Hot dogs are served and cooked many different ways throughout the world, but nothing compares to the perfect Chicago Dog. The Chicago style dog starts with a steamed, all beef frank topped with mustard, onion, relish, and pickle, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt all nestled into a steamed poppy-seed bun. Though it may seem like the city’s favorite hot dog is topped with everything under the sun, ketchup is never added. The Chicago area boasts more hot dog restaurants than McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King restaurants combined. Navigating through all these choices can be a difficult task. City favorites include Murphy’s Red Hots, the Wieners Circle, Hot Doug’s and Portillo’s. It was at the latter of which I decided to sample a Chicago dog for myself.
Portillo’s specializes in Chicago style food, with the Chicago-style hot dog the main attraction. Other dishes worth a try include Italian beef and the infamous Chocolate Cake Shake. The classic Chicago chain operates 45 locations throughout the Chicago area and California. The main outpost and setting for our tasting, however, is located in the heart of downtown.
Portillo’s Hot Dogs, 100 W. Ontario St., Mon- Thurs 10:30AM- 11PM Fri- Sat 10:30AM- 12AM Sun 11AM- 11PM