Is Chicago Famous For Hot Dogs? [ Special Chicago Hot Dogs ]

Is Chicago Famous For Hot Dogs

Those who are foodies have a tendency to cravings for unique and tasty food. And when it comes to eating hot dogs, we all are looking for chicago style hot dogs. As a foodie, I know that Chicago style hot dogs are known across the world for their unique and delicious taste. 

Of course! Chicago is famous worldwide for hot dogs. There are some specific rules and regulations to make Chicago style hot dogs that are not commonly seen to make others. In addition, there is a keen difference in terms of ingredients to make Chicago hot dogs. 

In today’s article, I’m going to write down everything you need to know about Chicago style hot dogs. So keep on reading this article until you reach the bottom line. 

Specialty Of Chicago’s Hot Dog:

If you think of normal hot dogs, you would think about the most common ingredients. For example, soft bun, pork, chicken or beef mixed Frank,  mustard and definitely ketchup. 

But in Chicago style hot dogs, they are completely different ingredients. Chicagoan uses poppy seed buns for hot dogs which is notably not used in other hot dogs. Plus, Chicagonian use Vienna beef sausage instead of pork frankfurter. 

And almost everyone agrees with me that this sausage has a different taste and texture you won’t find anywhere else. Chicago style hot dogs are also included in relish and a bit of mustard.

However, the strangest thing is they don’t put ketchup in their hot dogs. Yes, you read it right. Anyway, don’t let it turn you off because you can’t imagine how delicious it is even without ketchup. 

What Are The Differences Between Chicago Hot Dogs And Others? 

As a professional chef, I’ve pointed out 5 key differences between a Chicago style hot dog and other hot dogs. Let’s look at the chart to know the differences with ease. 

Different AspectsChicago Hot DogsOther Hot Dogs
Price Cost more than other hot dogs costs less than Chicago hot dog
IngredientsNo Ketchup Ketchup 
Sausage Vienna beef sausage Frankfurter 
BunPoppy seed bunNormal Bun
SpiceSport peppers are usedNo spicy items are added

What Are The Common Ingredients That Are Used To Make Chicago Hot Dogs? 

Most common ingredient that is used to make a Chicago style hot dog is mustard. The other ingredients are the same as typical hot dogs.

 Why Ketchup Is Not Used In Chicago Style Hot Dogs?

Ketchup is not used in Chicago style hot dogs. Because in 1954, Jimmy Faruggia claimed that ketchup is used to cover up the rotten taste of meat. And from then to till now, no one uses ketchup to make Chicago style hot dogs.

How Much Is An Average Chicago Style Hot Dog?

The cost of Chicago style hot dogs mainly depends on the version. There are two versions of Chicago style hot dogs. These are the Boiled version, and the Grilled version. 

Between them, boiled version Chicago style hot dogs are cheaper than grilled version Chicago hot dogs. Look at the chart below. This is the common price range of Chicago style hot dogs. 

Chicago Hot DogsPrice
Boiled version $2
Grilled Version$2.50

4 Reasons Why Chicago Is Famous For Hot Dogs

Chicago style hot dogs are famous for many reasons. But among them, four are the main reasons why they are famous. These are:

  1. Chicago style hot dogs are famous for having perfect snap in sausage. 
  2. No use of the ketchup rule made everyone curious about Chicago hot dogs. And this simply unique feature has made hot dogs famous across the world.
  3. Sport peppers with hot dogs give a new definition of tasty hot dogs.
  4. The nutty flavor of poppy seed bun that is steamed before serving made Chicago style hot dogs unique than others.

9 Steps That Are Followed To Make A Chicago Style Hot Dog 

Let’s face it! Chicago style hot dogs are not famous without any specialty. I’ve noted that there is a step by step process that is applied to make Chicago style hot dogs. These are: 

1. Bun

These aren’t like the regular buns. Instead of regular buns, they use poppy seed hot dog buns. Poppy seeds give the bun a nutty flavor. Another secret of their bun is they never toast their buns like sometimes we see in normal hot dogs. In Chicago, they give the bun a steam bath. It’s an easy but kind of critical process because if anyone overdoes it then the bun will be gummy textured.

2. Hot dog: 

The heart of a whole hot dog is their sausage. Chicago feels pride in their hot dog. Because their sausages are only made of Vienna beef. Usually, hot dogs are boiled because they want to maintain the beef texture and  flavor out of the sausage. I know lots of you may only love the char version of the hot dog but you need to try this version. Who knows you could fall in love?

3. Mustard: 

Nothing can go wrong with the mustard. It’s the regular mustard sauce that is put on every hot dog. Not super hot in taste, just a mild delicious flavor that every American loves.

4. Onion: 

Personally, I love minced onions in my hot dog. In Chicago style hot dogs, they don’t use minced onions. Instead, they use roughly chopped onions so that you can feel the crunchy juicy texture from the hot dog.

5. Relish: 

This relish is too vibrant green in color. It’s weirdly satisfying to the eyes for its color. Because it’s kind of neon green. It’s sweet in taste. Chicago style relish was called atomic because it was invented during the time of the atomic bomb.

6. Tomato: 

Normal big sized tomato cut into wedges style in a perfect amount to bite in. Some also cut tomatoes into thin half circle slices.

7. Pickle: 

Who doesn’t love pickles? They use the classic Dill pickle which gives the hot dog a sour kick to it.

8. Sport pepper: 

Sport peppers are chilli hot peppers. Usually, 2/3 sport peppers are used in Chicago style hot dogs. They provide a kick to the hot dog. It’s not mouth burning spicy because all other ingredients don’t contain any spicy element. So sport pepper balances everything. This sport pepper is another reason that made Chicago style hot dogs famous. 

9. Celery salt

At last, the hot dog is assembled by adding celery salt onto it. It not only enhances the taste but also it is healthier than normal salt. Because it contains less sodium than others. Celery salt gives a fresh flavor to vegetables that is why celery salt is used in a hot dog.

What Are The Most Famous Stores In Chicago In The USA For Hot Dogs? 

Chicago style hot dogs are indeed famous. But these 6 places take Chicago style hot dogs to another level. Needless to say, these are the most famous stores in the USA for hot dogs.

Name LocationPhone Number
Portillo’s4505 E Towne Blvd, Madison, WI 53704, United States+16088192720
Gene And Jade’s2720 N River Rd, River Grove, IL 60171, United States+1 708-452-7634
Superdawg1.Wheeling, IL, United States 2.6363 N Milwaukee Ave+18474591900 +17737630660
Wolfy’s 2734 W Peterson Ave, Chicago, IL 60659, United States+1 773-743-0207
The Wiener’s Circle 2622 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, United States+1 773-477-7444
Devil’s Dawg 767 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605(312) 583-9100


  1. If these 6 stores are not easily accessible to you, you can go to any local vendors near you. There are hundreds of thousands of vendors in Chicago who sell Chicago-style hot dogs. 
  2. Chicago-style hot dogs are not made for any kid’s birthday party but for an actual adult. Because they contain lots of vegetable goodies. Due to the assembly of vegetables, Chicago-style hot dogs are known as  “dragged from the garden”.
  3. Chicagoan is not against the law to use ketchup in a hot dog. However, it’s quite against their food law because they have been eating like this from the beginning. And of course, they are famous for it.

Final Verdict:

In a nutshell, it’s your choice if you want to try a Chicago style hot dog. My duty as a foodie is to clear the question in your mind “Is Chicago famous for their hot dogs?”.

Overall, I would definitely recommend everyone to try this hot dog at least once in your life. Chicago style hot dogs are special and unique. It will also help you to discover Chicago and explore your food world more. To know more about hot dogs, you can read our other articles for better understanding.

You may also want to read

Microwave is safe to make hot dogs

What Is The Difference Between Hot Dogs And Sausage

4 Things That Are Harmful In Hot Dogs For A Dog

How Many Ways Can Hot Dogs Be Made At Home

Raymond Brown

This is Raymond Brown. I have created this website to share kitchen hacks and to teach easy recipes. You can use these kitchen hacks to improve your cooking skill. By profession, I am a Michelin chef from California. From my teenage years, I had a keen interest in cooking. I took a diploma in Culinary Arts to start my career as a professional chef.

Recent Posts