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“Just had to...” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Billy Goat Tavern

Billy Goat Tavern
Ranked #217 of 9,467 Restaurants in Chicago
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Drinks, Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Full Bar, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television
Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile
Description: This historic greasy spoon is famous for its role in the legendary Curse of the Billy Goat on the Chicago Cubs and its "Saturday Night Live" cheezborger skit. Remember, no fries, chips!
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
70 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Just had to...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2013

visit! How could I visit Chicago and not visit the icon that is the Billy Goat Tavern? After all, this was made famous on SNL during the time I used to watch. It is just as it was portraited... cheeseborger, chips no fries, coke no pepsi! The cheeseburger was very good - just meat and cheese on a great bun that did not fall apart. You choose your toppings - mustard, catsup, pickles, chopped onions, sliced onions - nothing fancy. I usually like my cheeseburger with "everything" on it but this was an amazing burger. To be honest, the double cheeseburger was too much for me. These are not small burgers. Don't forget that this place is UNDER Michigan Avenue at number 430. Take the stairs down and there it is at the bottom.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank veeolette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,104 reviews from our community

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    Atmosphere
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Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“So so”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2013 via mobile

Basic burger roll is not what im used to but the ambiance of a dive bar is there. They try to play it up but its foreigners trying to play the part behind the counter

Helpful?
Thank Christian h
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Skiatook, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
75 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Fun experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2013

I visited here in April of '13 during a trip east to visit my sister. I was met at Union Station by an old friend and we went by taxi to the downtown location.

The burger, with wafer-thin patties of meat and slices of preprocessed cheese, was surprisingly good. I'd eat it again in a heartbeat. The atmosphere, though, with a very noisy bar on one side, and photos of many great Chicago journalists hanging on the wall in the back room was classic.

Yes, I'd go back again. In a heartbeat.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank WadeFromOklahoma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
311 reviews
228 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Glad we found it-a classic experience!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2013 via mobile

As other reviewers have said - go underground! It is worth the search. After seeing the tavern featured in a TV program, we knew we had to try it the next time we visited Chicago. It is pure character...order at the counter, single-double-or triple. Meat and bun only then you top it yourself-mustard, ketchup, pickles or onions only! Love the history on the walls - it's loud, it's fun and oh yeah, the burger is pretty tasty also.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Stawzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
199 reviews
121 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Good Burgers”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2013

I ordered a double with cheese, chips and a Root Beer and enjoyed them at a table in the back, surrounded by pictures of the past. The staff was fast, the tables and floors were clean, and my burger was great.

I had visited the place before, probably 30 years ago in it's SNL heyday. I didn't really remember much except the general location and the look of the outside. I found it again no problem. Look for the stairs going down from the upper street and the white Billy Goat Tavern sign above them

This is the original location. Much like the "Cheers" bar (Bull & Finch Pub on Beacon St in Boston), they opened more locations to capitalize on the name. The Billy Goat is responsible for the Cubs' "curse" when it the tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat into the stadium. He supposedly cursed the team and they haven't won since (similar to the curse of the Bambino) despite several attempts to reverse the curse.

Highly recommended for old SNL fans who remember the Cheboiga skits. Not overly expensive and a good product make it worth going to.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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