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Real Chicago Pizza/Hot Dogs, where?

  • j

New to Los Angeles from Chicago and I'm looking for some tastes of Chicago to keep me from being homesick.

I need real Chicago style pizza: crust, cheese, and red sauce on top. I see one more alleged Chicago style pizza with cheese on top, I will lose my mind.

I need real Chicago hot dogs: Vienna all beef with all the trimmings. It should be packed and one is a meal but you eat two because the first was so good.

Please, tell me where I can find these things in the LA area. I will be forever grateful.

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  1. I've yet to find real Chicago style stuffed pizza. You can always do mail order from Lou Malnati's or Giordanos! There is allegedly a place out there somewhere--maybe someone else will post about it.

    For hot dogs, I like QT Chicago Dogs with several Valley locations:
    Reseda and Parthenia
    Tampa and Victory
    Woodman and Moorpark

    There's also Taste of Chicago in Burbank, but I haven't tried it yet, so I can't say if it's any good or not.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Debbie J.

      Chicago friends swear by A Taste of Chicago - owned by Joe Mantegna and his wife. It seems pretty authentic, and they have pizza, hot dogs, beef sandwhiches and whatever else people miss. They're on Hollywood Way & Verdugo (a little north of the 134 FWY Pass Ave exit if you're coming from the West).

      1. re: Briggs

        Taste of Chicago has great hot dogs and sausages! Their pizza is worth skipping though. Save room for a second hog dog.

        1. re: Mike B
          s
          Steve Doggie-Dogg

          Skip the dogs too... They seem to be of the "export tourista" variety of Chicago dogs (Dogs labelled as "authentic Chicago"). The Italian Roast Beef sandwich at Taste Chicago is the thing to get there. It's Bozo approved.

          See ya
          Steve

          Link: http://www.hotdogspot.blogspot.com

          1. re: Mike B

            They recently introduced deep dish there. It used to be sicilian only and not very good. The new deep dish is great, though.

      2. I've seen two places in West LA that serve Vienna Beef hot dogs, but I don't know if they serve them Chicago style.

        The first place is Johnny's Pastrami on Sepulveda.
        Their pastrami is ok and overpriced. Never had the dog.

        The second place is a stand on Pico Blvd., somewhere between Sepulveda and Overland on the south side. This place looks promising since I saw a sign for "Combo." Could this possibly be THE combo? The uniquely Chicago heart attack sandwich of Italian beef and Italian sausage? They have a Vienna Beef sign also.

        If they don't serve it up Chicaga style, maybe you can buy the dogs and build your own. The poppy seed buns and neon relish might be hard to come by though.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Joe MacBu

          The hot dogs at Johnny's were nicely chargrilled and all beef the last time I tried one a bunch of years ago

          1. re: Joe MacBu

            The place you're talking about on Pico is Marty's. It's just next to the Shell station at Prosser between Beverly Glen and Overland. They do not have Italian beef. They do serve Vienna Beef hot dogs and fairly good chili fries, but that's about it. Certainly not a place worth a special trip. The only Italian beef I know of is at Portillos (from Chicago) in Buena Park near Knotts Berry Farm. They don't have pizza - you might want to try Al Gelato on Robertson - it's not rue Chicago style, but maybe if you ask they'll make you an extra-thick crust version of their very delicious pizza.

          2. You can get Chicago-type hotdogs at Rubin's Red Hot, on the south side of Ventura Blvd. just east of the 405. How authentic they are I can't say--the little bldg. is an imitation El-station, but the hotdogs are spectacularly good. I have tried some of the others recommended from time to time on this board, but none have matched Rubin's red hots on their best days. The "Big Red" or some name to that effect, long Vienna dog, comes on a nice long oniony role, with bright green relish, cucumbers, hot peppers, tomatoes I think--wonderful.

            1. Just a bit farther down this page is a discussion of hot dogs, including Chicago style.

              Consensus is that QT dogs serves up the most authentic rendition. Rubin's is OK: they use the right relish, but it's served on an onion (not poppy seed) roll, and they use pepperocinis instead of sport peppers.

              The Chicago dog from the place on the reserved (blue) level at Dodger Stadium has all of the authentic toppings, but the dog itself leaves something to be desired (but is far superior to the inedible "Dodger Dog").

              As for pizza, good luck; although it has been my experience in Chicago that sauce isn't on top of the cheese, at least not at Pizzeria Due or Lou Malnati's.

              1. Thanks for the leads you guys. I am determined to find these necessities or else I will have to head back to Chicago to fortify myself more often than I would like.