The Portage
The Portage

The Portage

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://theportagechicago.com/
  • Phone: (773) 853-0779
  • Hours of Operation:
    Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm,
    Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm;
    Sunday: 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Closed Mondays
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American
  • Executive Chef: Joey Beato
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Catering: We are capable of designing a catering menu to fit your needs. We offer a wide range of American dishes, but can make any cuisine desired.
  • Private Party Facilities: We specialized in hosting bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties and smaller weddings.
  • Private Party Contact: Quay Tao 7738530779x
  • Special Events: The 3rd Wednesday of every month, we host a special dinner! Find more details about our next dinner by visiting our Facebook page.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Irving Park Rd.
  • Public Transit: Irving Park Bus (#86)
    Central Ave Bus (#56)
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: FREE PARKING at The Fil-Am Seventh Adventist Church at the corner of Dakin and Central Ave. This lot is 100 feet from our front door. There is no sign on the lot, but we have an agreement with them for our customers' usage . If you are unsure of the lot, please call us or inquire when you are dining here. Thank you!
A word from The Portage
Named as one of the Best New Restaurant by Chicago Magazine in 2011 and recently featured on the hit show Check, Please! The Portage is a friendly and welcoming restaurant in the heart of Portage Park. We offer refined American comfort food in a home-like setting, whether you choose to sit inside at one of our intimate tables or outside in our zen like garden.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
The Portage reviews from OpenTable diners
114 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (96)fit for foodies (89)great for outdoor dining (46)special occasion (46)romantic (29)good for groups (20)hot spot (17)notable wine list (12)kid-friendly (8)vibrant bar scene (5)late-night find (3)great for lunch (1)Show More
  • Off night perhaps?
    AwesomeVIP
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    The menu and our waiter Casey was awesome as always. We lioved the new chicken dish replacing the fried one (although passed on the waffles part).. Also had scallops ... Very very good as were the fig bacon appetizers and the duck fat fries. Biggest issue was the bar service was extremely slow ... Casey kept on having to apologize for the long drink wait and in the end we were there so long that we ended up passing on dessert and we normally would not have there, but some people were just tired due to the slow start.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very cozy....I mean VERY
    Ouhi
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    I love this place. It's unpretentious, friendly, reasonably priced and the food is delicious. The only issue I have with this place is that it's a little too cozy. The tables are very small and very close together and almost uncomfortable. We asked to sit in the back room and they said that they were not using the back room that night. Although there wasn't a line out the door, I can see them putting one or two fewer tables in the front area and just spreading out to the back. They did also mention that the back room is colder because of the doors that open into the back garden. Regardless, they should take care of it... Otherwise, I have no complaints about the food or the service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous food
    shellms
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Fabulous food. Lovely evening. That's why I go out. What's the point otherwise ? Bravo Portage!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Much needed food find in the Portage Park area
    foodforlife
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    After a drought of good restaurants in the Portage Park area we finally have a gem in The Portage. Great food, attentive staff, fun bar and genial host. Will keep coming back!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Find in Portage Park Neighborhood
    Maria
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Born and raised in the Portage Park neighborhood, so when I learned The Portage restaurant opened, I was excited to try it. And The Portage did not disappoint! This restaurant is a hidden gem in the neighborhood, offering an ever-changing menu of American gastropub fare. It's a lovely place for a romantic dinner or to stop in for drinks and appetizers. I recommend the bacon wrapped dates and the duck fat fries to start. They even make their own ice cream, so be adventurous and try their homemade buttered popcorn flavor. This is a great spot to celebrate a special occasion with a small group. The service is fast and friendly, and the drink menu has a nice variety of craft beer, wine, and creative cocktails. You should also check out the the outdoor patio in the summer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food! Exceptional service! Always friendly!
    GoPortage
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    We have never been disappointed. Chef Joey is always doing something new, creative, and great. Quay your host makes everyone feel welcome and special. Small but extremely friendly. We recommend The Portage to everyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • consistently delicious
    KJODining1
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    I've been going to this restaurant for about a year and a half. The affable owner/chef is clearly committed to quality, and the wait staff is pleasant. The "word" is out on this local gem, because it is packed on the weekends. The indoor dining area is small, so it can be a bit noisy, but when the weather is nice, the outdoor patio is great. The menu offers a nice but not overwhelming array of selections, and everything is delicious. Meals here are affordable and consistently delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic find!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We went on the recommendation of a friend and were delighted from the moment we spotted to the place until the time we left. Upon our arrival, a bit earlier than the party we were meeting, we had a drink at the bar with Kaitlin(?). She gave us the details on the restaurant using local or vendors within a one hundred mile radius and that the owner was opening a new restaurant in the near future. I'd deem her to be a mixologist as well- The gin and cucumber drink was light, refreshing and delicious. Our waiter, Jose, was also extremely knowledge and friendly. The food we ordered ranged from the chicken and waffles to the brisket. We all tried each other's food and every morsel gave a tasty delight to the palate. Amazing restaurant!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always Satisfying
    coakesVIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    The Portage has become on of our favorite little gems for good food and drinks. Caitlin mixes some great custom cocktail options and Quay always makes you feel appreciated and at home.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great neighborhood dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The Portage is a great neighborhood restaurant. As we waited for our table the bartender recommended a wonderful beer. We had three entrees, the glazed chicken on waffle was terrific, steak dish was great (though a the portion was a bit small) and the fish of the day was meh (wish I had ordered the chicken or steak). We truly enjoyed The Portage. Two suggestions: include women wait staff and create an area to stand while waiting for a table.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrific for a fun evening
    ClassicTaste
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    My husband and I found the Portage to be a really 'hip' place. It's a crowded, lively place, but the mood is light, boisterous, and happy. The noise level comes from people enjoying good conversation at their leisure. The crowd is well behaved and intelligent. The service staff is very attentive and all college kids. The food is OUTSTANDING. What we liked best, is that the restaurant does not rush the diner to leave. It's perfect for a fun evening of conversation while enjoying terrific food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth a visit
    noneVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Saw The Portage on Check Please. The place in hard to find and tiny (maybe ten tables) -- and it's cramped. My chair was constantly bumped by servers and other patrons. (I am told they have a large outdoor patio but it was no open in November.) Menu is diverse and interesting - and reasonably priced. Every dish we had was delicious -- a great combination of flavors and ingredients. Service is attentive. I would like to see a broader selection of wines by the glass.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pretty good
    Ruth
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    several food items were just ok. My favorite dish was the ramen. I tried the duck fat fries, fried chicken thighs, bacon wrapped dates, pork tenderloin.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • winelover
    winelover
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Great place to meet with my friends who live downtown and be able to enjoy fine dining food and downtown neighborhood atmosphere. Outdoor patio is stellar and service is great. Small, but interesting wine list, as well as seasonal cocktails.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Some hits, some misses
    ANon
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    I love this cozy restaurant, but it has an inconsistent menu. Our server was friendly, although bar service was slow. We ordered a bottle of wine and two cocktails - the wine came immediately, one cocktail came much later, and the second cocktail was MUCH later with no explanation. Brussel sprout appetizer was fantastic! We ordered the skate wing (fish special) it was moist and delicious (and more brussel sprouts!). The brisket was dry and not very flavorful. Others had the scallops-very good, and the noodle dish - which was disappointing. Desserts were very good. We sat in the "library"- a corridor between the restaurant and the back patio. The door opening and closing all night was a distraction and a bit chilly.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • All around great experience
    Doyle
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Second time here. Took some friends with us this time, and everyone loved it. Great beer selection, something for everyone on the menu (try the gnocchi), and exceptional service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Looking forward to returning
    Damon578
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    The portage has a great menu from appetizer to desserts and an interesting cocktail and beer list. Everything is well thought out, and the small space is well planned and decorated to set a nice mood. We look forward to returning!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Keep this place a secret
    RobbiHamida
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    With its incredible staff and delicious food, I'd prefer to keep it all to myself. This place is truly a gem. If on the menu, the brisket is amazing as is the beet salad.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My favorite restuarant in Chicago
    recensoreVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    I would be hard pressed to name another restaurant that has figured out a better combination of food, value and service. You feel welcome from the moment you arrive. The owner, Quay, sincerely wants everyone to enjoy themselves and his attitude is shared by the entire staff. The bar has all of the standards plus some creative takes on classics with an excellent wine list and some real values. Chef Joey maintains the favorites yet provides innovative specials. If this restaurant were located downtown you would never be able to get in. Don't miss the "duck" fries- thicker and more flavorful than Hot Doug's version. Love this place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this place
    Darrin
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Always a great time. Great effort by the staff to make the experience fun, entertaining and comfortable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always excellent
    Diamante1181
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    There is a level of service and quality you come to expect, and the Portage is always consistently wonderful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Upscale Comfort
    coffeentea
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Amazing food. Delicious Duck fat fries- right amount of crispiness/thickness. We had the duck special, roast chicken, & pork loin. All delicious, but the spin on chicken and waffles with gravy (& bacon) was a big hit. Limoncello Creme Brulee was refreshing/light, and chocolate cake was rich but not "heavy." Good beer list and nonalcoholic beverage options. Service was friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. Reservations recommended for a Friday night as restaurant is small, but worth the wait. lastly, my group was celebrating a special birthday and I requested a candle on the dessert, and was pleasantly surprised by the thoughtfulness of the presentation and generosity.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great menu
    Jammy302
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    We stopped here for dinner before a Tributosaur show at The Copernicus theater and it was just great ! This was our first visit and we'll definitely go back. It's a very small neighborhood type restaurant, great service, varied menu and nice wine/bar menu. I'd highly recommend making a reservation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Cozy, quality, perfection
    SPBG
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    This restaurant had a magical combination of homey and upscale. The chicken and waffles were the true standout, but I'm told the scallops and the pork belly were no chumps. For appetizers, the dumplings and the brussell sprouts were truly divine. The front room was noisier, but we sat in the back room, and it was intimate and gorgeous. Only downside is that the bar area is extremely tight, so if you are standing up behind someone in a chair, you are constantly dodging servers and staff moving about the tables. Hardly a reason to skip this place, just a heads up. I loved this restaurant and will gladly come again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    Motown
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Picked it due to positive reviews and was not disappointed. Inventive food pairings and largish portions (although that may not be the best thing). Recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Great Evening
    Paul
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We have dined at The Portage several times and it is always a treat. Great cocktails and wine selection paired with wonderful food. We always end up having several appetizers, as they are all great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Wonderful from beginning to end. Small restaurant with muted grey walls and a very homey feel. Exceptional service--our server went through the menu with us and made wine pairing recommendations, plus signed us up for the Portage's email list, so we could learn about events and specials. Food was amazing. There is a Brussels sprouts appetizer that can change your life. Solid burger. Lots of subtle Asian flavors. Great cocktails and an interesting wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Portage Stands Out
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    It was my first visit, but one of many to come. Excellent range of choices with sophisticated comfort food suitable for an intimate setting. Everything I tasted from the bacon wrapped dates to desert was outstanding. Service was first class. Highly recommendable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this place!
    KatinaVIP
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    I love the Portage and don't get here nearly as often as I'd like. Great food, great service. Everyone is so nice. The food is fantastic. Brussell sprouts are amazing. Had the pork loin the other night - yumola! AND - a jalapeno cocktail - can't recall the name but I'm headed back there tonight for another. It was fabulous. My friend had the fish special and raved about it. Check it out - you won't be disappointed. AND you'll be supporting the 'hood!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Surprising dinner
    snapper
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    The Portage is an intimate restaurant located in a building that looks like it might once have been a dental office. But, once inside it is very cozy and the smells from the kitchen are wonderful. Our waiter was amazingly friendly, enthusiastic and conversant in all of the unique items on the menu. The food was all delicious and unique without being fussy. Look forward to going back again soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Second visit very disappointing
    foodismyfriend
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We dined at Portage this past summer and was very impressed, unfortunately on our return trip this past week in October it seems their popularity has gone to their heads. The service was very spotty - we had extremely long stretches of time between visits from our waiter. The worst part was the fact that the prices all went up while the portion sizes were drastically smaller. We will not be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • RestaurantjunkieVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Food was fabulous ,restaurant was so crowded that the kitchen could not keep up,waited fifteen minutes for drinks and an hour for our dinners. Also the noise level is very intense.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    The food was excellent!! The wait staff was very knowledgable and attentive. The only reason I wouldn't go back is that the room had a moldy basement smell. If they could fix that it would be a winner!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great spot
    Doyle
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    From the easy street parking to the friendly welcome to the perfectly done meals, a great experience. Very good beer list, and a good energy in the small but comfortable dining room.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nice surprise
    GreeksinPortage
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    The food was delicious. What a unique menu. I went with my girlfriends and we were not sure what to order, so we decided to share our dishes. My favorite was the chicken with the waffle. I even brought left overs home and it tasted just as delicious the second day.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unexpected Pleasure
    KennoVIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    The Portage clearly works hard to deliver seasonal, reasonably priced and delicious food accompanied by a smart beverage menu. It's a welcome spot in a neighborhood that doesn't host many destination restaurants...but The Portage is worth a trip.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our Favorite
    GoPortage
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    We come back again and again. Since discovering the Portage a couple of years ago it has become our favorite. It is small and a little cramped. But the great food (always changing and being creative), and wonderful friendly service makes it a hit every time. Quay and team you rock!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • katmobrienVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    My parents LOVED The Portage and raved how this was a nice enough restaurant to take my wealthy uncle to (apparently a true mark of excellence in their eyes). It seemed like the perfect restaurant to make everyone happy-- American food (my parents) with an Asian flare (me). I loved the Brussels sprouts and they loved their pork loin. I was a little disappointed with the beef brisket (quite fatty) but will certainly go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good
    Chitowneats
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Arrived at restaurant for 8pm reservation and had to wait 25 minutes for a table, a waiter greeted us and said he did not know when a table for 4 would open, even though we had a reservation... A manager (maybe or owner) came by and said it would be faster to wait to sit inside, then a few minutes later it was faster to wait sit outside, then we waited more. Beer list and specialty drink list was good. Enjoyed appetizers. Our waiter was nice but recommended the most expensive items (we ordered two of them, portions were kind of small) gnocchi appetizers and one special entree. The other food ordered (dates, Chicken waffles, brisket) was great. Good flavor, nice presentation.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • myfavelogo
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    From start to finish a beautiful meal filled with unusual flavors that harmonized.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic