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The Portage
The Portage

The Portage Details

  • 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 (773) 853-0779
  • Special Events & Promotions: 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.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "From service to food, time and again the portage always delivers the best food maybe in the whole city. The staff is the best and they treat everyone that way."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "One of the best meals we've ever had in Chicago area. Truly a gem! Starting with the corn and pepper bisque and on to all of the entrees everything was just outstanding. Berkshire pork and Amish chicken on a waffle were of particular note."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "We were looking for a new experience and found the Portage on Yelp. It was great to find such a fine restaurant in an unexpected neighborhood. Prices were lower than what we're used to closer to the lake but the quality and creativity of both the food and beverage choices made it hard for us to choose. We were lucky to have perfect weather on the stylish patio, but after such a terrific meal I'll even look forward to returning during colder months."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "We typically go downtown for 'good dinners'. After trying The Portage, we will certainly reconsider that. The food was incredible, terrific bar menu- lots of local breweries. Service was terrific. Delish!!"
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "We came on a Friday night...was very busy, luckily had reservation. But they have really packed that dining room tightly and it's hard for the wait staff to get around. It took WAY too long for us to get a drink. 2 people in our party were running late b/c of traffic, but we still should've been offered a drink right away. Got some apps...crabcake pretty good, mac n cheese nothing to write home about, brussel sprouts pretty good. Those I was with had the chicken on the waffle...good report, scallops...excellent, burger...good report. I had the brisket. It was dry and hard. The risotto cake beneath it was tasty though. I was here about 2 years ago and loved it. Feel like it's slipped a little. Maybe it was just an off night."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Had a fabulous time and can't wait to return! Everything was on the mark: ambiance, service, food, drinks. Very helpful and knowledgeable staff."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Hi! I was taking my friend, his wife and my daughter out to dinner and thought why not go to something local. They are all foodies and I am just a great diner! We enjoyed our dinners immensely and my party all agreed that we would come back again! So nice to have something close by that is really good! Kudos to the Chef and Staff!"
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Great food! Great service! Servers are always friendly and willing to make drink and or menu suggestions if you ask. Fantastic date night place! You won't be disappointed..."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Portage is one of those rare restaurants that combine superior food, flawless service and a pleasant ambiance with reasonable, even low, prices. From the opening greeting, through the courses of service and the final wrap-up, execution of the dining experience is first class. Our group of four ordered four different main courses, six appetizers (we are a voracious bunch...) and two desserts. Each plate brought smiles as well as gastronomic pleasure to our lips. The Portage is truly one of Chicago's somewhat hidden gems. Go there!"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "The place has the coziness of a neighborhood pub but with a degree of elegance that makes it a great date-night spot as well. I don't know the scoop on the chef but I would guess there is an element of Asian cooking at the core of these dishes which was reflected in how the char was done (impeccably crispy on the outside, flaky tender inside) and the i think soy-sauce based marinade on the chicken, which I was surprised worked so well with the southern comfort-food 'and waffle' concept. We happened to be in the neighborhood which was why we stopped in, and given this experience we will certainly make the trek again (especially to checkout the patio), but if we lived in the neighborhood we would be here all the time."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "We have been coming to The Portage since shortly after it opened. I feel confident that each time we have dinner here will be a good experience. The food is consistently made and presented. It is great to know that the quality of the food has been something we can count on each time we go. We have introduced new people to The Portage and know that we have very low risk that there will be a bad experience with anything from food to service."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Interesting menu with high quality ingredients combined with excellent customer service. If you are in Portage Park/Old Irving Park area, then this restaurant is worth a visit. A pleasant surprise in the area."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "beautiful patio, great service and attentive staff."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "A year after seeing the Portage featured on PBS' "Check Please" we decided to give it a try, figuring the buzz had died down and we could get good service. We were right. Greeted promptly at the door, shown to our reserved seats. Seconds later, our waiter Jesse introduced himself and ENTHUSIASTICALLY described the specials. He made great recommendations for craft beer choices. We ordered 2 apps, the beet salad and the smoked almond gazpacho. Both rated 5 stars. Our entrees were the Berkshire Pork Loin and the Short Rib/Risotto. Both cooked to perfection, juicy (supermarket pork is NOTHING like a heritage breed hog), smoky, above reproach, imaginative saucing. Never like bread pudding until that day! Enthusiasm and passion for good food"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Small selection on menu probably not my type of restaurant"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "The Portage is exactly what one would hope for in a restaurant. Not only was the atmosphere lovely without being pretentious, but the drinks and food were better than expected. While everything took a little while to get going initially, once drinks were ordered and recommendations made (thank you Casey for your amazing suggestions), my friend and I were able to sit back, laugh, talk without yelling and had a truly fantastic time. I want this place to remain a neighborhood place, but for the owner, recognition should come from all over. Very impressed, will go back as often as check book allows."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Once again, The Portage has outdone itself and bested my last visit. I love bringing family and friends there for the first time - it always wows them! The food is always spectacular, the atmosphere is intimate and friendly and the staff are all great folks. I highly recommend The Portage for a lovely dining experience."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Difficult to get to, during rush hours.....from City or North Shore. Probably works for those west of xpressway."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "The meal was outstanding, I could not begin to explain all the favors that created our masterpiece."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "The host was welcoming and friendly, as was the bartender. Our server, on the other hand, needed some refinement. We waited a long time for drinks and each course and my water sat empty for a long time. It started raining, so everyone from outside came pouring back inside, which made the noise level intolerable. We couldn't hear one another speak...We learned later that The Portage had been highlighted on Check, Please! the night before. Maybe some of what we experienced was an influx of new guests? One entree (pork) was outstanding, but my fish was mediocre. I really wanted to love The Portage, and I think it has potential, just has to work out more of the kinks."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Wonderful food and service if you get there early...turns a bit noisy and a little more chaotic after 7!!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "The Portage is a great restaurant that looks deceivingly simple from the outside, but is finely decorated and much larger than anticipated. The beer garden out back is perfect for summer dining and the food was exquisite. It really did not matter what we ordered from the menu, the food came out quickly and it was delicious. Since I was dining in a group of 6, e were able to sample most of the appetizers and each one was different but very tasty. The entrees were also very well done and I would dfinitely recommend the chocolate pretzel bread pudding...that was amazing!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Excellent food, beautiful presentation. Great service. Beautiful evening so dined outside on the pleasant patio. Always enjoy my evening at the Portage."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "This was our second visit to The Portage. Our first visit was ok and since it's minutes from our house, we wanted to give it a second try. On our first visit, we enjoyed the asparagus salad, but my husband thought the short ribs were dry. On this visit we had 7:00 reservations but were not seated until 8:15. We were served a complimentary order of fries at the bar around 8:00, but by then our patience had worn thin, probably because we were starving. Aside from waiting over an hour to be seated, the service was good. My husband enjoyed the gazpacho and short ribs, I had the asparagus salad and crab cake and both were good. Wines by the glass could be better. Could have been our goto weekday spot if we had been seated within 30 minutes."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Great food. Service was a little slow. Worth the wait."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "This was our 3rd visit to The Portage and our first time dining outdoors there. Everything was just lovely. My husband could not say enough good things about his burger."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "This was my first time here. I've heard of it & was excited to go! The fried chicken was bland and I realized after the fact that I did not get brussel sprouts as specified on the menu, rather I was served green beans. I was disappointed and felt cheated. I got my chicken entrée about 10-15 min after placing order, which made me question the freshness of the fried chicken...it was pretty greasy. Dessert was great. The gelato was tasty. I also enjoyed the ambiance. I am willing to give it one more chance. I saw some yummy looking things coming out of the kitchen. Just stay away from the fried chicken!"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "What a great experience, from food and cocktails to impeccable service. Interesting patrons. definitely going to make this a regular occasion."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Awesome food! I'll be back with friends. Our waiter was super knowledgeable!"
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "Hearing about this place for months. Live in Andersonville/Edgewater, finally bit the bullet took a ride west to Portage Park. Happy we did, great food and great service. Will definitely go back again and again."
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "Been meaning to try this for a long time and I'm glad I did ! Food was great. Jesse our waiter was extremely helpful and knew the menu inside and out. Only dissapointment was out of the fish entree and 1 chicken dinner left when 2 of the party wished to have it."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "We had another outstanding meal at The Portage. Since we live close by we are so glad that this restaurant is in our neibhborhood. Food, service, ambience was wonderful as it has been on our other visits. "
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "It was an all around excellent dining experience. "
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "We've been meaning to come for years.but a late Friday idea, an open table reservation later, and we were there. Gorgeous night to sit outside, vibrant space, a mix of people all happy to enjoy this space. We tried the mystery red wine for $28 as thought the wine list was sort of pricey for a casual dinner. Delightfully surprised. Casey was a knowledgeable waiter and led us thru the menu. We had the potato gnocchi for starters which was delicious, and then the special broccoli salad that was refreshingly different. For entrees my husband had the warm udon noodles that was yummy and I ordered a special fish, the trout, that was done just perfectly. Crispy skin, soft meat with artichokes. It IS pricey but we will be back. Nice to have nearby."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "The food was good however, you need to order an appetizer and salad because dinner portions are small. My husband and I split a salad and after dinner we were still hungry. So dessert was awesome. Great atmosphere. Awesome bartender. Would definitely go back. But portions are small for dinner."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "We moved to Old Irving Park a year ago and have been looking for a neighborhood spot so we don't have to drive downtown, and last night we found it! The Portage has a fun inventive menu, classical and new drinks and does a good job pairing wines. Our party of 3 tried several items and found all to be between satisfactory and excellent. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "This was our first time dining at The Portage. We recently moved to the area and had been wanting to try it out, and chose to celebrate a birthday dinner here. The service was very good; very fast and provided great suggestions on drinks and food. The food was delicious! Will definitely be back to eat again and would highly recommend to friends. "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "Overall not a bad experience but not one I would revisit. If you're looking for a place that can make a solid drink, with good service and an outdoor patio with FREE parking and you live less than 15 minutes from the location I would say go for it! Duck fat fries were not as exciting as anticipated (although the sriracha and pesto aioli provided were tasty). The crab cake was mostly filler. The brisket and scallop with short rib entrees were swimming in an unnecessary amount of sauce that splattered every time you moved something on the plate. My scallops were cooked well, the short rib was not that good. The limoncello creme brulee was just ok. Overall opinion is that this restaurant is just OK. "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "The food at this place is incredibly delicious and creative. Imaginative pairings, great sauces and interesting textures. We had the kale salad, coconut soup, trout and udon noodles. There was not a morsel of food left anywhere! I can't say enough great thing about this place - the people, the service, the food. Top notch!"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "THE FOOD! Our server was great, very funny and attentive. The food was amazing, but the seating is cramped, and as a 30 year old I was the youngest person by a decade. Which i guess doesn't really matter. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014