Portillo’s vs. Ted’s Hot Dogs

portillos-vs-teds-hotdogsTempe residents and Phoenicians alike now have two major hot dog players with East coast roots. Ted’s has been in Tempe since 1982 but the New York based hot-doggery started in 1927.

New to Arizona, Portillo’s is based in Chicago and was founded in 1963. They have two Arizona locations, while Ted’s has only one in Arizona. As an Arizona native, I have no alliance to Ted’s or Portillo’s as I didn’t grow up back East but 80% of people living in the Valley were born outside of Arizona. My co-workers went ape-shit when Portillo’s opened.

Portillos-Hot-Dogs-Onion-RingsI’ve been to both establishments and I can declare a hot dog winner: Ted’s is superior. There is nothing special about Portillo’s hot dogs besides the strong emotional tie I don’t have to Chicago. The place is loaded with mid-western types reliving their glory days somewhere else – it’s not about the quality of the food.

Ted’s offers quality food. Homemade chili and hot sauce, grilled Shalen dogs on charcoal by friendly people. Portillo’s operates like a sweatshop, with a hefty number of new crew scrambling around like chickens. Don’t believe me that Ted’s is hands-down the best? Have the onion rings at both restaurants. Portillo’s rings look and taste like they came from Burger King, Ted’s are superior.

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