We love a classic hot dog at Chicago hot dog stands, but we also love it when Chicago restaurants start with a basic hot dog as a canvas and go nuts. From deep-fried hot dogs wrapped in bacon to a brunch burrito stuffed with a hot dog, here's where to go when a traditional hot dog won't cut it.
RECOMMENDED: Guide to Chicago hot dogs
The regular dogs are Boar’s Head, but the housemade sausages are where it’s at: The Tur-Dawgen is the juiciest turkey sausage imaginable, while the banh mi is a lemongrass and coriander chicken sausage with pickled daikon and carrot, sriracha mayo, jalapeno, cilantro and a spicy pickled duck egg. And yet the best part of all is the lobster-roll-style bun: The things are so buttery and golden, you may not notice the sausages they cradle.
Doug Sohn’s influence looms large over Chicago, so it makes sense that Octavio Garcia and Juan Carlos Garcia, former Hot Doug’s cooks, took their knowledge and opened Hot “G” Dog in Uptown, basically reincarnating the original. Down to the duck fat fries on weekends, “G” is the same. The line is shorter (to the door on a weekday), but it’s cash only and the Instagrams of your lunch are going to look exactly like your Hot Doug’s Instagrams. The Andouille is still “mighty hot!” and the duck sausage, with medallions of foie gras, truffle aioli and fleur de sel, faithfully recreates Sohn’s most famous sausage.
In yet another Mexican spin on a hot dog, this self-proclaimed “Mexican steakhouse” wraps the dog in bacon and adds chili, ancho-mayo, pico de gallo and Chihuahua cheese ($8.99). It’s served with fries seasoned with chili and cheese powder. But hurry, these dogs sell out fast and are only served until 3pm.
This subterranean Gold Coast sports bar takes hot dogs in a completely different direction: breakfast. Its Chicago-style breakfast burrito contains an all-beef hot dog, tomato, onion, shredded cheese and scrambled egg topped with chili and sour cream ($8.99). It's only served for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.