We're not doing the Super Bowl Shuffle just yet, but the road to Miami starts here. So gather your best drinking buds to cheer on the 2006 NFC North Division Champion Chicago Bears this weekend. Sure, you could stumble into any sports bar in the city on Sunday, but these winning spots have all of the essentials to make your playoffs partying extra special.
TVs: Six in the downstairs bar, two of which are high-def plasma, and eight total HD televisions upstairs, four of which are in the swanky cigar bar
Drinks: The amount and variety of wines offered here may be surprising (including Ditka's private label varietals), but the upscale sports bar vibe also lends itself well to beer and a mean martini.
Food: Ditka's menu is much like the man himself: It gets the job done. Dig in to no-nonsense fare such as pot roast nachos ($10), the Fridge burger ($11) and Da Pork Chop ($26).
Extra point: Da Coach actually hangs out here, so you just might have a brush with Super Bowl greatness.
Penalty: Let's face it: Ditka's is going to be packed more tightly than a third-down huddle, so you'd better be practicing your spin move toward the bar.
TVs: More than 120 plasma TVs and 14 10-foot projection screens throughout the 20,000-square-foot warehouse-style space
Drinks: Down da beers while watching da Bears. Expect specials on pitchers (like Coors Light for $6) on Sunday.
Food: Bar food staples dominate the sizable menu. Feast on your choice of chicken wings: mild, teriyaki, barbecue, red hot or tongue-searing Death Valley, (10 for $5.50; 15 for $7.95; 25 for $10.75). Just make sure to keep those pitchers coming to put out the fire while you scream at the screen.
Extra point: Joe's is so huge, you're pretty much guaranteed a seat that makes you feel like Urlacher is in your lap.
Penalty: Joe's is the official home of the Chicago Steelers Club, so you may see a lot of black-and-gold-wearing Pennsylvania transplants crying in their beers.
Players Bar & Grill
TVs: A 160-inch projection screen, as well as 22 plasma TVs dotted around the gymnasium-esque surroundings
Drinks: Hunker down with your pals over $12 buckets filled with your choice of five domestic or imported beers.
Food: Players' menu goes above and beyond pub grub. Chow down on everything from freshly ground burgers ($10) to lamb chops and steaks ($18-$25). There are also daily specials to keep players on their toes.
Extra point: Players has an Eastern European flair, with Polish beers ($5) and comfort food (pierogi and goulash among them) on the menu. Bronko Nagurski--and the old-school SNL Superfans--would certainly approve.
Penalty: The service can be a bit aloof, but, hey, so can the Bears' defensive line.
bars and clubs
Can't be on the 50-yard line on Sunday? Find the next best thing
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