The Chicago staple receives the royal treatment with these top finds to devour in July, known to foodies as National Hot Dog Month.
The Hot Dog goes upscale at Allium.
In the city where you'll find hot dog joints with pun-centric names on every other block, you'll also find delectable, gourmet options that kick the humble hot dog up a notch. Here, our five favorite Chicago dogs to suit every discerning palate.
Every Chicagoan knows what the classic entails: celery salt, onions, pickle relish, mustard, pickles, and tomatoes—and never, ever ketchup. Sure, you can find it at the corner dog house, but when the occasion calls for right-off-Michigan-Avenue dining, the upscale version with homemade ingredients at Allium at the Four Seasons is the answer. 120 E. Delaware Pl., 312-799-4900
The city let out a collective sob when an iconic hot dog spot in Avondale announced it'll be closing its doors for good come October. Until then, stop by Hot Doug’s every chance you get for everything from the classic dog to one with a not-to-be-taken-lightly kick. The hottest of the hot is The Bo Derek, formerly named after bombshells like Brigitte Bardot and Selma Hayek. 3324 N. California Ave., 773-279-9550
The hot dog goes international with Franks ‘n’ Dawgs' Muscles from Brussels. The international flair comes from the truly European bratwurst sausage and Brussels sprouts leaves, which are crisped and used as a topper. As for the rest of the tricked-out dog, the pretzel crumbs, white balsamic reduction, pancetta, and black pepper mayo make it anything but ordinary. 1863 N. Clybourn Ave., 312-281-5187
With a hot dog on the menu at Bill Kim’s Latin and Asian fusion eatery Belly Shack, we knew this wouldn’t be a typical Chicago dog. Topped with egg noodles and pickled vegetables, it’s an interpretation rich with Asian influences and one we’re willing to ditch the classic for—temporarily. 1912 N. Western Ave., 773-252-1414
Vegetarian does not equal boring. Layered under toppings like house-pickled jalapeños, ancho ketchup, a fried egg, and a healthy helping of sharp cheddar sauce, the Sassy Hot dog from Hoppin’ Hots is a must-order for non-vegetarians, too. 1477 W. Balmoral Ave., 773-989-4687