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Nov 29, 1999 02:08 PM

hot dogs

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The threads are getting old. Can someone highlight the best hot dog places in Chicago. I recall going to "Weiner Circle" some years ago, but I haven't been to Chicago in a while.

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    Patrick Thompson

    My favorite is Byron's (several locations; I frequent the Lawrence Avenue branch). The dogs are excellent, the Polish even better, and the condiments are unsurpassed. I also like the SuperDawg drive-in at Milwaukee and Devon in the summer; the bun gets a little squished amongst the fries in their signature packaging, but that's a quibble.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Patrick Thompson

      Byron's is very good--I like the branch on Irving Park, right under the curve in the el--but for my money, the best hot dogs in Chicago are still the crunchy, garlicky beasts at Fluky's. To eat a Fluky's dog is to shudder with pleasure. The Weiner Circle has an interesting scene (if you enjoy watching Lincoln Park yuppies being harrassed by potty-mouthed counterfolk, and who doesn't?) but the dogs are just okay. And I hate to disagree with a fellow Byron's devotee, but SuperDawg is kind of gimmicky...and they don't even use Vienna franks.

      1. re: j gold
        Patrick Thompson

        Well, of course SuperDawg is gimmicky. How could you not say that about a joint with male and female, Tarzan and cheerleader weenies with glowing eyes perched on the roof? But there is something about downing one of their dogs with a chocolate malt on a hot day in summer, top down on the TR....

        I'll check Fluky's in the next week (it's been eons) and see if it has a chance of superceding Byron's.

        Ever been to Wolfy's? The Sterns give 'em high marks, but I don't much care for their grilled onions.

        1. re: Patrick Thompson
          Jennifer Weisberg

          Wolfy's? No, it's seen better days. I recommend, in addition to the always satisfying Superdawg, Poochie's, on Dempster in Skokie, just west of East Prairie, and Bill's, on Asbury in Evanston, immediately north of Howard. The hot dogs are superb, much better than the always overrated Fluky's and Wolfy's.

          There are many great things about living in New York. Sadly, real hot dogs are not one of them. Every time I am in Chicago to visit my parents, I have at least one superdawg, usually en route from the airport. The world should only know how wonderful Chicago hot dogs are.

          1. re: Jennifer Weisberg

            totally agree about new york. i live in jersey, and the hot dogs out here just don't compare. in fact, it is one of the foods i miss most about chicago, along with burritos, pizza, and italian beefs.

            chicago junk food rules!

            1. re: dongstadden

              Whenever I have a hankering for fabulous hot dogs, I go to Karl Ehmer's and get knockwurst. They're bigger than hot dogs, but the skin snaps when you bite in and they are always flavorful and the texture is smooth and wonderful-- almost like a good mousse (actually, along those lines, the weisswurst wins the prize for most ethereal texture in my book).

              1. re: Barb. H.

                Sorry, I got carried away thinking about great hot dogs and reasonable facsimiles thereof. That last post should be on one of the NYC boards or the best of board.

              2. re: dongstadden

                Chicago Dogs rule!
                Please, no ketchup. Try mustard,onions, sweet relish, and celery salt. Sport peppers are good, too, if they don't give you agita.
                Sauerkraut? Ha ha ha ha

            2. re: Patrick Thompson
              Patrick Thompson

              I did a little comparative dog ingestion today, and I must say I was quite impressed with Fluky's. Good taut-skinned snap at first bite, and excellent condiments (if not so lavishly applied as Byron's). Poochie's was a slight disappointment; the dogs were a little, um, flaccid, in my opinion, and the fixin's undistinguished. Excellent skin-on fries, though. I'd imagine they'd be good as a base for chili cheese fries (the Doggie Diner on Armitage is my current fave for these).

        2. I have to vote for Fluky's. After all, it was the teenage hangout of my mother and father when they attended Sullivan High School in the mid-1930s.

          When I met Fluky in 1975, he claimed to remember them. Even if it was a white lie, his hot dogs were as good as my parents claimed. This is a place with history and character.

          Long live Chicago hot dogs!

          You might want to check out this hot dog link...


          1. The best hot dogs in Chicago are SuperDawgs at Milwaukee and Devon. Period.

            Pure beef vienna hot dogs, poppy seed bun, topped with pickled tomato, sport peppers, unnaturally green relish, mustard, onions, pickle and the fries are "trown on top". Great malts, too.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lisa

              Ummm....Superdawgs is possibly the one major hot dog stand in Chicago that doesn't use Vienna beef, unless you count the concessionaires at Wrigley Field. And a Superdawg dog is okay, but nowhere as insipiring as the drive-in setting, quick access on the way to the airport, the dancing hot dog on the roof...or the true Viennas at Fluky's.

            2. I can't believe nobody mentioned Gold Coast Dogs on State and also in Union Station. They have killer hot dogs and the fries are so fresh, they're incredible. Fluky's and Superdawg hurt my stomach. I prefer a hot dog that tastes really good.