Apr 12, 2022 - Food and Drink

Local's guide to the best hot dogs in Chicago

A mini version of The Duck Inn Dog served at a charity event.

A mini version of The Duck Inn Dog served at a charity event. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Our guide to the best hot dogs in Chicago starts with Monica and Justin.

Monica's pick: I love a traditional dog from a fast-food joint, but I'm giving props to chef Kevin Hickey's Chicago-style Duck Inn Dog ($12).

  • It starts with a house-made, snappy, beef-pork-duck fat wiener served on a poppy seed brioche bun.
  • But instead of topping it with the traditional seven condiments, Hickey slathers it with a relish made from all of them — the Super Condiment — to wonderful effect.
hot dog and fries
Char dog from Fatso's Last Stand. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

Justin's pick: As someone who wishes I could drag all my food through the garden, I am partial to the char dog instead of the traditional steamed. That's why I'm going with Fatso's Last Stand in Ukrainian Village.

  • Their char dog with fries is $5 and comes complete with all the fixings, including the absolutely mandatory sport peppers.
  • Pro tip: Shove the fries in the hot dog.

🌭 We also asked for top hot dog picks from Axios Chicago readers, and as always, they delivered:

Jori F: "Paradise Pup in Des Plaines has an outstanding dog."

Mike M: "You should get to the 'burbs more. Gene & Jude's in River Grove is my favorite."

  • Chris A agrees, saying, "The fries...oh those fries!"

Monica H: "Ropa Cabana (summer only) at Greenleaf and the beach offers Chicago-style and themed dogs, and the best view in town."

Emily W: "For the classic steamed dog — you can't go wrong with Byron's.

  • My go-to for a char-dog used to be Murphy's on Belmont (RIP) 😭.
  • Since moving to the NW Side a few years ago, I find all my hot dog needs (steam and char) are satisfied by Jeff's Red Hots on Cicero."

Laura B: "Bob O’s Hot Dogs on Irving. The dog itself is simple, but the fries are fresh cut and perfect."

Rael J: "The best hot dog spot in the city is 35th Street Red Hots, just west of Sox Park. They only take cash, the fries are amazing, and they make you ring the bell of shame if you want ketchup."

Scott L: "Mustard's Last Stand in Evanston!"

Jim B: "Superdawg! Pricey, but worth it."

Tim O'Brien, president of Vienna Beef: "I love Axios Chicago. And I love any hot dog stand that serves the authentic Chicago-style!"

John Z: "Long before it became a pricey touristy destination, I walked past Superdawg every day on my way home from Taft High School, and it's still my go-to place for Chicago dogs.

  • The crinkle-cut fries truly complete the package, especially washed down with one of their (brain freeze in waiting) chocolate shakes."
  • But don't miss the onion chips, perfect for sharing."

Rachel R also loves Superdawg for their pickled green tomatoes and "those crinkle-cut fries!"

Cliff N: "If you are grilling hot dogs for a crowd, you won't find any better than the natural casing wieners at Makowski's Real Sausage at 2710 S. Poplar."

  • "My grandfather bought them in the 1950s (when they were only wholesale) and I still do. Plus their history on the website is interesting."

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