Portillo’s

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map
100 West Ontario Street Chicago, IL 60654
312-587-8910

About

6’x12’. Those were the dimensions of Dick Portillo’s first hot dog restaurant, which he opened in 1963 inside of a converted Villa Park trailer. The trailer had no bathroom, and Portillo had to run 250 feet of garden hose from a nearby building to supply running water. Despite these hindrances, the stand was a certified success by 1967, and today, Portillo’s Hot Dogs operates at 48 locations, many of which recall bygone decades; some are filled with glowing neon signs and 1920’s memorabilia, while others sport red stools and black and white checkered floors straight out of a 1960’s soda shop. The foodies at Serious Eats couldn’t confine themselves to highlighting just one dish at Portillo’s; instead, they narrowed it down to six. Among their favorites were Italian beef sandwiches with au jus that seeps into French bread, natural casing Vienna Beef franks made specially for the restaurant, and chocolate milkshakes, each blended with pieces of the eatery’s signature chocolate cake.

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