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The 9 Best Bars for Watching Big Ten Football in Chicago

By Urbanmatter Chicago @UMatterChicago

Fall is officially here, which means college football season is finally in full swing.

And while the city plays host to a few stray SEC or Big Twelve fans, there is no denying that Chicago is a Big Ten town at its core. From the Buckeyes to the Hoosiers, we’ve certainly got it all.

So when you can’t make it to the tailgates to cheer on your favorite team, hit up one of these local spots to relive your glory days in style.

Here are the top Big Ten bars in Chicago.

The Boundary Tavern & Grille

Big Ten Bars

Photo Credit: The Boundary Instagram

The Wicker Park haunt is the go-to bar for Iowa alumni. Expect classic tavern food, strong drinks and a competitive game shuffle board during halftime as you show your spirit for the Hawkeyes. Show up in black and gold on game day and you’ll fit right on in1

Diag Bar & Grill

Big Ten Bars - Diag

Photo Credit: Diag Instagram

You might as well not show up to Diag on game days if you’re not repping the Wolverines. Michigan fans flock to this north side locale on game day for the $6 Bud Light stadium cups and home-away-from home team pride. If you can’t make it to Blue House, Diag is the next best thing.

Kincade’s Bar & Grill

Big Ten Bars - Kincade's

Photo Credit: Kincade’s Facebook

If you don’t want to take the train up to Evanston, you can watch “Chicago’s Big Ten Team” in Lincoln Park at this Northwestern tavern. Visit Kincade’s and head to the back bar to catch glimpses of purple and white. Bring your fellow alumni and grab a Bud Bucket for just $16 each and every Saturday.

Kirkwood Bar and Grill

Big Ten Bars -Kirkwood

Photo Credit: Kirkwood

Kirkwood’s has the college bar feel that’ll light up your nostalgia, complete with enormous fish bowls and a slightly sitcky floor. Hoosiers and Huskers will feel right at home in this tavern, that is, when they aren’t playing one another. While there, make sure to order yourself a big plate of nachos and the atmosphere will be complete.

Kroll’s South Loop

Big Ten Bars - Krolls

Photo Credit: Kroll’s Facebook

A neighborhood bar with $4 cheese curds and Wisconsin football on TV? What more could a Badger fan ask for! What’s more, Kroll’s keeps serving food well after other area kitchens have closed up shop, meaning that your Big Ten party can keep going even after the game itself comes to an end.

Municipal Bar & Dining Co.

Big Ten Bars - Municipal

Photo Credit: Municipal Instagram

This River North spot is a self-proclaimed may be swankier than your average college bar, but that doesn’t mean Michigan State fans state fans should pass on this upscale joint. Municipal offers $15 domestic pitchers and $6.99 nachos and wings for fans of the green, making it the perfect spot to show off your Spartan pride.

Schoolyard Tavern

Big Ten Bars - Schoolyard

Photo Credit: Schoolyard Twitter

Coming from the largest university in-state, Illini fans obviously have a number of bars to choose from in Chicago. However, with $5 stadium cups, $20 fishbowls, and $5 oskee wow wow bombs, this Southport spot is the must-go place for  U of I game days.


Photo Credit: Waterhouse Instagram

Photo Credit: Waterhouse Instagram

Boilermakers, look no further. Right off the Paulina brown line stop, Waterhouse has you covered on game days. Though this spot supports many a team, nothing can beat the bashes they throw for Purdue fans. If you’re looking for something to soak up all the beer in your stomach, check out the Cheesesteak dip – it’s fantastic!

Woodie’s Flat

Big Ten Bars - Woodies

Photo Credit: Woodie’s Flat Instagram

Calling all Ohio State fans! Woodie’s is the number one spot to watch the Buckeyes in Chicago. Hit up this Old Town bar on Fridays and Saturdays for food, drinks and fun. Oh, and for a chance to win $100 as the Woodie’s fan of the week!

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