‘I Crown You Hot Dog Queen of Chicago': Portillo's Flies Internet Celeb to Chicago

Girl who chose to dress as hot dog instead of princess treated to dog day in Chicago courtesy of local restaurant chain

Dancing princesses may be majestic, but the “hot dog queen of Chicago” is a new level of royalty—with all the condiments included (except ketchup).

Ainsley Turner, 7, found herself something of an internet celebrity last May when she chose to dress as a hot dog during “Princess Day” at her dance school in North Carolina. Soon after, pictures of Ainsley in all of her encased-meat-costume glory had gone viral, including the trending hashtag #hotdogprincess.

Illinois-based Portillo’s, also known for its affinity for hot dogs, invited Ainsley and her family to come to Chicago for a decadent day of dogs and local amusement.

The family, who were greeted in their Raddison Blue hotel room with a bottle of sparkling grape juice, visited The Bean, Navy Pier, Millennium Park and—of course—Portillo’s.

Ainsley ordered a chili cheese dog.

“I don’t like it—I love it,” she declared before taking another bite.

Dick Portillo, founder of the restaurant chain, paid a special visit to Ainsley and declared her the ‘hot dog queen of Chicago,’ in a video posted to the company’s Facebook page.

“Some people, for whatever reason, have called me the Chicago hot dog king,” Portillo said. “But today, for a very good reason, I can think of no one better to be crowned the hot dog queen of Chicago. By the power vested in me by the Chicago-style hot dogs and Portillo’s everywhere, I crown you hot dog queen of Chicago.”

Portillo then lowered a tiara onto Ainsley’s head—while she wore the hot dog costume—to the applause of the restaurant’s staff.

Nick Scaprino, a spokesperson for Portillo's, said Wednesday that Ainsley specifically requested her hot dog costume only have mustard on it—in true Chicago fasion.

"However, had (Ainsley and her family) ordered ketchup, we would have given it to them because we want to make the cusomter happy," he said. "They wanted it the Chicago way." 

The video on Portillo's Facebook page, which has been liked more than 13,000 times and shared nearly 3,000 times, ended with a note of appreciation for the newly minted hot dog queen.

“Thank you, Ainsley, for reminding us that in a princess world it’s OK to be hot dog.”

Contact Us