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Real Chicago Hot Dogs Ingredients

Updated on February 29, 2020
Chicago Dog, dragged through the garden.
Chicago Dog, dragged through the garden.

A Chicago Dog

A Chicago hot dog is a real treat, and one of the most readily available foods at most public venues in the city. Now you will be able to make one at home, without having to worry about going all the way into downtown Chicago to get a good one.

The Chicago hot dog, or Chicago Dog for short, is a hardcore Illinois tradition right in line with Chicago Style Pizza. They're made a particular way, and are a smash hit. Chicago dogs come with their own taboos, too, and traditions. You never ask for ketchup, a point I cannot stress enough. This is just not done, it's not the way a Chicago dog should be had.

So how do you properly enjoy a Chicago hot dog? Look below for ingredients and instructions. Enjoy!

Ingredients in a Chicago Dog


  • Poppy seed hot dog bun
  • Beef hot dog, boiled
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Pickle relish
  • Raw white onion, chopped
  • tomato, sliced
  • Kosher Dill pickle, spear cut
  • sport peppers
  • celery salt

Easy Assembly

Toast your bun lightly, and take a deep breath, because here comes the second best part about a Chicago Dog --putting it together!

  1. Lay your all-beef hot dog in the bun.
  2. Spread yellow mustard over it in a zig-zag pattern.
  3. Bathe the dog in relish, for authenticity use one of those bright neon green colored relishes.
  4. Sprinkle chopped onion over the relish.
  5. Now stick two tomato slices, or wedges if you prefer, on either side of the hot dog.

  6. Add two or three sport peppers.
  7. Lightly apply celery salt over the top.
  8. The finishing touch -- gently lay two spears of Kosher Dill pickles on the very top of all of this.

Without further ado, admire your work and chow down.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT add ketchup. A genuine Chicago Dog has NO ketchup on it, and if you were to order a Chicago style hot dog in Chicago, they'd turn you away for ordering ketchup. It's against the rules!


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    • dana825 profile image


      12 years ago from Chicago

      oh i couldn't resist reading this one. i am a chicago girl and love a chicago hotdog!!! there's nothing better in the entire world.

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      I ate at a hot dog stand in Chicago and some out of towner ordered a hot dog with the evil ketchup. I told the owner he should ask next time if such a space alien is an out of towner. If I owned a hot dog stand, I'd put a sign saying "Due to Hizzoner's Decree, Ketchup will not be served on hot dogs".

      You want ketchup on a hot dog? Get off this planet!

    • sdorrian profile image


      13 years ago from Chicago

      Great Hub! My mouth is watering! I think the one thing that really makes the difference is the celery salt. It's a very subtle flavor, but it changes the whole dynamic of the dog.

    • drbruce profile image


      13 years ago from Singaraja, Bali

      Thanks for this great hub. One of my favorite foods during my 30 years in Chicago was a hot dog from the ones at Wrigley Field to the incredible ones on UIC campus during the early 70s. I make my own now in Bali but I've never been able to duplicate the taste. I think that you have to eat them in Chicago to really get the taste.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      13 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I love cucumbers AND pickles on them!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      13 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      It sounds good, ( SHHHH! I'll bring the Ketchup...okay?)

      Tasty hub regards Zsuzsy

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      13 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Yeah, you just don't do that. I've done a little reading about this particular tasty lunch treat, and there are plenty of restaurants in Chicago that will flat out deny you service for asking for ketchup. It's tradition they're protecting!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      13 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Good one! :) I saw this on Unwrapped one night on food network. The guy still wanted ketchup. LOL People looked at him like he was nutz.


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