Top 7 Places To Get a Hot Dog in Chicago
We Illinoisans love our hot dogs. They’re favorites among Bears fans, backyard barbecue staples, and quick weeknight dinner items that satisfy even the pickiest kids. If you’re not in the mood to fire up the grill or there’s only one stale bun left in the bag, however, you’re in luck. Simply refer to Americash Jewelry and Coin Buyer’s list of the top seven places to get a hot dog in Chicago.
What Is a Chicago-Style Hot Dog?
It can be challenging for outsiders to differentiate one style of frank from another, and while the origins of this iconic dish are relatively elusive, one thing’s for sure. In this city, the cooks reserve ketchup for the fries — not the dogs. The classic Chicago-style hot dog includes the following ingredients, piled on in this specific order:
- Poppyseed bun.
- Vienna, all-beef hot dogs (usually skinless).
- Yellow mustard.
- Chopped white onions (raw or grilled, depending on your preference).
- Sweet green pickle relish.
- Tomato wedges.
- Dill pickle spear.
- Celery salt.
- Sport peppers.
Here’s where you can find some of the best Chicago-style hot dogs.
Byron’s Hot Dogs
They don’t call Chicago the sausage capital of America for nothing, and Bryon’s is one of the best places to chow down. With one location on West Lawrence Avenue and another on Irving Park Road, its boiled dogs are some of the best Chicago-style representatives in town. Byron’s menu features a Vienna beef wiener topped classic-style, plus a long list of sandwiches, burgers, salads, and desserts served from a no-frills counter.
Lulu’s Hot Dogs
Next up on our list of local favorite hot dog slingers is Lulu’s on South Leavitt Street. It’s a modest joint that offers hungry patrons tasty American grub. This old-school hot dog stand has been around since 1968 and still dishes up classic Chicago street food like Italian beef sandwiches, barbecue ribs, and sausages.
Lulu’s offers toppings such as homemade chili and cheese, or get your dog dipped in corn batter and fried to a glorious golden brown. Get one dog for each fist for just $5.25, including fries and all the trimmings, then sit indoors or outside on the patio.
The Duck Inn
Aficionados of encased meats are going to love The Duck Inn. Situated in a navy blue, pre-Prohibition era brick building on South Eleanor Street, this retro neighborhood tavern offers signature duck dishes and other American eats, including hot dogs.
The Duck Inn’s award-winning version of the Chicago dog starts with an all-natural beef and duck fat frank stuffed into a genuine hog casing. The chef grills it until it reaches the perfect snap, then tops it with the Inn’s own pickled hot peppers. This cozy gastropub also touts an excellent selection of cocktails and local beers.
Dog Haus Biergarten Lincoln Park
Anyone who’s spent more than a day in Chicago understands the importance of hot dogs to the local diet. While ketchup is usually a banned substance when it comes to traditional Chicago-style hot dogs, Dog Haus Biergarten on North Lincoln Avenue gets a free pass.
The shop does indeed top its 100% all-natural, vegetarian-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free black Angus beef hot dogs with ketchup. If that wasn’t risque enough, it also nestles them in Royal Hawaiian rolls. This tasty twist on a local staple is worth the gamble, as are the dozens of gourmet sausages on the menu. Come in for happy hour specials, and stick around for the welcoming atmosphere.
The Hot Dog Box
If you didn’t think hot dogs were a culinary experience, let father/daughter duo Bobby and Brooklyn at The Hot Dog Box treat you to an elevated gourmet meal. It’s the official home of the filet mignon steak dog. This new kid on the block has only been around since August 2020 and has already made a splash on the scene.
Its juicy “Portage House Filet Mignon Steak” option features a filet mignon dog, onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers, all topped with a housemade root beer sauce and served with chips. Don’t forget one of Bailey’s brownies to complement your sausage. They’re fudgy and delicious. If you like the eats at this hometown joint, consider investing in their local expansion project.
Fred and Jack’s
Americash’s list of hot dog joints in Chicago isn’t complete without mentioning this famous pair. Located on South Yale Avenue, it always delivers quality eats. Fred and Jack’s menu features double hot dogs, fish or steak sandwiches, tacos, gyro specials, and malts.
Get the two dogs special with fries and a soft drink for only $6, then add a spoonful of chili to make it a meal. You can even save a few bucks with Fred and Jack’s monthly deals or join the rewards program to earn up to $100 off your order when you accumulate 1,000 points or more. It’s an excellent reason to throw a party and invite your hungry friends.
Original Jimmy’s Red Hots
One place in town truly stands out from the others. Our top place to get a hot dog in Chicago is Original Jimmy’s Red Hots on West Grand Avenue. At this traditional Vienna beef hot dog stand, the cooks have been slinging Polish sausages, fries, and tamales in the Windy City for more than half a century. Today Jimmy’s is still a family-owned restaurant led by third-generation owners.
Get your weenie choice inside a hot steamed bun next to a heaping helping of greasy, hand-cut fries. Ask your server for a cup of housemade habanero sauce for dipping. Unfortunately, Jimmy’s doesn’t offer any seating, so plan to take your dogs to-go.
That’s a wrap! The friendly folks at Americash Jewelry and Coin Buyer just shared the top local places to get a classic hot dog, from no-frills stands to gourmet offerings. Are you as hungry as we are? Where do you like to get a hot dog? If we missed your favorite spot, let us know. Drop us a line so we can share your recommendations with other Chicago locals.
Image via Flickr by adactio