The Portage
The Portage

The Portage

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://theportagechicago.com/
  • Phone: 7738530779x
  • 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
105 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (86)fit for foodies (75)great for outdoor dining (52)special occasion (46)romantic (26)good for groups (19)hot spot (17)notable wine list (13)kid-friendly (6)vibrant bar scene (4)great for lunch (2)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Keep this place a secret
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    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.
  • 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
  • Restaurantjunkie
    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
  • Summer treat
    Rosebud
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Enjoyed a delicious dinner on the patio, beginning with the Thursday mussels and cocktails. We also shared the delectable beet salad, and then moved on to comfort foods with a yummy twist; chicken & waffles, pork tenderloin and beef brisket. Each beautifully served and full of tasty surprises. A few sprinkles on the patio, we were invited to come inside but enjoyed eating this special meal outdoors, plenty of long winter to eat inside.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • birthday visit not up to snuff
    2hot2handle
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    "Are you the 8 top?" is how I was greeted at The Portage. I have dined at The Portage on 4 other occasions and have been greeted in a more friendly manner in the past. Oh, well. I know I am in store for a really good meal so... We had a reservation and were seated quickly. The problem arose when we were seated in the back "room" of the restaurant, which is really a hallway to the garden. Dark, windowless and VERY HOT. Maybe a cozy spot in the cooler months but this night, temps in the high 80s, humid. The room had no air conditioning and continued to get stuffier each time the rear door opened to seat and serve outdoor diners. One cocktail caused breaking out in a sweat. Good service, DELICIOUS food, terribly uncomfortable setting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A noteworthy dining experience
    AwesomeDawson1
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    In a spot you'd almost miss is cute little restaurant called the Portage. Cozy tables, fabulous dishes, great cocktails, and attentive staff make it wonderful for a Sunday night dinner. Try the pink dragon when you get there. Can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden in plain sight
    GarryGray
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I never expected the dining experience we enjoyed at The Portage. Superbly prepared food, interesting choices and a laid back atmosphere. Just like downtown, except this is on the north side, right by Portage Park. Thoughtful service and great food...I couldn't have been happier!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • what happened to the burger?
    Bakiko
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    during the night a lot of food was returned to the kitchen even the well received burger. we ordered the burger well done. it came very dry and tasteless not worth its price. maybe new kitchen staff but I had better experience with food in previous visits. had to wait long in between courses should not be an issue for a busy friday night. our waiter was very friendly and nice even though my glass of wine came midway through my entree. please portage fix the problems i like patronizing neighborhood businesses.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Must try if you're in the area
    Ricardio
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    A big plus is this place has available parking (church across the street). I would definitely visit again. The restaurant can get crowded but as long as you make reservations you should be alright. Prices are very reasonable!
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always a treat
    vxtr
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    The changing menu at Portage is always intriguing. Service was very attentive. Owner made a point of checking that we were enjoying our dinner. Look forward to the opening of Community and returning to Portage.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Restaurant in Portage Park
    MMiller
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    JRab
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • worth a detour
    willfredVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was incredible!
    lovelocalfood
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    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!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Most food delicious...
    BBCHI
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Foodie Friend Gave it High Marks
    lynniexperience
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hidden Neighborhood Gem!
    ThomasY26
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    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...
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Portage Has It All
    ChuckVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Cozy and delicious
    Hulihuli
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Experience
    rndmdnr
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious food in a nice atmosphere
    Tap7
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate