There’s no doubt that the main reason for heading towards Wrigley Field in Chicago is likely to watch a Cubs baseball game. The iconic ballpark is one of the oldest in the country and also happens to be one of the most beautiful spots. Throughout the years, the neighborhoods surrounding the ballpark expanded and with that growth came development that included shops and eateries. Should you find yourself traveling and staying in Chicago making the most of it by taking time to explore Chicago’s Wrigleyville and seeing the Cubs play.
Explore Chicago’s Wrigleyville
Most team sporting events in the United States have pre-game activities and baseball is no exception. This is particularly true with historic teams like the Chicago Cubs. Loyal fans often explore Chicago’s Wrigleyville to pump themselves up for the game and also to grab a bite and a pint before heading towards the ballpark. Here are a few suggestions for pre-game food and drink.
Lucky’s Sandwich Co.
Chicago’s known for their pizza, hotdog and popcorn, but when you explore Wrigleyville, the fast food of choice is sandwiches, particularly those from Lucky’s Sandwich Co. The decade old eatery offers over a dozen types of sandwiches with fillings ranging from deli meats like roast beef to chicken offered in three different ways. Try the capicola and cheese and take on the challenge to finish the humongous sandwich just like the Travel Channel’s Adam Richman did in his show, Man v Food.
Tacos might not be in the same league yet as nachos when it comes to game day food but it is certainly making a case for itself especially if they are from a beloved place like Flaco’s Tacos. The taco menu selection is what you’d expect from a classic taqueria (sorry vegetarians) but they also offer burritos, nachos and tamales as alternatives. Food junkies might want to try the carne asada fries and their homemade guacamole.
Perfect for Families With Young Kids
Catching a game of baseball at Wrigley Field is a traditional spring, summer and autumn family event for many locals and visitors alike. Families often spend a few hours at the ballpark, watching the game while snacking on peanuts and crackerjacks while some make a full day out of it, taking in other family-friendly spots in and around the Wrigleyville neighborhood.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Located just 10 minutes away by car and accessible by the same bus line that will take you to Wrigleyville, is Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the United States. It’s relatively small compared to other zoos but it’s free and has a great interactive children’s exhibit. The zoo is also open all year long.
A Slice or Two of Chicago Pizza
No trip to Chicago is complete without pizza and when you’re with young kids, taking them to grab a bit of pizza is usually a safe bet. And to explore Chicago’s Wrigleyville fully, you can’t go wrong with their pizza, you’ll either end up at Big G’s or at Dimo’s, two solid pizzerias favored by the locals. The former serves slices with creative toppings (think portobello mushrooms and a chicken quesadilla for example) but also has the traditional cheese and pepperoni kids prefer. The latter has a rotation of classics with a bit of a twist (jalapeno bacon and pineapple) and offers a number of vegetarian options. Both locations though serve a macaroni and cheese pizza that both young and old seem to love.
Where to Watch If You Don’t Have a Ticket
Chicago Cubs tickets are some of the most coveted in baseball so it’s not unusual for games to be sold out. Fortunately, there are plenty of sports bars and pubs in Wrigleyville that can replicate the experience and atmosphere of the nearby ballpark.
It has a dedicated room for board games popular among the younger crowd and a lively bar that welcomes anyone from college students to senior citizens, all in the name of baseball. Take note however that this is primarily a drinking spot, offering only four types of food on their menu (though they accept delivery from 40 different partner restaurants). Guthrie’s Tavern‘s cheery atmosphere makes it a good place to explore Chicago’s Wrigleyville, and also good fun before, during, and after the game.
Rockit Burger Bar
If you want gourmet burgers with your baseball, then head on over to Rockit Burger Bar where you’ll find apples, pecans, even sweet potato fries in, and not just with your burger. In addition to the intriguing selection of food, there’s also enough entertainment even during off-season with comedy hours and DJs spinning during weekend evenings, but these usually take second fiddle when Cubs games are on, especially when the team plays longtime rivals like the St. Louis Cardinals or the Chicago White Sox.