The best hot dogs in Chicago

By: Giverny Tattersfield

June 5, 2015

Hot dogs in Chicago are a big thing; in this city they come onion-topped and condiment-drizzled, like little works of culinary art. Yes, Chicago pizza also gets a fair bit of love. But hot dogs are lusted after. And, with the city still smarting from the loss of Chicago institution Hot Doug’s, we thought we’d delve deep into the man-eat-hot dog world of artisanal sausages and perfect buns and serve you up a delicious helping of suggestions. Vegetarians – look away, this is about to get meaty.


But before we introduce you to some of the best hot dogs in Chicago, a word of warning: Chicagoans can be fiercely anti-ketchup when it comes to their dogs (a pet peeve, if you will) so keep that in mind when you order. Or claim that it’s only for your fries”¦if you dare.


Murphy’s Red Hots

Chicago's Best Hot Dogs | Murphy's
Try the Polish or the Red Hots at Murphy’s © Murphy’s

Murphy’s promises the finest of Red Hots and it delivers. It’s as simple as that. But their Polish is pretty special too (and at 1/3lb – or around 150g – it’s something of a whopper). Just tread lightly regarding the much-maligned red condiment while you’re here. And eschew the garden salad as a side and opt instead for their Homemade American Fries. You’ll thank us later.



Chicago's Best hot dogs | Superdawg
Nighttime at the Superdawg drive-in © Superdawg Drive-in

For those who fancy a slice of local history with their hot dogs in Chicago, Superdawg is the place to go. First setting up shop on the site in 1948, this hot dog stand is a classic. Let the coy and charming hot dog mascots on the roof lure you to the drive-in (or pop in and grab) and order one of their trademarked “Superdawgs” – a pure beef hot dog with delicious trimmings.


Franks “˜N’ Dawgs

Hot dogs in Chicago | Franks 'N' Dawgs
One of the hot dogs at Franks ‘N’ Dawgs – tempting, no? © stu-spivack/Flickr

Hot dogs in Chicago don’t get more artisanal and upmarket than those found at Franks “˜N’ Dawgs – in fact, all that’s missing are the upmarket prices. Even the mac and cheese gets the five-star treatment here, thanks to a liberal dose of white truffle oil. Pick a dog with a little white chef hat next to its name on the menu and prepare for something great.


Gene & Jude’s

Chicago's best hot dogs | Gene & Jude's
Gene & Jude’s put the fries on their hot dogs – a stroke of genius © Lauren/Flickr

Found in River Grove, Gene & Jude’s makes a helluva dog – it was, in fact, named the No. 1 hot dog in the U.S. by Rachael Ray and Serious Eats. A classic since the “˜50s, not much has changed on this iconic dawg. The secret to their success? We think it’s down to the fact that they put fries on the hot dogs.


Wiener’s Circle

Chicago's best hot dogs | Wiener's Circle
Day or night, whenever you stop by, make sure to get cheese fries with your hot dog © Seth Anderson/WIkimedia Commons

Much like Superman and his mild-mannered alter ego Clark Kent, the milder-mannered side of Weiner’s Circle comes out to play during the day when it serves great dogs and some killer cheesy fries. But come nightfall, all bets are off. This is the best place to come for a hot dog at 4am, with a side of theatrics from late-night revellers and Wiener’s Circle employees (who pride themselves on giving as good as they get).


Header image © Jeremy Keith/Flickr


Virgin Atlantic make it simple to book your flight to Chicago, bringing these delicious hot dogs well within reach.


Have you tried any of these hot dogs in Chicago? Which are your favourites? Let us know in the comments section below.


Written by Giverny Tattersfield


Giverny Tattersfield

A lover of food, fun, and following her feet, Giv is a travel and food writer currently living and working in London. More than likely to be found planning her next trip/meal or with her nose in a book… You can follow her on Twitter @GivernyT.

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