O'Donovans

O'Donovans (Barry Brecheisen/For RedEye / September 3, 2014)

Walk into nearly any bar in Chicago during football season—OK, except Will's Northwoods Inn—and you'll likely find at least a few TVs broadcasting the Bears game. But having dozens of options for game watching doesn't make it easy to find that singular, perfect experience. Are you looking for food? Cheap beer? A pre-Soldier Field hangout? Somewhere to take a football-minded date? Read on, our guide to finding your dream Bears bar should have you covered. kbernot@tribune.com | @redeyeeatdrink

Are you in search of...

An upscale vibe?
Try Reverie (414 N. Orleans St. 312-467-4141)
This month-old River North restaurant and sports bar is a step above the chicken wings and plastic beer cup set-up, offering lounge-style seating, sleek tables and a menu designed by former Sunda chef Rodelio Aglibot. Expect visible but not obtrusive TVs, cocktails from $12-$13 and a selection of 31 draft beers ($6-$9) including craft options from 4 Hands and Ale Syndicate.

A new pre-stadium spot?
Try Vice District Brewing Company (1454 S. Michigan Ave. 312-508-3647)
Whether you're tailgating or looking for a near-the-stadium spot to catch the game, this new South Loop brewery's taproom will open at 11 a.m. on Bears game day Sundays to cater to your craft beer needs. Fill up a growler beginning at 10 a.m. or stop in to watch the game over pours of made-on-site beers including a black IPA, extra special bitter, blonde and a molasses porter.

Shuttles to the game?
North Side? Try O'Donovan's (2100 W. Irving Park Road 773-478-2100)
The casual North Center sports bar offers a first-come, first-served bus shuttle to Soldier Field approximately 90 minutes prior to kickoff. The $10 round-trip shuttle ticket includes beverages on board; for $10 more, add an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet at the bar beforehand.
South Side? Try Reggie's (2105 S. State St. 312-949-0120)
The South Loop bar opens at 9 a.m. for Bears home games and runs free shuttles to Soldier Field. Gear up with a $12 tailgate buffet, $14 Miller and Budweiser buckets, $4 Guinness and Smithwick's drafts and $5 bloody marys.

A non-traditional sports bar?
Try Chop Shop (2033 W. North Ave. 773-537-4440)
The year-old butcher shop/bar/events space hybrid just off Wicker Park's Six Corners isn't plastered with Fatheads or festooned with NFL swag, but its above-the-bar TVs will be tuned to Bears games. Share $12 domestic buckets or sip $5 bloody marys, $4 well cocktails and $3 Fireball whiskey shots as you peruse the lunch menu, which includes 7- and 12-inch deli sandwiches ($7-$13), panini ($8), a burger ($14) and more.

A new Lincoln Park option?
Try Compass Bar (433 W. Diversey Parkway 773-248-3230)
Tommy Knuckles bar didn't last long in this high-ceilinged space steps from Lincoln Park, which welcomed Compass Bar six months ago. Large windows facing Diversey Avenue let in ample sunlight for day games, which you can watch on a handful of TVs over $15 domestic beer buckets, $20 craft beer buckets and $6 platters of 10 chicken wings served with buffalo sauce, sweet Thai chili sauce, barbecue sauce or teriyaki sauce.

Additional reporting by RedEye special contributor Samantha Nelson.