TripAdvisor calls Portillo's branch in Chicago the nation's No. 1 fast casual restaurant
Travel website TripAdvisor on Tuesday called the Portillo's in Chicago's River North neighborhood the best fast casual restaurant in the nation by awarding it its national Travelers' Choice award.
Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for restaurants around the world, gathered over a 12-month period, TripAdvisor said. The fast casual category was new for the awards this year.
The Portillo's at 100 W. Ontario St. beat out other national fast casual stalwarts like Earl of Sandwich based in Las Vegas, Shake Shack based in New York City (it has a branch also in Chicago and Oak Brook), In-N-Out Burger in Los Angeles, and Five Guys based in Orlando (with branches in Chicago and the suburbs).
Popular fast casual chains like Panera and Chipotle are not on the Top 10 list.
Dick Portillo started Portillo's in 1963 as a hot dog stand in Villa Park. It now has over 50 locations throughout the country, starting with the Chicago suburbs. Portillo sold the chain to Berkshire Partners private equity firm in 2014 for a reported $1 billion.
"We are honored to receive this award," Portillo's CEO Michael Osanloo told TripAdvisor. "It's a true testament to our hard-working restaurant team members and our passionate fans. We're thrilled our guests think Portillo's truly cuts the mustard."
TripAdvisor also listed the top restaurants in the fine dining and everyday eating categories, but no Chicago-area places made the Top 10.