We visited Budacki's Drive In for today's hot dog.
Budacki's Drive InThough not actually a drive-in, Budacki’s has an old-school atmosphere. This small cash-only joint serves up American classics, including Vienna Beef hot dogs. At $2.50 for a hot dog and fries, this is one of the best deals in Chicago. Service is quick and friendly, and the picnic tables outside provide extra space to chow down. The hot dog has a low-key smoky flavor and it comes topped with diced onions, tomatoes, a pickle spear, relish and a squiggle of mustard. Hot peppers and “the red stuff” are available on request. A bit more mustard and a poppyseed bun would significantly elevate this dog. Fries are included in the price, and they’re fine, though there’s nothing special about them.—Emily Gilmer