While Chicago pizza has been having a good start to the week, we can’t help but think of the hot dog as an equally important part of our city’s culinary DNA. And just like everyone from out of town seems to think that we eat nothing but deep dish pizza, we are often thought of as having only fully loaded hot dogs in the city limits. But we see a whole range of diversity out there. A recent crop of restaurants have been expanding the kinds of toppings, using different brands of dogs, and even rethinking what kind of buns to use. Some of these are imports are from other cities (Leo’s Coney Island), while others have just appeared from the wild imaginations of our chef’s brains (Belly Shack’s Belly Dog). What these all have in common is the base of a simple hot dog.
As far as rules, we just decided to leave out any mention of a Chicago style hot dog, whether that refers to the fully loaded version or the very popular depression dog. Both are glorious and perfect things, but they’ve had their spotlight before. Also, there’s no other kind of sausage allowed on this list. So that’s why the creative offerings of Hot Doug’s won’t make the list (don’t worry, we still love you).
Let us know if we left off any new place.