It’s no secret that Chicagoans know their sausage. In fact, according to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago area contains more than 1,800 hot dog stands, which is more than all the McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s restaurants in the area combined.
Whether you’re living in the Windy City or just passing through, make sure to stop by some of the best hot dog joints in Chicago to get a true taste of the city. This city boasts enough sausage selection to please even the pickiest of eaters, and whether you like your hot dog “dragged through the garden” or just simple with ketchup, check out the suggestions below.
What: One of the few original drive-in restaurants in the United States, Superdawg has been delighting Chicago natives since it was established in 1948. Superdawg’s decor exudes retro cool, yet their world-famous recipe is better than ever. Every Superdawg comes tucked inside a whimsically illustrated paper box, perfectly placed on a cushion of piping hot, crinkle-cut Superfries, as well as Superdawg’s signature pickled green tomato.
Where: Superdawg has various locations throughout the greater Chicago area, although the flagship restaurant is located at 6363 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60646.
What: The self-proclaimed Chicago “Sausage Superstore,” Hot Doug’s is known for its super-inventive flavor combinations, such as venison sausage with sweet and spicy mustard and red wine-soaked blueberries. You’ll also find rabbit, boar, pheasant, duck and kangaroo sausages, in addition to the obligatory Chicago Hot Dog.
Where: 3324 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL 60618
The Wieners Circle
What: If you’re looking for a simple dog in a friendly environment, you might want to stay away from The Wieners Circle, particularly between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. The dogs here are standard: you’ll find grilled Vienna Beef hot dogs on steamed poppy seed buns with toppings that include mustard, onions, relish, dill pickle spears, tomato slices, sport peppers and celery salt. But it’s the atmosphere that is unique at The Wieners Circle. Customers and staff often hurl playful insults at each other, and the crowd can get rowdy, providing the perfect opportunity for dinner and a show.
Where: 2622 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614
What: Tucked away in a corner at the Navy Pier Food Court, America’s Dog has been a veritable Chicago landmark for years. Don’t let the touristy atmosphere turn you off: America’s Dog knows how to prepare a classic Chicago Hot Dog. The stand takes pride in offering hot dog variations based on regions of the country, such as the New Orleans Dog, which features caramelized onions, tomato and barbecue sauce. Vegetarians, take note: Any dog on the America’s Dog menu can be prepared meat-free.
Where: 700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Brent Hofacker