Restaurant review: Portillo’s Chicago hot dogs

While we were in Chicago, my friend Ginger and I agreed that we had to experience Portillo’s.

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And it’s true- it’s not just a hot dog, it’s an experience.

Portillo’s is busy and loud. It took us a few minutes to figure out what was going on, but for us, that was part of the fun.

IMG_2347 The way it works is that you stand in line to place your order…

HOT DOG …………………………………………………….2.65
With everything includes: mustard, relish, freshly chopped onions, sliced red ripe
tomatoes, kosher pickle and sport peppers piled onto a perfectly steamed poppy
seed bun.

SIDE ORDERS
FRENCH FRIES ……………………….. Sm. ……1.75 Lg. ….2.09
CHEESE FRIES ………………………… Sm. ……2.40 Lg. ….2.74
ONION RINGS ……………..2.09 TAMALE ……………….1.89
CHICKEN TENDERS ……….4.09

…then you move to the next line (which is more like a big crowd), where you can watch them making your dogs.

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After awhile, they’ll announce your order number on a loudspeaker, and you shoulder past a few people to pick it up. I highly recommend eating outside on the patio, weather permitting. Great peoplewatching.

The dogs were perfectly unique, the drinks were cold…we were glad we went.

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Tip: if you’re from out of town, remember not to ask for ketchup! 😉

Have you been to Portillo’s? What did you think?

Comments

  1. Get a chargrilled burger next time. The hot dog is good, but the burgers were amazing. I ended up going multiple days in a row.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Ryan – One of the reasons I love writing this blog is that I have an easily-accessible running list of things to do in the future. Your suggestion is now on that list!

  2. Rebecca says:

    I’ve not been, and probably wouldn’t unless I was with some meat eaters. Which is fine. i’d get the hot dog with no dog, extra tomatoes and some fries. The pickles & peppers look really good in your picture. When I was at my sisters this weekend, I had avocado hot dogs while the others had turkey dogs. Yum yum fresh veggies for me!

  3. BothofUs2 says:

    Try the Italian Beef there next time, with either sweet peppers or hot peppers (and I second the comment on the burgers, they are very good). They do have decent salads as well.

  4. The Italian Beef is uniquely Chicagoan, although ordering the combo dipped is the way to go! A combo is an Italian Beef with sausage and dipped means it’s got a healthy amount of au jus as well. Truly outstanding, if your heart can take it.

    • Points Pixie says:

      JakePB – Thanks for the explanation, because I had no idea what dipped meant! I’m not a big sauce person so I would skip that one, but I’m sure it’s delicious for those who can take it. 😉

  5. I moved from Chicago to Indy a few years ago and this brought a smile to my face. I suggest you park a few miles from the restaurant, jog there, order a combo with a chocolate cake shake, and jog back to your car. It’s all about balance.

  6. I always make sure to stop at Portillos when I’m in Chicago, there are tons of locations around Chicagoland. I love the Beef and Cheddar Croissant, Hot Dog and Fries with cheese saucee

    • Points Pixie says:

      John – Sounds like there are plenty of undiscovered treats for my next visit to Chicago.

  7. I love Portillo’s! You can have Portillo’s in California too! They have locations in Buena Park and Moreno Valley, CA. And in Tempe and Scottsdale, AZ. 🙂

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