The Chicago Cubs won a World Series Championship this century. And we’re very happy about that. But Wrigleyville is still Wrigleyville, which means it can be your best friend or worst nightmare.
The key to Wrigleyville is knowing which bars and restaurants are like Spring Break in Cancun and which ones you’ll want to hang out (and eat and drink) in. We’re not going to pretend this neighborhood is the spot for a fancy date night, but the places in this guide will give you exactly what you need, whether or not baseball and day drinking are on your mind.
OK, so Mordecai is the exception to the rule when it comes to Wrigleyville restaurants. It’s one of the only places here that could conceivably be used for a not-super-casual date night. That being said, it’s in the Hotel Zachary, and it definitely feels like a hotel restaurant - it’s split into two levels, and you need to go up the hotel steps to get to the second floor. The downstairs has more of a bar crowd and atmosphere, but the upstairs is more relaxed. The food is gastropub-inspired, so you’ll find things like bone marrow, a chicken liver parfait, and porchetta. It’s right across from the stadium, and on game days they serve a limited menu, so check the Cubs schedule before planning a meal here.
Big Star is also right across from the stadium. And like the location in Wicker Park, this spot has a huge patio, solid tacos, and a fun atmosphere. This version is twice the size of the original, though, and full of the Wrigleyville crowd. Meaning you’ll see more families, baby strollers, and people in Cubs gear. The menu is the same as Wicker Park’s, other than the addition of the delicious “hot chips,” a.k.a. nachos where the chips are freshly fried and lightly coated with salsa. This is a good place to hang outside for margaritas and tacos anytime - with or without a game going on.
This location of West Town Bakery is - you guessed it - in the Hotel Zachary, right across from the stadium. And like the original in West Town, it has baked goods like cookies, cake balls, and pastries. But because this is Wrigleyville, this spot serves cocktails and boozy milkshakes, too. It’s still a good place to sit for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake if that’s more your thing.
Jeni’s is a respite from the approximately 6,891 bars in Wrigleyville. Not only is the ice cream here fantastic, but the staff is also very nice. As in, they will pretend not to be annoyed when you ask to try every single ice cream flavor they have - which you’ll want to do. Get one of the seasonal flavors, like sweet cream and biscuits (with biscuits actually mixed into the ice cream), or a classic flavor like brambleberry crisp.
We love a good stop at Lucky’s anytime we’re in the Wrigley area. They have thick-cut, soft white bread that’s stuffed with your choice of meats, cheeses, and french fries. Yes, french fries in the sandwich. It could come across as just a gimmick, but it’s actually very good. The space isn’t very big, but works for smaller groups and a casual meal by yourself. Come here for beer and a sandwich you would have dreamt of in college but never made because you were too lazy.
Just a few blocks north of the entrance to Wrigley on Sheffield and Waveland is Byron’s, an old-school hot dog joint. There are a few picnic benches outside, and their hot dogs and brats are better and cheaper than the ones at Wrigley Field. Feel free to get your quota in here before heading to the game.
Dimo’s is a by-the-slice pizza place best known for its macaroni and cheese pizza. And if that’s not something you knew about, sounds like your food decision while in Wrigley was just made for you. While you’re eating pizza-that-doesn’t-seem-like-real-pizza, don’t forget a slice of s’mores pizza for dessert.
Lark is a Neapolitan pizza spot that’s technically in Boystown, but not too far from the stadium, and a good sleeper pick if you’re trying to sit down and get served food before or after a game. The menu is long, but pizza is what you want. If it were up to us, Lark would get rid of everything else on the menu and push their excellent pies way harder than they do. You can’t go wrong on the pizza front, so make sure you have enough.
If you need a quick bite but want something other than hot dogs, pizza, or Italian beefs, then Zam Zam is a worthwhile pit stop. They serve solid chicken shawarma and falafel sandwiches only a short walk from Wrigley Field. You can always get a hot dog at the game if you have FOMO.
What’s that place with all the goofy sh*t on the walls? She-nannigans? Are we talking about She-nannigans? Nope, just Cozy Noodles & Rice, the neighborhood Thai favorite with all sorts of toys and decorations. Get any of the noodles or curry dishes and you’ll be good to go, either in the restaurant or back at home on your couch.
Rockit is a nicer option for a burger spot in the neighborhood. Compared to some places in Chicago, the menu here is short . But if you want something other than the basics, there are options like a truffle mushroom burger, or a BBQ burger topped with onion rings. And just in case you and your friends are training for an eating competition, they have one with four patties, four slices of cheese, and four strips of bacon. Godspeed.
Here’s the thing - when you can get yourself some Al’s only a few blocks away from the stadium, it’s tough not to. Yes, it’s one of the franchised stores, but it’s good. Plus, not much sounds better after drinking beer than a cheap Italian beef with giardiniera, or a Chicago dog dragged through the garden.
Sheffield’s Beer and Wine Garden has everything that makes Chicago great when it’s nice out - wine and craft beer, solid food (in this case, BBQ), and an excellent outdoor area - all in one place. Make sure to take advantage before we’re all freezing our asses off again.
Uncommon Ground may be on Clark just north of Wrigley Field, but it doesn’t cater to the drunk and rowdy baseball fan crowd. Not that you can’t get food and drinks here before or after a game - but that’s not the sole purpose of this place’s existence. Uncommon Ground has been a pioneer in the sustainable, farm-to-table, grow stuff on your own rooftop movement since 1991, so pop in for a casual meal any day of the week, baseball or no baseball.
There’s been an influx of casual crab and seafood boil spots, and Lowcountry is one of them. The space is super low-key, so feel free to get your hands dirty with a bag of shrimp, crab, and crawfish at one of the picnic benches. Fried Oreos and beignets for dessert are also a smart idea. This is another great choice for a group that wants to eat something besides sandwiches and hot dogs.
Sluggers is our go-to choice after a Cubs game, and it’s a jack-of-all-trades for keeping the party going. Keep drinking at the bar on the main floor, or head upstairs to the batting cages/arcade games/dueling piano bar.
Deuces and Diamond isn’t quite the Fremont, but it’s the closest thing you’ll find in Wrigley. It’s huge, with two floors and a great patio. Be real fancy and take the escalator upstairs, especially when you’re having trouble using your own two feet.
The Cubby Bear is the Mecca of Wrigley on game day. It’s directly across the street from the stadium and attracts a huge crowd. Live music makes it an upbeat spot if that’s the kind of thing you’re looking for.
Not for baseball fans. In fact, Guthrie’s is for people looking to get away from the baseball and Old Style beer. They have some of the friendliest staff around, and there’s plenty of board games to step up the entertainment factor without any baseball on TV.
It’s 75 and sunny, and you skipped work to watch the Cubs against the Cardinals. Pregaming with beers at Murphy’s Bleachers just outside of right field is what you want to be doing.
Vines has one of the largest and best patios in the neighborhood, and it stares directly at Wrigley Field. It’s ideal for eating, drinking, thinking about going inside to the game, and then continuing to drink on the patio without ever going inside to the game.
You can pop into Toon’s any day of the week. It’s a few blocks northeast away from Wrigley, so it shouldn’t get the crazy overflow. It’s ideal for hanging and a quick bite of solid bar food - keep an eye out for their summer crawfish boils.
Nisei is Wrigleyville’s oldest tavern (it opened in 1951). It’s a dive bar holdout it a neighborhood The only thing you’ll find here is booze and beer nuts.
Sports Corner is the first bar you’ll encounter after walking off the red line L stop at Addison. It’s a typical sports bar - alcohol, televisions, and passable bar food. Coming here is the equivalent of betting all your money on the first slot machine in the Vegas airport. Best or worst way to start an adventure - your choice.
The Gingerman Tavern is the opposite of what you probably associate with Wrigleyville. No Cubs, no sports, and no Wagon Wheel sing-a-longs. Just a quality selection of microbrews and a few pool tables, and it’s always a good idea when you want to ditch the crowds.