The sports world is like everything else right now. It’s racked with uncertainty and postponements, rule changes and new normals, and probably no prospect of a Bears Playoff appearance. But at least sports are back, even if the crowd noise is fake. If you’re feeling the urge to watch a live game in the vicinity of friends, here are 15 spots with outdoor seating where you can do just that.
This 3,000-square-foot rooftop bar in Wicker Park is very large. So, it’s fitting that this spot broadcasts games on two giant 120-square-inch TVs, and (in case you’re serious about your fantasy team) includes complimentary headphones so you can watch your quarterback throw a pick-six without any distractions.
Rizzo's Bar & Inn
Rizzo’s is a huge sports bar that’s right across from Wrigley Field, and has a huge outdoor patio with a retractable roof. Come here when you want to watch baseball and/or to bathe in the residual glow of the stadium lights since you can’t go to the actual game. Also worth noting, this spot has a pretty great burger.
There’s very little you can’t do on the patio at Park and Field in Logan Square. It feels less like an outdoor patio and more of an outdoor empire. The space is gigantic, with tables, bocce courts, Adirondack chairs, multiple firepits (where you can make s’mores), and a camper-turned-bar. Plus, it has seven TVs with sound on for Bears games.
As the name would lead you to believe, Utopian Tailgate cares about sports. So this fun rooftop bar has astroturf, colorful patio furniture, and a tailgate-themed food and drink menu where you can find things like nachos, pizza, and skewers. Oh and yes, TVs for watching sports.
Take a Chicago block party and put it on a rooftop deck, and you have Reggies in the South Loop. This bar and music venue (yes, they’re still hosting shows) has cold beer, burgers and wings, and lots of games playing on outdoor TVs.
There are three locations of Parlor (West Loop, Wicker Park, and River North), but the patio and rooftop make the one in the West Loop our favorite. This year they put some TVs out, and we swear they stayed outside during the rain, so they must be magic.
Since Ranalli’s was revamped a few years ago, it’s become an excellent environment to watch a game. The patio is ideal in the summer, and they have drink specials every Saturday and Sunday during football season - like $6 beers and $5 shots.
Kirkwood Bar & Grill
Not only does Kirkwood in Lakeview have a large patio where you can watch football, but they also have game day deals. Like the Touchdown Package, which includes pretzels, chicken tenders, six sliders, and a six-pack for $50.
Homeslice in Lincoln Park is a pizza spot with hand-tossed pies that remind us, of Domino’s in the best way possible. And hanging out on the large all-season patio reminds us of having friends over as a kid - it has big couches, swing sets, and TVs for watching sports.
This is a Wicker Park restaurant from the same people who run Homeslice. Like that place, it has the same style pies, and an all-season, over-the-top patio with flamingo lawn ornaments, swing sets, and a Winnebago.
The loud, busy patio at Federales might not be for everyone. But the spaced-out tables, temperature checks, and social distancing policy are. So, if you’re in the West Loop and want to watch sports with a pitcher of margaritas and some tacos, it’s a good option.
On the surface, 80 Proof seems like just another clubby sports bar in Old Town. But one thing sets it apart - their long menu of vegan bar food. You’ll find things like jackfruit chicken nuggets, a quesadilla made with pulled-pork oats, and a vegan meatball sub. And for the non-vegan sport fans, they do have actual meat and cheese on the menu, too.
We like watching games at Gaslight in Lincoln Park because of their covered, all-season patio. This means we can watch the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, and Cubs systematically break our hearts 12 months out of the year.
If you went to a Big 10 school, then you probably don’t need us to tell you that Benchmark is a great place to catch a game - they play lots of college sports, and the whole place has about 40 TV’s (that’s not an exaggeration). Combine a retractable roof with good bar food and you can sit here eating and drinking all day. Make sure you get a skillet cookie.
When none of your friends can plan a trip to Vegas to see the Raiders play (because, you know, they’re there now), Fremont can be your next best option. This club/restaurant in River North is ridiculously excessive - they have an elaborate brunch complete with a donut wall, a live DJ, a retractable roof, and a whole bunch of TV’s.