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Chicago's 25 best hot dog spots

On October 3rd, Hot Doug's will serve its last elk dog with truffle manchego (no matter how much we beg). Helping you pick up the pieces to your hot dog-shattered life, we put together this list of 25 other Chicago dog-slinging stands worth shifting your patronage to.

Mike Gebert

North Side

Franks ‘N’ Dawgs ()
Lincoln Park
One of the longest-running gourmet dog spots, FND follows in Doug’s footsteps with house-made sausages in even wilder combinations, like the Brunch Dog topped with bacon and egg, or the Po’ Boy made up of seafood sausage with fried green tomato and Old Bay aioli.

BIG & little’s ()
Near North Side
You know that the Hot Doug’s high-meets-low cuisine spirit is strong in this one when you order your hot dog/burger/lobster roll/fish tacos with fries topped with a whole lot of foie gras.
Mike Gebert
Rapidito ()
Lincoln Park
South Americans like to put crazy stuff on their dogs, as this new Colombian spot will demonstrate for just about $6. Its dog comes topped with cheese, crushed potato chips, quail egg, and about three different sauces, including pineapple sauce. Craziest of all? It’s kind of great.

Flub A Dub Chub’s ()
Tucked in a basement along Broadway and run by a sweet older couple, this is the rare place that really makes Lakeview feel like a neighborhood. Get the extra-thick dog -- it's called the Chubby.
Red Hot Ranch
Red Hot Ranch ()
The Western Ave branch of this small chain (it's restaurant bros with Wiener’s Circle and 35th Street Red Hots) only has minimalist dogs (mustard, relish, onion, and sport peppers), fresh-cut fries, and fried shrimp. Why would you need anything else, though?

Fatso’s Last Stand ()
Ukrainian Village
Formerly Phil’s Last Stand, they have plenty-good char dogs and fresh-cut fries -- if you can tear yourself away from the In-N-Out-esque burgers or grilled salami.

Jimmy’s Red Hots ()
Humboldt Park
Minimalist dogs, fresh-cut fries fried in lard, panhandlers, dodgy guys selling pirated DVDs... Jimmy’s is a true Chicago experience.
Sean Cooley
Hoppin’ Hots ()
Imagine a Chicago dog with tomato jam, jalapeño mustard, a deep-fried pickle, and your choice of a beef or duck dog. This place takes the Hot Doug's gourmet sausage model so far, it could be Next: Ballpark. It's got really good fresh-cut shoestring fries, too.

Chubby Wieners ()
Lincoln Square
It's got pretty good Chicago dogs, plus a few more exotic things like the Cajun Creole Andouille Dog.

Hot Dog Station ()
Albany Park
CTA memorabilia (a lot more cheery than the actual Brown Line turnaround across the street) decorates this friendly, well-run stand with a few gourmet-style dogs alongside the classics.

Cookies & Carnitas ()
There’s only one dog on the menu at this farm-to-fast-food place, but it’s a regular Dirk Diggler: an obscenely long, specially made kosher dog served with Mexican-style relish.

Wolfy’s ()
Rogers Park
It's got perfect minimalist dogs under a great '60s sign -- we just wish it had better fries than its frozen shoestring ones.
Mike Gebert
Superdawg ()
Jefferson Park
Chicago’s best drive-in restaurant has real carhops, fat, garlicky hot dogs, freshly cut crinkle-cut fries, and thick-as-a-brick shakes.

Hot Dog Express ()
Portage Park
We'd trade the skinless dogs for natural casing Viennas, but otherwise, this friendly spot does a nice job with a Chicago dog and fresh-cut fries, along with other Chitown classics like gyros.
Kailley Lindman


Portillo’s Hot Dogs ()
River North
Yes, it’s a chain, but one that really did start in the blue collar suburb of Villa Park back in the 1950s, and turns out real-deal dogs to this day.

Fast Track ()
West Loop
You’d expect one of the last-surviving, workingman’s greasy spoons Downtown to make a good, classic Chicago dog (the kind with pickle, tomatoes, sport pepper, etc.), and they do.
Mike Gebert
Allium ()
$14 for a hot dog? Maybe -- but only if it comes to your table with individual mini-squeeze bottles of house-made ketchup, mustard, and relish, and if it’s as good as this upscale hotel restaurant’s house-made dog.

Haute Sausage (info)
The Loop
You've gotta love a food truck with a storefront in the Southwest corner of the Loop, making exotic things like bacon-guacamole sausage and alligator dogs. Another cool thing? They sell by the half-dog, so you can try a bunch of different kinds on the same visit. Not that you wouldn’t have, anyway.
Mike Gebert

South Side

Morrie O’Malley’s Hot Dogs ()
If there’s anywhere you ought to find hot dog tradition unchanged by time, it’s in the shadow of the Sox, and 35th St is a living museum of vintage dogs like this one.

Jim’s Original Hot Dog ()
University Village/Little Italy
Dating back to the old Maxwell St in the 1930s, this two-steps-below-no-frills stand takes you back to the primordial beginnings of Chicago dogs, and even better, the Polish sausage -- the 24-hour friend of the working man.
Mike Gebert
H-Dogs ()
An unlikely place to find Doug-style gourmet dogs, perhaps, but this stand gives them a South Side spin, from the H-Dog with turkey chili to the Turducken Cobb Dog (topped like a Cobb salad).
Mike Gebert
Fat Johnnie’s Famous Red Hots ()
Marquette Park
Lots of places call themselves a “hole in the wall”, but Fat Johnnie’s literally is one -- it's a walkup stand that looks like it’s about to fall down. The David Berg kosher-style dog doesn’t have the spice of a Vienna Beef dog (even though it comes from the same company), but this is one of the few places you can still try a Mother-in-Law, the dogless tamale in a bun that folks in the Great Depression ate when they couldn’t even afford a Chicago dog.

Carl’s Red Hots ()
South Chicago
This guy's a 1950s-vintage joint in a new building in the shadow of the Skyway, still cranking out dogs, Italian beef, and Chicago-style gyros.
Mike Gebert
Parisi’s Drive-In ()
A 1950s-era stand best known for Italian beef and Italian-breaded steak, but also not surprisingly, a place making a pretty good dog, too. Whatever you get, it’s all just to lay down a base for its excellent milkshakes, anyway.

Fat Tommy’s ()
Mount Greenwood
It's got the farthest-South genuine Vienna Beef dogs and fresh-cut fries in the city. That counts for something, right?

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Mike Gebert is a James Beard Award-winning food video producer and writer and Founder of Follow him on Twitter @skyfullofbacon.
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1. Franks 'N Dawgs 1863 N Clybourn, Chicago, IL 60614

Chef'd by a Blackbird/Sixteen alum, FND looks like an unassuming hot dog stand decked out in red, black, and steel and ornamented with photos of local graffiti (would also be American Graffiti, but shockingly Opie isn't anywhere).

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2. BIG & little's 860 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60610

BIG & little's is Chicago's one-stop wonder for fish 'n chips. There are also po'boys, truffle fries, burgers, and.... need we keep going? Just get there.

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3. Rapidito Colombian Gourmet Bites 1855 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614

This Columbian spot in Lincoln Park offers up authentic South American flavors, like their signature hot dog that comes topped with cheese, crushed potato chips, quail eggs, and about three different sauces including pineapple sauce.

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4. Flub A Dub Chub's 3021 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657

This Lakeview eatery is nestled in a basement along Broadway and it serves up quality greasy eats like burgers and 'dogs. Pro-tip: try the extra thick hot dog called the Chubby.

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5. Red Hot Ranch 2072 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Redhot Ranch is a char-dog fixture, whipping them up "Depression-style" with mustard, onion, relish, and peppers.

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6. Fatso's Last Stand 2258 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

This Ukrainian Village resto pretty much has the perfect name, with a menu chock-full of items like fresh-cut fries, char dogs, and burgers.

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7. Hoppin' Hots 1477 W Balmoral, Chicago, IL 60640

Hoppin' Hots is the place to get deliciously decorated and crazily infused hot dogs.

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8. Portillo's Hot Dogs 100 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654

Portillo's is a Chicago-area hot dog chain serving up authentic char-dog-style frankfurters.

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9. Allium 120 E Delaware Pl, Chicago, IL 60611

Allium's spiced up the former Seasons space with flourishes like a cheetah-print couch purring before a marble fireplace, as well as nosh from bison tartare w/ waffle chips, beer mustard, and a 62-degree egg, to dry-aged, 23oz bone-in ribeyes with blue cheese fondue.

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10. Fast Track 629 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60661

Originally created to serve friends and family the best food, Fast Track is still slinging out some of Chicago's best -- and fastest -- hot dogs. It's pretty cheap, but cash only.

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11. Jim's Original Hot Dog 1250 S Union Ave, Chicago, IL 60607

Established in 1939, Jim's is a Chicago institution and continues to be so because of its quality dogs, sausages, tasty sandwiches, and old-fashioned service. Allied: While you're out hotdogging, swing by the Rothschild Liquor Mart at 3530 W Roosevelt Rd and pick up some Smith & Forge, the hard cider that's built strong -- built from Apples and built to Refresh.

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12. Morrie O'Malley's Hot Dogs 3501 S Union Ave, Chicago, IL 60609

Another cash only joint, Morrie makes some killer Chicago-style hot dogs, as well as sandwiches and burgers. Oh, and there's an entire menu just for ice cream. Score!

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13. Fat Johnnies 7242 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60629

Fat Johnnie has been serving his famous hot reds -- aka hot dogs -- for 41 years and he isn't about to change anything. There's a reason these dogs are so famous in the Marquette Park area.

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14. Parisi’s Drive-In 6216 W 63rd St, Chicago, IL 60638

This is a Clearing staple for it's beef hot dogs and awesome sammies, even if it doesn't look very nice from the outside.

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15. Fat Tommy's 3031 W 111th St, Chicago, IL 60655

At this Mount Greenwood foodery, you'll find an array of fast-food favorites, from hot dogs to burgers to chicken to BBQ to... you get the idea.

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16. Hot Dog Express 4300 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60641

This quick-and-easy pit stop is the quintessential Chicago-dog spot, so head in for the ultimate assortment of toppings atop a crispy, juicy dog.

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17. Superdawg 6363 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60646

Up closer to Evanston, Superdawg reigns supreme for the ultimate Chicago dog.

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18. H-Dogs 4655 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60653

This gourmet Chicago-dog eatery is one of the best in the whole city. Head in for a Turducken Cobb Dog with all the fixings and a cold brew.

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19. Carl’s Red Hots 1957 E 83rd St, Chicago, IL 60617

This South Side eatery is most well-known for its seriously delicious Chicago dogs. However, don't look past their gyros, either -- they're steamy, crispy, and generally spiced to perfection.

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20. Jimmy's Red Hots 4000 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60651

Jimmy's has been serving minimalist "Depression" dogs alongside fresh-cut fries fried in lard to Chicagoans for for over 55 years.

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21. Chubby Wieners 4652 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

Not just a politically incorrect name you call your friend's fat dachshund, Chubby Weiners is all about classic Chicago hot dogs, plus a few more exotic things like the Cajun Creole Andouille Dog.

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22. Hot Dog Station 4742 N Kimball Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

This reliable hot-dog joint is right across the street from the Kimball Brown Line stop, and will impress you with a few gourmet-style dogs alongside the classics.

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23. Cookies & Carnitas 5759 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60660

Cookies & Carnitas serve exactly what you think they would... plus sandwiches, pizza, tacos, salads, and the Dirk Diggler: an obscenely long, specially made kosher dog served with Mexican-style relish.

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24. Wolfy's 2734 W Peterson Ave, Chicago, IL 60659

Wolfy's has perfect minimalist hot dogs, plus burgers, Italian beef, Polish sausage, and fries -- all under a great '60s sign.

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