Next up in our search for America's Best Hot Dog (we've so far told you about the East Coast and down South) is the Midwest, another heavyweight hot dog region where frankfurters were introduced by Austrian immigrants at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Since then, Chicago has rivaled New York as the hot dog center of the universe, although Detroit isn't far behind.
Along with searching for the best classic Chicago red hots and Detroit Coneys, we found mini-dogs in Cincinnati and Oklahoma, lots and lots of Greek chili, and some of the country's wildest gourmet and just plain berserk hot dog preparations—including a ham, poached egg and bechamel Croque Madame Hot Dog—in Cincinnati, foie gras topped dogs in Chicago, Cleveland's crazy Polish Boy, Sriracha cole slaw, curried mango relish, and plenty of bacon-wrapped wieners.
The Best of the Rest
About the author: Hawk Krall is a Philadelphia-based illustrator who has a serious thing for hot dogs. Dig his dog drawings? Many of the illustrations he has created for Hot Dog of the Week are available for sale: hawkkrall.net/prints/.