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 May 19, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (87)fit for foodies (72)great for outdoor dining (61)special occasion (46)romantic (26)notable wine list (20)good for groups (19)hot spot (15)kid-friendly (11)vibrant bar scene (6)great for brunch (2)great for lunch (2)scenic view (1)Show More
  • nice surprise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    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
  • 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
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    beautiful patio, great service and attentive staff.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enthusiasm & passion for good food
    johnp234
    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
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Small selection on menu probably not my type of restaurant
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Portage
    Tamara
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Another Fabulous Experience!
    fancyfeast
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great if you are on the west side
    zen111
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    Difficult to get to, during rush hours.....from City or North Shore. Probably works for those west of xpressway.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    The meal was outstanding, I could not begin to explain all the favors that created our masterpiece.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Growing Pains?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely Evening
    Nance
    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!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Portage is a must visit
    Foodie2be
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Gourmet dining
    patty
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Excellent food, beautiful presentation. Great service. Beautiful evening so dined outside on the pleasant patio. Always enjoy my evening at the Portage.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Could have been neighborhood gem
    DiscriminateDinerVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun night out
    Lincnpk
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Great food. Service was a little slow. Worth the wait.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just OK
    EVEY
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Restaurant
    Sydney
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.