Chicago, IL

Would you believe Portillo's Hot Dogs is the most popular restaurant in Chicago?

Jennifer Geer

A new list from Bid-On-Equipment ranking the top restaurants in major cities found this hot dog chain is where Chicagoans are heading the most when they want to eat out.

(CHICAGO) Chicago may be home to a culturally rich global food scene where you can find fares such as pan dulce from Mexico, flaming saganaki from Greece, and dim sum from China.

But at the end of the day, hot dogs rule.

At least, that is, according to this new list put together from Bid-On-Equipment.

The Illinois-based online marketplace for used industrial machinery and equipment created this list by analyzing Yelp and Google search data to find the top 1,200 restaurants in the nation. Next, they broke it down by major metro cities.

What were the findings?

The data showed that Chicago's most popular restaurant is the local chain, Portillo's Hot Dogs. New Yorkers also love a home-grown chain restaurant as their go-to meal, with the burger chain Shake Shack as their top choice.

Overall, breakfast food was the most popular across the nation, with Porto's Bakery and Cafe topping the list in Los Angeles.

Other findings

Inflation and the pandemic have greatly affected the American food scene.

  • 50% of respondents said they eat at home more often and get takeout or dine out less.
  • 40% reported their favorite restaurant or food chain closed permanently during the pandemic.
  • 77% of Americans eat at home for dinner most nights.

Chicagoans love Portillo's

The iconic hot dog joint began in Villa Park, Illinois. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, Portillo's has now spread across the Midwest, with a small number of restaurants to be found in California, Arizona, and Florida.

Portillo's is known for its Chicago-style American food, such as Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, burgers, chopped salad, crispy fries, shakes, and a big slice of chocolate cake.

What's the latest at Portillo's?

Chicago's favorite restaurant has a few new things going on this summer.

The plant-based hot dog, the Garden Dog, debuted last month, and the restaurant hours are extended for the summer.

Also, Portillo's launched an ASMR playlist with cooking sounds to help you sleep. You can download the playlist on SoundCloud with titles such as, "Gettin' Extra Salty" and "Fry-Day Vibes."

According to the restaurant's Twitter post, "Order Chicago-style favorites from our late night menu, then let the sweet ASMR sounds of Cake Shakes shaking and French fries crisping to sheer perfection calm your nerves and lull that hangry mind to rest with our new playlist."


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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

Chicago, IL

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