Way OT: Best place for a Chicago hot dog

Submitted by alabluema on December 30th, 2009 at 3:01 PM

I'll be in Chicago next week and I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for the best Chicago hot dog. Anthony Bourdain says Hot Dougs, but I've hear Weiner's Circle is good. Does anyone have an idea where you can get the most authentic hot dog in Chicago? I'll be right in the downtown area.



December 30th, 2009 at 3:04 PM ^

Wrigley Field...but that doesnt help you for next week. Theres this really good place near UIC's campus. I forget what it's called but Ill let you know when I find out.

double blue

December 30th, 2009 at 3:06 PM ^

Weiner circle is good. Hot doug's is not for just your typical chicago hot dog,it's got all sorts of amazing hot dogs and sausages: if you like hot dogs and sausages you should visit.


December 30th, 2009 at 5:27 PM ^

If it's the Clark Street Dog at the south corner of Halsted/Clark/Barry (and yes, in Chicago there are "south corners" because of 6-corner intersections) then you can also order beers. And play pac-man.

And I would suggest you not only get a Chicago dog, but also order a chili dog too. And a beers.

Wolverine In Exile

December 30th, 2009 at 3:10 PM ^

there's a diner sort of place (I think it actually may be in one of the Wrigley parking lots) that I always remembered going to before Cubs games for a GOOD Chicago hot dog. Can't remember the name though. Plus you can go ice skating on Wrigley's parking lot now according to my friend that lives there.

Just remember: celery salt, whole pickle, relish, tomato, poppy seed bun, mustard, Vienna dog, hot pepper optional... and no F*N ketchup. Blasphemy.


December 30th, 2009 at 3:12 PM ^

...Hot Doug's 3324 N. California Ave 773-279-9550
Call first though to make sure they're open.

Superdawg Drive-In (2 locations)
5700 S. Cicero Ave. 773-948-6300
6363 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-763-0660

The Wiener's Circle 2622 N. Clark St. 773-477-7444

Twisted Martini

December 30th, 2009 at 3:17 PM ^

I have a vague recollection that their dogs were badass. Although you can't swing a dead Buckeye in Chicago without hitting a good hot dog joint. Portillo's is strong for a chain.

el segundo

December 30th, 2009 at 5:25 PM ^

when I lived in Chicago 13 years ago. It tends to be the first place I think of when it comes to hot dogs in the Loop area. But a couple of their outlets closed. I think that the only one that's in or near the Loop is on Wabash, somewhere between Lake and Jackson, and it shares space with some generic fast food chain like a Popeye's or something. I went there a couple of years ago. Meh.

blue note

December 31st, 2009 at 1:52 PM ^

^^^^ THIS

Let's please put to rest the idea that Weiner's Circle has good food. The dogs are bad and the fries are beyond terrible. Plus it's absurdly overpriced.

Not sure why anyone has a thing against Gold Coast. They do a good job in my opinion. There is another new chain, America's Dog, that has pretty generic Vienna Beef dogs and does a good job with toppings.

Best fries I've ever had in Chicago: Mustard's Last Stand, which is right outside of the main entrance of Northwestern's football stadium.


December 30th, 2009 at 11:09 PM ^

I've heard the fries at Gene and Jude's are great, and that Poochie's on Dempster has the best dogs. Hot Doug's is great, although I've never had a Chicago style dog there, just some excellent sausages. They are closed until January 6th. If you get there by 11 on the weekdays, you won't have to wait as long, but Fridays and Saturdays are insane. I've waited an hour and a half.


December 30th, 2009 at 3:21 PM ^

Hot Dougs is by far the best. Go on a Friday/Saturday and you can get the fries cooked in duck fat (the best way). Unfortunately it closes early on weekends, 2ish maybe, and you will have to wait in line for at least an hour. Weekdays I have heard the line isnt bad at all but I havent seen it first hand.


December 30th, 2009 at 3:34 PM ^

I have never had a bad chicago dog in chicago, Portillo's is always good as well as what everyone above has mentioned.

You should really be wondering where to get the best chicago style pizza (unos) or italian beef (Al's Beef). And I will fight to the death on that. :)


December 30th, 2009 at 4:06 PM ^

Whats is matter if your from Michigan you will just put ketchup on it anyway as you munch on your side of Domino's. In the hope that you actually know proper dog etiquette...

If you are on the far North side anywhere near Evanston and Ryan Field (Northwestern) Mustards Last Stand is very good. I would suggest you find Geno's East (Downtown) or Loumalnatis for some deep dish Za.


December 30th, 2009 at 4:13 PM ^

It's gotta be Weiner Circle. Good food, plus they treat you like crap in a fun way. A few years back I walked in and one of the lady cooks said to "What are you looking at you 4 eyed mother F***er". I recommend a few beers beforehand.


December 30th, 2009 at 4:17 PM ^

Lou Malnati's for deep dish

Mustard's has great dogs, burgers and beef (I worked across the street from there for 5 years and it was at minimum a weekly lunch play)

I honestly feel that lots of the little places have some of the best dogs and beef...just look for the Vienna sign and you'll be golden (finally have one here in SW Michigan that rivals its Chicago brethren...Mr. Goody's 3)


December 30th, 2009 at 4:19 PM ^

To reiterate:

Only go to Weiner Circle if you are drunk and it is after 1am or so... it's part of the experience... You will never forget it.

Hot Doug's is awesome, but it is more of a gourmet sausage place (insert joke here). They have a rotating menu, so check out their website. Also, the recommendation for goose fat fries is good. It is BYO, so grab a six pack of your favorite brew if you are going to go. Be prepared to wait a long time if you are going during lunch hours. Somebody mentioned Kumas, if you decide on a burger, you can't go wrong there, but also be prepared to wait an hour and a half for a table during lunch.

Pretty much anywhere you go will have a decent hot dog. A lot of the stands use the same brand of hot dogs. I like Clark Street Dogs because I live close. Also have had Gold Coast Dogs. Portillo's are good (I like their crinkle fries too)...

Yinka Double Dare

December 30th, 2009 at 4:58 PM ^

Hot Doug's if you're going to get something besides a regular Chicago dog. The place is awesome.

Flub A Dub Chub's for a Chicago hot dog without having to go way the hell out to Superdawg (FADC's is in south Lakeview/north Lincoln Park). One of the better dog places I've been to.

Lou Malnati's or Pequod's for deep dish pizza.


December 30th, 2009 at 5:39 PM ^

I think people pretty already made it clear, but Wiener Circle is where you go after the bars close and you need food to sop up the 12 beers and 4 car bombs you drank at the bars.

That's literally the only thing it's good for. Don't even bother going there during the day (hell, is it even open during the day?) and don't expect "good" food.

blue note

December 31st, 2009 at 2:03 PM ^

This Devil Dogs place just opened last month and I haven't been able to check it out yet.

Some DePaul grads opened a place on Fullerton just west of clark/halsted called "Chicago's Dog House" that is really excellent. It's kind of like a Hot Doug's lite. They do all kinds of different sausages and make these delicious chip/french fry things in front of you with a drill and a potato. They are awesome. I definitely recommend checking it out.


December 30th, 2009 at 5:50 PM ^

IME, Gene & Jude's is the best but they're not anywhere near downtown (on Des Plaines River Road in River Grove). Neither is Hot Doug's for that matter (South Side). You're going to have to use the L, Metra or Pace to get around. But, it'll be well worth the trip!