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The Berghoff

Your Rating: None
The BerghoffThe Berghoff
29 Ratings
The BerghoffThe Berghoff

Type: Bar, Eatery

17 W Adams St
Chicago, Illinois, 60603-5502
United States

(312) 427-3170 | map

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 29 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by cagocubs:
Photo of cagocubs
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Atmosphere: I stopped in during a lunch break and the place generates a big crowd for their classic lunch line. Many businessmen that work in the loop frequent this place. It is crowded, but you can still comfortably find a seat.

Quality: The quality of beer is okay. It is not the greatest beers in the world, but they are tasty enough to compliment your food.

Service: Service wasn't great, but it was sufficient. Bartender was friendly and answered questions about the beers.

Selection: With seven beers on tap, the selection isn't great. Four of the beers on tap are actual Berghoff beer (ehh) and three guest draughts.

Food: The trick to the Berghoff is to eat at the cafe section where they are serving the lunch lines. The food is similar/same quality as the menu food at a fraction of the cost. The food is good overall.

The Berghoff is a great place to go for historical value. If you are looking to get amazing beer and service this may not be your place.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mothergoose03
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

We stopped here for a quick to find out what their beers were like and to check out the place for dinner the next day with other family members. Some remodeling was ongoing on the main floor so we ended up in the lower level bar. Only three house beers were available so we ended up having all three before we were done. Although the beers are brewed correctly to style, I was disappointed. For a place that reeks of tradition, I thought the beers would be top-notch examples of German beers. They were not bad, but certainly not exciting. Besides three guest beers also on tap and a dozen bottles/cans of macros and imports, the bar in the lower level also offers liquor and wine for the non-beer drinkers. If you do come here, the pretzel is a must-order. It's about 12” in diameter and comes with three dipping sauces. This made the visit worthwhile.

We came back for dinner the next day and were seated in the main dining room at street level. The food menu was exciting, but I ordered guest beer on this visit. It turns out that the food was not so exciting though. Everyone in our group enjoyed what they ordered, but no one said the food was outstanding. Our visits were an okay experience, but there are other places in this city to try before coming here again.

 1,273 characters

Photo of cryptichead
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 2.75

Photo of Beginner2
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.5

Enough people have said enough about this historic Chicago institution, its bar's abundant wood decoration and its average menu. I can't add more.
But what I find interesting is Berghoff's staying power, some 125 years brewing from before Prohibition , restarting during the Depression and reinventing itself to compete with craft brewers. The restaurant has similar longevity. Both have changed owners and methods. Yet, the tourists and downtown workers keep packing the joint.

I find odd the idea that this may have been Chicago's original gastropub; but instead of fancy food or high quality beer, it is ambience and reputation that keeps brining them in.
To me, the flight of five beers said "average" to me. The menu looked below that.
But successful, Berghoff is.

 771 characters

Photo of BeerOps
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Photo of bowzer4birdie
3.86/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3

Photo of twb0392
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Photo of Irishace9
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of Sweffin
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of TheRealPour
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Nuggetz
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of yemenmocha
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Beerpiggie
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of SkinniePost
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Storning
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of ToddGingerich
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Photo of Will_Turner
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of scottwurst
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of sportscrazed2
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I stopped in this place today for a mini trip to the loop. I had a corned beef sandwhich which was pretty good but nothing to write home about. I also had a pint of the pale ale which was way too sweet and malty and I couldn't tell if it they put any hops into it. Probably my fault for ordering a hoppy beer at a german restaurant. They have soccer on tv which is a plus for me because I can never get enough soccer. Overall the food was decent and fair priced but the beer was mediocre at best. It's alot cheaper than the elephant and castle down the street but they have fullers esb on tap which this place can't compete with

 628 characters

Photo of YonderWanderer
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 4

The Berghoff in Chicago had pretty tasty food, but the beer definitely lacked a bit. Went there for lunch one day and enjoyed a tasty hamburger with their homemade chips. Also had perogies for an appetizer, which were great.

However, overall it was fairly uninspiring. The atmosphere is fairly bland overall. I imagine at night it might be a bit more lively in the bar. The food was good, the service was decent. The beer lacked, but I'll address that in the beer reviews. Good place for a meal at fairly reasonable prices, but not a lot else I can say about it. Average otherwise.

 583 characters

Photo of emerge077
2.79/5  rDev -23.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2

Kind of a bland experience here. Bar entrance on the left, restaurant on the right. The place was sold but kept in the family after all the hubbub in 2006 that it was closing. It's a Chicago landmark with historical significance, but not really a beer bar, more of a nice restaurant with some German and contemporary food. Crowd was mostly loop businesspeople and tourists.

The bar was long on the left side of the room, with an authentic wall fresco above the bar, along the ceiling. Under that was another interesting artwork, inlaid wood panels of more pastoral scenes, with a built-in clock that kept the correct time. Unfortunately that was the highlight of the visit.

Service was ok, although I was served a more expensive glass size than what I intended to order. A 16 oz. Berghoff Hefeweizen was $5.75... a 6-pack is maybe $7 at the store, Loop prices I guess.

About 10 bottles, all macros. There were 6 house taps and a root beer. They were out of the "seasonal" whatever it was, so there was a pretty limited selection: dark, amber, lager, hefe, and pale ale. Considering these beers are contract brewed (by Minhas, yuck) and available at most area grocery stores, I was hoping for something better at the bar they were named for. The menu sounded interesting, but expensive. "Berghoff Brewery: A midwest craft beer tradition" was on my glass, which was just plain confusing, since the beer has been contract brewed for half a century.

Trivia tidbit: Apparently this was a "men's only" bar until 1969.

 1,518 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

The Berghoff was our first stop on the CTA/BA Pubcrawl. Due to the recent announcement that the restaurant would be closing...when we arrived we found what would have probably been a 2.5 hour wait for the restaurant with a line sprawling down the sidewalk. Luckily..there's the Berghoff Bar which is attached to the restaurant where we stopped to have some brews.

The bar is a bit like walking into a time warp. There's a long wooden bar on the left hand side with ornate woodwork and lots of old time pictures of the Berghoff. The bartenders are all dressed up rather formally which was kinda cool. There was some nice banquet style food selections on the right...however they kinda cramp the bar and make the walkway narrow. The place was pretty packed when we were there. Basically the entire Berghoff line is on tap for around $4 a pint. I had the hefeweizen, which was quite nice on tap, being that it's one of my favorite bottled selections. Bartenders were nice and attentive even though it was crowded.

This would not be a destination bar for me unless I was in the area...but it was cool to get the chance to stop by and check it out. Rumor has it that the bar will be staying open even if the restaurant closes. Berghoff is a classic Chicago landmark and a nice vintage bar..check it out if you're travelling in the area and try the hefeweizen!

 1,360 characters

Photo of Pepeton
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Great place, pricey though.
But for an outsider like me it was a truly memorable stop on a memorable trip.

My party and I arrived past 10 pm and the captain warned us that the kitchen was about to close.
So we dealed with him to order real quick so they could fix us our dinner. No hesitations on his part.

We enjoed our simple meals with good beer. Then we had just another pint in the bar, that had another hour or so to closing time.

Granted. I have had better beers, but never ever with better food nor better service.

Beautiful surroundings, great service, excellent food and more than a decent dunkel beer.


 638 characters

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The Berghoff in Chicago, IL
Place rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 29 ratings
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