The Berghoff has been a favorite gathering spot for Loop office workers and State Street shoppers since it opened in 1898. This was the first Chicago establishment to be awarded a liquor license after the repeal of Prohibition. Above the stalwart bar backed by inlaid wood hangs the Berghoff family crest, framed by Tyrolean farmland scenes.
Frescoed murals depicting scenes from the 1893 World’s Fair and original Tiffany stained-glass windows monogrammed with a cursive red B adorn the Century Room, where friends and families dine on classic German fare. When it comes to the food, count on big portions and fast service. Our favorite dishes are the Wiener schnitzel ($18.95) and the piled-high corned beef sandwich ($10.50).The ever-popular beer flight ($8.50) features five 5-ounce pours—the Berghoff’s signature lager, ale and dark beer plus two seasonal brews. Founding family member Herman Berghoff created gluten-free, caffeine-free Bergo soda pops during the dry Prohibition years, and they’re still served here today ($2.50 each).
The Berghoff hosts one of Chicago’s best and most authentic Oktoberfest celebrations, and the restaurant is decorated to the hilt during the holidays. Kids search in the twinkling tannenbaum branches for the traditional lucky glass pickle ornament, and then clamber onto St. Nikolas’ lap to share their gift wish lists.