Best Of Chicago

5 Best Hot Dogs: I’m Right (And You’re Wrong)

October 18, 2011 2:00 PM

View Comments


Lemme be perfectly clear: I don’t care if you put ketchup on your hot dog. I don’t even care if you put catsup on your hot dog. Or cat’s blood. You, sir or madame, whoever you may be, can put whatever the heck you want on your dog. I’ve lived in Chicago my whole life, I know the rules, but I don’t care.

With that said, ketchup or not, here are five of the best hot dog joints in the Chicago-land area. Don’t see your favorite on here? Then why dontchya whine about it!

No, seriously, we got a comments section for a reason.

hotdougslogo medium 5 Best Hot Dogs: Im Right (And Youre Wrong)


Hot Doug’s

3324 N. California
Chicago, Il 60618

There are so many choices! Literally. Sure, you got your standard Vienna dog, but Hot Doug’s doesn’t stop there. They’ve got a whole cadre of encased meats to fit any tastes. Like the Anna Kendrick, also known as the Fire Dog, previously known as the Keira Knightley, Jennifer Garner and the Britney Spears – perfect for those who wants something spicy (obviously). They got corn dogs (the Dave Pound), they got brats that are soaked in beer (the Paul Kelly), and they got a list of specials that changes daily. Right now, on October 18th, 2011, their special is a Mediterranean lamb sausage. Sure, I’ll try it.

Hot Doug’s also gained some fame over their use of foie gras (fattened duck liver) in some of their sausages. When the city made foie gras illegal, Hot Doug’s screamed, “revolucion!” and fought the system. How enchanting!

home2 5 Best Hot Dogs: Im Right (And Youre Wrong)



6363 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, Il 60646

How can you not love Superdawg? They’ve got the giant, cartoon hot dogs on top of their drive-in-like location that are bound to bring out the happy kid in any curmudgeon. Just don’t imagine you’re eating those lovable characters as you actually chow down on one of their great dogs. That’ll probably scar you, or cause at least a little damage to your psyche, or something. Anyways, stop by this great fast food restaurant for great decor and food!

22236 306411559555 306408309555 3256347 2520732 n 5 Best Hot Dogs: Im Right (And Youre Wrong)

(credit: Gene & Jude's)

Gene & Jude’s

2720 River Road
River Grove, IL 60171-1325
(708) 452-7634
Gene & Jude’s Facebook

Remember that rant I had about ketchup at the beginning of this article? Yeah, well, forget about it for this spot. Gene & Jude’s DEFINITELY cares about ketchup. They hate it. They do not have it on the premises, and if you ask for it, two guys (unless you’re unlucky, then three guys), will jump the counter and dispense a good, old fashioned pounding on you.

Just joking, they won’t beat you up.

Still, don’t ask for ketchup. They got great dogs, but they won’t let you sully ’em with anything made from tomatoes.

My advice? Bring your own ketchup (for your fries, they got great fries, by the way), and keep it in your car. There’s not a whole lot of room to eat inside anyways. Just, uh, don’t let anyone see ya with the contraband.

36360 114053018640342 112876892091288 92474 1251665 n 5 Best Hot Dogs: Im Right (And Youre Wrong)

(credit: Pluto's)

Pluto’s Beef & Hot Dogs

10341 South Cicero Avenue
Oak Lawn, IL
(708) 425-2222
Pluto’s Facebook

It’s a trek to go that far Southwest, but everyone in Oak Lawn agrees, Pluto’s is great for, well, everything. Dogs especially. They don’t only make amazing Chicago style dogs though, they have great Italian Beef and burgers. One of those places where it’s hard to find anything on the menu that’s bad.

header logo copy 5 Best Hot Dogs: Im Right (And Youre Wrong)


Vienna Beef

2501 North Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647-2101
(773) 278-7800

Want a good hot dog? Just go right to the source. The majority of the dogs you eat are Vienna, so why not visit Vienna Beef’s factory? The public is allowed to eat in their cafeteria, so stop by for lunch sometime, they’ll be happy to see ya. The best part about visiting the cafeteria is that you can eat one of their tasty dogs, then buy a bunch frozen to make at home. Or, if you’re lookin’ for something different, maybe you’ll want to buy a gigantic bag of bagel dogs instead. Or! And this is a stretch, a giant bag of mini bagel dogs. Just, you know, get whatever you want.

So there you go. Five great places to get processed mystery meat. Eat as many as you’d like, but not too many. Who will read my articles if you die early of a heart attack?
Mason Johnson, CBS Local Chicago
View Comments
  • Carrie

    Little Joe’s in LaGrnage…incredible hot dogs and Italian beef. Been going since I was a kid.

    • anthony karee

      Carrie,,How long have it`s been since you were a kid ???

  • Not a Hoosier

    Arnie’s Dog House. Three locations: Hammond, Whiting and Munster, Indiana. They have excellent fries, too.

  • Leona

    GENE AND JUDES by far the best. When visiting Chicago, that’s one of the first places I go..gotta go to GENE AND JUDES…….Thanks Mason for the reminder……

    • Sharky

      The great thing about Gene and Judes is that my Wife and I went there on our WEDDING day because our reception ran out of food. Here I was standing in the back of the line in my Tuxedo getting ready to by the store because my girl and myself were starving! The owner was so cool that he asked the people in line if I can get in the head of the line. Of course they said yes. True Chicagoians. I live in Kentucky now. they don’t know what a hot dog is. Sonic makes them close though.

      • red rocket

        Kentucky? Really?! What part? I, too, am a Chicagoland transplant now in KY.

  • Lisa

    Gene and Judes hot dogs are good, but the fries are the bomb!

    One of my favorites is:
    Dave’s Red Hots
    3422 W Roosevelt Rd
    Chicago, IL 60624

    They’re reasonably priced and has great fries too!

  • dennis

    you left out jimmys on grand/pulaski by far one of t he best

    • g-man

      You walk out with nothing but a bag of grease when you walk out of Jimmys at Grand / Pulaski

      • Mr Bill

        And that is what is so good about it!

      • Pete Plascencia

        Man speaks da truth.

    • stanpillman

      jimmys is legit!!!!!

  • Samantha

    U Dawg U
    300 S. Happ Rd.
    Northfield, IL 60093

    Great food & excellent service!!!

    • Rick

      Hard put to aknowledge, “best hotdog in Chicago”, when so many mentioned by commrntors are not even in Chicago. It is also VERY difficult to find a poor quality dog in the City, as those places don’t stay in business long. Depending on individual taste, the amount of spice used in packing the casing usually is a matter of personal taste, just very glad to live in the heart of hot dog land…Yummo!

  • David Shane

    I’ve gotta agree with the top 3 (although Hot Doug’s doesn’t have the best “hot dog” they have the best overall encased meats). Also the Vienna store is kind of an easy way out. I’d go with Herm’s Palace in Skokie for a true Chicago dog.

  • Megan

    Devil Dawgs. Amazing amazing amazing.

    • CFLC

      Devil Dawgs, Sheffield and Webster, another good one.

      • Vikki Vega

        @Megan & CFLC>> You mean the one under the ‘El? That place was closed down and had to move cause of renovations to the ‘El’…. Did they open a new store?

  • Barrett

    Parky’s in Forest Park. It’s a different kind of hot dog, but tasty.

  • Bob

    Little Island on Grossepoint in Skokie, Susies on Montrose, Wolfy’s on Peterson, and I agree Arnies in Whiting.

  • Josh

    Novi’s in Berwyn makes a mean dog. Perfect with a beef sandwich.



  • Arcie Kalouris

    I agree that PLUTOS has the best hot dogs and the best overall everything. I travel from the northwest suburbs just to get delicious food. I have been going their since they have opened.



  • TIM S


    • Chris C

      GMAB. They don’t have the greatest seating. They are nice and the food is great but the seating is not the draw. It’s the food. If you ate from 3 Hotdog places in one day I’d recommend a diet for the next month.

  • michael

    Hands down, Byron’s. Best fries voted by GQ, and doesnt get any better than a place invited to serve at the White House Congressional Picnic. All others are second rate.

    • Barbara

      Can’t beat Byron’s Hot Dogs. Fabulous fries, fresh vegetables, unlimited seasonings. The White House knows the best!

    • mavsmom

      BYRONS rules the world! And the fries are amazing!

      • john

        Byrons puts the rest of them to shame, I eat there daily, its been featured on cooking shows and they did serve the white house, if its good enough for the most powerful man in the world, its definitely good enough for me!

  • THEIrishHog

    “a trek to go that far southwest?” Let me guess, this idiot writer is from the Northside. Ive been to 3 of the 5 listed (not including the one in Oak Lawn) and they all pale in comparison to the Southside establishments. Johnny’s Weenie Wagon (formerly Willie’s Weenie Wagon) stands out amongst the best.

  • Brad

    These are all great places but Bob-O’s gets my vote. Their hotdogs have the best flavor and their ingredients are fresh and flavorful. They also serve hand cut fries, which not many places do. On top of it, their interior is nicer and there’s places to sit down inside and out.

  • steve

    Jimmys is awesome! Had them when i was like 10 years old, i’m 48 now…went back 2 years ago just to try it out, as good as it ever was!!!! Yea Jimmy!!

  • Vikki Vega

    1503 W. TAYLOR ST.

    • Pete

      Exactly. Patio is the best for dogs and beefs on Taylor.

  • Vikki Vega

    @ Steve… if you are referring to ‘Jimmy’s’ on Grand St. then you have mentioned the second best hotdog in town… lol
    BTW… the folks that own the Patio on Taylor St. are good friends with the owner of Jimmy’s…lol All of them living in Melrose Park, IL….

    • geno petricca

      Grand Ave! Whoa….I’m from Grand/Western Ave’s…The Patch

  • Rick H

    Superdawg? You’ve got to be kidding. I tried my first Superdawg about a year ago and swore I’d never go back. Well, I did – simply to see if I was just having a bad “hot dawg” day. Nope….same icky meat-product! Sorry Superdawg lovers!

    Now, Weiner Take All onm deerfield Parkway in Buffalo grove has the best dogs and fries!! Give them a try!

    • Paula

      I agree — Superdawg is not good. Try Poochie’s in Skokie, up the street from Herm’s Palace.

    • Jay Davis

      I agree Superdawg is overrated. Their fries are short and greasy. I also think their beef again uses canned green peppers.. Try the Dairy Queen on Devon 5 or 6 blocks west of Harlem. They make the dogs and fries fresh after you order them. Also Dear Franks in Village Crossing in Niles.

      • suzyb

        Superdawg doesn’t even have beef sandwiches. How can they use canned green peppers?

    • juju

      Superdawg is one of the worst. Not sure why people talk highly of it. I will never go back.

  • Bill

    THe best was Manny’s hot dogs at Richmond and Irving park road.But Manny is serving em up in heaven now,with the nehi flavored pops!

    • joe hrejsa

      Classic 50’s in Georgetown Square, Wood Dale has the original 8-1 hot dogs & pops from the 50’s with real cane sugar. A blast to the past. Also home style fresh cut fries.

    • RJ

      Yes! Manny’s was the best! I remember before Manny had the shop at Richmond and Irving he sold them out of a trailer at my cousin’s gas station at the corner of Mozart and Irving where a Burger King is now.I’m talking 1950’s to early ’60’s.

  • Al

    I love Gene and Judes! but if youre in the Scnaumbutg area Frankly your:s is just as good. On Algonquin east of Meacham rd, or the one in Elkgrove also on Algonquin rd east of rt 83

  • thor


  • danny

    what about the wiener circle in chicago. great grilled hot dog and cheese spread fries

    • Rita


  • kenny

    fat jonnys hot dogs around 73th s western the best

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live