All bar food is not created equal and, lucky for Wrigleyville bar-hoppers, Messner's needs no pity points. If the homemade pizza and eight kinds of burgers (including veggie and chicken) are too much swallow, consider the mini options: cheeseburgers, corndogs and sandwiches. The Mediterranean salad (basically a Greek salad plus hummus, mixed greens and lemon-oregano vinaigrette) and cup of chicken and enchilada soup (chicken, corn, black beans and red peppers, with a dollop of sour cream) make for tasty lighter bites. Treat the kids with standards like chicken fingers and grilled cheese, or cure your hangover with the weekend brunch: omelets, buttermilk pancakes and an ice cream-topped Belgian waffle.
Located at the corner of Southport and Addison, this "equal opportunity viewing zone" shows both Cubs and Sox games, plus Bears games in the fall. Cherry wood and exposed brick lines the space and vintage black and white photographs of the L tracks and Wrigley field from back in the day. Suspended flat screens make for easy viewing from any angle, and ceiling fans keep the crowded bar well ventilated (a necessity, as downstairs gets pretty packed on weekends).
Head up the narrow staircase to the upper level for a second full bar and more seating, an ideal spot for hosting a private party. If your team is losing, don't worry: the tasty grub and plentiful beer at Messner's will help drown your sorrows.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Eve Ardell