Here's the thing: Most people think that the Chicago dog has an inflexible formula, one set down from on high, which mandates a certain seven toppings that must be included or the whole deal is off. But the reality I've encountered over the many years I've been searching for the best hot dog in Chicago is far more varied and interesting. Here's the guide to make sense of it all.
'Gene and Jude's' on Serious Eats
Though the Natural Casing Hot Dog Map showed where you can get a great hot dog in the city limits, I did have to leave some of my favorite stands off the list, and it didn't exactly seem fair. Now it's time to examine the hot dog offerings in the suburbs.
Back in 2009, I set out on a simple quest to find the best places to eat in Chicago while standing up. I didn't come close to covering all of the scene in those short six months, and now with a whole new crop of food truck pioneers on the scene, I'll have no trouble uncovering more options. But first I thought it would be best to start off with a look back at the best of Standing Room Only to showcase where I've already feasted.
We haven't met many people who don't love a great french fry, and here in Chicago, there are a ton of places to choose from. We scoured the city to compile this list of 10 favorite fry sources. They range from sweet potato fries to foie gras fries to the more classic, skin-on ones.
This marks my last Windy City post for Standing Room Only. I made it over nine months, and while I constantly worried about what place to feature next, I always knew where I'd end the series. Gene and Jude's—there isn't a better stand around. Though it sits just outside the Chicago city limits in River Grove, it still encapsulates everything I love about the city's hot dog stands. Let me count the ways.