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Portillo’s Now Caters Weddings With Cheese Sauce Fountains

The iconic Chicago chain now offers a “Newlywed Spread” and more

A white man and white woman sit next to each other at a table covered with a checkered cloth. They hold a container of fries and a soda cup.
Portillo’s is getting into the wedding business.
Portillo’s [Official Photo]

How could two Chicagoans in love celebrate their impending nuptial bliss and local pride in one fell swoop? Enter Portillo’s, one of the city’s most well-known spots for Chicago dogs, Italian beef, and hefty slices of chocolate cake, with the “Newlywed Spread” and a collection of wedding catering packages. From an engagement photoshoot inside a Portillo’s restaurant to a late-night spread for the afterparty, the brand is eager to sate hungry couples and guests.

The main attraction is the late-night catering package, featuring a spread of 120 of the chain’s most popular sandwiches and packaged condiments. Revelers can expect Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches with hot or sweet peppers, and a memorable flowing fountain of Portillo’s cheese sauce with piles of fries and onion rings for dipping. The fountain costs $250 and couples can hang on to it after the celebration, but is only available for catering orders over $1,000. The pros recommend that couples should only run it for an hour.

Before the big day, lovebirds can shake off the proposal jitters with a two-hour engagement photo session with a professional photographer in and outside an Illinois Portillo’s location for $900. Couples get two branded crewneck sweatshirts, a pair of hot dog-shaped cufflinks, and two Portillo’s water bottles, as well as a $25 gift card. Once it’s time to slip into wedding wear, there’s the “pre-wedding primp and prime” package, which are essentially Portillo’s “fast packs” or group orders that include up to 24 sandwiches.

Far-away fans needn’t worry — Portillo’s also offers a “love at first bite” wedding package for $399 that ships nationwide. The enclosed feast includes a heart-shaped chocolate cake, 50 hot dogs and poppy seed buns, 5 pounds of Italian beef, two jars of hot giardiniera, roasted sweet peppers, bake-and-serve rolls, and the mandatory collection of toppings: mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, Kosher pickles, sport peppers, and the brand’s hot dog seasoning. Wedding accessories are also covered, thanks to 100 Portillo’s paper hats.

Weddings with wild themes, food, and drink are just an Instagram hashtag away in 2019, so it seems that would-be spouses are hoping to find something to set their nuptials apart from the crowd. A cheese fountain may just be the answer.

The Tribune first reported this story.


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