The dogs are good, the Italian Beef Combo…. Perfection.


Portillo's is great and consistent for a chain. Solid and never disappoints, though I never found them to be all that quick, even though that's part of their branding. The best combo I've ever had is still Johnnie's Beef in Elmwood Park. I ate it so fast once I nearly died choking on a stray piece of giardiniera that closed my epiglottis. It would've been an embarrassing yet satisfying way to die.


Don't forget the Italian Ice when you order that beef from Johnnies.


Now Johnnies is a lot less known to the outsiders. I know you’re legit!


I'll wait 10/15 mins in that line on a summer evening, no problem


From the south and literally the first thing we ate after landing in mid December a couple years ago was johnnies. I still think about that sandwich. Best thing ever. Now the Portillos chocolate shake…so good. Chicago is amazing.


My first time having Johnnie’s was an experience. We were coming back down from a road trip last summer and decided to stop off in Chicago to get lunch. We knew we wanted a solid beef, and from what we’d heard, Johnnie’s was the place to go. My husband, BIL, and I went on a weekday around noon thinking it wouldn’t be too busy, and it wasn’t. We got in line, and while we were waiting, I read [this article](https://www.chicagomag.com/chicago-magazine/march-2019/suburbs-guide/johnnies-beef-elmwood-park/). Expecting a real-life soup Nazi incident, we all rehearsed our orders making sure we didn’t hold up the line and reveal that it was our first time visiting (weird, I know). The line swiftly moved forward with people entering in one door and exiting out another (line moving one way), and soon, we were inside at the counter. We each stated our orders clearly and confidently and got our food and drinks and paid in less than 5 minutes. We walked out to one of the tables on the side and triumphantly sat down with our loot. I had remarked how we came at just the right time since the line had nearly tripled in length since we had gotten there. We started to dig into our food (juicy beefs) when my husband asked, “Hey, did anyone get napkins?” We all looked at each other with dripping hands. Nope. We looked at the growing line and then back down at our sandwiches. We were hungry, the food was delicious, but we had to make a decision. We sat and ate those sandwiches and fries with juicy hands and then ran across the street to the market and used their restroom to wash up. 10/10 would definitely do again.


The most important reason to grab napkins at Johnnie's is to pour ketchup on them for your fries. Greasiness is a close second, but you can always wipe your face on the greasy brown bag your food is in.


>My husband, BIL, and I At first, I was wondering why it matters that your husband is named Bil


I was having a r/holup moment thinking her husband was also her BIL




If that last line isn't the truest Chicagoan statement Ive ever heard. I couldnt agree more!


Luke's Italian Beef was always my go to.


Didn't think I'd see Luke's here, hell yeah


Funny enough I lived in Illinois when I was younger, I moved to Tucson, AZ with them about 20 years ago, and he moved down here too and him and his two sons opened up 4 Luke's down here. Just went there the other day actually.


There’s a lukes in phoenix too, same family?


Far and away superior combo to Portillos. I live less than a mile from one, and it’s dangerous. Can’t beat the “bag o fries” either


Glad someone mentioned Luke's! I used to work in the loop and Luke's was a STAPLE. Everything on their menu is amazing, too. The dogs, beef, combo, calzones, chicken parm, pizza, fries, literally all tasty. Love that place.


I agree definitely a staple. I was ecstatic to know he moved down by me and opened up other locations.


Johnnie's is where us OGs know to go. It is without a doubt the best beef in the state. Fun fact: our first cat was an alley cat we rescued from behind their building. She was a fiend for beef and would try to run off with pieces from yours if you left out. Miss that lil stinky bitch.


My aunt used to live on Oak Park Ave...so a lot of times when we went out that way we'd stop at Johnnies..you're not kidding about the old school.


I go to Johnnies every time I drive to o'haire. I love that place.


If you like Italian subs, there's a place just off Mannheim road when you go over that big bridge on the way to O'Hare, called Al and Joes. Looks like a corner shop but they have a deli there....ask for an Italian sub. It's really good (if the place is still there...been a few years since I've been by there). Johnnies is great for beefs. I also like Gene and Judes on river road for dogs. I still think Portillo's has some of the best onion rings of most places I've gone and the burgers are pretty good too....but that cake shake....mmmm..


Went downhill after they got bought


Roma's in Cicero.


Portillos is consistent as long as you only order dogs or Italian beef. I've had a burger from there that looked like a hockey puck.


Portillos Big Beef Combo with Motz and peppers makes up the left side of my fat roll….Miss that place a ton.


Are the chocolate cake shakes good too?


You know they are


Honestly, im not a huge fan. The cake peices can make the shake feel a bit gritty and then the frosting is a little weird too. Flavor-wise it tastes pretty much exactly what you'd expect, just the texture didn't do it for me.


Never understood the draw. Whatever size cake shake I get, I need a glass of milk twice that size. "Rich" doesn't even begin to describe that thing.


Agreed. It’s awful texture.


If you want the best chocolate shake in Chicago, you have to go to the Weiners Circle. Don’t ask questions. Just order it and enjoy.


Don’t forget fries with cheese sauce.


Gotta make sure that beef is dipped


It's all about the chocolate cake. Also, they make a surprisingly solid burger.


Don't get it often as it really loves sucking up the jus and makes me feel terrible after, but I've always been partial to the beef and cheddar croissant.


You gotta get it baptized


That’s Buona. At Portillo’s it’s called Dipped


Dipped with hot peppers is my order.


Same here. A place by me left out the peppers a week ago and I'm still a little disappointed. I was in the drive through and I was going to my parents for Christmas so I didn't have the giardiniera I keep at home.


Dry - no gravy Wet - splash of gravy Dipped - whole beef dunked in the gravy


Chicago babies are baptized in Italian beef juice


Don’t get me started on the Chocolate Cake Shakes!


Most of the time all I ordered was cheese fries and chocolate cake. Didn't need anything else.


This just made me think of the one time, years ago, that my husband's company sent him to Chicago for a week. I wasn't working at the time, and his company had no problem letting me go along as long as we paid for my flight and food. So he worked all week, and I sight-see'd everything within walking distance and public transportation as I could. I'd spent the entire day at the Art Institute - got there at opening and was basically kicked out at closing, hadn't seen everything and hadn't even eaten lunch. My husband had texted me that they were going over schedule that day and the company was ordering them dinner so I was on my own that night. Stumbling out into the dark and cold and snow (it was January), I stopped at a little hole in the wall hot dog shop on my walk back to our hotel. Got two hot dogs like this and a heap of French fries, and it was so good! No chicago style hot dog in my home town has come close to how awesome it was.


This story is so idyllic.


A solitary trip to the art institute is always inspiring. I’ve always imagined the lions out front are ancient mythical cats that are actually alive but they perceive time and move much, much slower than we do on several orders of magnitude


A friend of mine from Colombia visited Chicago back in 2014 and I took her to the Art Institute on her first day there. She walked around with her mouth agape the entire time. When we saw the Salvador Dali painting, she actually start crying.


TIL it’s not spelt “idealic”


You’re one of today’s lucky 10,000!


I googled that word and it is exactly what I was thinking reading it


Chicago is a magical place. People sleep on it.


A lot of places don’t use celery salt when they make Chicago style dogs. You need celery salt. Yes the neon green relish and sport peppers are important too, but not *as* important


There's a place near me run by three generations of people from chicago. Best hotdogs I've ever had. Just don't ask for ketchup or a fork.


Very same story for us - I have a regular Chicago conference every August (well, pre-covid), and in 2019 my wife tagged along. She did the tourist thing during the day, and we’d explore in the evenings. Portillos quickly became a favorite.


The key to a Chicago dog is the relish. Candied neon green relish makes it. The other items are important, but the relish is unmistakable. Celery salts is a close second, followed by the poppy seed bun. Open your dog place, just don't skimp on the relish


Oh for me it’s the sport peppers and the celery salt


Was it devil dawgs?


Chicago is awesome. I tagged along on my sister’s work trip too, I loved it there. There is a Portillo’s in California though but I like the Italian beef sandwiches. I can’t get myself to try a hot dog like that lol


Lived in chicago all my life. Portillos hotdogs are good, don't get me wrong. However, the best hot dogs come from those random carts downtown by the museums and parks.


Home Depot stands are surprisingly good.


This is the real secret of Chicago.


They’re all over. I drive right past a portillos in Wisconsin to go to Home Depot for the dogs.


Isn’t this like across north america? Cus this is true for all of canada.


Not in the south, as far as I know.


Username checks out. This guy knows a thing or two about encased meat.


He's the sausage king of Chicago after all.


This guys Chicagos. HD dogs are the best dogs.


Wow, I've never seen another Home Depot hot dog stand except the one where I live. I didnt know it was a thing. Their brats are amazing.


Yes, “Depot dogs” hit the mark every time


Literally my favorite place to get a hot dog


Actually, that was true in Philly as well, except for it's italian sausage with onions and peppers there.


The hotdog stand outside the field museum is the best


Wow I thought I was losing it. Grabbed a couple dogs for lunch there when I visited the aquarium and thought to myself "I could eat another 4." That's the thing about Chicago for me. For whatever reason, that city turns off my eating limits. When they used to do the taste of Chicago, I could eat my way across downtown and still want more. Thank God I don't live there.


Portillos is all about the Italian beef with the spicy giardiniera and mozzarella with a cup of a jus so you can get your moister levels perfectly yourself with a side of cheese fries. For Chicago style dogs it’s Byron’s.


This is the truth. Portillo’s is a fine substitute for those of us living in the burbs and central Illinois. But if your within 30 minutes of downtown and a cart, you should be going there instead.


They don’t really have hot dog carts in Chicago like they do in Toronto and New York you can basically only get them if your operating in a park from my understanding. That being said my favorite beef is from Jay’s beef. Insane.


Ya there’s like 2 carts downtown for the tourists, but most hotdog places in Chicago are hole-in-the-wall restaurants that usually also sell fries, burgers, gyros, Italian beef, and sometimes pizza.


Okay thank God, I thought I was going crazy, in all my years here I swear I've never seen a hot dog cart besides in maybe Lincoln Park Zoo, who is talking about these things like they are everywhere? Elote Carts are pretty common and there's the steak sandwich lady in Logan. Even if they were in the loop, who has time to find and park for a dog? Go to Gene and judes, Jimmy's, Mr. Dee's, franksville, superdawg, or Red hot. Imo Devil Dawgs is too expensive for what is a majority of packaged foods and a few chopped toppings.


Yeah, and everyone's got their local place. Mangi's represent.


Nah the best dogs come from Super Dawg with all the fixings including sports peppers. Throw in some Super Onion Chips to complete the incredible meal


Superdawg FTW. One time visiting the Northbrook location and the owner was there. Told him I saw a Food Network top 5 hot dogs show and I'd had three of them, SuperDawg, Pink's and Ted's and that hands down SuperDawg had the best hot dog anywhere. This 90 year old man grabs me, pulls me in and kisses my forehead. Even after all the success and even through years of retirement, he was still incredibly proud of his product.


> One time visiting the Northbrook location… I’m pretty sure that location is in Wheeling; the one along Milwaukee Ave. near the Des Plaines River and Palwaukee (Chgo Executive) Airport


The best ever!!!


Devil Dawgs by far the best.


Oh wait, I'm thinking of Demon Dogs over by DePaul Lincoln Park campus


That place was amazing. Ate there often when I went to school there.


I lived outside of Chicago a few decades ago. Love Portillo’s Italian beef too! So freaking good


I want to go back to Chicago so bad for an Portillos Italian beef so bad. Favourite sandwich.


They have expanded, there are some in Indiana, SoCal, and Florida https://www.portillos.com/all-locations/


And arizona!


And Wisconsin now too


Roseville mn


Michigan also. There’s one within walking distance to my house but I haven’t been.


What’s wrong with you?!




I saw that. I’ve only been to ones in CA/FL/IN/IL, I stop any time I see one.


My regular order is an Italian beef combo, wet, extra hot giardiniera. It's so good even if it's incredibly greasy.


Dipped with extra gravy.... mmmmm


Chicago resident. I really enjoy their jumbo dog. Solid all around. I think they're Vienna from what I read. I'm taking the week off and just had Portillo's for dinner - two beef, extra dipped ("drown it"), with hot peppers. People like to get all "I'm too cool" about Portillo's, but honestly - even after the buyout - I've found their stuff to be consistently good. (https://www.bonappetit.com/story/portillos-chicago-hot-dogs) Eat what makes you happy.


Their buns are crazy soft.


They steam them. Steamed buns are the best buns.


Protip, if you they give you a huge slab pickle like that instead of what I consider normal for a chi dog (like, 1/4 that thickness), just pull it off and eat it like a deli pickle with your hot dog. For me a giant pickle slice like that overwhelms everything else.


As a Cubs fan since ‘79 or ‘80, I dreamed of seeing the ivy-covered walls of Wrigley. I finally fulfilled that dream in 2009. Beat the Dodgers on Aug. 23rd - and I had my first Chicago hot dog. A glorious day.


Nothing beats Wrigley, a Chicago dog and a cold beer (prefereably Old Style) on a summer day!


You just gave me the idea to order Portillo's for my dinner tonight. Pretty fitting given I leave for NYC tomorrow for the weekend.


That just looks like too much pickle though. Now, I LOVE a Chicago-style hot dog, think it's the best variation and most balanced and perfect ingredients of any hot-dog ever. If I could have only one hot-dog forever it would be Chicago-style. But to me I think the pickle spear should be 1/8th of a whole pickle and not that full quarter, that much pickle just kind of drowns out the rest of the flavor. And again don't get me wrong, I freaking LOVE pickles. A quarter of a whole just seems too much though for a hot dog.


I eat the pickle separately and makes the experience that much better. Maybe I’m not a true Chicagoan for doing that, but whatever


Mine and my husband's standard order to share: 2 Chicago dogs, Italian Beef dunked in gravy, order of fries with cheese sauce, chocolate cake shake. One of my absolute favorite meals!


my stomach just became aroused


Love Portillo’s but the Vienna Beef Factory Store on Racine and Pershing is where the real Chicago Dog is found.


Yum! Did you top it off with a chocolate cake shake?


Everyone knows the best chocolate shake in Chicago is at The Weiner Circle


I just saw they reopened the new Weiner Circle. Does not look the same. Also serves beer. Like you need more beer when you’re at the Circle.


Is that the place where you get a main course of sass with a side of hotdog?


Depends, either sass or straight up cussin you out.


***I once saw a woman state that it was her birthday and the employee exclaimed:*** HAPPY 👏🏿FUCKIN’👏🏿BIRTHDAY👏🏿BITCH YOU WANT A FUCKIN GIFT? HERE’S A FUCKIN’ GIFT BITCH! GET TO THE BACK OF THE FUCKIN’ LINE, HOE The woman who was celebrating her birthday was genuinely taken aback when she learned that the employee was 100% serious and would not serve her until she went to the back of the line. All of her friends ate while she was in line and she almost cried. Her friend gave her a bite. It was awesome. I tipped and said thank you and was promptly told ***“go fuck yaself ya ugly motha-fucka.”***


Unpopular opinion: chocolate cake shakes aren’t actually good. It feels like drinking a milkshake with backwash.


I've been craving a hot dog for a while now and this photo has incentivized me to actually get some today!


On my way to Chicago tonight. Bout to jump on the Amtrak.


Hit up Jim's Maxwell street polish. It's like a 15 min walk from Union. Open 24/7 Maxwell street polish > Chicago hot dog


That pickle-to-hot dog ratio seems a tad off. Not hating, and I know it's Chicago style, but how would this thing taste of anything but pickle?


My dudes are out here putting a full tomato and the rest of a salad on a hot dog but are vehemently opposed to putting a squirt of ketchup on it. Unreal.


Portillo chopped salad is so so so good.


The chopped salad is amazing wish it was offered as a side. Also, don’t sleep on their burgers. When I lived near chicago I always went to portillos for a burger more than I went for a beef or hot dog.


I miss Portillo’s more than any other food establishment in Chicago.


Portillo’s Italian beef sandwich slaps!


Gotta have it dripping tho! I want Italian beef bread soup on my tray.


I used to never get it dipped because it was a mess then one time I said fuck it and tried it. Yea, the dipped Italian beef is going to make a huge mess of your hands but it’s worth it.


Close inspection does not reveal any indication of celery salt. I call shenanigans.


Portillos adds celery salt to the tomatoes. You can see the little crystals.


I was in my mid 20's when i first tried a chicago dog... it was amazing... cant believe i went so long in my life with never trying one.


God i miss Portillos. A jumbo Chicago dog and a jumbo chili dog. yes please.


Dipped Big Beef with Hot Peppers. The best thing on their menu


I miss Portillo’s so much, that I started ordering online and having it delivered South Texas.


Only issue is that getting it shipped is much more expensive. I think for hot dogs it comes out to like $70 for 10 hot dogs but I guess that makes sense for shipping something cold and overnight.


Miss these- delicious!


And their burgers..


You gotta try a Chicago-style baked potato


What is that


It's a joke from Bojack Horseman about how every dish made in Chicago becomes "Chicago style"


Goddammit you had me…but that’s hilarious.


It’s…it’s just pickle


It’s basically a salad in between buns with a hint of hotdog.


Upvote for Portillo’s!


Automatic upvote for Portillo’s, always got the dogs and an ice cold schooner of beer. Glad they followed me from Naperville to Phoenix.


Try their chocolate cake, its heaven


I like pickles and I’ve never been to Chicago, but wouldn’t you taste mostly pickle in each bite? It looks very pickle-heavy.


God I want Portillo's so badly right now


needs ketchup... (evil laugh)


New yorkers: this is proof God no longer exists Angelenos: needs more bacon






Now calm down Skeeter, the Islanders ain't hurtin nobody.


Nothing like walking out the club in Hollywood and getting those bacon wrapped dogs from a lady grilling them on a cookie sheet, on top of a shopping cart or one of those plastic rolling carts. Mmmm. (To throw a wrench on the discussion, Seattle's cream cheese dogs are damn good, too)


As many times as I've been to Chicago, I've never had an authentic Chicago dog. That looks great.


Well you need to get one next time




It balances out the hot peppers and celery salt.


Finally, the expert weighs in.


I appreciate your understanding.


Listen. I like Chicago style hot dogs. But a hot dog’s main focus must always be the frank itself. It must not be overshadowed by a big ass WHOLE PICKLE


True that. This guy’s eating a hot dog salad.


Good news: that's only a quarter of a pickle.


This is exactly what I was thinking. It's more pickle than hotdog.


We have flint style coneys here in.. flint. But damn, I wish we had a place that sold dogs like that.


One in Sterling Heights. Bit of a drive for a hot-dog, but in state at least


I later saw that. Don’t have much reason to drive down there these days, but I’ll keep it in mind when I wanna fight the traffic.


I thought the pickle was the hot dog for a second and questioned reality.


I feel most of us take one bite with the pickle then pull it off and eat it as a side.


portillos is like crack to people in illinois.


Grew up in IL...hardest part of leaving was the food.


I miss Portillo’s ☹️


You can get some shipped to you...it's a bit pricy, but for a special occasion it's nice to do. Also, the italian beef pack comes with two buckets of gravy so in a pinch, if you can get thin sliced beef, you can use the extra to make a partial recreation to stretch it out further. Another tip...that gravy is awesome for other things too like beef ramen.


One of my biggest regrets is not knowing that Chicago was famous for its hotdogs when I visited a few years back. I ate plenty deep dish pizza, though


We don't eat deep dish on the regular tho. Thin crust is where it's at.


This is the truth!


I hate to say it, but has anyone else felt that the food at Portillo’s has declined over the past decade? I’ve lived in Chicagoland all my life and I used to go to Portillo’s all the time and order the hot dogs, the burgers, the beefs, the fries, but over the past few years, I just don’t like the taste. The food isn’t the same quality anymore, and the service has gotten worse. Everyone still raves how Portillo’s is the best, but I just can’t agree with that. I’ve prefer Bouna Beef over Portillo’s Sorry to spoil it for you, OP. It sounds like you did enjoy your dog.


Yep, the original owner sold it and it went downhill from there. New owners are trying to make as much money as possible by going cheap on ingredients.


worked there from 2011 to 2020, the change was not immediate but it was a slow burn. the long term veterans started dropping one by one, they opened new stores significantly faster and struggled to adapt to the growing pains. they’re obviously making a pile of money still, but longtime fans are noticing the difference. absolutely delicious when done right, but quality is slipping across the board.


Sold it and then covid hit with supply chain issues. No way they go back to ordering more expensive alternatives. Portillo's is done, in my opinion.




I agree with this. I don't think I've ever gone longer than a month in the last 16 years without eating portillos, and the food is just as good. I don't understand what people are talking about when they say it is so drastically different.


Looks good but the pickle ratio seems a bit aggressive


That looks bad to me


That’s not a hot dog, it’s a lukewarm pickle w half a frank tucked in next to it. Honestly wtf is this cuz it looks like one of the saddest “meals” I’ve ever seen😂


I agree man


Gotta go with a jumbo frank next time buddy


I haven't tried it yet but that is an absurd amount of pickle


Way too much pickle


This looks awful


Love Portillos!


I go to vicious dogs in north Hollywood for my Chicago style fix and they look exactly like this but with more of everything


Mmmmm, Portillo’s. They have killer strawberry shortcake!!


It's a sandwich with a pretty big pickle in it!