Korean corn dogs, which are simply known as hot dogs in Korea, are an item that is becoming increasingly popular in America. Sometimes they’re simply wieners on a sticks that are coated and fried. Or sometimes they’re mozzarella sticks, or fish, or Spam. There’s also no corn: instead that crispy coating is a tempura batter that serves as the glue for panko bread crumbs, french fries, ramen, Rice Krispies, or Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. It’s these sorts of variations that make Korean hot dogs so delightful and why, now that they’ve finally arrived in Chicago, people, including Chicago Tribune critics, are so eager to wait in line outside a Glenview strip mall for an hour or more in order to try one.
Two more highly anticipated Los Angeles-based Korean hot dog chains are coming to the Chicago area: Two Hands has a location under construction in Aurora, while Mochinut has teased possible openings in Wicker Park, the West Loop, or Skokie. In the meantime, here are several places in and around Chicago to ease a Korean hot dog fix, listed in alphabetical order.
The Korean hot dogs at Doore Chicken, one of the booths inside the food court of this international grocery, are so popular that the place is now known as Doore Chicken and Hot Dogs. It offers an array of coatings, not just savory Cheetos and french fries, but also sweet brownies and cheesecake. 8901 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Located in the Chinatown Mall, this Korean barbecue spot also serves deep-fried snacks, like kimchi fries, fried chicken, and yes, Korean hot dogs, both the meat and mozzarella varieties. 2017 S. Wells Street, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
The latest, and the greatest, Glenview’s Eggsum Holycow became a TikTok sensation this past summer, with visitors competing to show off who had the best cheese pull. There’s a choice of fillings (hot dog, mozzarella, and cheddar), coatings, and sauces: the combinations are nearly infinite. 1947 Milwaukee Avenue, Glenview, Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Inside the food court at the Naperville HMart — and the Naperville HMart only — Onnuri Chicken, a specialist in fried chicken and filled fish-shaped cakes, serves exactly three Korean hot dogs: plain, cheese, and French fry. Frozen hot dogs are also available at all HMart locations for those who prefer to cook at home. 1295 E. Ogden Avenue, Naperville, Open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Joong Boo, with three locations, does not sell ready-made Korean hot dogs, but it does have frozen options for the the home cook. Some of these are made with fish meat, not hot dogs or cheese, so read the packaging carefully. Joong Boo also carries all the toppings anyone could possibly want, even Vienna Beef’s neon-green Chicago-style relish. 3333 N. Kimball Avenue, Open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
88 Marketplace, which opened this summer, bills itself as Chicago’s largest Chinese supermarket, but it carries frozen Korean hot dogs, too, but only the ones stuffed with cheese. 2105 S. Jefferson Street, Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.