Best Sports Bars To Watch World Cup Soccer In Chicago

May 22, 2014 7:00 AM

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In North American hockey, most of the insanity takes place on the ice, whereas during World Cup soccer, it’s usually the fans that are certifiable because they see themselves as the “12th man,” influencing the outcome from the stands. All you need do is throw back some cold beer and enjoy the games at these stellar stops for FIFA World Cup 2014.
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Timothy O’Toole’s Pub
622 N. Fairbanks Court
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 642-0700

This subterranean Streeterville pub is one of the ultimate sports bars/restaurants in the city. Enjoy beers (48 on draught), lunch, brunch, dinner and late night bites. While watching the game, take the O’Toole’s BIG TIMMY Challenge by finishing two half-pound burger patties topped with cheddar, jack, mozzarella, Swiss, bacon, onion straws, BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato and red onion piled high with fries and onion rings. Finish it all and you get an O’Toole’s t-shirt worth around $20. Salute World Cup host country Brazil by getting hot with O’Toole’s award-winning hot wings.
The Pony
1638 W. Belmont
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 828-5055

The Pony is a spacious sports bar that’s more chill than crazy but woofing, hooting and hollering fans are not discouraged. There’s not a bad seat in the house as you can watch games broadcast on overhead plasma TVs and at tables that feature an individual flat-screen TV for viewing all World Cup soccer games. Executive Chef Brian Jupiter has fashioned a made-from-scratch menu, highlighting as much local produce, protein and product as possible. Go ahead and share The Pony’s signature 16″ grilled cheese (called The Clydesdale) while watching the game paired with the Lakeview bar’s seasonal and craft cocktails, rotating Pony Punches and local, classic and micro-brewed beers.
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Municipal Bar + Dining Company
216 W. Ohio St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 951-2125

Soccer is a game of the people and this sports bar and restaurant is inspired by the working class, industrial streets of the city, though you won’t find merely corn nuts and Slim Jims here. The vittles are contemporary American cuisine and the selection of craft beers, wines and specialty cocktails is extensive to accompany the games on 35 flat-screen TVs with a state-of-the-art sound system. Drink specials for all World Cup games include a “Build-Your-Own World Cup Bucket” –  choose from a variety of international bottled beers and create your own array. Also enjoy a promotion called “Drink Your Way Around The World,” as your passport book gets stamped each time you choose Municipal to watch a World Cup game. Earn a certain number of stamps and snag a prize to enjoy during the World Cup finals.

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1970 W. Montrose Ave.
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 697-8204

Take in the games outdoors on Fountainhead’s roof deck which will be open for all World Cup games (weather permitting) with all TVs broadcasting the action. Expect various international and local beer specials throughout the tournament and with 27 beers on tap and bottled, plus wine, whisky, bourbon and special Scotch whiskey, you won’t have to raise an empty glass to your favorite team. “At the end of every World Cup, I say a little prayer that I might live to see the next,” says Chris Kafcas, general manager of Fountainhead. “There is nothing more enjoyable than sitting on the roof deck with folks from all over the world toasting with great beer and watching the World Cup unfold.”
Stout Barrel House and Galley
642 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 475-1390

Stout offers 16 TVs and the second floor Tap Room, which has six sets, may be rented out for private soccer parties, starting at $20 per person for two hours with an open bar. Lunch, brunch, dinner and late-night eats call to be paired with a variety of global craft brews – 18 on tap, 46 bottled and five in cans. Cheer on Team USA with classic American fare like a luscious Stout burger capped with Iowa cheddar, arugula, dijon aioli, paired with Revolution Brewing’s Anti-Hero IPA; Maine lobster roll (three to an order) paired with a Goose Island Sophie; cornflake crusted fried chicken escorted by Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter; or bacon-wrapped meatloaf paired with Well’s Banana Bread beer. GOAL! 

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Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at