CHIReview

Billy Goat Tavern image
7.2

Billy Goat Tavern

AmericanBurgers

Magnificent MileRiver North

$$$$Perfect For:Cheap EatsClassic EstablishmentDining SoloLunchSerious Take-Out Operation

Included In

If you’re constantly wondering what’s with all the f*cking goat references in Chicago, it began here with original owner William “Billy Goat” Sianis. Here are the CliffsNotes - man owns tavern, goat falls off truck and wanders into tavern, man befriends goat, Cubs deny man and goat entry into Wrigley Field, man curses Cubs, Cubs suck at baseball for long time, tavern still awesome, Cubs still trying not to suck.

Maybe you know about Billy Goat Tavern from that lore, or maybe know it from the famous John Belushi “CHEESEBORGER” SNL skit. All of this leads to the question at hand: Is this place any good? Answer: yes. Despite the fact it’s been franchised to Mars and back, the lower Michigan Avenue location is still a special place.

At Billy Goat, it’s all about the burgers (cheezborgers to be exact). Are these the best burgers in town? Of course not. But they are satisfying, and the place itself is great. It’s a legendary dive bar and restaurant, and when you consider all the famous people that have strolled through, you can’t help but wonder how drunk did Bill Murray used to get here.

Yes, it can be touristy and ridiculous. But there are also old guys posted up at the bar who look like they’ve been sitting there since the Cubs last World Series win. Walking into Billy Goat is like stepping into a time capsule, if that time capsule and served endless cheap burgers and beer.

CHEESEBORGER CHEESEBORGER CHEESEBORGER. CHEEPS. NO COKE. PEPSI.

Food Rundown

Billy Goat Tavern image

Single Hamburger or Cheeseburger

NEVER ORDER A SINGLE. EVER.
Billy Goat Tavern image

Double/Triple Hamburger or Cheeseburger

The patties here are extremely thin, and our biggest problem with the burgers isn’t the meat, but the thick kaiser roll bun. It’s entirely too much bread. Go with the double (triples area acceptable), and expect them to rudely tell you to do so anyway. Burgers comes plain or with cheese and that’s it. Add on pickles, onions, relish, ketchup, and mustard at the adjacent station, and don’t ask for lettuce or tomato because they don’t have it. Pro tip - cash only and the pickles are great.

Breakfast Sandwich

You know what the kaiser roll is actually good for? A breakfast sandwich. We fully support your decision to get any variation of meat, egg, and cheese. Billy Goat is open daily from 6 am to 2 am, so there’s probably a time where this is a good idea.
Billy Goat Tavern image

Ribeye Sandwich

Don’t get the ribeye. The meat is entirely too plain, especially on the giant bun.

Italian Beef

An acceptable order, but there are other Chicago institutions that do a much better version.

Fries

No fries. Cheeps.

Billy Goat Dark Beer

No doublecheezborger is complete without at least one if eating there.

Included In

FOOD RUNDOWN

Suggested Reading

Crisp Chicago image
8.2

Crisp Chicago

Crisp is one of Chicago’s best wing spots, and it’s all about the Seoul Sassy jumbo wings.

En Hakkore image

En Hakkore is a casual Korean restaurant in Bucktown.

Fumaré image

Fümare is home to an excellent sandwich that alone is worthwhile - Montreal style smoked meat on rye is where it’s at.

Fast Track image

Fast Track is an old-school Chicago diner serving hot dogs, Italian beefs, and breakfast all day.

Infatuation Logo

Cities

2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.

FIND PLACES ON OUR APP

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store