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May 17, 2009 10:56 AM

Simply the Best Hot Dogs in Boston

I went to Windy City Eats this morning in Weymouth. An educated hot dog consumer will acknowledge that Chicago Hot Dogs (and in particular, Vienna Beef Hot Dogs) are simply the best quality, finest tasting hot dogs around. The owner of Windy City is directly from Chicago and imports Vienna Beef to Weymouth. I went this morning, after seeing a feature of the restaurant on TV, and can vouch that the Chicago Dog and Char Polish Sausage are fabulous. I have been waiting for a long time for Boston to recognize the supremacy of the Chicago Hot Dog and am incredibly excited that Windy City Eats is only a 30 minute drive from my house!

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  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. At first I had hopes that this post referred to Best's Kosher Frankfurters and Dinner Franks, which were originally from Chicago, I believe, and later sold to Sara Lee. They were sold at BJ's and Sam's Club but in the last year or so, Sara Lee has ceased manufacturing them. IMO, the "best hot dogs in Boston" were Best's. I have yet to try a beef frank that comes close, and I've had all the usual suspects available in the area.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. I've lived in Chicago and Boston, and I don't think there's anything inherently superior about Chicago hot dogs, though I am a fan of the style. I'd put a Speed's dog up against any dog I had in Chicago. Haven't been to Windy City Eats yet, though it's on my list.

          7 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I've lived in Chicago and Boston as well, and I'm quite happy with our dogs here.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Speed's great. But the problem that I have with hot dogs in this area is that very few places take it seriously. Drive through Connecticut and you see dozens of road side places for hot dogs, ie Super Duper Weenie, Swanky Franks, Merritt Canteen. In NYC you have all of the papayas. Rhode Island has the New York Weiner system. The standouts here though there are some, are few and far between. What to do when you have a craving at 11 p.m.?

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                I'd agree that I don't think the style is inherently superior (although I like said style), but I really enjoyed WCE's chicago dog in relation to dogs that I've had out in Chicago. IMO they'd be a solid contributor to the chicago dog scene if they were out there instead of here.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  I'm not sure comparing Speed's to a standard Chicago dog is an apt comparison. If a Boston vs Chicago dog vs dog comparison is to be undertaken, I think maybe something like the Fenway frank would be more appropriate. Speed's is a specialty dog. More along the lines of something like Hot Doug's or Fredhots in Chicago (although even that may be a dogs and cats comparison).

                  Count me a fan of a good Chicago dog (minimalist-style). But I have room in my life for good versions of Boston's best, Chicago-style, CT shore dog, south eastern Carolina-style, etc etc etc.

                  1. re: Nab

                    I quite agree: Hounds shouldn't be perfectly faithful to what they grew up with. Anyone's who's not stylistically omnivorous is missing out.

                    What I was going after was the OP's presumptious, "Anyone who knows anything will by default acknowledge the superiority of Chicago hot dogs." This is like the "New York-style pizza occupies the center of the universe" canard.

                    I often repeat the same point here about regional preferences and nostalgia for what you grew up on. There's nothing that inherently makes one's hometown style superior to any other, but superior specimens of one style will often trump mediocre specimens of another. A great Cincinatti pie still trumps an average New York one.

                    I'd tend to agree that the average Chicago hot dog is superior to the average Boston hot dog: Boston's a pretty lame hot dog town. But our great ones stack up well against great ones from anywhere.


                    1. re: Nab

                      fredhots - not sure if you're referring to the late great FredHots and Fries (in Glenview, IL), but they closed in April 2011 - I miss them greatly.

                      I've moved to Boston, so I'm looking for a few good Chicago-style hot dog places. Load me up!

                  2. What makes Vienna Beef superior is that their hot dogs include "Bull meat" which is the binder that holds together the hot dog. It's the thing that makes it snap when you bite into it. And the flavor comes from the trimmings.

                    Those trimmings are the fat that's sliced off corned beef and pastrami.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Chazari99

                      i thought the snap was attributed to the casing, usually hog.

                      1. re: ScubaSteve

                        The snap does come from the casing. For Vienna dogs it is sheep natural casing.

                        While I thought the Chicago dogs at Windy City were good, they were Boston good and would not be my choice in Chicago. Same with the Italian Beef. I'll go back, but I'm in no hurry.

                        1. re: tallullah

                          Disagree on the dog, i'd put their dog against most that i've had in chicago. I'd agree that the italian beef is so-so (but considering that it even exists out here i think it's awesome).