Chicago >Food & Dining > Billy Goat Tavern
“can see why the unpretentious atmosphere would be a favorite among industry members, and I saw quite a few business folk chatting it up and having a grand old time with beer and burgers.”
“Everybody talks about the great hamburgers, well, the burgers are no different from the burger you can get at any other smoke-filled bar around the country.”
“visited the BG for the first time recently because some family from out of state wanted to experience something that's authentic Chicago.”
“The famous "cheeseborger cheeseborger cheeseborger" line reigns true here, despite having other items on the menu too.”
“This is a nice place to get a great cheeseburger.”
“Saying that, the service was fast and friendly and the walls were good for a quick read.”
“Thick, huge slices of raw onion; great pickles and relish.”
“Nick, the friendly bartender has been there quite a long time as well and he always has time to chat if he's not busy with somebody else.”
Quaint tavern with a lot of history. A fun stop on a Chicago pub crawl!
Are you kidding me.
Went to the Billy Goat after a recommendation from our five star hotel . I was very precise in what we we looking for. We wanted a great place for food and cold beers where the " LOCALS" hang out. Well not the case. THIS IS THE PLACE ON THE OLD SATURDAY NITE LIVE - cheese burger, cheese burger, Pepsi, Pepsi, for those who remember. Its kinda funny to see but when it wheres off in five minutes or so the novelty is DONE. Period.
Soon as you get a beer from the rude as you know what bartender and take the first bite from your over priced less quality burger from MC Donald's you will agree. What a dump. I do not recommend to anybody. Go in buy a beer watch the five minute show then go get a good burger at the million of great places to eat in Chicago. Oh bring cash, they don't take cards, oh but they conveniently have a ATM machine that will ding you for a additional 3 bucks. WORST BURGER EVER.
I have to add this: I have been in the food business for over 50 years, the burgers are possessed to for those on here who think they are real.
A must for anyone on Mich. Ave. 5 stars, go here now, trust me! enough said!
Billy Goats is best grubby tavern in chicago.
The food is reasonably priced and my entire family LOVES this place. Okay the wine is bad, the beer is basic, but you can get a cheap rum and diet coke or a gin and tonic which is fine.
The cheezeburgers are great--not more greasy than fast food, but without the chemicals. Try the steak sandwich.
Think the burgers, chicken breast or steak is bland? Duh--just put on raw or grilled onions! Or both. The buns are fresh Italian and tasty. A+++
Fries are great too. The staff is funky, the decor is funky and interesting. If you get to know the staff, the guys are very nice.
Not for suburbanites. Not known for cleanliness. But that's okay, it's just fine for building your immune system. Keep that hand sanitizer away!
Way past its prime.
Please. this is just resting on its SNL laurels.
Cheezborger cheezborger. pepsi pepsi chips chips.
come on. a tasteless grilled burger on a wonder bun. and too expensive. if downtown go to LuxBar.
Or go to M Burger on Huron off Michigan.
Come here for history and folklore, not food.
As a journalism student, this place is legendary, and it's a juxtaposition of greasy dive and museum. It's so neat seeing all of the headlines and byline on the walls and imagining the great SNL actors and journalists who have eaten here before you.
The menu is small, which I wouldn't mind if each item were truly good. I had a double cheeseburger, since that's what they are famous for, but it fell short of expectations. The patties were incredibly thin and the cheese was not of very good quality. I can see why the unpretentious atmosphere would be a favorite among industry members, and I saw quite a few business folk chatting it up and having a grand old time with beer and burgers.
Come here for the experience, but if you want great burgers hit up Epic Burger or Edzo's.
Does not live up to the hype.... The staff was almost as strange as it's patrons...all with as much character as the hambuger bun I was served, quickly left. Some may enjoy it's vibe....
We've only been to Chicago three times and already it feels like we've gotten into a habit of going to Billy Goat's.
When we've flown over from the UK and are tired and jet-lagged, the tavern is great to go on our first night for a carb fest. We love the 'cheseborgers' and the chance to sit and watch the world go by.
Of course it's not the cleanest, flashiest place...but there's loads of those kinds of places elsewhere.
Go, enjoy and know you've seen something bit different.
Best Chi-town Tavern Experience. To the rather impertinent Brit - suppose you are entitled to your opinion, though I've been in some dive pubs in the UK that are revered by the locals and couldn't see why but then I wasn't a local. First of all, dive is the word - perhaps not in the OED as used in regards to Billy Goat's but your culinary expectations should be low when that word is used in conjunction with any bar in the States. Second, you're there for the history so if you can't get into that, then nothing else follows, including the staff's perception of your purpose in being there so if your G&T is not up to snuff, go elsewhere. Third, I first became acquainted with Billy Goat's in 1968 while working part-time in the Wrigley Building when I was old enough only to be served a Coke. In 1989, I returned with my husband (who is a Brit, by the way) and my sister and who should walk in but Mike Royko! We bought his book that was being sold behind the bar, 'Sez Who' and Royko personalized it to us. Nick, the bartender, was definitely friendly. Sometimes it's you, the guest, that has to make an effort to the locals.
Smelly, Surly, S**t Hole..
On holiday in Chicago with my Girlfriend and after reading the history behind the BGT we decided to have a drink and some food on a Sunday evening at the original location.
On entering the bar at about 7.30pm we nearly turned around and walked out again. If you're thinking of going to BGT DON'T EXPECT 1, a smile- 2, any eye contact from the staff- 3, a please or thank you- 4, a decent drink- 5, any sort of entertainment.
However...you CAN EXPECT 1, surly service without a smile - 2, a smelly, scruffy establishment devoid of any sort of atmosphere ( yes I'm aware of all the history but there are plenty of museums with history...and they tend to have a better atmosphere) 3, A packet of crisps (or chips as yanks call them) with your burger...nice! 4,loads of grainy photo's of the original owner (some Greek bloke who looks like Colonel Saunders) with various 'celebs' who've been through the doors 5, To wait 10 minutes to get served as the grease-ball proprieter is ordering more bbq sauce from his suppliers - 6, a drink that is completely flat and warm, all seved up in a filthy glass inside a filthy bar.
In short this place deserves to go out of business, it's a scruffy dump, the staff and owners are rude...and I wouldn't feed my dog Patch on the food from their kitchen. Avoid.
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