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10 Places to Fill Your Hot Doug’s Lunch Void

With Hot Doug's gone, here are 10 destination-worthy lunch spots.

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Now that the dust has settled from last week's closing of Hot Doug's, it's time to turn the page.

The sausage stand represented a unique place to eat lunch. It was a little out of the way, north of the Loop in Avondale, which made it a trek for those working downtown. The hours — 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday — made it somewhat difficult to drop by on a whim without taking PTO or having an irregular work schedule that's not 9 to 5. Cue the throng of working stiffs that never had a chance to eat there.

With that mind, here are a few places diners can go for a casual lunch. These restaurants capture some of the characteristics that made Hot Doug's unique. The bonus is there aren't usually long lines.

—Ashok Selvam

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kuma's Corner and Kuma's Too

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2900 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 604-8769
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Kuma’s original post on Belmont has served as a popular nearby alternative to waiting in lines at Hot Doug’s for years. You know the drill by now: Enormous burgers topped with ingredients like mashed potatoes or fried chicken served to a background of pulsating metal.

2. Honey Butter Fried Chicken

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3361 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 478-4000
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Doug Sohn, owner of Hot Doug’s, on the restaurant’s last day joked to his first customer that he was out of sausage and that the customer should instead walk down the street to Honey Butter Fried Chicken. Be warned, they’re closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Belly Shack

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1912 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-1414
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Near the Western Blue Line stop, this joint offers sandwiches and other fare that blends Korean and Puerto Rican tastes. They’re closed on Mondays.

4. Skrine Chops

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400 S Financial Pl
Chicago, IL 60605
Owned by Steve Skrine, brother in law of comedian/actor Patton Oswalt, they’re serving up barbecue including tri tip sandwiches, ribs and pork chops. But get there early, as the Loop location is only open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

5. J. P. Graziano Grocery Co.

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901 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 666-4587
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The grocery store has been around since 1937, lasting much longer than Oprah did on Randolph. Graziano’s expanded operations in 2006 and opened the sub shop. You’d be a fool not to order the legendary Mr. G sub topped with provolone, hot sopresatta, prosciutto, genoa salami, truffle mustard balsamic vinaigrette and other ingredients. They’re open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Closed Sundays.

6. Saucy Porka

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400 S Financial Pl
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 662-1351
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Yes, it’s difficult picking between neighbors, as Skrine Chops and Saucy Porka sit next to each other. But you’ll win either way. By mixing Southeast Asian and Puerto Rican flavors, Saucy Porka serves baos stuffed with carnitas and Asian-style paella. They’re opened 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and closed on the weekend.

7. Cemitas Puebla

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817 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL
The new Fulton Market location has increased accessibility to Cemitas Puebla’s delicious Mexican tortas. There’s different ambience between the two. The Humboldt Park version feels like a taqueria, while the newer post attempts to blend in with its Fulton Market surroundings. No matter — bother serve the gut-busting Atomica which includes pork loin, milanesa and jamon.

8. Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen

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1141 S Jefferson St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 939-2855
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There’s something about the classics, they just don’t go out of style. Traditional Jewish deli offers giant sandwiches. Closed on Sundays.

9. Pleasant House Bakery

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964 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 523-7437
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Stop by Bridgeport for handmade savory and sweet pies. Try the steak and ale or mushroom and kale, and don’t skimp on the gravy and chutney.

10. 90 Miles Cuban Cafe

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2540 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 227-2822
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The bread on these Cuban sandwiches is what puts 90 Miles over the top. The plantain chips that come with each sandwich are a nice bonus.

1. Kuma's Corner and Kuma's Too

2900 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Kuma’s original post on Belmont has served as a popular nearby alternative to waiting in lines at Hot Doug’s for years. You know the drill by now: Enormous burgers topped with ingredients like mashed potatoes or fried chicken served to a background of pulsating metal.
2900 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

2. Honey Butter Fried Chicken

3361 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Doug Sohn, owner of Hot Doug’s, on the restaurant’s last day joked to his first customer that he was out of sausage and that the customer should instead walk down the street to Honey Butter Fried Chicken. Be warned, they’re closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
3361 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

3. Belly Shack

1912 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Near the Western Blue Line stop, this joint offers sandwiches and other fare that blends Korean and Puerto Rican tastes. They’re closed on Mondays.
1912 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

4. Skrine Chops

400 S Financial Pl, Chicago, IL 60605
Owned by Steve Skrine, brother in law of comedian/actor Patton Oswalt, they’re serving up barbecue including tri tip sandwiches, ribs and pork chops. But get there early, as the Loop location is only open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
400 S Financial Pl
Chicago, IL 60605

5. J. P. Graziano Grocery Co.

901 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
The grocery store has been around since 1937, lasting much longer than Oprah did on Randolph. Graziano’s expanded operations in 2006 and opened the sub shop. You’d be a fool not to order the legendary Mr. G sub topped with provolone, hot sopresatta, prosciutto, genoa salami, truffle mustard balsamic vinaigrette and other ingredients. They’re open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Closed Sundays.
901 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

6. Saucy Porka

400 S Financial Pl, Chicago, IL 60605
Yes, it’s difficult picking between neighbors, as Skrine Chops and Saucy Porka sit next to each other. But you’ll win either way. By mixing Southeast Asian and Puerto Rican flavors, Saucy Porka serves baos stuffed with carnitas and Asian-style paella. They’re opened 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and closed on the weekend.
400 S Financial Pl
Chicago, IL 60605

7. Cemitas Puebla

817 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL
The new Fulton Market location has increased accessibility to Cemitas Puebla’s delicious Mexican tortas. There’s different ambience between the two. The Humboldt Park version feels like a taqueria, while the newer post attempts to blend in with its Fulton Market surroundings. No matter — bother serve the gut-busting Atomica which includes pork loin, milanesa and jamon.
817 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL

8. Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen

1141 S Jefferson St, Chicago, IL 60607
There’s something about the classics, they just don’t go out of style. Traditional Jewish deli offers giant sandwiches. Closed on Sundays.
1141 S Jefferson St
Chicago, IL 60607

9. Pleasant House Bakery

964 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60608
Stop by Bridgeport for handmade savory and sweet pies. Try the steak and ale or mushroom and kale, and don’t skimp on the gravy and chutney.
964 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60608

10. 90 Miles Cuban Cafe

2540 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
The bread on these Cuban sandwiches is what puts 90 Miles over the top. The plantain chips that come with each sandwich are a nice bonus.
2540 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

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