Portillo's Restaurants

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Portillo's Restaurants
Industry Restaurants
Founded 1963 in Villa Park, Illinois[1]
Headquarters Oak Brook, Illinois, USA
Key people
Dick Portillo, Founder, Owner, President
Website portillos.com

Portillo's, which is the main entity within The Portillo Restaurant Group, is a chain of restaurants that specialize in serving Chicago-style food such as Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. Portillo's is located primarily throughout the Chicago suburbs, and also has two locations in southern California plus two in the Phoenix metropolitan area.


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Portillo's specialty item; The Beef n' Cheddar Croissant

The Portillo's menu includes Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef, hamburgers, sandwiches, ribs, and salads, as well as beer and wine.

They also offer dessert items such as chocolate cake (notable for the rumor that mayonnaise is an ingredient) and milkshakes, and a mix of the two, the Chocolate Cake Shake, which is basically a piece of the chocolate cake blended in with a chocolate shake.

The chain's main competition are mostly local, privately owned stores, most of which also specialize in Italian beef and Chicago-style hot dogs.

Outside Illinois[edit]

Portillo's in Elk Grove Village, Illinois

Portillo's has been operating in Southern California since October 11, 2005, at the Buena Park Downtown shopping center in Buena Park, near Knott's Berry Farm[7][8][9] and also opened a location in Moreno Valley, California in 2008.[10] A location also exists in Merrillville, Indiana, though this is still well within the firm's home market in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Portillo's had licensed restaurants using its recipes and themes in Tokyo, Japan, in the late 1980s and early '90s under the name "Chicago Dog".[11] However, the Japanese restaurants did not fully follow the same tradition as the Chicago area stores, and all eventually closed.[12] Portillo's also delivers part of its menu, as described above, to all fifty states in the U.S. in a united venture alongside Eli's Cheesecake and Lou Malnati's pizzeria.[13][14]

Portillo's planned an initial launch of three restaurants in Arizona, citing a dense population of transient Midwesterners in the Arizona market and the previous success of other Chicago-style eateries in that area, such as Rosati's Pizza. Portillo's opened its first Arizona location on February 26, 2013, at the southwest corner of N. 90th St. and E. Shea Blvd in Scottsdale, followed by a location in Tempe on September 10, 2013. Both Arizona restaurants are near the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs.[15]

Honey Jam Cafe[edit]

Honey Jam Cafe, a pancake house which specializes in unique breakfast items, opened 2010 with 5 locations.

In 2010 Portillo Restaurant Group launched the Honey Jam concept.[5] Unlike the other three concepts which focus on fast casual food, Honey Jam is essentially a pancake house similar to Walker Brothers Pancake House in both ambiance and menu. They feature pancake and waffle combinations and specialty items such as a baked apple pancakes, German pancakes, strawberry cheesecake French toast, and white chocolate raspberry Belgian waffles. Honey Jam offers patrons who order coffee a cup "to go" after receiving their check. The concept's name, according to the menu, is derived from the owner's pet-name for his wife, "Honey", and the first letter of his three children's first names comprising the acronym "JAM." The concept is positioned as a breakfast and lunch cafe and thus closes at 3 p.m.[16]


  1. ^ "History of the Portillo's Restaurant Group". 
  2. ^ "Top Dog: Meet Dick Portillo, The King Of The Jungle That Is Golf Road". Chicago Tribune, September 15, 1988.
  3. ^ "High School Hot Dog Makes Good: Dick Portillo Feeds His And Customers' Hunger". Chicago Tribune, June 26, 1994.
  4. ^ "Italian Eatery New Link In Hot Dog King's Chain: Restaurateur Portillo Opens Aurora Outlet". Chicago Tribune, October 19, 2000.
  5. ^ a b "What's the big idea? Breakfast". Chicago Tribune, September 2, 2010.
  6. ^ http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=3&GA=93&DocTypeId=HR&DocNum=183&GAID=3&LegID=6517&SpecSess=&Session=
  7. ^ "Transplanting a classic: Local fans of Chicago's famed Portillo's hot dog have their day as the chain opens a continent away from Wrigley Field". Orange County Register, September 26, 2005.
  8. ^ "Portillo's Hot Dogs California bound". Crain's Chicago Business, October 3, 2005.
  9. ^ "Chicago style to the West Coast: Richard Portillo is betting that his hot dog restaurant can make a dent in Southern California, and he is ready to put big money behind it--but he's willing to take his time to make it work". Chicago Tribune, July 22, 2004.
  10. ^ "Portillo's Hot Dogs: Next grand opening: Moreno Valley". Orange County Register, February 18, 2008.
  11. ^ "Hot Dogs Take A Stand In Tokyo: Hot Dogs Take A Stand In Tokyo". Chicago Tribune, December 26, 1990.
  12. ^ Portillo's Hot Dogs: Out of the dog house and living the American dream, frankfurter chain operator grows his business independently | Nation's Restaurant News | Find Articles...[dead link]
  13. ^ Portillo's Beef Kit & Pizza Combo
  14. ^ "Lou Malnati's Tastes of Chicago Delivers Chicago Food Favorites". WLS-TV, December 17, 2007.
  15. ^ "Portillo's Hot Dogs will open eateries in Tempe, Scottsdale". Arizona Republic, July 9, 2012.
  16. ^ Honey Jam Cafe menu introduction

External links[edit]