CHICAGO ESSENTIALS of the small local chain has been operating since 1934 and was popularised by a recurring Saturday Night Live skit. (430 N Michigan Ave, +1 312 222 1525; billygoattavern.com) INSTITUTION If you’re looking to catch a Bears or Blackhawks game, chances are that the Globe Pub will have it on. While most sports bars stick to the American standards, this Irish bar transforms into an early-morning party pad whenever important soccer or rugby matches are happening across the Atlantic. You’ll want to get here early for the big game. (1934 W Irving Park Rd, +1 773 871 3757; theglobepub.com)
DRINK FUSS-FREE Occasionally a player will hit a baseball with such force at Wrigley Field that it will fly out of the stadium and land on Sheffield Avenue, just in front of Murphy’s Bleachers, above. Located adjacent to the Cubs’ home, it has been a no-fuss sports pub for the serious (or at least seriously drinking) fan for close to 80 years. Expect a crowd on game days. (3655 N Sheffield Ave, +1 773 281 5356; murphysbleachers.com) SNL FABULOUS Formerly a hangout for journalists and ink-stained workers who manned the presses at the nearby Chicago Tribune, the subterranean Billy Goat Tavern remains one of the best Downtown watering holes at which to enjoy a game with a cold brew and cheeseburger in hand. This original location
of industry have called home, it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This boutique bed and breakfast offers timeless accommodation within close proximity of Soldier Field and Guaranteed Rate Field. Rooms from $335. (2020 S Calumet Ave, +1 312 945 2020; wheelermansion.com) ALL-ROUNDER Located just steps away from the bustling Michigan Avenue, the 287-room Conrad Chicago Hotel was designed with 1960s/1970s Modernism in mind. While it’s in a prime spot for shopping, guests won’t want to miss Baptiste & Bottle, which serves contemporary American dishes, and also Noyane, which offers great views and Japaneseinspired eats. Rooms from $195. (101 E Erie St, +1 312 667 6700; conradchicagohotel.com)
DECO Considered by many Chicagoans to be the best-looking building in town, the historic Carbon & Carbide building resembles a champagne bottle covered in polished black granite, gold leaf, and green terracotta. It offers an elegant home for the St Jane Hotel, which is named after 1931 Nobel Peace Prizewinner and Chicagoan Jane Addams. History buffs will appreciate the thoughtful details here. Rooms from $206. (230 N Michigan Ave, +1 312 345 1000; stjanehotel.com) LISTED Built in 1870, the Wheeler Mansion, below, was lucky to be one of the few big houses to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Located in the historic South Prairie Avenue neighbourhood, which several titans
SMART TIPS WAIT ‘N’ SAVE For Cubs games, fans can often score the best deals for tickets by purchasing them off a scalper (tout) outside the stadium – it’s actually common practice around those parts. Just wait for the game to start and the prices to drop, and spend the savings on the overpriced beer inside. CAR-FREE ZONE With public transport readily available to every major stadium in town, parking can be a tremendous but unnecessary hassle for sports fans. This is doubly true for catching a game at Soldier Field, which is located in the perfect spot for experiencing traffic jams. Take the bus instead, or consider a nice long walk.
SMART FLIERS AER LINGUS flies from Dublin to CHICAGO twice daily.