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Preview Chicago’s list is hardcore Chicago, but take a look at Chicago’s Eater’s list. This one is for the sophisticated hot dog connoisseur.

The 16 Essential Hot Dogs in Chicago

Ashok Selvam on Jun 23, 2015, 10:13a

Most people in the know agree that the best hot dogs in the world are in Chicago. Even Anthony Bourdain consented when he said Chicago’s encased meats were superior to New York’s. Take pride in those wieners, Chicagoans, as Chicago’s hot dog scene offers a variety that no other city can contend with — and that’s even with the loss of Hot Doug’s. It’s just a testament to the hot dog depth in this city where new stands — contenders for Abe Froman’s crown — are always popping up to satisfy traditionalists, vegetarians and even fine diners. Check out the list below, and please include any omissions in the comments; this could have been a much longer list. It’s in alphabetical order.

Note: Hoppin’ Hots announced its closure in August 2015.

1 Allium Restaurant and Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
The restaurant at the Four Seasons, previously helmed by chef Kevin Hickey, offers a sausage that costs $16 on its lunch menu. It’s an elevated Chicago-style beef sausage that features “homemade everything.” It’s not a replacement for your favorite hot dog joint, just a bourgeois take worth a try. [Photo: Yelp]
120 E Delaware Place
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 799-4900
New American Restaurant, $$$$

2 Belly Shack
Hot dog love comes in different forms, and at Belly Shack chef Bill Kim puts both Korean and Puerto Rican spins on their beef wiener with egg noodles, pickles papaya and togarashi fries. [Photo: Belly Shack]
1912 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-1414
Korean Restaurant, $$$$

3 Chicago’s Dog House
The spiritual successor to Hot Doug’s is often on the summer festival circuit. But stop by to their Fullerton location for their full arsenal. Their “Chompers Gourmet Alligator Sausage” is smoked alligator sausage, caramelized onions and sweet chili sauce. [Photo: Facebook]
816 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-3647
Hot Dog Joint, $$$$

4 The Duck Inn
The Duck Inn’s Duck Fat Dog is a the kind of mad scientist genius diners have come to expect from Kevin Hickey. The hybrid beef/duck link is a welcome addition to Chicago’s hot dog landscape. [Photo: Facebook]
2701 S Eleanor St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 724-8811

5 Fatso’s Last Stand
Grilling a hot dog isn’t a novice’s task, and Fatso’s char dog is the best in the city. [Photo: Facebook]
2258 W Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 245-3287
Hot Dog Joint, $$$$

6 Felony Franks
Felony Franks has successfully reintegrated itself back into the public, but with an upgrade. The Oak Park space features a dogs with natural casings. The stand is famous for having a staff of former convicts, helping them get back on their feet after prison. [Photo: Facebook]
6427 North Ave
Oak Park, IL 60302

(708) 420-5659
Hot Dog Joint

7 Franks ‘N’ Dawgs
No one’s sure how much longer Franks ‘N’ Dawgs will be at their Clybourn location, but it won’t matter if they take their unique meats with them. You won’t find Chicago-style dogs or regular buns here. The “Brunch Dog” (Slagel Farms pork loin breakfast sausage with Cobb smoked bacon, fried egg & drizzled with maple mayo) is a highlight. [Photo: Facebook]
1863 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 281-5187
Hot Dog Joint, $$$$

8 Gene & Jude’s
The Depression Dog variant is what makes Gene & Jude’s an institution. [Photo: Facebook]
2720 River Rd
River Grove, IL 60171
(708) 452-7634
Hot Dog Joint, $$$$

9 Hoppin’ Hots – evidentially closed
Note: Hoppin’ Hots is closed. Customization is what makes Hoppin’ Hots unique, as customers can pick beef, duck or veggie sausages. We’re partial to the Hometown Hot (mustard, white onion, neon relish, tomato, sport peppers, dill pickle spear and celery salt). [Photo: Facebook]
1477 W Balmoral Ave
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 989-4687
Hot Dog Joint

10 Hot “G” Dog
Did the owners of Hot “G” Dog engage in culinary espionage or are the former Hot Doug’s line cooks merely using their accrued work experiences when opening their restaurant? Hot “G” has lifted many Doug’s recipes. But those who miss the smoked, garlic goodness of Doug’s Thuringer… or the Foie gras dog…have a spot. [Photo: Facebook]
5009 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 209-3360
Hot Dog Joint

11 Jim’s Original Hot Dog
Does a polish sausage count as a hot dog? If so, then Jim’s belongs on this list, as their Maxwell Street polish sausages, with onions and sport peppers, are a true taste of Chicago. [Photo: Facebook]
1250 S Union Ave
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-7820
Hot Dog Joint, $$$$

12 Old Town Social
The housemade mini dogs off Old Town Social’s starters menu offers up a trio of options: Chicago, Coney or Corn. There’s a lot more thought into the dogs than diners would believe. [Photo: Facebook]
455 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 266-2277
Gastropub, $$$$

13 Original Jimmy’s Red Hots
Jimmy’s, with more than a half a century of slinging sausages, needs to be on this list to ensure completeness. [Photo: Facebook]
4000 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60651
(773) 384-9513
Hot Dog Joint, $$$$

14 Red Hot Ranch
Red Hot Ranch is no longer a secret with its all-natural sausages with a casing that just has enough bite. The double dog is the way to go, as the sausages are a bit slimmer than at most places. [Photo: LTHForum]
2072 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 772-6020
Hot Dog Joint, $$$$

15 Superdawg Drive-In
The special Superdawg proprietary all-beef sausage is perfectly complimented by pickled tomatoes. This is a unique Chicago experience that will never be duplicated. [Photo: Facebook]
6363 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60646
(773) 763-0660
Hot Dog Joint, $$$$

16 Wolfy’s
There’s a certain joy driving down Peterson and seeing that iconic Wolfy’s sign with the fork and lights. The jumbo char dog is the proper choice here. [Photo: Yelp]
2734 W Peterson Ave
Chicago, IL 60659
(773) 743-0207
Hot Dog Joint, $$$$

To read the full article from on Chicago’s Best Hot Dogs, click below.


Tim Padavic