The Billy Goat Tavern

Rating: ★★★★☆


The original Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago.

Chicago’s Billy Goat Tavern is renowned for its supposed role in the failure of the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series since 1908. Legend has it that the tavern’s owner tried to bring his pet goat to a game at Wrigley Field but his goat wasn’t allowed in. He allegedly cursed the Cubs and the Cubs’ subsequent dry spell has been attributed to “The Curse of the Billy Goat.” It is also famous as the scene for a 1970s SNL skit. I’ve visited the fabled original location in Chicago, but I’ll bet you didn’t know that there’s a DC branch of the Billy Goat Tavern as well, located at 500 New Jersey Ave NW. The 14522249_10154606159998011_1926772246_oplace serves “cheezborgers” as well as Chicago favorites such as the Maxwell Street Polish and the Chicago-style hot dog. While their Chicago-style dog lacked a poppy seed bun (I guess those are hard to come by back East), it did have all the other requisite accoutrements. I also appreciated the Chicago-level prices (cheap compared to DC) and the profusion of Chicago sports memorabilia on the wall. When I went, the crowd was mostly older, but it’s a nice, calm spot to knock back a shot of Malört with your Chigaco-style hot dog. I’m sure it’s significantly less calm when there’s a big game on featuring a Chicago sports team.