My Favorite Chicago Places: Portillo's Restaurant


Chicago is well known for two iconic food staples: deep-dish pizza and hot dogs. The secret to Chicago deep-dish pizza is the cheese, and you definitely need to eat Chicago deep-dish pizza if you get the chance. It's enough to thoroughly coat your insides and then some.

Somewhere, Jillian Michaels is shaking her man-sized fists in rage. 
But pizza is not what I'm here to talk about. Maybe another day.

Today, I want to talk about a restaurant that is near and dear to my heart: Portillo'sWhen planning out your Chicago vacation (or, in my case, trip back home to visit friends), after you've made sure you've eaten pizza, you absolutely must add a Portillo's hot dog to your list.

The secret to a Chicago hot dog is the celery salt. That and the dill pickle. And the poppyseed bun. And the mustard.

Portillo's hot dogs have become a family joke. One time the six of us were eating there, and my bun fell apart, spilling my half-eaten hot dog and all the condiments onto the table. I may or may not have started crying, and now I can't visit my brothers without them reminding me about the "hot dog incident." Those jerks. (I also cried one time we were camping because I burnt my ham and cheese pie iron, so they might actually have a point. I'm quite the dramatic eater.)

The last time I visited Portillo's was last summer. I took Jordan there, and we got hot dogs. My bun stayed together that time. It was glorious. 

This time around, I decided to not get a hot dog in favor of my second-favorite Portillo's menu item: Portillo's chopped salad. 

The chopped salad features Portillo's homemade dressing with all the fixin's, and the best part is that it's a huge salad, way too much for one person, so I get to take home leftovers and eat them for the next two days. It's the gift that keeps on giving. 

They have out-of-this-world chocolate cake too, but I decided not to get cake because I knew Alison, Sarah, and I were going to hit up the Wheaton Dairy Queen and the popcorn shop.

There are a few Portillo's locations, in the suburbs as well as the Mothership in the heart of downtown. (There are also a select few in Arizona, California, and Indiana, of all places). The downtown Portillo's on Ontario Street is where Jordan and I went to eat for lunch after he proposed to me at the Bean, so there's a bit of sentimental value there. 

But sentimental value aside, this is a dang good place to eat with a fun Chicago atmosphere, and if you're in the area, you should go. 

Then text your mom a picture of your food because you know that will make her jealous.
Or maybe that's just me.
Cotton and Boots said...

You're making me want to visit Chicago more and more!

LeAnna said...

I've always wanted to visit up there! One day...

LeAnna said...

And oh my word, Q just walked in while I was reading this and he said "GO UP GO UP GO UP, that's AMANDA! What's she doin' on there?!" He's probably your biggest fan.

the Rosones said...

Chocolate cake shake!!!!

...that is all. :)

Niken said...

ok, i'm sold.

Abby said...

So excited for this post as I am hoping to run the marathon in Chicago in 2014 and posts like this really make me want to go!

Katie said...

we love portillos! and have one pretty close to us. that salad is my favorite! they also have one with strawberries, blueberries and pineapple and it is so good!!

Laura Morgan said...

Crying over a collapsed hotdog is completely justified. Brothers are mean.

Ashley said...

Haha!! So true..Jillian Michaels isn't happy about this..but I sure am. Do love these foods!

Anonymous said...

Okay, that most just made me really hungry, and ready to visit Chicago!

Kelsea said...

This looks delicious!!! :)

Brooke said...

Once, I dropped my chicken burrito on the ground, then started crying! It was very sad, and I had PMS.

I have never visited Chicago, but it looks fun and the food looks yummy!

=) Brooke