If you're a fan of hot dogs, there's no better place to be than Chicago. The Windy City has been known for its hot dogs since the early 20th century. But with so many hot dog stands and restaurants in the city, it can be hard to know where to go for the best dog. In this guide, we'll take a look at some of the top hot dog spots in Chicago in 2022.
The History of the Chicago-style Hot Dog
Before we get into the best hot dog spots in Chicago, it's worth taking a moment to appreciate the history of the Chicago-style hot dog. This iconic style of hot dog dates back to the Great Depression, when hot dogs were a cheap and easy meal for many Americans. But in Chicago, hot dogs were elevated to an art form.
A typical Chicago-style hot dog is made with an all-beef frankfurter, served on a poppy seed bun, and topped with a variety of condiments, including yellow mustard, chopped onions, bright green relish, sliced tomatoes, a dill pickle spear, sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt. This combination of flavors and textures has made the Chicago-style hot dog famous around the world.
The Best Hot Dog Spots in Chicago in 2022
- Gene & Jude's
- The Wiener's Circle
- Fatso's Last Stand
Portillo's is a chain of fast-casual restaurants that has been serving up Chicago-style hot dogs since 1963. Their hot dogs are made with a natural casing, which gives them a satisfying snap when you bite into them. One of the unique things about Portillo's hot dogs is that they're cooked in a steamer, rather than grilled or boiled, which gives them a unique texture. In addition to their classic hot dog, Portillo's also offers a Chicago-style hot dog with cheese, as well as a chili dog.
Superdawg is a classic drive-in restaurant that has been serving up hot dogs since 1948. Their hot dogs are made with a proprietary blend of beef and pork, and are served on a steamed poppy seed bun. One of the standout features of Superdawg's hot dogs is their signature condiment, which is a creamy blend of pickled green tomatoes, onions, and spices. Superdawg also offers a vegetarian hot dog option.
Gene & Jude's
Gene & Jude's is a no-frills hot dog stand that has been serving up Chicago-style hot dogs since 1946. Their hot dogs are boiled, rather than grilled or steamed, which gives them a unique texture. One of the standout features of Gene & Jude's hot dogs is their minimalist toppings: just mustard, onions, and relish. But don't let the simplicity fool you – these hot dogs are packed with flavor.
The Wiener's Circle
The Wiener's Circle is a late-night hot dog stand that has become famous for its irreverent staff and over-the-top menu items. But at its core, The Wiener's Circle is all about the hot dogs. Their classic Chicago-style hot dog is made with an all-beef frankfurter, and is topped with mustard, onions, relish, and sport peppers. But if you're feeling adventurous, you can also try their char-broiled cheddar burger dog, or their "chardogs" – hot dogs that are charred to a crisp on the grill.
Fatso's Last Stand
Fatso's Last Stand is a classic Chicago-style hot dog stand that has been serving up hot dogs since 2006. Their hot dogs are made with an all-beef frankfurter, and are served on a steamed poppy seed bun. One of the standout features of Fatso's hot dogs is their wide selection of toppings, including giardiniera, bacon, and even a fried egg. Fatso's also offers a vegetarian hot dog option.
How to Choose the Best Hot Dog in Chicago
Now that you know some of the best hot dog spots in Chicago in 2022, how do you choose which one to visit? Here are a few tips to help you make your decision:
Read reviews: Before you head out to a hot dog stand or restaurant, take a few minutes to read reviews on sites like Yelp or Google. Look for places with high ratings and positive reviews from customers who have tried the hot dogs.
Consider the ambiance: Some hot dog stands and restaurants in Chicago are more upscale, while others have a more casual, dive bar atmosphere. Think about what kind of experience you're looking for, and choose a spot that fits the bill.
Try something new: While the classic Chicago-style hot dog is a must-try, many hot dog stands and restaurants in Chicago offer unique twists on the classic dog. Don't be afraid to try something new – you might just discover your new favorite hot dog.
Whether you're a lifelong Chicagoan or just visiting for the first time, you can't leave the city without trying a classic Chicago-style hot dog. With so many great hot dog stands and restaurants in the city, there's something for everyone. From the classic simplicity of Gene & Jude's to the over-the-top indulgence of The Wiener's Circle, there's no shortage of delicious hot dogs to choose from in Chicago in 2022. So grab a napkin and get ready to indulge in one of Chicago's most iconic foods.