It’s that time of year again, when the best college basketball teams in the country compete for one exciting, unpredictable month. Whether or not your team made the cut, you’ll probably be watching, so you’re in need of a place filled with good food and big screen TVs, plus enough room for all of your fellow fans, where you can catch all the action. Fortunately, these restaurants and bars on Chicago’s North Shore will keep the good times rolling even after your bracket gets busted.
Buffalo Wild Wings
1018 Willow Road, Northbrook; 4999 Old Orchard Center, Skokie; 7020 Carpenter Road, Skokie
What’s better than a full day of basketball? A full day of basketball with your closest friends (and maybe a few new ones), wings, and beer. So grab your buddies and get ready for boneless or traditional wings in sauces like Bourbon Honey Mustard, Honey BBQ, Spicy Garlic, or, if you dare, Blazin’. Then pair your wings with potato wedges, cheddar cheese curds, roasted garlic mushrooms, or fried pickles.
The Curragh Irish Pub & Restaurant
1800 Tower Road, Glenview; 8266 Lincoln Ave., Skokie
Cheer on your favorite team over traditional Irish favorites like Corned Beef & Cabbage, Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, and more.
The Claim Company
2000 Northbrook Court, Northbrook
March Madness and Motherlode Burgers — what else do you need? Create your own burger at this Northbrook Court restaurant by starting with a beef, turkey, chicken, ahi tuna steak, Portobello mushroom, or veggie burger. (Up for a challenge? Eat the entire 3.5-pound burger plus chips in 45 minutes and you’ll be added to the Wall of Fame.) You can even create your own salad or opt for a sizzling fajita.
2350 Lehigh Ave., Glenview; 241 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling
You can of course have D’Agostinos’ pizza delivered as you watch game after game at home. But wouldn’t you rather watch on one of the pizzeria’s widescreen plasma TVs, surrounded by a bar featuring domestic and imported beers, wine, and martinis? That’s what you’ll get at the “Pub” in both Glenview and Wheeling.
World of Beer
1601 Sherman Ave., Evanston
With 20 TVs at this restaurant, you won’t miss a second of the action. And with 50 beers on tap and over 500 varieties overall, you’re sure to find a new favorite drink. The extensive menu also includes German pretzels, tater tot poutine, sliders and much more..
1868 Prairie Ave., Glenview
Looking for a more old-fashioned establishment filled with “warmth, character, [and] friendliness”? Then head out to Grandpa’s Place, where you can dine on items like the Pot Roast Dinner, Mushroom Swiss Burger, Pub Chili, and Reuben sandwich in the bar area or in the back room filled with comfortable couches and a fireplace. Or, if the weather’s nice, take a break from the action on the patio or terrace.
Granite City Food & Brewery
992 Willow Road, Northbrook
Watch the game in the same place your beer has been brewed. Choose from signature beers like Prairie Vixen (Hefeweizen), The Duke (Pale Ale), and The Northern (American Lager) — a variety of flights, including Build Your Own, will let you try a few — or pick the seasonal brew. And don’t forget about the food! This large menu features everything from Maple Pepper Bacon & Tomato Flatbread and the “Big Show Burger (topped with pulled pork and crispy onion strings) to Bone-In Ribeye and Jumbo Sea Scallops.
Tap House Grill
1090 S Milwaukee Ave Wheeling, IL 60090
In the mood for crispy fried pickles, two-handed sandwiches and delicious burgers? Find all that and more, including a wide drink menu that features over 50 brews on tap, at Tap House Grill in Wheeling.
2000 Dempster St., Evanston
Impress your guests by bringing home beer from Temperance to enjoy during the game. 64-ounce growlers and 32-ounce howlers are available at the brewery’s tap room, where current brews on tap include Gatecrasher IPA, Smittytown Amber/ESB, Root Down Porter, and Restless Years Pale.