Where to Get the Best Chicago Hot Dog on the North Side

Best Chicago Hot Dog

Best Chicago Hot Dog

The Chicago hot dog is legendary. Even before I moved here I had been converted by its unique style. Chicago hot dogs are loaded with toppings. The traditional dawg is an all beef frankfurter on a poppy seed roll. It’s then garnished with mustard, chopped white onion, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices and sport peppers. The best Chicago hot dog stands have loyal fans and serious ideas about your hot dog. The biggest rule of Chicago hot dogs is no ketchup. Ever. I have trouble sticking to this rule. Since I am a non-native I feel like I have some flexibility, This may depend on my company.

The Best Chicago Hot Dog in Ann Arbor

I’m from Michigan. Detroit hot dogs, called coney islands, feature chili. Nevertheless, one of the joys of a college town is the opportunity to discover food from other parts of the world. I first discovered Chicago hot dogs when Ray’s Red Hots opened in Ann Arbor, MI.  It’s a Chicago hot dog stand that uses the finest in local Michigan ingredients. it immediately developed a following.

Chicago Hot Dog
Chicago Hot Dog

The Best Chicago Hot Dog

There are many incredible Chicago hot dog places.  I can’t say which is the best. Most Chicago neighborhoods have several to choose from. On the north side some of my favorites are Superdawg, Poochies and Mustard’s Last Stand. Each delicious, they represent different visions of the ideal hot dog stand.


Superdawg is a Chicago classic. Opened in 1948, it’s still a drive-in, a testament to the stylized roadside stands that dotted the post-war landscape. An architecturally distinct building, the roof features two 12 – foot tall, winking hot dog figures. Original owner’s Maurie and Flaurie Berman also created a secret hot dog recipe that’s still draws customers today. The menu also has several other highlights. The Supercheesie burger is rightfully popular, although many people choose the Whoopercheesie, the double patty version. I like their crispy fries and chocolate shakes. The menu also has a wide variety of other fountain drinks including: thick malts and fruity Supersodas. A half hour away, Superdawg is my special occasion hot dog spot. It’s an adventure on a summer day, or a place to take visitors seeing the city.



I like a a grilled hot dog, described in Chicago as a char dog. Poochies won me over early with a childhood favorite, a char cheddar dog with bacon. Many people come for their rightfully famous cheddar burger. Nevertheless Poochies most noteworthy menu item is their grilled salami, it’s served with grilled onions on french bread. It’s savory and smokey and not something I’ve ever seen at another hot dog stand. Another big draw is their fries menu. It includes chili cheese, sweet potato and triple loaded (sour cream, cheddar cheese and bacon.) Although a short drive from my house, one aspect of Poochies that I appreciate is it’s spacious interior. Despite Chicago’s cold temperatures, local hot dog spots don’t always offer indoor seating.


Mustard’s Last Stand

Mustard’s Last Stand is famous as a tailgating destination. It’s located in the shadow of Northwestern University’s football stadium. Decorated with sports memorabilia, it’s narrow interior offers only a few interior counter seats and outdoor tables. Since it’s my local hot dog stand I usually get a char dog with the traditional Chicago trimmings. I’ve adapted to all but the dill pickle, I don’t even add ketchup.

Mustard's Memorabilia
Mustard’s Memorabilia

Places To Eat in Chicago

Chicago has so many great restaurants. If you’re looking for soup on a winter day, read my article Ramen: New York, Chicago and How it Became Popular. For amazing baked goods go to Cellar Door Provisions in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. Another local favorite I would recommend is the modern urban thai food at Evanston’s Na Korn.



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