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The Portage

4.4
502 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

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About

The Portage is a gastropub located in the Irving Park neighborhood of Chicago. It is decorated with trendy lighting, contemporary artwork and large windows that allow for plenty of natural light. The overall atmosphere is laid-back and casual.

The Portage is open for both brunch and dinner and has an eclectic menu of pub and soul food. Popular dishes include butternut squash and mushroom pot stickers, chocolate pretzel bread pudding, grilled skirt steak and roasted Miller Farms Amish chicken. In addition, The Portage offers a wide variety of coffee and after-dinner beverages for guests to choose from. Desserts change throughout the year, so guests can enjoy seasonal treats like the pumpkin cupcake.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
American
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Hours of operation
Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm,
Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm;
Sunday: 4:00pm - 8:00pm
Closed Mondays
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Phone number
(773) 853-0779
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Joey Beato
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Private party facilities
We specialized in hosting bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties and smaller weddings.
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Private party contact
Quay Tao: (773) 853-0779
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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.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Irving Park Rd.
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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!
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Public transit
Irving Park Bus (#86)
Central Ave Bus (#56)
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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.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 502 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4  based on all time ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.1
ambience
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
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  • 1
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vipOuhi (Chicago)
3.0  Dined on March 21, 2015

I love this place but something has to be done about the seating. If you end up in the middle tables you are constantly bumped into whenever anyone walks by. We asked to be moved to a corner table and were told it was taken by a party who had just walked in the door. It settled down a bit after the 2 families with toddlers left (which I cannot blame the restaurant for the shrieking of the children). However they have a back room which I have asked to be moved to on a different visit. and they wouldn't do it saying it wasn't set up.
I truly love this restaurant and hope for its success. However they have to make the atmosphere less chaotic so one can have a conversation.

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vipMatt (Chicago)
3.0  Dined on March 14, 2015

Thank goodness we refused the table in the main area of the restaurant and dined in the tiny back room. If we had not I doubt we could have heard each other during dinner and enjoyed our dinner conversation. The food was excellent from an appetizer of French fries to the salads and entrees. The house made ice cream is very good. Tables are very close together and your conversation can easily be heard at other tables and you can hear their conversations.

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vipAnthony808 (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on March 7, 2015

Great service and inventive menu options.

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GaleRose (Chicago)
4.0  Dined on March 1, 2015

I've been to The Portage several times. It's good, but I've never been blown away. I went there recently on a Sunday night so it wasn't busy. We ordered from the cocktail menu, which took some time because the cocktails are lengthy lists of ingredients that don't always sound like they go together. We got our appetizers before the cocktails arrived, and I happened to see the young bartender working tediously at the drinks. I appreciate the freshly squeezed lime juice, but the end result was hardly worth the effort. I'll just order beer or wine if I ever go back. The waiter thought he was being helpful by reciting exactly what was already on the menu, but he wouldn't tell us what was popular or good, so we ordered burgers (which were excellent), as was the wine and the coffee. I found the whole experience a bit pretentious for what it actually was.

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Bernadette (Chicago)
4.0  Dined on February 19, 2015

Intimate, warm and cozy. This neighborhood gem is a surprising find for the area. Reservations aren't always needed, but the restaurant is small so get them to be safe. My husband and I recently introduced friends to the restaurant who loved it., and we were reminded again of how good it is. We also like eating at the bar which part of the front room. It can get loud if it is full because it is small, so if you want a very quite restaurant, go elsewhere. If you want style, charm, warmth and some energy along with an interesting menu, try The Portage. The staff is very friendly and attentive.

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Richard (Chicago)
4.0  Dined on February 14, 2015

My wife and I celebrated valentines there. Considering the restaurant is located in a low-key neighborhood, overall, the food and ambiance was very good. I will go back. :)

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Igetbrowniepoints (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2015

My wife and I went here for Valentines Day this year. They had a special menu for the holiday and it was amazing!

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Michael (Montreal)
5.0  Dined on February 13, 2015

I loved the food, very polished and creative, but the service was some of the best I've ever had outside of Michelin star rated restaraunts. You truly felt well cared for. Thanks.

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GirlsNight (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on February 12, 2015

The Portage is a great neighborhood spot that serves outstanding food. Definitely not what you would expect when you see it from the outside. Service is great; food phenomenal. If you haven't been there -- go check it out. Can't wait to go back.

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Kiki (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on January 31, 2015

My wife and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary at The Portage, and we truly enjoyed the experience. The food was exquisite, and the waitstaff were superb. Kudos to all at The Portage! We'll be back soon!

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TerryL (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on January 31, 2015

Great Place. True neighborhood place. Friendly owners, great food And awesome beer and wine list. Be sure to have a reservation on weekends because it is small and the word is out on how awesome it is!

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JBman (Chicago)
4.0  Dined on January 29, 2015

Excellent food, good service, friendly place. Convenient parking.

Tuna & skirt steak were delicious.

Table near the door was drafty in the cold winter weather. Otherwise, an excellent choice.

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ChiTownEaters (Chicago)
2.0  Dined on January 24, 2015

We were really looking forward to this meal, but left thinking it was so-so. First, the space itself. This is a cozy restaurant and the noise level is higher than I expected. It is also cramped. We were seated at a two top that was at the crossroads of the dining area and bar, plus the direct path to the kitchen. Not terribly comfortable or conducive to a romantic conversation. Next, the service. We felt hurried through the meal and our server seemed more interested in turning the table, rather than helping us have a good experience. Finally, the food. We had the dates which were very good to start. We had a couple of pork,dishes which were good, but not very memorable. The desert was nice, but again not memorable. In fact, the highlight of the meal was the cocktail-- have the English 75. We were hoping for a neighborhood gem to frequent, but this one fell a bit short. We will try again, in hopes this was simply an off night.

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vipHubHubb (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on January 23, 2015

We've been to The Portage several times and have introduced several of our friends to the restaurant and I guess the best compliment you can give a restaurant would be that your friends report that they have been going to the restaurant on other occasions without you.
It is small and sometimes "tight", and when guests linger (who wouldn't want to) reservations can run a bit behind, but with a good cocktail and a nice conversation with friends, the time passes and the food is worth the wait.
Quay is always welcoming and gracious and the service is consistently smooth and efficient.
What more can a diner ask for in this neighborhood gem.

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LizP (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on January 23, 2015

Food was fantastic! So much flavor in everything we had!

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vipBrad (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on January 8, 2015

Every time I eat at the Portage I walk away satisfied! I have tried nearly everything from the menu, and was pleased to see a lot of small changes. This prompted us to try even more than usual and we ate a lot of food between two people.. Everything that we ate was incredible: pickled shrimp and beet salad, gnocchi, pork, black cod, scallops, banana bread pudding! The staff is always incredibly friendly and attentive. We have been loyal patrons and will continue to be so! Highly recommended!

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vipOpenTable Diner (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on December 31, 2014

We absolutely love this place! We are regular customers and have yet to have a bad meal. But beyond the inspired food, the service is exceptional. We are always treated as if we are dining at a friend's home when we go there. The place is cozy but lively and the staff friendly, knowledgeable and friendly. While we want the Portage to be successful, we hope that it doesn't catch on too much and make it difficult for us to get a table. Selfish, I know, but what can we say. Just keep this to yourself. :-)

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Frenchharlotte (Chicago)
4.0  Dined on December 20, 2014

If you are looking for sophisticated dining without going into the city and paying $28 to park, try The Portage. Lovely, romantic atmosphere, good cocktails, delicious food with interesting ingredients. Quiet pleasant service but perhaps a little too much explanation about the food. We already know food. Don't give us the tourist explanation unless we ask. Other than that, nice pairings of ingredients.

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cookie1950 (Chicago)
4.0  Dined on December 14, 2014

Four of us dined Sunday. The restaurant was really busy which seemed to surprise the staff. Casey was our server. Very pleasant, helpful and fun. He kept the place going and we had great service. The chicken is a great way to go. The fish of the day was also enjoyed by 2 in our party.
Good wine list with reasonable prices. Parking is fairly easy in this neighborhood place.

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ChefB (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on December 6, 2014

Aside from the walnut she'll in the beet salad, which was missing something but still delicious, everything was perfect.

Server was knowledgable of both food and drink menus. Service in general was top notch. Food was excellent with exception noted above.

First course -- Gnioche and Bacon Wrapped Dates

Second course -- Beet Salad and Crab Salad

Third course -- Chicken and Waffles was inventive and perfectly executed. Seafood Risotto was cooked perfectly.

Dessert -- Apple Cobbler and Chocolate Pretzel Bread Pudding both supreme. But if cornered go with bread pudding.

This is the kind of restaurant Portage Park can showcase.

We'll be back. I am already anticipating the Burger and Duck Fat Fries.

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