Whittier local promotes local eateries

Whittier on Instagram


Courtesy, Instagram

The @hungryinwhittier instagram page features local eateries.

Bella Gil, Staff Writer

Instagram is a social media platform where an individual can post pictures or videos any time, and any place. One Whittier local, Stephanie Portugal, shares her view on Whittier with its residents via Instagram. However, she doesn’t post pictures of Whittier hiking spots or parades, but rather she shares the best places in Whittier to get a good bite to eat with her over 14 thousand followers. On her account, @hungryinwhittier, Portugal not only posts her own pictures, but other people’s as well. All they have to do is tag the account in a picture of food eaten at a restaurant in Whittier, and she reposts it, leaving a caption about the food and who ate it.

@hungryinwhittier, features everything from tacos to ice cream to egg rolls. Portugal said, “I started this account because I thought our city had some pretty amazing eateries that would often go unnoticed. I didn’t want to turn my personal account into a “food Instagram,” and I thought that our city has tons to offer. People have even told me they would’ve never visited a restaurant if it wasn’t for me.”

Growing up in Whittier all her life, Portugal’s favorite place to visit was the popular Whittier Village Cinema in Uptown. Today, she can’t even pick one place. Her breakfast favorites include Mimi’s Cafe, The Original Pancake House, and Rey’s Little Kitchen. However, for lunch and dinner her favorites include Mexican classics such as Colonia Tacos Guisados, La Casa Del Cocinero, but also hots spots like The Bottle Room and seafood joints like Joy Sushi and Off The Hook Fish Grill.

In the future, Portugal hopes Indian, Mediterranean, and Korean BBQ restaurants come to Whittier so she can try them out and feature them on her account. Although Portugal loves to try out these restaurants Whittier has to offer, she also loves shopping local, especially at the Trader Joe’s on Colima and Whittier Boulevard. “I really want a Whole Foods here, that would be really cool,” she said.

Despite having such a busy life, Portugal says it is not difficult at all to keep this account running. “I use Instagram in my spare time and post whenever I eat out or find a yummy photo, always giving credit of course. I do have a photography business called Love & Exploration which specializes in all kinds of events. My husband and I also recently started a company called Dog’s Tavern where we sell gourmet dog treats… We hope to open a brick and mortar in Uptown Whittier by early 2017.” @hungryinwhittier also has its own online shop, selling customized pins, hats, mugs and keychains, where the buyer can sport their love and appreciation for local Whittier eateries.

Portugal’s favorite outcome of running this account is the positive feedback it gives to the community. “I hope to continue to grow with the community and help out our small business owners as much as possible. In the end, they’re the reason why we have such a unique town. Not every city has an area like Uptown Whittier where the buildings are over 100 years old. I want to help keep our small businesses alive for generations to come.” Both Portugal’s pride for her city and appreciation for a good meal contribute to the success of @hungryinwhittier. “I cater to a city that has a love of pride and I’m very humbled to help out locals in such a cool and easy way,” she said. You can keep up with her food adventures @hungryinwhittier here.