The Consensus 7 Best Hot Dogs In Chicago Across Foodie Reviews

Heading to Chicago soon? You have to try a Chicago dog while you’re there! It’s not just any hot dog – it’s like a whole Chicago experience in one bite. Picture this: an all-beef frank snug in a steamed poppy seed bun, topped with mustard, sweet relish, onions, tomatoes, a pickle spear, sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt. And remember, no ketchup – that’s the Chicago way. Grabbing one of these bad boys is like taking a culinary tour of the city. You haven’t visited Chicago until you’ve had one! But where do you find the best hot dog in Chicago? Read on!

Regardless of what condiments you slather on your hot dog, where are the top spots around town to savor a dog? We’ve scoured the opinions of foodies across eight popular websites to bring you the ultimate list of the best hot dogs in Chicago. Did we miss a dog you love? Comment below.

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hot dogs with condiments
(Photo by Ball Park Brand on Unsplash)

The List: The Best Hot Dogs in Chicago, According to Locals

1. Superdawg

The Superdawg Drive-In is an institution which is why it tops our list! The kitschy landmark on N. Milwaukee Avenue has been around since 1948. Secret Chicago believes the spot offers “one of the most distinctive hot dogs in the city.” It’s packed in a cartoon-covered box and is delivered by uniformed servers. There’s a suburban location in Wheeling.

If you grew up in Chicago, you most likely made many trips to Superdawg. Food Network Chef Jonathon Sawyer is a native and told Eat This, Not That — there is simply no other place to get the perfect Chicago Dog. He not only loves the hot dog but the fries too, calling them “the best, most crispy, salty consistent french fries of all the old brigade Wolfies/Portillo/Weiner Circle.”

Bon Appetit says the skinless dogs served here are made specifically for Superdawg. The magazine loves the pickled green tomato wedge on the side, saying they’d never seen that at another other hot dog stand in town. Don’t forget to take a selfie with the two massive hot dog mascots on top of the building.

2. Gene and Judes

This is another legendary hot dog stand that has been topping hot dogs with a “fistful of fries” since 1951. Timeout says you’ll have to wait in a long line to get your dog, but it’s well worth it. Be sure to order your dog with everything and hold the ketchup.

The buns at this joint don’t have poppy seeds, but it’s layered with the usual Chicago toppings and topped with hand-cut fries. Don’t expect a warm and fuzzy kind of place. Secret Chicago says it’s “no-nonsense” and lives by the slogan “NO SEATS. NO KETCHUP. NO PRETENSE. NO NONSENSE. AMERICA’S #1 HOT DOG.”

Big 7 Travel says there’s no need to make any modifications to the toppings because “when the dog’s this good, it doesn’t need any modification.”

3. Redhot Ranch

Redhot Ranch hot dog (
Redhot Ranch hot dog (

The owners of the two Red Hot Ranches on the North Side also own 35th Red Hots on the South Side. According to Bon Appetit, the best thing to order is a double dog with everything — since the hot dogs are slim. Also, don’t worry if your bun falls apart — it happens to everyone.

If you want a simple and affordable Chicago dog experience, Secret Chicago says this is the place to go. The “depression dog” is topped with mustard, relish, sport peppers, and onions with a side of fries and it’s a super affordable, yet filling meal.

This retro establishment doesn’t just serve over-the-top hot dogs, the cheeseburger is popular too. Cozymeal says if you like “burgers with smashed, crispy patties” order one along with your hot dog.

4. Fatso’s Last Stand

If you like a hot dog with more of a barbeque flavor, Big 7 Travel says you love the ones served at Fatso’s. Their char dog is the popular item at the spot also well known for their mac and cheese and milkshakes. There are two locations, one in Ukrainian Village, and the other in Lincoln Park.

Once known as Phil’s Last Stand, Secret Chicago says this is another reliable spot to get a great hot dog anytime during the day. While charred, the toppings are Chicago-style and include celery salt.

According to 312 Area, Fatso’s is a great place to chow down after enjoying the Chicago bar scene. The website says the popular spot knows how to end your night with great eats.

5. Jimmy’s Red Hots

If you don’t like B.S. this is your kind of hot dog stand which is open every day until 1 a.m. Don’t expect to find a seat, there aren’t any. Bon Appetit says you have to fight the crowds standing at the counter. They don’t have an ounce of ketchup in the place, even for your fries.

This hot spot has been selling tasty Vienna Beef hotdogs since 1954. Secret Chicago says this is a “quintessential Chicago experience” you won’t want to miss.

Timeout calls Jimmy’s a “purist’s hot-dog stand.” Instead of ketchup, Jimmy’s sells house-made habanero hot sauce for your fries.

6. Wolfy’s

A Wolfy's Hot Dog
A Wolfy’s Hot Dog (

Stick a fork in it, it’s done! Your mouth will start salivating the moment you see the iconic Wolfy’s sign on Peterson. This place has served up Chicago dogs since 1967. Eater Chicago says “the jumbo char dog” is the thing to order.

The place is spotless and the service is top notch too! According to Timeout, “the Vienna beef char-grilled Polish is near perfect,” but the hot dog is “the best in the city.”

A dog is super affordable at Wolfy’s, but Secret Chicago says it’s worth an extra dollar to get a Jumbo Dog, which the website describes as “the real deal.”

7. The Weiners Circle

The Weiners Circle
The Weiners Circle menu items (wienerscirclechicago)

Celebrity Chef Ming Tsai told Eat This, Not That, “Weiner Circle after midnight” is a must. It’s a nonsense style that can’t be beaten. Tsai even likes the Polish sausages and the cocktails.

Renovated in 2021, this institution that rounds out our list has a back bar and patio. According to Eater Chicago, the stand remains the same offering “the best char dogs” in the city.

Get your dog with a side of “verbal abuse” at this Chicago classic. Timeout says they’ve developed their brand of “smack-talking” here and you can’t miss a late-night dog.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

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About the Author

Amy Chodroff

Amy Chodroff is a recovering Morning Radio Show Host and award-winning broadcaster who recently retired from DFW’s Morning News on KLIF in Dallas. Fondly known as the “Chief Googler” by her friends, it was a seamless transition for StudyFinds to enlist her expertise for their “Best of the Best” franchise. Amy has an innate curiosity and a penchant for thorough research before any purchase and she’s constantly on the hunt for top-notch products. Outside of her digital explorations, Amy loves to explore the world with her husband and is the proud mother of two adult daughters. You can also find Amy on the pickleball court, perfecting her dink and drop shots.

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  1. A few of those places are not well known or even on the radar. How can you leave out Fat Johnny’s? Really Its a South Side Landmark

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