It’s 9 a.m. on a Saturday and the fans are on their feet, joyfully singing and chanting in unison. They clink beer glasses and ignore their breakfasts momentarily to taunt opposing fans, high five one another and gleefully praise their team.
No, it’s not a tailgate for a Northwestern football game. This scene of song, beer and sport takes place nearly every weekend at one of Chicago’s many soccer bars.
Walk into one of these bars on a weekend morning—when, due to time differences, European matches are played—and you’ll be swept up by emotion and passionate cheering for teams playing thousands of miles away from the Second City. Here’s a look at our favorite Chicago soccer-viewing venues.
The Globe Pub | 1934 W. Irving Park Rd.
The Globe is king of Chicago soccer bars. The U.S. Soccer Federation has even recognized it as the best soccer bar in America on multiple occasions. The bar attracts herds of soccer fans—supporting a wide variety of teams from around the world—for all types of matches. You can practically hear its patrons singing and chanting from the nearby Irving Park Brown Line El platform, as if you were approaching an English stadium rather than a North Center neighborhood pub.
A.J. Hudson’s | 3801 N. Ashland Ave
Only a short walk from The Globe, A.J. Hudson’s is another fixture of weekend soccer ritual in Chicago. It’s impossible to miss from the street: The outside of the bar is painted a vivid blue, much to the delight of the many Everton supporters who congregate there for matches. Inside, television screens cover the walls. The atmosphere is not raucous, but fans cheer loudly and proudly when their team scores.
The Temple Bar | 3001 N. Ashland Ave.
If you’re not a Manchester United supporter, stay away from Temple Bar on match days: The British expats don’t take kindly to overeager fans of Man U’s opponent. But if you do support United, you’ll love the apparel and memorabilia adorning the walls. Members of the Manchester United Fans of Chicago belt out a barrage of songs and chants throughout the match.
Atlantic Bar and Grill | 5062 N Lincoln Ave.
No Arsenal supporters allowed. The Chicago Spurs—Tottenham’s Second City supporters club—pack the Atlantic Bar and Grill during matches as if it were a cold, rainy afternoon at White Hart Lane (Tottenham’s home ground in North London) rather than a dreary morning in Lincoln Square.