Updated: Dec 18, 2019
Is there anything more quintessentially “fall” for sports enthusiasts than meeting up with a few buddies at a great sports bar to watch the Bears fight for another win? While the others head out to apple orchards, Starbucks and pumpkin patches, you can bet that we will be enjoying some hearty food, cracking open bottles of beer and getting loud when the refs make an unpopular call or when Da Bears score a great touchdown.
You’re going to watch the game no matter where you are, but there’s no need to settle for mediocre food, a skimpy drinks menu, terrible service or small TVs. Here’s our 5 tips for finding the best place to watch the Bears this football season.
1. Choose a Place with a Great View
We’re not talking about a great view of the ocean or the mountains, we’re talking about a great view of the game! Skip the frustration of having somebody standing between you and the action and make sure you pick a spot that has plenty of different screens scattered around with good seating options.
If you’re the kind of person that likes to move around while you watch sports, find a place that has standing room or some kind of activity you can do so that you don’t build up too much nervous energy. Some sports bars even offer digital golf, pool, or cornhole! Or, you could just use this workout idea to burn off some of those calories you’re consuming.
Pay attention to the atmosphere of each of the places you’re considering, because it might not be wise to take a group of introverts to a loud, fraternity-style bar. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to take a large, loud group of football fans to a more laid-back joint where people like to take in the game without much fanfare. You have to know who you’re going with and what kind of atmosphere you want to be in while you watch the big game.
2. Prioritize Delicious Food
Picture this: it’s a close game and the Bears are clawing their way toward the end zone to try to get a few points ahead of the rival team. You’re having a great time, you’re in the zone and then all of the sudden...hunger strikes. Your blood sugar is getting low, your stomach starts to growl, and you know the game won’t be as fun if you don’t get some food soon. You glance down at the menu and there’s nothing that looks too appealing. Looking around at what other people are eating, you realize that it’s all just reheated, cheap snack foods. Are you going to risk running down the street to a sandwich shop, even though you might miss a great play? What about paying extra to have food delivered and then sneaking it into the bar, hoping no one notices?
Or, you could avoid this whole situation by selecting a sports bar/pub that has great food appealing to a variety of taste buds. Ideally there would be some classic football-watching snacks (pretzel sticks and cheese dip), some healthier options for those who are watching what they eat (some fresh tacos with healthy toppings) and some out-of-the-norm creations (a sandwich combining a variety of flavors) to satisfy any craving.
3. Check Out the Drinks
While sufficient sustenance is key for every football fan, the right drink menu can be a great complement to your fun gameday experience! Make sure they have your favorite beer on tap or bottled and that there’s a variety of other options for all of your friends. Some popular sports bar staples are margaritas, Manhattans, sangria, and of course, beer by the pitcher! Don’t forget to examine the prices, because it’s easy to rack up quite the bill while you’re busy paying attention to the game.
4. Expect Quality Service
If you’re not wanting to be interrupted or inconvenienced during the game by servers who aren’t picking up on your cues or paying enough attention to your group, make sure you look for a spot that is known for bartenders and wait staff who really know what they’re doing. It will be a more enjoyable experience for you, and you’ll feel better about leaving them a good tip since they really earned it. You can usually get a good feel for how the service is by looking up Google/Yelp reviews and skimming 10 of the latest reviews people have posted. Don’t just look for one-off comments; see if great service is a common theme.
5. Browse the Specials
Once you’ve found a few sports bars with lots of game-viewing options, great food, and quality service, take a glance at the specials each place offers for the day you are wanting to go. It won’t do you much good if there’s a special on cocktails when you are a hardcore, beer-only kind of person! Or maybe you’re laying off the alcohol and you’d rather get a great deal on some wings or a pizza to share. The specials list can be a deal-breaker, so take an extra couple of minutes to do some digging before you commit. You never know when you’ll find your new regular gameday spot!
Tap In Pub: The Best Place to Watch the Bears
We were awarded Best Sports Bar in Naperville 2019 because we provide all of what you’re looking for! We have plenty of space to watch whatever sports game is hot on any given day, we are known for excellent service, our food is top-notch and we’re sure you’ll find our specials to be great excuses to come in. We even have a 4-patty burger challenge: if you finish your burger and a pound of fries in less than half an hour, your meal is on us! So next time the Bears are playing and you want to text your friends a place to meet, just give them our address and count on a great time.