Chicago-style hot dog

Chicago-style hot dog
Chicago-style hot dog.jpg
Chicago-style dog at Costco
Place of origin United States
Region or state Chicago, Illinois
Dish details
Course served Main course
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredient(s) Beef
Poppy-seed bun
Yellow mustard
Chopped white onion (raw)
Neon green relish
Sport peppers
Tomato wedges
Crisp kosher dill pickle spear
Celery salt[1][2]

A Chicago-style hot dog, or Chicago Dog, is a steamed or water-simmered all-beef frankfurter[1][3] on a poppy seed bun,[4] originating from the city of Chicago, Illinois. The hot dog is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish (often a dyed neon-green variety, sometimes called piccalilli[5]), a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt.[1][6][7][8] The complete assembly of a Chicago hot dog is said to be "dragged through the garden" due to the many toppings.[9][10]

Some variants exist, adding ingredients such as cucumber slices, but the canonical recipe[1] does not include ketchup, and there is a widely-shared, strong opinion among many Chicagoans and aficionados that ketchup is unacceptable.[11][12][13][14] A number of Chicago hot dog vendors do not even offer ketchup as a condiment while ones that do often use it as a litmus test.[15]



Many sources attribute the distinctive collection of toppings on a Chicago-style wiener to historic Maxwell Street and the "Depression Sandwich" reportedly originated by 'Fluky's' in 1929.[1][9] Vienna Beef frankfurters, the most common brand served today, were first sold at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.[16][17][18] Both the founders of Vienna Beef and the proprietors of Fluky's were Jewish, which accounts for the wieners' pork-free, kosher-style character.[18]

The Chicago area boasts more hot dog restaurants than McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King restaurants combined.[17][18] A "hot dog stand" in Chicago may serve many other items, including the Maxwell Street Polish, gyros, Italian beef and pork chop sandwiches. The restaurants often have unique names, such as 'Mustard's Last Stand' in Evanston, or 'Chubby Wieners' in Chicago;[19] or architectural features, like 'Superdawg's' two giant rooftop hot dogs (Maurie and Flaurie, named for the husband-and-wife team that owns the drive-in).


Chicago-style hot dogs are cooked in hot water or steamed before adding the toppings.[1][8] A much less common Chicago style is grilled and referred to as a "chardog."

The typical hot dog weighs 1/8 of a pound or 2 ounces (57 g) and the most traditional type features a natural casing, providing a distinctive "snap" when bitten.[7][20]

The buns are a high-gluten variety made to hold up to steam warming, typically the S. Rosen's Mary Ann brand from Alpha Baking Company.[4]

Popular vendors

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Zeldes, Leah A. (2010-07-07). "Eat this! The Chicago hot dog, born in the Great Depression". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc.. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  2. ^ Vienna Beef hot dogs. "The Periodic Table of Vienna: Chicago Style Hot Dog Condiments". Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  3. ^ Sweet, Lynn. (2010-06-10). "Chicago hot dogs at the White House". Chicago Sun-Times.,CST-NWS-hotdog10.article. Retrieved 2010-08-01. "Chicago-style hot dogs are steamed" 
  4. ^ a b Zeldes, Leah A. (2010-07-13). "It takes big buns to hold Chicago hot dogs". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc.. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  5. ^ Zeldes, Leah A. (2010-07-20). "Origins of neon relish and other Chicago hot dog conundrums". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc.. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  6. ^ Leroux, Charles (2005-08-30). "Chicago hot dogs". Chicago Tribune (Tribune Co).,0,3842862.story. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  7. ^ a b Smith, Kathie (2007-05-01). "Chicago's food history". Toledo Blade (Block Communications). Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  8. ^ a b Fluky's. "HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN "CHICAGO STYLE HOT DOGS"". Retrieved April 28, 2007. 
  9. ^ a b Zeldes, Leah A (2002-09-30). "How to Eat Like a Chicagoan". Chicago's Restaurant Guide (Chicago's Restaurant Guide). Archived from the original on 2002-10-01. Retrieved 2002-09-30. 
  10. ^ "Chicago-style Hot Dogs and Hot Dog Stands". BBC. 2003-01-02. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  11. ^ "Recipe Detail: Chicago Style Hot Dog". 
  12. ^ Gibson, Kelly; Portia Belloc Lowndes (2008). The Slow Food guide to Chicago: Restaurants, markets, bars. Chelsea Green Publishing. p. 238. ISBN 978-1931498616. Retrieved February 18, 2010. "... no self-respecting Chicagoan would think of using ketchup as a condiment..." 
  13. ^ Fodor's (2009). Fodor's Chicago 2010. Fodor's. p. 189. ISBN 978-1400008605. Retrieved February 18, 2010. "Make sure to never add ketchup to your Chicago-style hot dog: a major no-no among hot dog aficionados." 
  14. ^ Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog
  15. ^ Zeldes, Leah A. (2010-07-22). "Do only barbarians put ketchup on hot dogs?". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc.. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  16. ^ Zeldes, Leah A. (2006-07-22). "And the wieners are ... ' Frankly speaking, top 10 suburban hot dog stands serve up plenty of good eating". Daily Herald. Paddock Publications.;col1. Retrieved 2010-08-01. "Some 1,800 hot dog stands serve Chicago and the suburbs, according to Peter Sload, spokesman for Vienna Beef, the sausage maker that supplies about 85 percent of them. That's more than all the McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King outlets here combined." [dead link]
  17. ^ a b Weller, Sam (August 2002) [2000]. "Secret Hot Dogs". Secret Chicago. Photographs by Linda Rutenberg (2nd editition ed.). Toronto: ECW Press. pp. 113–116. ISBN 155022493X. "two young immigrants from Austria-Hungary toted their secret frankfurter recipe to World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Today, the Vienna all-beef hot dog recipe is served up by 2,000 vendors across the city. In fact, there are more Vienna Beef wiener vendors in the city than there are Burger King, Wendy's, and McDonald's outlets combined." 
  18. ^ a b c Zeldes, Leah A. (2010-07-06). "The Chicago-style hot dog: 'A masterpiece'". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc.. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  19. ^ Zeldes, Leah A. (2010-07-30). "Relishing Chicago's 10 funniest hot-dog joints". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc.. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  20. ^ Zeldes, Leah A. (2010-07-08). "Know your wiener!". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc.. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 

Additional reading

  • Bowen, Rich; Fay, Dick (1983). Hot dog Chicago: A native's dining guide. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. ISBN 0914091271. 

External links

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