The 35 Best Hot Dog Spots in Chicago (and the 'Burbs)

Chicago's Dog House
Chicago

The 35 Best Hot Dog Spots in Chicago (and the 'Burbs)
The 35 Best Hot Dog Spots in Chicago (and the 'Burbs)

Chicago's Dog House
103,800

Is Chicago still a hot dog town? You’re more likely to see smashed-burger chains or healthy-eating places (whatever that is) opening these days. But who are you trying to kid? We’re still the greatest hot dog town in the country, plump Viennas and Red Hot Chicagos and Eisenbergs all nestled in steamed Rosen’s buns in practically every neighborhood and suburb there is. We picked them from all over the Chicagoland area, so you’re never far from a frankfurter feast.

Mike Gebert/Thrillist

North Side

Hot “G” Dog

Address and Info

Uptown

Unless it’s game day and you have a bleacher section ticket, Hot Doug’s is no more. But Doug’s old staff is still making the exact same dogs in this Uptown storefront. It doesn’t have his personality, but it’s good to know that his Thuringer (and more exotic things) live on.

BIG & little’s

Address and Info

Near North Side (& other locations)

You know that 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.

Chicago's Dog House

Chicago's Dog House

Address and Info

DePaul

Once, Demon Dogs was the DePaul student’s hard habit to break, 'til the CTA invoked eminent domain on the beloved old stand, expelling it to Hades. Now this spot, near Lincoln and Fullerton, will tempt you with the standard items, as well as more exotic ones like duck sausage with foie (sounds familiar) and the Midway Monster (bacon and giardiniera).

Rapidito Colombian Gourmet Bites

Address and Info

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

Address and Info

Lakeview

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

Redhot Ranch

Address and Info

Bucktown & Lakeview

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

Address and Info

Ukrainian Village

Formerly Phil’s Last Stand, it has 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

Address and Info

Humboldt Park

Minimalist dogs, fresh-cut fries fried in lard, panhandlers, dodgy guys selling pirated DVDs... Jimmy’s is a true Chicago experience.

Mike Gebert/Thrillist

Ivy’s Burgers, Hot Dogs & Fries

Address and Info

Forest Glen

The sleepy northwest side isn’t where you go for culinary innovation, so it’s a surprise that besides perfectly solid dogs and burgers, this shop offers things like a Japanese hot dog (with seaweed salad and pickled ginger) or a Sonoran dog (green salsa, bacon, avocado, and about five other things). You won’t be sorry if you get one of the thick shakes (made with Homer’s Ice Cream), either.

Relish Chicago

Address and Info

West Rogers Park

Tucked away at the very north edge of the city, this friendly “street food” stand offers classic dogs, burgers, and even tacos, as well as novelties like a habanero burger and a pulled pork burger, and last, but far from least, excellent fresh-cut fries.

Chubby Wieners

Address and Info

Lincoln Square

It's got pretty good Chicago dogs, plus a few more exotic things like the Cajun creole andouille dog.

Courtesy of Superdawg

Superdawg

Address and Info

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 Station

Address and Info

Albany Park

CTA memorabilia (a lot more cheery than the actual Brown Line turnaround across the street) decorates this friendly, well-run stand, which serves a few gourmet-style dogs alongside the classics.

Cookies & Carnitas

Address and Info

Edgewater

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

Address and Info

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.

Allium

Downtown

Allium

Address and Info

Streeterville

Seventeen dollars 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.

Portillo's

Address and Info

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 that turns out real-deal dogs to this day.

Fast Track

Address and Info

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 it does!

U.B. Dogs

Address and Info

The Loop

This speedy Loop spot does classic Chicago dogs, but if you can take the heat, check out the Joey Dog, which piles fries and garlic-wasabi aioli on top, and dashes it all with Tabasco.

Mike Gebert/Thrillist

South Side

Kimski

Address and Info

Bridgeport

Bridgeport may be the home of hot dog tradition, but the fast-rising neighborhood is also the cutting edge of hot dogdom, with its Polish-Korean fusion dog (topped with house-made kimchee) at this stand attached to much-loved Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar.

Morrie O'Malley's Hot Dogs

Address and Info

Bridgeport

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

Address and Info

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.

Hot Dog Express

Address and Info

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.

Mike Gebert/Thrillist

Fat Johnnie's Famous Red Hots

Address and Info

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.

H-Dogs

Address and Info

Bronzeville

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).

Carl's Red Hots

Address and Info

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

Address and Info

Clearing

A 1950s-era stand best known for Italian beef and Italian breaded steak, it's not surprisingly a place making a pretty good dog, too. Whatever you get, it’s all just to lay down a base for the excellent milkshakes, anyway.

Fat Tommy's

Address and Info

Mount Greenwood

It's got the most genuine Vienna Beef dogs and fresh-cut fries in the southernmost point in the city. That counts for something, right?

Gene & Jude's Hot Dogs

Suburbs

Gene's & Jude's

Address and Info

River Grove

Allegedly founded when one of the owners lost his original stand at Polk & Western in a card game, this vintage stand draws lines out the door every weekend for fresh-cut fries and minimalist dogs. Forget all that tomato-and-pickle-on-top business, this is purely mustard, relish, onion, and sport peppers. If you dare to put ketchup on such a thing, you’re going to have to slink in shame to the McDonald’s next door for it.

The Dogout

Address and Info

Bannockburn

Bannockburn has a serious Ye Olde Scotland thing going, and The Dogout is located in what looks like a strip mall which was built to defend it against the Visigoths, letting you enjoy a solid dog while imagining the clans of Orangetheory and Sport Clips rising up alongside you to fight for FREEDOM!

Mike Gebert/Thrillist

Rand Red Hots

Address and Info

Des Plaines

There are lots of hot dog stands that try to evoke the 1950s, but Rand Red Hots is the rare one that does it so convincingly that I had to look up how old it really is. Nope, it only goes back to 2013, but it’s an old soul -- the minimalist dogs, wrapped with the fries (contributing crucial mustard-onion flavor to your taters), could have walked right out of Gene’s & Jude’s, and the prices, if not 1950s-level, are at least highly reasonable.

Mike Gebert/Thrillist

Frosty Penguin

Address and Info

Park Ridge

It’s hard not to smile on a hot summer day as you drive up to the penguin on the sign. The dogs are good, not great (they’re skinless, for one thing), but the soft-serve ice cream and the off-the-beaten-path location on a quiet stretch of Busse Hwy make you feel like you’re in a small town far from Chicago.

Big Guys Sausage Stand

Address and Info

Berwyn

Owner Brendan O’Connor truly runs the little stand that could. At Big Guys, which operates out of a former Parky’s (a local hot dog chain in the near west suburbs), you could have a fine Vienna Beef dog, or the hand-patted burger. But the best things here are the sausages, all made in-house, like the spicy smoked hot link or the bacon-wrapped cheddar brat.

Demon Dawgs Chicago

Demon Dawgs

Address and Info

Alsip

South suburban Alsip had a famous, Superdawg-like drive-in in The Frosted Mug, but it closed a couple of years ago. Trying to carry on the carhop-served, eat-in-your-front-seat tradition is this friendly spot, which occasionally has classic car meets.

Michael's Chicago-Style Red Hots

Address and Info

Highland Park

The North Shore may be one of the richest places in America, but it often feels like old-school America at the same time, and few places do so more than this 40-year-old hot dog stand, where lots of future executives got their start with summer jobs flinging char dogs and fries. But time hasn’t completely stood still here; it also has a new innovation called a “salad bar!”

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Mike Gebert is a James Beard Award-winning food video producer and writer, and the founder of SkyFullOfBacon.com. Follow him on Twitter @skyfullofbacon.

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1. Hot "G" Dog 5009 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640 (Uptown)

This no-frills wiener joint has encased meats for every palate. Thanks to a Hot Doug’s vet in the kitchen, you can chow down on everything from wild boar dogs drizzled with chipotle mayo and topped with sautéed garlic and pepper jack to smoked alligator dogs. But don’t trip, purists: it has an all-beef Chicago-style dog, too.

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2. BIG & little's 860 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60610 (Near North Side)

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. Chicago's Dog House 816 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

This is one dog house you won't mind being in. Located in Lincoln Park, CDH doles out a host of tasty hot dogs (some of the best and most underrated in the city) ranging from the standard to fancier options like the French Poodle Hot Dog (Brie cheese, pear slices, and Grey Poupon), plus burgers, sausages, fries, and more.

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4. Rapidito Colombian Gourmet Bites 1855 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

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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5. Flub A Dub Chub's 3021 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657 (Lakeview)

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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6. 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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7. Fatso's Last Stand 2258 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

This no frills, Ukrainian Village eatery pretty much has the perfect name, with a menu chock-full of items like fresh-cut fries, char dogs, and burgers. One of the staples here is the Double Fatso with cheese -- two perfectly grilled beef patties flanked by slices of American cheese, onion, and secret sauce -- a burger that can give In-N-Out a run for its money.

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8. Jimmy's Red Hots 4000 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60651 (Humboldt Park)

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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9. Ivy's Burgers, Hot Dogs and Fries 5419 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60646

The man behind this Edgebrook hidden gem has a history in the restaurant business, which you can tell immediately once you taste his food. The wieners are black Angus dogs from Eisenberg, and aside from a stellar Chicago-style version, you can also try one of Ivy's specialty dogs, including The Japanese with seaweed, gari, and wasabi cream.

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10. Relish American Street Food 7210 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60645 (Rogers Park)

This vibrant shack-looking spot standing on a corner of California Ave. doles out all of the street food favorites like tacos and some of the best hot dogs in the city (a tall order for Chicago). The quirky bright green interior matches its novelty dishes like the spicy habenero and asian-inspired burgers (always sided with fresh cut, crispy fries). This hidden gem is unknown to many, so it's wraparound bar with ample seating never fills up too quickly, ensuring you a prime window spot.

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11. Chubby Wieners 4652 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (Lincoln Square)

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

Superdawg opened its doors on the corner of Milwaukee, Devon, and Nagle Avenues in 1948 and became an instant success, wowing Chicagoans with its slightly spicy hot dogs topped with picked green tomato. Today, the classic drive-in still maintains its rep as one of the best spots for hot dogs in the city. You can order from the takeout window or grab one of the small handful of indoor seats, but we suggest you go full-on '50s and pull up to one of the carports and order through the retro call box. You'll want to go for the Superdawg, served on a poppy seed bun and dressed with golden mustard, tangy piccalilli, kosher dill pickle, chopped Spanish onions, and a hot pepper. It comes with a side of scrumptious crinkle-cut fries, too.

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13. Hot Dog Station 4742 N Kimball Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (Albany Park)

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. Traditional Chicago dogs are served alongside the "Long Island" (kraut, chili, onions), other geographically-named wieners, and popular Italian beef sandwiches.

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14. Cookies & Carnitas 5759 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60660 (Edgewater)

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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15. Wolfy's 2734 W Peterson Ave, Chicago, IL 60659 (Rogers Park)

Wolfy’s has been a part of Chicago's famed hot dog history since it opened in 1967, serving up quintessential Vienna char-dogs. They'll only cost you a couple bucks and come topped with the Magnificent Seven. If you're feeling daring (and extra hungry), go ahead and make it a double. This '60s-style joint, which you can't miss due to its huge sign out front (a giant hot dog speared on a fork that says "Wolfy's") dishes out scrumptious burgers, Polish sausage, and shoestring fries, too.

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16. 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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17. Portillo's Hot Dogs 100 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

Local favorite Portillo's specializes in classic Chicago-style hot dogs and an otherworldly chocolate cake that keeps fans coming back for more. They know what they're doing when it comes to hot dogs: the first Portillo's hot dog stand opened in 1963. They also know what they're doing when it comes to chocolate cake: they put it in milkshakes. That's right -- their chocolate cake shake comes blended with generous chunks of the lauded dessert. It's truly a masterpiece.

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18. 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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19. U.B. Dogs 185 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60606 (Loop)

This counter-focused Loop lunchery's streamlined menu focuses on Chi classics like steamed Vienna Beef double dogs with all the fixin's, and housemade giardiniera-topped Italian beef on Gonnella bread, plus fresh-cut fries covered in chili, onions, and ch

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20. Kimski's 960 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60608 (Bridgeport Sox)

Korean and Polish fare collide in epic fashion at this casual, street food-heavy expansion of Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar. Mouthwatering eats include meat potskis filled with ground beef and potato, a "Maria's Standard" house-made sausage decked in soju mustard, kraut-chi, and late-night-only Kimski poutine drenched in kimchi beer gravy and a potato scallion quesadilla -- both of which are only served after 9pm. And, of course, everything is meant to be enjoyed in the company of a nice cold beer.

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

The stand-up only Polish sausage sandwich stand dating back to the old Maxwell St in the 1930s grills bone-in pork chops to a sizzle and serves them on hot buns with layers of yellow salad mustard, mounds of sweet Spanish onions, and spicy peppers. They're irresistibly tender and tasty, and a bag of fries is thrown in for free.

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23. Hot Dog Express 4300 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60641 (Portage Park)

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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24. Fat Johnnies 7242 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60636 (Marquette Park)

If there's any proof in this world that the best food can come from the most dodgy-looking places, Fat Johnnie's is it. What looks like a makeshift shack (that could collapse at any moment) on the side of the road near Marquette Park slings the best hot dogs in the area thanks to stacks of cheese, chili, relish, onions and surprising stuff like tamales and cucumber. The depression-style of these dogs make them super cheap -- luckily it's easier to carry multiple in one hand.

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25. 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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26. 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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27. 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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28. 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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29. Gene & Jude's 2720 River Rd, River Grove, IL 60171

Gene & Jude's is the most iconic hot dog stand in Chicago. From its founding in 1946, it's enforced four simple rules that most other stands have since tried to adopt: no seats, no ketchup, no pretense, no nonsense. That's right: not a drop of ketchup can be found here. On top of your Vienna Beef dog you'll find relish, onions, hot peppers, and mustard, plus a pile of fresh-cut French Fries. It's a tried-and-true formula that's brought this classic family-owned spot success for decades.

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30. Dogout 2567 Half Day Road, Bannockburn, IL

Tucked away in a medieval-looking strip mall, The Dogout slings hot dogs and burgers like a '50s diner, right down to its black-and-white tiling and made-to-order menu. A couple spare bucks will get your multiple fully-loaded dogs with all the staple toppings or a juicy burger. What's not to be missed here, though, are the crinkle0cut french fries, always serves with thick and creamy cheese dipping sauce instead of ketchup.

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31. Rand Red Hots 1441 Rand Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60016

This drive-thru and outdoor eatery in Des Plaines has got some serious 1950s flair -- with its turquoise paint, neon signage, and kitschy condiment decoration, it's surprising that it's only been around since 2013. And its hot dogs follow suit with old-school style and minimal toppings. The fry-wrapped dogs (Vienna, of course) really speak for themselves. You're not paying depression-era prices for them like at most joints, but these high-grade dogs won't spare you much more anyway.

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32. Frosty Penguin Grill 1056 Busse Hwy, Park Ridge, IL 60068

Park Ridge's most precious hidden gem lies within a small corner shack, and it doles out daring hot dogs, mammoth-sized angus burgers, and an impressive lineup of ice-cold treats like shakes, sundaes, and big cups of soft serve blended with any cookie or candy imaginable. The quiet suburban location and the skinless sausages on their everything-topped dogs offer an experience unlike any other you'll find in Chicago.

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33. Big Guys Sausage Stand 7021 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn, IL 60402

Chicagoans love the "blue collar gourmet" street food from this tiny Berwyn joint so much, they've taken to hiring them to cater even the classiest of weddings (because who wants chicken or fish?). The house-made sausages like the spicy links and the cheddar-wrapped brats make for the best dogs around, and they can only be matched by their other offerings like hand-pressed burgers and pork chop sandwiches.

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34. Demon Dawgs 11541 S Pulaski Rd, Alsip, IL 60803

The giant gathering of hot rods at this Alsip's spot has probably caught your eye once or twice due to its regular vintage car shows -- just one of the many ways Demon Dawgs carries on the '50s traditions of the its predecessor, The Frosted Mug. The diner-style menu is set in stone with bbq sandwiches, simple cheeseburgers, and most importantly, true Chicago-style dogs (read: piled high with mustard, sweet relish, onions, tomatoes, sport peppers, a dill pickle, and celery salt).

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35. Michael's Chicago Style Red Hots 1879 2nd St, Highland Park, IL 60035

The bright blue trays and vibrant coloring of this old-school hot dog shop make it an utterly Instagram-able favorite among North Chicago's millenial crowd. Slinging the local red hot staples piled high with onions, relish, pickles, and sauces, Michael's recipe for success hasn't change a bit since it began as humble hot dog stand in the late '70s. They have, however, expanded their menu to include burgers, salads, and baked potatoes.

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