have to worry about too many people congregating in one spot. You’ll be able to enjoy a clear view of the game without tripping over other sports fans.

In terms of drinks, there’s truly something for everyone at the Municipal Bar & Dining Co. Their drinks menu has a huge assortment of beers and cocktails. You can get the best local beers at the Municipal Bar, from Lagunita to Revolution, as well as popular favorites such as Coors Light.

On to the food – you won’t be disappointed here! Since the Municipal Bar doubles up as a ‘proper’ restaurant, you’ll find a higher quality range of food options than available in most sports bars. We love the appetizers they have on offer, and would highly recommend the creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip with a toasted pretzel. For mains, the burgers in particular are fantastic. There is the Prime Burger stuffed with fried tomatoes and sliced avocado, or the juicy Egg Burger. Within the dessert options, we’re obsessed with the delicious soft Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie, garnished with raspberry sauce, chocolates and vanilla ice cream. Delicious!

In a nutshell, you will be pleasantly surprised with the overall offering at Municipal Bar & Dining Co. It really is the perfect spot in the neighborhood to not just watch your favorite team play, but also just to enjoy a great value meal or some mid-week drinks in River North.

Municipal Bar + Dining Co.: 216 W Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60654, (312) 951-2125; or

Have you been to any of those places?
Do you know any other great bar that should be included in this list of Best Sports Bars in River North? Comment below!


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  1. Phyllis A Huebbe April 25, 2018 at 11:00 am - Reply

    My husband and I live in Illinois.we’ve actually been to Iron Side Bar. It’s amazing

  2. Nigel Soper May 14, 2018 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Thanks – I hope we will remember to reread this before we pass through Chicago again.

  3. Calvin August 23, 2018 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Nice nuance in these bars

  4. Judy Schechter September 16, 2018 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Wow they all look amazing! The food looks delicious and I love the outdoor patios! I can’t wait to check out Ironside Bar & Galley! Thank you for your reviews.

  5. Dana Rodriguez November 2, 2018 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    The Old Crow Smokehouse sounds like a place we would enjoy. We love BBQ!

  6. Sandra Watts May 3, 2019 at 7:42 am - Reply

    Those are some great looking bars and the food looks amazing too.

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