When visiting Chicago there are two foods that tourists have to get, a deep dish pizza and a Chicago-style hot dog. My husband has been to Chicago a bunch of times, so I asked for his opinion about where to get a hot dog and he said we had to go to Portillo’s. Interestingly, Portillo’s just opened a new location in Champaign, IL so my family had already been to one. And my mom loves the place, so that’s where we went!
Portillo’s is located in Downtown Chicago at the corner of Ontario and Clark streets. It’s about 6 blocks west of Michigan Avenue and 7 blocks north of the River for anyone staying in the Downtown area.
My picture isn’t great, but Portillo’s has this great old-timey, diner atmosphere that I loved. They have neon signs advertising the different menu items and you go up to different counters based on what you want to order. Since we were there for hot dogs, we went right up to the hot dog counter and ordered. But they also have a milk shake counter and an Italian food counter that also looked awesome and that I’m dying to try. The tables are covered with picnic style red and white checkered table cloths and there is so much space that you can easily find a place to sit.
We ordered hot dogs, french fries with cheese, and a chocolate milkshake to share. If you are ordering a “Chicago-Style” hot dog it comes with a full pickle spear, sports peppers, onions, tomato, and mustard. Brian loves them that way. He also told me that if you ordered ketchup the Chicago-ans will judge you (I don’t know if that’s true or if he was messing with me, but I ordered mine without just in case and got ketchup from the condiment station – LOL).
Once the food is ready, you pick it up in bags at the counter. It really just takes a few minutes of waiting. My reaction to the food was as follows: The milk shake is huge, I’m so glad I talked Brian into sharing; the hot dogs came with poppy seed buns, fancy!; and yum, liquid cheese.
Overall I loved our visit to Portillo’s and it’s on my list to go back to next time I’m in Chicago, or next time I visit my family in Champaign, IL!