Euro 2012: Chicago Soccer Bars To Know

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA: A Cameroon soccer fan sits in an almost empty restaurant while watching a soccer match between Cameroon and Japan. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Your one-stop shopping for two-hour drinking lunches during Euro 2012, the European football championship tournament

Euro 2012 kicks off Friday, June 8th, and continues its midday (Chicago time) festivities for most of the month of June. All games can be seen Stateside on the ESPN family of networks, so you might be tempted to sneak in a game or two on or at home if you're bloggerly employed.

However, if you want the most authentic viewing experience outside of traveling to eastern Europe (and, for some of us, that's not an option), get thee to one of the many wonderful soccer-friendly bars in Chicago. The diversity of the city's population combined with its lust for alcohol consumption make Chicago one of the best places in the United States to catch a football match among like-minded individuals.

SB Nation Chicago offers below the Official SB Nation Chicago Euro 2012 Soccer Bar List. Inclusion on this list means the bar and its patrons are enthusiastic about the tournament and will surround you with those who know European soccer better than you. This list does not imply bar endorsement, drinking endorsement, or three-hour-lunch-hour-with-your-new-closest-friends endorsement. Okay, maybe the last one.

Please leave your suggestions for list updates as a comment on this post or to the author on Twitter (@tuffyr). This article will be updated throughout the tournament with your favorite places to view the games abroad.

Litmus test: When called, none of these places asked if the games were on ESPN or suggested you can totally ask the bartender to flip over when you get there. In fact, they may be so popular that you should call ahead to reserve a spot (if you can).

View Chicago's Euro 2012 Soccer Bars in a larger map

The Globe Pub
1934 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago
Country of preference: All of them. It's the Globe.
Specials: It's the Globe. It's already special.
One-liner: The Grande Dame of Chicago soccer bars

Small Bar-Division
2049 W. Division St., Chicago
Country of preference: None
Specials: Special food menu likely planned
One-liner: Fancy-pants food and a tradition of soccer viewing in a tiny space

AJ Hudson's Public House
3801 N Ashland Ave., Chicago
Country of preference: England, perhaps
Specials: The usual daily specials
One-liner: The former Ginger's Ale House may have a new coat of paint, but her gender reassignment surgery hasn't caused her to lose interest in footie.

Celtic Knot Pub
626 Church St., Evanston
Country of preference: Ireland
Specials: The usual daily specials
One-liner: So you can't make it into the city? Evanston has its own Euro soccer home.

Abbey Pub
3420 W. Grace, Chicago
Country of preference: None
Specials: Burgers $5
One-liner: One of the classic soccer bars in Chicago; occasionally, they play music there in the evenings, too

Cleo's Bar
1935 West Chicago Ave., Chicago
Country of preference: Ukraine/Poland
Specials: None listed on the web site
One-liner: Not every bar in the city is obsessed with the luck of the Irish; the rest are Notre Dame bars

The Atlantic Bar
5062 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Country of preference: Ireland
Specials: Euro 2012 beer specials all month
One-liner: The Chicago Fire's supporters group, Section 8, meets here monthly

Fadó Irish Pub
100 W. Grand Ave., Chicago
Country of preference: Ireland
Specials: A Match Day Menu that brings the price down to a reasonable range for a tourist joint in River North
One-liner: Yes, it's a tourist spot near Theme Restaurant Row, but that doesn't dismiss its above-average food and excellent TV setup

Sedgwick's Bar & Grill
1935 N. Sedgwick St., Chicago
Country of preference: Holland, bless their souls
Specials: Regular specials
One-liner: I have no idea what the Home of Dutch Soccer looks like, but I'm dying to find out

Timothy O'Toole's Pub
622 N. Fairbanks Ct., Chicago
Country of preference: None
Specials: None
One-liner: I like the one in Gurnee just fine, but I don't know how much of a soccer crowd they draw

Mystic Celt
3443 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
Emerald Loop
216 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago
Vaughan's Pub - Lakeview
2917 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago
Vaughan's Pub - Northwest Side
5485 N. Northwest Hwy., Chicago
Corcoran's Grill & Pub
1615 N. Wells St., Chicago
Country of preference: Ireland
Specials: Nothing listed on the web sites
One-liner: Mystic Celt is a perfectly serviceable Irish pub that regularly hosts international viewing events. I imagine the other Vaughan Hospitality locations are similar.

Café Ibérico (added 06/08/12)
737 N. LaSalle St., Chicago
Country of preference: Spain
Specials: None
One-liner: According to the Chicago Sun-Times, this tapas bar lit up for Spain during the 2010 World Cup.

Elephant & Castle (added 06/13/12)
111 W. Adams St., Chicago
160 E. Huron St., Chicago
185 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago
Country of preference: England
Specials: None
One-liner: I personally inspected the Wabash location of this chain pub for Netherlands/Germany and found it quite lively for a mid-week late afternoon match with iffy TVs but decent grub and a worthy beer selection. I did worry about all the mirth for the German team in an English pub, however.

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