Chicago Red HotMurphy’s Hot Dogs ChicagoHot Doug’s ChicagoHot Doug’s
“There are no two finer words in the english language than, ‘encased meats,’ my friend.” That’s what the wall at Hot Doug’s says and who are we to disagree. I’ll get to Doug’s in a second but first let me proclaim that Chicago style hot dogs are the best in the world. For those who do not know, here is the formula that MUST be followed:

– Vienna Beef frank, grilled not boiled
– Bright green relish
– Chopped white onion
– Yellow mustard
– Tomato wedges
– Cucumber slices
– Shredded lettuce
– Dill pickle spear
– Hot peppers
– Celery salt
– Poppy seed bun

Where’s the ketchup you ask? On the fries where it belongs and don’t ask again!

Now that we’ve got the ground rules down, let’s talk about two giants in the world of Chicago hot dogs.

Murphy’s Red Hots
1211 W. Belmont, Chicago

When it comes to a true Chicago style red hot, nobody does it better than Murphy’s. Bill Murphy has been dishing out his perfect char dogs since the mid-eighties from his cozy storefront location on Belmont. When a Japanese company was seeking the quintessential American red hot for their new chain of hot dog restaurants in Japan, they searched the country and chose Murphy’s winning formula to emulate. If you are a hot dog purist Murphy’s needs to be first on your list. It’s worth a trip on a busy Saturday just to see Bill direct the crowd and his staff like an air traffic controller. The best hot dog ever!

Hot Doug’s
3324 N. California, Chicago
Doug Sohn is practically a god in the world of encased meats and could probably start a cult without much effort. His “Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium” has reached legendary status in Chicago and across the country. When was the last time you saw people wait outside in the rain and snow for 45 minutes for a hot dog? So what’s the big deal? Sure, you can get a good Chicago style dog at Doug’s but that’s not why you just waited in line. Doug is a bona fide chef and has elevated sausage on a bun to an art form. How about a little kangaroo sausage w/gin and juniper mustard and goat cheese, or maybe blue cheese pork sausage w/dijon-scallion butter and smoked almonds. If you go on Friday or Saturday make sure to get the duck fat fries. It pays to be adventurous at Doug’s.