Restaurants, Hot dogs River North
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
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Photograph: Kris Vire

This über-efficient local chain, begun in Villa Park in 1963, is mostly found in the suburbs. But at the one city Portillo's, in tourist-heavy River North, out-of-towners flock in search of an authentic Chicago dog. The thick, nicely juicy dog comes on poppyseed bun steamed to perfect softness and with a generous helping of thick-cut tomatoes, onions and a hefty pickle slice.


Venue name: Portillo's
Address: 100 W Ontario St
Cross street: between Clark and LaSalle Sts
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 10:30am-11pm; Fri, Sat 10am-midnight
Transport: El stop: Red to Chicago, Grand.
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Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

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  • 4 star:5
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Madeline N
1 of 1 found helpful

I was raised out in the burbs, which also means I was raised on portillos. you seriously can't go wrong with anything on their menu, though I would say their cake shake and burger are my favorite. They also have one of the best Chicago style hot dogs around.


Everything on the menu is amazing. The service is quick and efficient. I highly recommend getting the Italian Beef/Sausage combo with Hot Peppers.

Sadie Rose

One of my favorite "fast casual" spots with a Chicago vibe. The new one in South Loop is crazy convenient for me and half the wait time as the one downtown. If it's your first time, you can't go wrong with a beef DIPPED with hot peppers. Get ready to be uncomfortably full but oh so happy. 

Kathryn K

The new one in University Village off Canal is waaay easier to access and has more space.  If you are going to do Portillos, don't bother with chicken or a salad.  Go all in with the Cheesy Beef Croissant, crinkle fries with dipping cheese with a chocolate cake shake. You could share to reduce your risk of food coma-ing and dang don't eat here on the daily because it's unhealthy, people...unhealthy but oh so Chicago.

Rachel W

This location is always packed, but that's what you get for being a beloved icon in a popular neighborhood. Even when you have to wait a bit, staff is always very efficient and the quality and consistency is there. My order is their hot dog with everything (don't forget the peppers) and one of their shakes. Skip the cake shake, though, if you don't like things to sweet. I find once the cake frosting is part of the equation it's a little overkill. My friends swear by the cheese fries, but I keep them plain. I'm here for the dogs, and the fries are just extra for me.

George G

We love the Italian Brrf/Italian Sausage combo & the Polish Sausage buried in onions. Open 1 in Central FL please! Great ice cold draft beer too

Erin Delahanty
moderatorStaff Writer

I love, love, love the Italian beef at Portillo's. It's great at the restaurant and they do a really nice job with catering as well. Get the beef hot and wet with a side of cheese fries. My other go-to choice here is the chopped salad, which is enough food for at least two meals. 


Truly don't see what all the fuss is about with the chocolate cake.  But their chicago stye hot dogs are delightful.  Also, I don't like crinkle fries, so I can't speak to their validity.


The most and best Chicago foods you can have without pizza. Portillo's has one of the top Italian Beef sandwiches and Hot Dogs that you can put against almost any place. If you're feeling like a Bill Swerski Superfan go for the Combo sandwich(Italian Beef and Italian Sausage). Amazingly good but eat it only on occasion.

Jill F

This location is filled with tourists at seemingly all hours, but it's still absolutely worth a visit, and its food and adult beverage selection is somewhat expanded from a standard Portillo's. I recommend getting an Italian beef, cut in half, with peppers; a cake shake; a Chicago hot dog (or a chili-cheese dog); and a fry. Oops, whatever. When in Rome. 

Laura R

Portillo's in River North gets packed in the evenings! The process to order can be a little confusing if you've never been there before, but don't worry, the greasy goodness is worth it. Grab a table and chow down on a burger and shake. A new Portillo's is coming to Chicago soon too! 

0 of 1 found helpful

One of my favorite fast food chains in Chicago. Their Italian beef to the Chicago style hot dogs are great. I would also recommend the cake shake. They are also fast about serving your food even if they are really busy.