Food & Drink

The amazing Chicago-style hot dog & bar crawl

Published On 08/09/2013 Published On 08/09/2013
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1. Gold Coast Dogs 210 S Canal St, Chicago, IL 60607 (Gold Coast)

Gold Coast Dogs is a Chicago-style char-dog institution, serving up only the finest dogs slathered in fixins.

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2. Snuggery 225 S Canal St, Chicago, IL 60607 (Gold Coast)

The Snuggery is a sports bar and pub located in Chicago.

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3. Westminster Hot Dog 11 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60602

With from-scratch hot dogs and innovative toppings, Westminster Hot Dog in Chicago takes the char-dog to new heights.

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4. Stocks & Blondes 36 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60606

Stocks & Blondes is a Chicago restaurant with a 25-beer draft menu and killer burgers & wings.

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

Phil's does hot dogs well: Get a char dog wrapped up with a healthy amount of fresh-cut fries for four bucks, and add on $1.25 for a side of Merkts cheddar because... cheese.

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7. Tuman's Tap & Grill 2159 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

Tuman's Tap & Grill features a seasonally rotating American menu with signature selections, 28 draft crafts, and seasonal outdoor seating.

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

Chicagoans love their dogs hot and Red Hot Ranch's blinking red arrow sign directs them to this cash-only standby for "Depression Dogs:" Vienna beef dogs with mustard, onion, relish, sport peppers with a fist full of french fries in the bun. The natural-cased weiners pop when you bite them and the fries are crisp. Thin-pattied double cheeseburgers satisfy, but when in the dog house, get the dog.

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9. Quenchers Saloon 2401 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Opened in 1979, this laid-back corner bar on the Bucktown/Logan border was a craft beer bar way before people on the Internet were making lists of good craft beer bars. Because there was no Internet. And, there weren’t really other beer bars. They aren’t really the type to brag that they did it first, though (well, they do call themselves “Chicago’s Original Beer Bar,” but they don’t broadcast it too loudly). They’re too busy maintaining an unassailable tap list, throwing kickass rock shows in the back, and offering kickass-er specials all week. Just because you have great craft beer doesn’t mean people can’t appreciate $1 Blatz and $2 mystery shots.

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10. Hot Doug's 3324 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Billing itself as an "encased meat emporium", Hot Doug's is a temple of Chicago-style char-dogs.

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11. The Wieners Circle 2622 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

Many businesses have come and gone in this neighborhood since the '80s (Blockbuster, McDonald's, a post office, numerous bars), but one thing has never changed: a famous hot dog stand called The Weiner Circle. For just a few bucks you can get a classic Vienna Red Hot served on a poppy seed bun and topped with The Magnificent Seven and grilled onions. You can also get a side of late-night profanity from the staff -- a tradition that started back in the early '90s when owner Larry Gold tried to get the attention of a drunk patron by yelling, “Hey. Asshole.” Its beloved reputation for vulgarity is still alive and well, and some customers even pay for it by tipping.

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12. 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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