Where to Watch College Basketball on Chicago’s North Shore
The college basketball season is in full swing, and the NCAA tournament will be here before you know it. Until then, cheer on the Wildcats and watch as many games as possible — you want to make sure your bracket doesn’t get busted early, right? — at these local bars and restaurants. Because what’s better than good food, good friends, and a good game?
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Granite City Food & Brewery
992 Willow Road, Northbrook
A game always pairs well with a pint, so watch at a restaurant that also makes its own brews. Signature beers like The Northern (American Lager) and The Duke (Pale Ale), as well as seasonal beers, are brewed on-site. (Current seasonal beers on tap are The Hustle, a coffee cream ale available in February, and Wicked, a juicy IPA here through March.) Order a flight to try a variety as you decide which offering is your favorite. And don't forget about the food! Order appetizers like the Batch 1000 BBQ Pork Nachos and Boneless Wings with Fiery Buffalo, Mango Habanero BBQ, or Old Bay Dry Rub to share, or save the "Big Show" Burger topped with pulled pork and crispy onion strings or The Northern Lager Fish & Chips for yourself.
Smylie Brothers Brewing Co.
1615 Oak Ave., Evanston
Beer, barbecue, and basketball — sounds like the perfect night to us! This craft brewery and smokehouse is serving up its own beers, like the year-round Lager, Pale Ale, Porter, and Farmhouse, in addition to seasonal brews. And you can't go wrong with appetizers like the Cheese & Charcuterie Platter or Pork Belly Poutine, wood fired pizzas like Sopressata & Honey and Smokehouse, sandwiches like the Reuben or Veggie Burger, or smokehouse barbecue like the Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich, Barbecue Flight, or Baby Back Ribs.
Granite City Food & Brewery, Northbrook
Buffalo Wild Wings
7020 Carpenter Road, Skokie
Wings and the big game are a match made in Heaven, especially on Thursdays, when boneless wings are specially priced at this chain. Whether you go with boneless or traditional wings (or both!), order them slathered in sauces like Bourbon Honey Mustard, Honey BBQ, Spicy Garlic, or, if you dare, Blazin'. Then order Roasted Garlic Mushrooms, Fried Pickles, Cheddar Cheese Curds, and Beer-Battered Onion Rings for the table.
Smylie Brothers Brewing Co., Evanston
The Curragh Irish Pub & Restaurant
1800 Tower Road, Glenview
Buffalo Wild Wings, Skokie
8266 Lincoln Ave., Skokie
If you're craving classic Irish fare, head out to this restaurant on game day. With offerings like Guinness Fish & Chips, Corned Beef & Cabbage, and the Whiskey Burger, you'll leave satisfied no matter if your team wins or loses. And if you find yourself sticking around after the final buzzer, the late-night menu includes Boneless Chicken Wings tossed in sauces like Sweet Habanero, Cilantro Sriracha, or Guinness BBQ; Sliders; and BBQ Chicken Flatbread, all of which of course pair well with a beverage from The Curragh's extensive drink menu.
D’Agostino’s Pizzeria Wheeling
The Curragh Irish Pub & Restaurant, Glenview
241 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling
Another perfect game-day option? Pizza! Specialty pizzas here include The Dags Special topped with sausage, mushrooms, onion, and green pepper; Mac 'n' Cheese featuring cheddar cheese sauce and macaroni noodles; and Taco with chunky salsa, ground beef, tomato, cheddar, mozzarella, chips, and shredded lettuce. Or, build your own thin crust or deep dish pizza with toppings like pepperoni, Canadian bacon, chicken, shrimp, or Italian beef. Craving something else? Try the Italian Beef and Sausage Combo sandwich or Mushroom Swiss burger, and order Jumbo Chicken Wings, Jalapeño Poppers, Toasted Ravioli, or Alfredo Fries to share.
World of Beer
D'Agostino's Pizzeria, Wheeling
1601 Sherman Ave., Evanston
World of Beer just sounds like a place where you want to watch a game, right? As is to be expected, you'll find plenty of beer options at this Evanston location, and you can find out what's just been tapped here. But don’t worry if beer isn’t your thing — you’ll also find an extensive list of wine and cocktails. As far as food goes, you'll want to try the German Pretzel with Brown Ale Beer Cheese, Chipotle BBQ Chicken flatbread, Chimay Sliders, or Guinness Beer Brat.
World of Beer, Evanston
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