Himel’s pick for the guys is Bears-centric but still unique: a retro-style tee from Lakeview’s eclectic tee-shirt-for-anything shop, Strange Cargo.
Walter is Pure Sweetness shirt, Strange Cargo ($21). 3448 N. Clark St., 773-327-8090
Whether it’s standing in the snow at the game or just trekking to the bar to watch it on TV, weatherproof rain boots are essential.
Dazzle Glow in the Dark Wellys, Topshop ($52). 830 N. Michigan Ave., 312-280-6834
A bold silk scarf functions as a neutral (navy is the new black) so you can throw on team colors with any outfit.
‘Poppies’ Silk Scarf, Tory Burch ($136). Nordstrom, 55 E. Grand Ave., 312-464-1515
Showing your Chicago Bears spirit doesn’t have to mean face paint—or worse yet, body paint—and a Cutler jersey. We had stylist Eric Himel pick out a few fashionable navy-and-orange alternatives.
Hot Viewing Spots:
Nothing beats a freezing cold tailgate session like watching the game (in high-definition, of course) indoors. But bypass the usual, rundown sports bars for more luxe locales, where great food and cocktails are rivaled only by the viewing quality of the multiple large-screen TVs.
After a major renovation, State re-opened just in time for football season. A new peek-through window wall gives diners a glimpse of how hard the kegs are working—but we doubt that guests will be lacking anything to look at with more than 100 flat-screens around the restaurant. Or, opt for a booth, where your party’s personal TV rises out of a console at the end of the table. 935 W. Webster Ave., 773-975-9030
River North’s best bet for football viewing is definitely Public House: the 25 on-tap options and customizable wall taps at booths often steal all the attention, but the food is surprisingly gourmet. Twenty-seven plasma TVs throughout may seem a paltry option compared to Lincoln Park’s State, but Public House also boasts an 84-inch high-definition video wall projection. If you can’t decide which beer to toast the Bears with, consult one of the six on-staff beer sommeliers or try the Public House brew, created exclusively for the resto by Goose Island. 400 N. State St., 312-265-1240
Though its namesake sport may be horseracing, Derby provides a perfect haven for reveling in football mania, too. Pony up to the bar, where there are more than two dozen beers on tap; or kick back with a cocktail (the mint julep is inevitably delicious) in one of the leather-tufted booths that look like they were plucked straight from an upscale man cave. No matter where you choose to sit, there will be a screen in your direct line of vision so you can see every play, pass, tackle, and touchdown. 1224 W. Webster Ave., 773-248-0900
Change things up for a weekend and host a football-viewing party at home, but forgo the usual unhealthy eating options. Nutrition and lifestyle expert Ashley Pettit of Ashley Pettit Living came up with some healthy veggie or chip dip recipes; make just one as an appetizer, or serve a variety to give guests options. Here are two of Pettit’s creations, see more at ashleypettitliving.com.
2 15-ounce cans of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
5 Tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup raw tahini
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
pinch of cayenne pepper
First combine the beans and tahini in a blender and blend. Add the salt, garlic, lemon juice, and jalapeno and blend. Serve in a bowl and top with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and drizzle of olive oil.
3 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and diced
3 Tablespoons honey
2/3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup almonds, chopped
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon