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Feb 22, 2011 12:57 PM

A real Chicago dog in the city?

Hey all, it's one of the few songs missing from the repertoire for me- a real, Vienna beef-produced Chicago dog in NYC. Shake Shack's is downright gross and my hand dandy iPhone app- The Vienna Beef Hot Dog Stand Locator -doesn't turn up anything else :)

Anyone know the secrets to finding a windy city dog in the big apple?

Thanks all!

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  1. Only time I've had the real thing in the city is when I ordered the kit from the vienna beef website and made them myself!

    3 Replies
      1. re: BigBrother

        They're not hot-dog stands, but I believe that both Crif Dogs and Bark Hot Dogs have all-beef hot dogs (the Crif Dogs one is called the "New Yorker," however, so this may run contrary to your request) I must admit I don't know the ins-and-outs of what defines a chicago dog, so whether their dogs fill the other criteria would need your judgement!

        Crif Dogs
        113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

    1. Why is Shake Shack's Chicago dog gross? They use Vienna beef hot dogs on poppy seed buns with neon green relish and the works. The only criticism I have is that they should exchange the cucumber slices for pickles and not dice the tomatoes.

      7 Replies
      1. re: JungMann

        I had one one time and it was downright disgusting. They could have been using pure manna for all I know, but it was bitter, soggy, the vegetables were limp, the whole thing was tiny- a complete disaster. This person, on another thread you commented on, concurs:

        As does this one:

        And this guy:

        Have you been to Chicago and eaten the real thing???

        1. re: BigBrother

          I'm from Chicago and grew up eating the "real thing." I can't imagine that Shake Shack is using shorter sausages than what is commercially available from Vienna Beef nor have I ever gotten lettuce on my dogs there. The bitterness and sogginess, however, are a legitimate and frequent complaint when one encounters a sloppy hot dog, usually the result of the onions and an oversteamed bun or improper topping. FWIW my more recent experiences with Shake Shack have been positive when I run out of sport peppers or Vienna Beef at home.

          1. re: JungMann

            Interesting. I'd certainly be willing to try them again!

        2. re: JungMann

          The tomatoes on my Chicago Dogs at the UES location there have been sliced, half moon shaped.

          1. re: scoopG

            This answer should be on the outer boroughs board, but there was a cart in a parking lot across from Grimaldi's serving Vienna beef Chicago dogs. They had celery salt, sport peppers, the whole deal. Also a couple of sausage options and a kimchi dog.

            Not sure what it was called or whether it was only open during the summer, but worth checking out.

            47 W 20th St, New York, NY 10010

            1. re: ChiefHDB

              It's called The Landing...


              and, yes, it's a summertime-only operation.

              1. re: DaveCook

                Damn that looks good.

                As an aside, I always love how at Midway airport, you can pretty much run the gamut from the lowest quality to the highest peaks of chicago doggery- so prevalent are the places serving them! For reference, Gold Coast does them consummately.

        3. I've known a couple transplants from Chicago who were militant about their hit dogs, and after doing the research concluded Shake Shack was the closest thing. I wouldn't know an authentic version if it hit me in the face, but I didn't taste anything terribly unique or all that exciting.

          The thing about Shake Shake is it's essentially a fast food snack bar, so the ingredients can get lost in the prep, thanks to uneven quality control. Not that this should effect a hot dog, but it's been a while since I've noticed anyone giving that section of the menu much thought.

          1. I see this is an old string but thought I'd add this. Haven't tried Sonic's but Shake Shack's isn't even close. A soggy mess. The closest I've gotten is to make them myself with local ingredients. No way to find Vienna franks or poppy seed buns in NYC, sadly. I use a Hebrew National dog (the reduced fat, actually -- NOT the low fat) which tastes the closest to Vienna to me. I steam my bun over the frank as it simmers. Then (here's the key) I sprinkle poppy seeds INSIDE the bun. Then yellow mustard, relish, chunky copped white onion (Vidalia usually) and a dill spear in that order. Tomato, sport peppers and celery salt are all optional and I don't use them: in my years growing up in Chicago they had not yet become standard issue.

            Shake Shack
            Madison Ave and E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

            1 Reply
            1. re: ras13

              I've heard that ​Snap Truck's Chicago-style one comes close.

            2. The original comment has been removed