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A real Chicago dog in the city?

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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: Blumie


      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. re: orthorunner

          From the masters:



    2. 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. We actually did a mail-order kit once from the Vienna hot dog company , http://www.viennabeef.com/store/. Came with the hot dogs, buns, relish and celery salt. It was great! A little pricey, but great!