chicago's goats & friends

aka girl & the goat, little goat diner, duck duck goat

If you have done literally any research on the food scene in Chicago, you will have come across the Goats. A mini franchise that encompasses three concepts, loose variations on a theme, the brain children of chef Stephanie Izard. Their presence is pervasive in the contemporary food culture of the city and their fame extends far beyond city limits. In fact, they’ve just opened up a location in the burgeoning food destination that is the Arts District of Los Angeles. All in all three solid choices for a meal in the city, and well worth planning ahead for a trip.

Girl & the Goat: This is the main event, the restaurant that started it all. Reservations book out weeks ahead, even a decade after it first landed in West Loop’s now bustling Restaurant Row. The food is creative, drawing inspiration from global cuisines in a curated menu that extends from goat empanadas to tempura whitefish to the fan-favorite sautéed green beans with fish sauce vinaigrette and cashews. The menu and drink selection evolves seasonally, but the crowds are evergreen.

Little Goat Diner: LGD is like the more casual all-day sibling in the family. A spot that is reliably a hit in the busy blocks of W Randolph, delivering on the comfort foods you’d expect from a diner but with a creative spin you’d expect from the Goat franchise. Casual enough to be a spontaneous meal (it’s busy, particularly for brunch, but if you can spare a wait it is doable), but cool enough to feel special. On the wide of the dinner is their darling bakery outpost Sugargoat Sweets.

Duck Duck Goat: The Chinese-inspired Duck Duck Goat pays homage to the diverse cooking techniques and flavors of China and Chinese American cuisine, expanding the Midwestern palate in a Chicago-friendly format through various iterations of duck (ie: duck fried rice, Peking duck) and goat (ie: xi’an goat slap noodles) as the name implies. The space feels like a Vegas version of a Chinese restaurant, but who would expect anything less of a West Loop restaurant? And then of course to take it over the top there is the neighboring Baobing, a Taiwan-inspired snack window with cocktails and sweet and savory treats.

the details


Girl and the Goat Chicago: 809 W Randolph St, Chicago
Girl and the Goat LA: 555-3 Mateo St, Los Angeles
Little Goat Diner: 820 W Randolph St, Chicago
Duck Duck Goat: 857 W Fulton Market, Chicago



Instagram@girl.and.the.goat @littlegoatdiner, @duckduckgoatchi
  • Girl & the Goat: 4:30-9:30pm Tuesday – Sunday, closed Monday
  • Little Goat Diner: 7am – 3pm Tuesday – Sunday, closed Monday
  • Duck Duck Goat: 5pm – 9pm Tuesday – Thursday, 4:30-9/10 Friday – Sunday, closed Monday
Price$$ – $$$, LGD and the take out spots are pretty fairly priced in the $$ range, whereas the sit down restaurants push $$$ (expect to spend at least $30 per person, more if with drinks)
Aestheticwarm, homey, in that trendy “new American” restaurant type of way for Girl and the Goat; all the others are kind of in-your-face branded, but well designed

good to know

Go here for: a meal worth posting to social media about

Order this: the menus evolve seasonally and they always have good specials to ask your server for recommendations

Amount of time to spend: definitely the kind of place for a 2 hour meal, and of course quicker stops for the more casual options and takeout (their takeout program is pretty solid)

When to come: whenever you have a reservation – plan ahead!

Getting here: 

  • Chicago: All of the spots are easily accessible from the Morgan CTA station (pink, green)
  • LA: You may be able to snag free street parking in the side streets, otherwise valet is probably the safest bet.

Other things to note: All of the restaurants take reservations via OpenTable.

Last visited: August 2021

Last updated: August 2019

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