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Fast Five Hot Dogs! Get your hot dogs here! Best dogs in Chi-town

All Beef Wieners! — by David Smith
All Beef Wieners! — by David Smith

You are the maker of your weiner or wiener world!

I grew up in the Chicago area. And there is a way to make a hot dog. Although there are other ways to make a hot dog and those ways are probably wrong. Yeah, that’s right. The best hot dogs in Chicagoland have a formula and the method to the madness is taste excellence.

Of course, the best dogs are beef. And Vienna beef makes one of the best dogs around, bar none. Now, let’s remember I am talking about hot dogs here, not sausages. Although, the process in making a hot dog and sausage may have some similarities, only all-beef hot dogs should be on your bun.

Horribly, I have had some horrible hot dogs, too. Good lord! What is in a pork, frankenweiner? No, thank you! And did you know that it can be wiener or weiner?

Mustard on the Wiener — by David Smith
Mustard on the Wiener — by David Smith

What’s on your dog is just as important as what’s inside your wiener

Basically, the typical toppings for a Chicago-style hot dog are: 2 tomato slices, dill pickle spear, yellow mustard, 2 to 3 sport peppers, chopped white onion, sweet relish and a couple dashes of celery salt. And there is a very strange fluorescent green relish that some places put on their dogs. No glow-light relish hotdogs please.

A selection of condiments, better to stick with Chi-town classics — by David Smith
A selection of condiments, better to stick with Chi-town classics — by David Smith

For some, people cry foul if you put ketchup on your dog. Importantly, you really don’t need it with a Chicago-style red hot when there is so much flavor going on, but I leave that up to you.

So what is my Pick for the US Food Awards?

These awesome awards pick out local restaurants based on local nominations. More so, it is a great way to recognize your favorite hot dog restaurant. Plus, you give recognition to your favorite local joints. And your locals restaurants can take pride in their local recognition.

And my nominees for the US Food Awards are:

5. Wiener Circle

If you want some vibrant relish and a ton of attitude, go here for your dog. Go there on a Friday or Saturday night after the bars close for a near-life experience. Drunken revelry and some of the best hot dogs around.

4. Gene’s & Jude’s

Simply, a friendly hot dog place that has a bare-bones feel to it. And there’s no problem with that because they make some fantastic hot dogs. Additionally, they top them off with some fantastic fries. Seriously fresh fries that bury the hot dog underneath. Eat them together with the red hot or alone, they are delicious.

3. Portillo’s

They are a great Chicagoland chain that makes a respectably hot dog. Their chilidogs are pretty good, too. Also, they offer a great selection of other foods, their salads are usually super delicious.

2. Hot “G” Dog

A spinoff of Hot Doug’s, in addition to a proper and delicious hot dog, they make fries fried in duck fat on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays. As well, they have a number of gourmet sausage specials. I know I have wandered from the hot dog, but the sausages are awesome.

Another delicious wiener  — by David Smith
Another delicious wiener  — by David Smith

1. Fratello’s Hot Dogs

Importantly, I am not trying to start a riot, but these are my favorite hot dogs, ever. Admittedly, there’s a bit of nostalgia for me as well, I have been going here most of my life and I love everything on their menu.

However, when I want a hot dog, this is the place I like to chow down. They make Vienna all-beef hot dogs perfectly. Next, it is served on a steamed poppy seed bun. And the condiments are perfectly in order.

Every year I can vote and support Fretello’s in the US Food awards, I will. They are hands down the best all-around hot dog.

Happy wiener time!

This article was originally published on @talentedinternational