Portillo’s: Chicago, Illinois


After Atlanta, Ben and I headed to Chi-Town aka The Windy City aka Chicago.

I have to admit, Chicago is one of my favourite cities in the world.  It’s kinda like NYC, only cleaner and people here are very very nice and the food is well… real food, like no-hold-back carbs. This city is a carnivorous, carb loving city and it makes me fall in love each time.  That and the fact that the architecture is ah-mazing.

One place that I always go too when I hit Chicago is Portillo’s.  It’s located in the River North area of Chicago and serve an array of items from hot dogs to ribs to pasta.  The one thing that you must get in Chicago that Portillo’s is known for and does well, is the Italian Beef. 

Portillo's River North

2-Levels of dining space, sometimes the second level is blocked off because there might be parties reserved there. Sorry for the fuzzy picture, taken with my iPhone.

Portillo's River North (counter 1)

Tonnes of things to order from, salads, pasta, pizza, ribs (their half slab is roughly $11.00 and it’s so good and HUGE).

Portillo's River North

Behind this wall is where they make the sandwiches.

Portillo's River North (dining)

Very cool atmosphere, but just remember when you walk in, no need to find someone to seat you. Just seat yourself!

An Italian Beef consists of an Italian-roll, seasoned thinly sliced roast beef, topped with giardiniera (selection of hot or sweet peppers) and then dipped in the roast beef drippings.

-My stomach growls as type this.-

When you’re at Portillo’s it’s going to look like you’re in a food court setting, so you go up to the counter of the meal you want to it (pasta, sandwiches, ribs, salads, beer..) and you put in your order, pay, take a seat, and wait for them to call out your number that is on yoru receipt.

Portillo's Italian Beef

Portillo’s Italian Beef with Sweet Peppers $4.85

Ben and I both got the Italian Beef with Sweet Peppers because the spicy peppers are really spicy.  The counter will ask you if you want it “dipped” and that basically means that they’ll take this sandwich and dip it their roast beef drippings.  I will admit it will get messy when you get your Italian Beef “dipped”,  it’s soggy but it still tastes good.  Just make sure you have a stack of napkins with you.  Also, the portion sizes here are generous so 1- sandwich a person is enough.

Portillo's Onion Rings

Portillo’s Onion Rings $1.99

Ben and I also got a side of onion rings to share, and this was really good too.  Very crispy batter and well seasoned.  They were a nice accompaniment to the savoury and moist Italian Beef.  Also, these onion rings were huge, more than enough for the two of us.

Portillo's River North

Small Coke (I’m pretty sure) $1.65

Ok, so I can’t remember if this was a small or large, but all I remember was it was huge.  I’m pretty sure it was a small because I really remember it being way bigger than what we ordered.  Ben and I shared this so you will never go thirsty here.  They also serve alcohol here too if you fancy a beer with your Italian Beef.

Overall, this is a pretty awesome place.  The prices are great, the food is delicious, and the service is quick.  We always come here when we’re in town for work and if you’re ever in the River North area of Chicago, I would suggest you to come here too.

Portillo's Hot Dogs (Chicago) on Urbanspoon

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