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A blue cardboard box filled with a hot dog and fries.
The Superdawg drive-in still serves its own proprietary beef sausages.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Where to Eat Hot Dogs in Chicago

Enjoy them Chicago-style, Detroit-style, or even gourmet-style, but never, ever eat them with ketchup

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The Superdawg drive-in still serves its own proprietary beef sausages.
| Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

The traditional Chicago-style Vienna hot dog comes “dragged through the garden,” but there are always new purveyors ready to shake things up with gourmet sausages and inventive toppings. The only rule is that ketchup is reserved exclusively for fries and young children who don’t know any better.

In this edition of Eater Chicago’s map of the city’s best wieners, there’s a glaring omission: Big Guys Sausage Stand. The shop, located in suburban Berwyn has temporarily closed. Owner Brendan O’Connor has warned that a variety of challenges (pandemic related and personal), may lead to the permanent closure of one of the Chicago area’s top hot dog shops. As is the depressing custom in the restaurant world, Big Guys has launched an online fundraising page for customers to help.

For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may still pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Superdawg Drive-In

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The special Superdawg proprietary all-beef sausage is perfectly complemented by pickled tomatoes. Enjoy it in the privacy of your car at one of the city’s only true drive-ins while admiring anthropomorphic sausage mascots Maury and Flaury, based on the stand’s owners. There’s also a suburban location in Wheeling.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Wolfy's

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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.

Wolfy’s [Official Photo]

Byron's Hot Dogs

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Byron's boiled dogs are probably one of the best examples of the Chicago-style dog. The empire may have shrunk — at one time Byron's had locations in front of Wrigley Field and in Lincoln Park where the massive Crate & Barrel store now stands. But the hot dogs always deliver a quality bite.

The Hot Dog Box

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The father-daughter team of Bobby and Brooklyn Morelli became a sensation shortly after they opened their first location at Boxville, the shipping container complex in Bronzeville. The duo have since moved operations to the North Side to Portage Park. Selections include a signature filet mignon dog and salmon and vegan varieties.

A person’s hand reaches out with a hot dog in a bun. Daija Guy/Eater Chicago

Flub A Dub Chub's

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This delightful dog slinger is partially hidden in a basement along Broadway in Lakeview, so keep an eye out. The pulled pork chub dog is a fan favorite, and so is the quarter-pound “Chubby.”

The Wiener's Circle

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The Wiener’s Circle isn’t a joke. Sure, most of its popularity comes from the scathing insults delivered by its counter servers late at night, after the bars empty out. But that’s just a much needed checks and balances system that’s quieted many a bro through the years. In 2021, ownership unveiled a renovation that includes a back bar and patio. The classic stand reminds the same with, arguably, the best char dogs in the city.

A brown sign that reads “We sells wieners.”
The Wieners Circle has been upgraded.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Gene & Jude's

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The Depression Dog variant is what makes Gene & Jude's an institution. Stuffed with french fries, this variant gives Chicagoans a reason to visit the suburbs.

Gene & Jude’s [Official Photo]

Chicago's Dog House

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The spiritual successor to Hot Doug's is often on the summer festival circuit. But stop by Chicago’s Dog House’s Lincoln Park location for the full arsenal of sausages named for local celebrities, including the Chance the Snapper Dog, which contains smoked alligator sausage, caramelized onions and sweet chili sauce.

Chicago’s Dog House [Official Photo]

Redhot Ranch

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Red Hot Ranch’s all-natural sausages with their casing that just has enough bite are no longer a secret. The double dog is the way to go, as the sausages are a bit slimmer than at most places. There’s a second location in Lakeview, and, on the South Side, the same owners run 35th Street Dogs near Sox Park which has an identical menu.

Home Depot

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Not all Home Depots are created equal. There are six in Chicago (Avondale, Bucktown, Chatham, West Rogers Park, Chatham) and five in the suburbs (Evanston, Mount Prospect, two in Niles, Oak Lawn), all with special hot dog stands supplied by Makowski Sausage, a beloved South Side sausage maker. Fixin’ Franks, as the Tribune writes, sells affordable hot dogs at a high quality.

Original Jimmy's Red Hots

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Jimmy's has instituted a complete ban on ketchup since it opened in 1954. Instead, customers can dip their fries in a house-made habanero hot sauce. In a small concession to changing times, Jimmy’s now serves a veggie dog.

Lola’s Coney Island

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A love letter to Detroit, Lola’s Coney Island is a small restaurant that imports hot dogs, chili (from the National Chili Company, if you’re partisan), Better Made potato chips, Faygo, and Sanders bumpy cake from the Motor City. The stand also sells traditional Chicago-style red hots and a truly lovely avgolemono soup.

A Detroit-style hot dog covered with chili and mustard and onions.
Lola’s Coney Island dog
Lola’s Coney Island [Official Photo]

Fatso's Last Stand

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Grilling a hot dog isn't a novice's task. The counter crew at Fatso's are experts: its char dog is one of the best in the city. The West Town staple now has a Lincoln Park location.

Fatso’s Last Stand [Official Photo]

Devil Dawgs on State

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Started near outside the Fullerton El stop as compensation for the loss of Demon Dogs, a beloved hot dog stand/shrine to the band Chicago, Devil Dawgs satisfied the neighborhood’s yearning for great hot dogs and fresh-cut fries (if not light rock) before moving downtown. There are now additional locations in Lakeview, the Gold Coast, and Wicker Park.

Lulu's Hot Dogs

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This classic hot dog spot near UIC has been around since 1968. In addition to Italian beef, gyros, and Polish sausages, it serves the elusive turkey leg, a classic but nowadays seldom seen Chicago street food.

Dave's Red Hots

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Chicago’s oldest hot dog stand has been open since the early 1930s and has always been a family-owned business: first the Kaplans, then the Karms, and now the Fountains. The Karms originally refused to serve their hot dogs with any condiments besides mustard, pickles, and peppers, but restrictions have loosened over the years. Still, no ketchup is allowed.

The Duck Inn

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The Duck Inn's duck fat dog is the kind of mad scientist genius diners have come to expect from chef Kevin Hickey, who led two restaurants to Michelin stars before opening his own place in 2014. The hybrid beef/duck link is a welcome addition to Chicago's hot dog landscape.

Duck Inn [Official Photo]

Maxwell Street Depot

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While developers continue to reshape 31st Street, much to the chagrin of many locals, Maxwell Street Depot continues to serve Polish and hot dogs 24 hours a day.

Vienna Beef Factory Store

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North Siders cried about Vienna Beef closing its Bucktown headquarters in 2016. But those in the know didn’t care: the Vienna Beef Factory Store reopened in Bridgeport shortly afterward. Vienna’s Hot Dog University program, previously offered through the factory store, continues, but since the pandemic, it’s only been offered online.

Fred & Jack's

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Since its humble beginnings as a push cart around 70 years ago, this Chicago hot dog stand has been serving the West Chatham community. It’s been around so long that the original owner, Jack Gullickson, purchased his kitchen equipment from Ray Kroc when the McDonald’s founder was still a humble salesman. The hot dogs and fixings are a little sweeter than at other stands, but everything is top notch down to the sport pepper.

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Superdawg Drive-In

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

The special Superdawg proprietary all-beef sausage is perfectly complemented by pickled tomatoes. Enjoy it in the privacy of your car at one of the city’s only true drive-ins while admiring anthropomorphic sausage mascots Maury and Flaury, based on the stand’s owners. There’s also a suburban location in Wheeling.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Wolfy's

Wolfy’s [Official Photo]

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.

Wolfy’s [Official Photo]

Byron's Hot Dogs

Byron's boiled dogs are probably one of the best examples of the Chicago-style dog. The empire may have shrunk — at one time Byron's had locations in front of Wrigley Field and in Lincoln Park where the massive Crate & Barrel store now stands. But the hot dogs always deliver a quality bite.

The Hot Dog Box

A person’s hand reaches out with a hot dog in a bun. Daija Guy/Eater Chicago

The father-daughter team of Bobby and Brooklyn Morelli became a sensation shortly after they opened their first location at Boxville, the shipping container complex in Bronzeville. The duo have since moved operations to the North Side to Portage Park. Selections include a signature filet mignon dog and salmon and vegan varieties.

A person’s hand reaches out with a hot dog in a bun. Daija Guy/Eater Chicago

Flub A Dub Chub's

This delightful dog slinger is partially hidden in a basement along Broadway in Lakeview, so keep an eye out. The pulled pork chub dog is a fan favorite, and so is the quarter-pound “Chubby.”

The Wiener's Circle

A brown sign that reads “We sells wieners.”
The Wieners Circle has been upgraded.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

The Wiener’s Circle isn’t a joke. Sure, most of its popularity comes from the scathing insults delivered by its counter servers late at night, after the bars empty out. But that’s just a much needed checks and balances system that’s quieted many a bro through the years. In 2021, ownership unveiled a renovation that includes a back bar and patio. The classic stand reminds the same with, arguably, the best char dogs in the city.

A brown sign that reads “We sells wieners.”
The Wieners Circle has been upgraded.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Gene & Jude's

Gene & Jude’s [Official Photo]

The Depression Dog variant is what makes Gene & Jude's an institution. Stuffed with french fries, this variant gives Chicagoans a reason to visit the suburbs.

Gene & Jude’s [Official Photo]

Chicago's Dog House

Chicago’s Dog House [Official Photo]

The spiritual successor to Hot Doug's is often on the summer festival circuit. But stop by Chicago’s Dog House’s Lincoln Park location for the full arsenal of sausages named for local celebrities, including the Chance the Snapper Dog, which contains smoked alligator sausage, caramelized onions and sweet chili sauce.

Chicago’s Dog House [Official Photo]

Redhot Ranch

Red Hot Ranch’s all-natural sausages with their casing that just has enough bite are no longer a secret. The double dog is the way to go, as the sausages are a bit slimmer than at most places. There’s a second location in Lakeview, and, on the South Side, the same owners run 35th Street Dogs near Sox Park which has an identical menu.

Home Depot

Not all Home Depots are created equal. There are six in Chicago (Avondale, Bucktown, Chatham, West Rogers Park, Chatham) and five in the suburbs (Evanston, Mount Prospect, two in Niles, Oak Lawn), all with special hot dog stands supplied by Makowski Sausage, a beloved South Side sausage maker. Fixin’ Franks, as the Tribune writes, sells affordable hot dogs at a high quality.

Original Jimmy's Red Hots

Jimmy's has instituted a complete ban on ketchup since it opened in 1954. Instead, customers can dip their fries in a house-made habanero hot sauce. In a small concession to changing times, Jimmy’s now serves a veggie dog.

Lola’s Coney Island

A Detroit-style hot dog covered with chili and mustard and onions.
Lola’s Coney Island dog
Lola’s Coney Island [Official Photo]

A love letter to Detroit, Lola’s Coney Island is a small restaurant that imports hot dogs, chili (from the National Chili Company, if you’re partisan), Better Made potato chips, Faygo, and Sanders bumpy cake from the Motor City. The stand also sells traditional Chicago-style red hots and a truly lovely avgolemono soup.

A Detroit-style hot dog covered with chili and mustard and onions.
Lola’s Coney Island dog
Lola’s Coney Island [Official Photo]

Fatso's Last Stand

Fatso’s Last Stand [Official Photo]

Grilling a hot dog isn't a novice's task. The counter crew at Fatso's are experts: its char dog is one of the best in the city. The West Town staple now has a Lincoln Park location.

Fatso’s Last Stand [Official Photo]

Devil Dawgs on State

Started near outside the Fullerton El stop as compensation for the loss of Demon Dogs, a beloved hot dog stand/shrine to the band Chicago, Devil Dawgs satisfied the neighborhood’s yearning for great hot dogs and fresh-cut fries (if not light rock) before moving downtown. There are now additional locations in Lakeview, the Gold Coast, and Wicker Park.

Lulu's Hot Dogs

This classic hot dog spot near UIC has been around since 1968. In addition to Italian beef, gyros, and Polish sausages, it serves the elusive turkey leg, a classic but nowadays seldom seen Chicago street food.

Related Maps

Dave's Red Hots

Chicago’s oldest hot dog stand has been open since the early 1930s and has always been a family-owned business: first the Kaplans, then the Karms, and now the Fountains. The Karms originally refused to serve their hot dogs with any condiments besides mustard, pickles, and peppers, but restrictions have loosened over the years. Still, no ketchup is allowed.

The Duck Inn

Duck Inn [Official Photo]

The Duck Inn's duck fat dog is the kind of mad scientist genius diners have come to expect from chef Kevin Hickey, who led two restaurants to Michelin stars before opening his own place in 2014. The hybrid beef/duck link is a welcome addition to Chicago's hot dog landscape.

Duck Inn [Official Photo]

Maxwell Street Depot

While developers continue to reshape 31st Street, much to the chagrin of many locals, Maxwell Street Depot continues to serve Polish and hot dogs 24 hours a day.

Vienna Beef Factory Store

North Siders cried about Vienna Beef closing its Bucktown headquarters in 2016. But those in the know didn’t care: the Vienna Beef Factory Store reopened in Bridgeport shortly afterward. Vienna’s Hot Dog University program, previously offered through the factory store, continues, but since the pandemic, it’s only been offered online.

Fred & Jack's

Since its humble beginnings as a push cart around 70 years ago, this Chicago hot dog stand has been serving the West Chatham community. It’s been around so long that the original owner, Jack Gullickson, purchased his kitchen equipment from Ray Kroc when the McDonald’s founder was still a humble salesman. The hot dogs and fixings are a little sweeter than at other stands, but everything is top notch down to the sport pepper.

Related Maps