It's not even close, America—Chicago is the nation's hot dog capital. Here, it's an all-beef wiener with a snappy natural casing, buried under a virtual salad of ingredients, all topped with celery salt—just don't add ketchup! Below, in alphabetical order, is a list of nine hot dog joints that Chowhounds love.
1017 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago
Conveniently close to Wrigley Field; for a Chicago-style dog, ask them to hold the lettuce.
#1 on map
FRANKS 'N' DAWGS
1863 N. Clybourn Avenue, Chicago
The hot dogs are worth a try, but the heart of the menu is the array of tasty sausages.
#2 on map
GENE & JUDE'S
2720 River Road, River Grove
A must-stop for hot dog purists: The only condiments you'll find here are mustard, relish, onions, peppers, and pickle.
#3 on map
HOT DOUG'S (pictured)
3324 N. California Street, Chicago
Only open for lunch. Great for classic Chicago dogs, but also for duck-fat fries and restaurant-style sausages, including the infamous foie gras and duck.
#4 on map
JIMMY'S RED HOTS
4000 W. Grand Avenue, Chicago
Go for the simple Vienna beef dogs and greasy, fresh-cut fries.
#5 on map
3602 Dempster Street, Skokie
Worth the trek. Try a char dog, and while you're at it, a char cheeseburger.
#6 on map
100 W. Ontario Street, Chicago
Branches throughout Chicagoland, and expanding to other states, too. Go for the hot dogs and the Italian beef sandwiches.
#7 on map
2622 N. Clark Street, Chicago
For the total experience, visit when it's busy: weekends after midnight.
#8 on map
WOLFY'S HOT DOGS
2734 W. Peterson Avenue, Chicago
Consistent over the years, it's a great choice for the classic Chicago dog.
#9 on map
Hot Doug’s photo by Flickr member Joel Washing under Creative Commons
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