You need to go beneath Michigan Avenue to find the Billy Goat Tavern, which has been serving up “cheezborgers” since 1964. The spot’s proximity to Tribune Tower made it a popular hangout for journalists, and the restaurant boasts a “Wall of Fame” featuring pictures and writing from columnists including Mike Royko, Richard Roeper and Studs Terkel. The subterranean space also celebrates its namesake, the pet goat of tavern owner William Sianis, who was blamed for the Cubs’ century-long losing streak.
Chicago has a long history of speakeasies, hidden bars established during Prohibition so that those in the know could still get a drink. Even when alcohol became legal again, Chicagoans continued to enjoy the allure of secretive subterranean bars, and that mystique extends to hidden Chicago restaurants you might miss unless you really know what you’re looking for. Some operate within other restaurants or stores, while others are tucked away in parks and schools. From acclaimed fine dining establishments to a historic Chicago burger joint in the bowels of the city, here are the hidden restaurants in Chicago that are worth searching out.