Chicago Style Hot Dog - The Best Dressed Dog in America
Chicago Style ...
Chicago, Illinois is a U.S. city like no other, especially when it comes to style -- styling food, that is. While Chicago may be well-known for its six major league sports teams, legendary gangster history, "creative" political machinery, or skyline with one of the world's tallest buildings, perhaps it is Chicago's inventiveness with food that puts this great city on the map. Afterall, Chicago-style hot dogs and Chicago-style pizza are steeped in their own rich histories.
But, to understand how the Chicago hot dog came to be, one must first understand what makes a hot dog a Chicago-style hot dog.
The Vienna Chicago Style Hot Dog - Hold the Ketchup
Chicago Dog - The Toppings Matter!
A Chicago hot dog has more toppings on it than any other hot dog in the United States, giving it the honorable distinction of being the best-dressed dog in America. When making or buying a Chicago hot dog, not only is it critical that the exact toppings are used, but the order in which the toppings are placed matters, as well. Additionally, the dog itself must be all-beef and a sesame seed bun is a requirement.
Notice, that ketchup is nowhere to be found in the list of hot dog toppings below. Ketchup is shunned condiment when it comes to masterfully creating a Chicago style dog -- so much so that while some Chicago hot dog stands may be willing to provide ketchup on the side, they usually are not willing to "deface" the dog themselves. A perfectly-made Chicago hot dog will include the flavor of every ingredient in every mouth-watering bite.
Chicago Style Hot Dog Toppings (listed in the proper order for placing on hot dog):
- chopped onion
- bright green relish
- 2 sport peppers (medium-hot pickled pepper)
- 2 tomato wedges
- 1 thin dill pickle spear
- celery salt
The "Dog" itself must be:
- all-beef; diehard Chicagoans insist on Vienna Beef Hot Dogs
- grilled or steamed (never boiled)
And the hot dog bun must be:
- a sesame seed bun
Chicago Hot Dog Lingo
Dragging it through the garden - a fully-loaded hot dog with all the toppings
Garden on a Bun or Salad on a Bun - other names for the fully-topped Chicago dog.
Depression Dog - alternate name for Chicago hot dog since it came into being during the Great Depression
New York Style Hot Dog
The New York style hot dog has considerably less toppings than its Chicago counterpart.
- hot dog is boiled
- toppings included mustard and steamed onions
- the sesame seed bun is steamed (just like Chicago)
The Chicago Hot Dog's Humble Roots: The "Depression Dog"
So, how did this hot dog with more toppings than any other hot dog in America come to be? The "birth" of the Chicago hot dog occurred during The Great Depression and today is still referred to by some people as a depression dog. During the depression era, Chicago hot dog vendors skillfully combined a little ingenuity with a big helping of competitive spirit, in order to make a buck (or about 5 cents actually). Money was scarce and a hot dog in a bun provided a meal for many people. In order to attract customers, toppings were added as each vendor tried to out-do the other and sell more hot dogs. Eventually, the hot dog with basically a salad on the top became the recognizable Chicago style hot dog that it still is today.
Have Chicago Hot Dogs Shipped to Your Door
Hot Dog Trivia
Fun Facts about Hot Dogs:
- More hot dogs are sold at Chicago's O'Hare airport than any other single location (2 million).
- Dodger Stadium sells the most hot dogs out of all the major league baseball parks (1.7 million).
- Twenty-three million hot dogs are sold in baseball parks each year.
- Chicago is 4th city in terms of hot dog sales after Los Angeles, New York, and San Antonio.
- The hot dog is the only street food allowed in Toronto, Canada, making it one of the best places to get a Chicago style hot dog.
- Hot dogs are also known as wieners, franks, frankfurters, and red hots.
Far from Chicago? Buy Chicago Dogs Online!
Finding a Chicago style hot dog in Chicago is the opposite of "finding a needle in haystack." Hot dog vendors, stands, and restaurants with hot dogs on the menu, abound. The Vienna Beef sign can easily be spotted throughout the city.
A local Chicago chain, Portillo's, sells Chicago beef dogs and now has two locations in California and one in Indiana, as well.
Luckily for those that do not live near Chicago, it is easy to order a Chicago hot dog kit from Portillo's or Vienna Beef, and have them delivered in time for gift-giving, barbecues, tailgating, Super Bowl parties, or for no reason other than to enjoy the unique flavors of a Chicago dog.
Best Chicago Hot Dogs
Not located within Chicago city limits, but everyone raves about Gene and Jude's dogs.
There's always a line, but worth the wait.
Lots of locations in Chicagoland and 2 locations in California and 1 in Indiana.
Two giant hot dogs on the roof - Maurie & Flaurie. Opened in 1948.
Get your hot dog with an attitude. Some say this place is over-rated.
$2 a dog - Price can't be beat for a Chicago dog.
"No Ketchup" sign in the window!
Looking for other fun things to do in Chicago?
- Free and Fun Things to do in Chicago
Fun things to do in Chicago is a given, but did you know there are plenty of fun and free things to do in the Windy City, as well? Discover Chicago's free attractions and events.
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