If you're a big Bulls and Hawks fan, odds are you find yourself at The United Center quite often. And even if you're not into sports, there are plenty of reasons to end up there anyway. No matter what you're there for, you can eat and drink extremely well, thanks to some recent updates. Feel free to get a little fancy like Patrick Kane's stick skills, or keep it classic like Joakim's 100% all-the-time hustle policy. The surrounding area is pretty limited in terms of food options, so you would be wise to indulge at the stadium.
Big Star (sectionS 114 & 230)
You can take the Big Star out of Wicker Park, but you still can't get rid of the line. The UC Big Star is always packed like it's 80 degrees and sunny on the patio at the actual restaurant, except for it's cold because there's often a hockey game going on. But if you're in the mood for tacos, this is obviously the move. Choices of al pastor, carne asada, and pollo pibil are available.
Nachos are a stadium favorite, but this isn't packaged chips and fake cheese. Big Stars takes fresh made tortilla chips and top them with melted queso, peppers, chorizo, jalapeño, and cilantro. It's basically their queso fundidido with meat on top of chips, which you can't even get at the actual restaurant.
Legacy Burger (sectionS 108 & 213)
Nobody will judge you for keeping things simple and getting a burger, just like nobody will judge you for rocking a Kirk Hinrich jersey to a Bulls game even though he got traded. Just don't rock Kirk Hinrich style goggles to a game. You'll get judged for those.
Chicago Dish (sectionS 104 & 222)
Jake Melnick’s Buffalo Wings
Real talk. Melnick's wings are some of our favorite in the city. Always big, juicy, and full of sauce. Get your hands all up in these wings and then high five the person next to you after Jimmy Butler makes an all-star caliber play.
Chicago Style Hot Dog
Not all heroes wear capes. Some heroes are encased meat in a bun with mustard, neon relish, onions, pickles, tomatoes, sport peppers, and celery salt. No ketchup. Don't f*ck it up.
Maxwell Street Polish
If a classic Chicago dog is Captain America, then the Maxwell Street Polish is Iron Man. A little newer, a little more technologically advanced (sautéed onions), but just as awesome.
Fontanini Italian Beef Sandwich
The stadium Italian beefs are legitimately as big as our forearms. They're massive. If that picture alone doesn't convince you to try one then we're not sure what will. Shout out to Hossa in the background.
Leghorn Chicken (section 115)
Thigh or breast. Biscuit or bun. We're a sucker for anything fried on a biscuit, but the kicker here is the green goddess sauce. Get it very involved.
LQ Chicken Shack (section 205)
Fried Chicken Sandwich
More fried chicken sandwiches, because you can never have too many of those in a stadium. We like the spicy version at LQ, but make sure to douse it in a lot of honey. The sweetness of the honey helps cut the spice a bit - old hockey trick.
Lillie’s Q (section 206)
Tri Tip Sandwich
We know what you're thinking: a tri tip sandwich isn't the first thing you would think of eating at a sporting event. And we agree, because that's what we thought too. But one bite of this thing will change your mind. It's smokey and delicious on a soft brioche bun.
Goose Island Brew Pub (section 109)
If you're looking to get out of your seat for a little while during a break in the action, hit up Goose Island Brew Pub outside of Section 109. It's our go-to move when we want a huge sandwich, homemade chips, and a cold beer, especially when we're not worried about getting back to our seats. The veteran move is to leave just before a period/quarter ends so you can claim some table space.
Chicago Sausage Shop (section 223)
If you're looking to take your hot dogs and sausages up a notch, then the Chicago Sausage Shop is the place to do it. They offer two different sausages from both PQM and Frontier, two restaurants who do meats exceptionally well. You can go the Frontier route, which has options of a bacon & cheddar sausage or bourbon chicken sausage. Or go the PQM route, which has options of an adobo sausage with pickled jalapeños and crispy onions, or our personal favorite, a chili sausage dog topped with green chili and crushed Doritos.
Hometown Sweets (section 212)
You need a little dessert to cap off any sporting event, so don't sleep on the sweets. If you're fancy enough to find yourself in Section 212, the Hometown Sweets stand has an incredible array of locally made desserts: Sweet Mandy B's cupcakes, Big Fat Cookies, and Eli's Cheesecake to name a few. Of course, you can also go with a personal container of Garret caramel and cheese corn mix, which is basically crack.