CHICAGO — There are more than 1,000 hot dog stands in the Chicago area.
It’s not a huge surprise: Hot dogs are a key part of Chicago’s DNA. The Chicago-style dog — covered in mustard, onions, relish, a pickle, tomato, sports peppers and celery salt — has been a part of the city since the Depression. But even before then, Chicagoans were grabbing sausages and mixing up their toppings for a regular meal.
And the stands that serve up our hot dogs become icons in their own rights. People still dream of Fluky’s miniature hot dog gum. Superdawg’s mascots are nationally recognized. Ask anyone what their favorite local spot is and they’ll have an answer.
The stands employ people, they connect our neighborhoods — and they provide us with a perfect meal.
Photographer Kathleen Hinkel visited 17 of these stands for National Hot Dog Month, documenting the neighborhood spots we love to visit — and the wieners we love to eat.
Here’s our love song for Chicago’s hot dog stands:
Want to visit the spots we featured?
- Fat Johnnie’s Famous Red Hots, 7242 S. Western Ave.
- The Freeze, 2815 W. Armitage Ave.
- Redhot Ranch, 2449 W. Armitage Ave.
- Duke’s, 5659 N. Central Ave.
- Superdawg, 6363 N. Milwaukee Ave.
- Budacki’s Drive In, 4739 N. Damen Ave.
- Wolfy’s, 2734 W. Peterson Ave.
- Byron’s, 1701 W. Lawrence Ave.
- Flub A Dub Chub’s, 3021 N. Broadway
- Chicago’s Dog House, 816 W. Fullerton Ave.
- Maxwell Street Depot, 411 W. 31st St.
- Jim’s Original, 1250 S. Union Ave.
- Fred and Jack’s, 7600 S. Yale Ave.
- The Hot Dog Box, 332 E. 51st St.
- 35th Street Red Hots, 500 W. 35th St.
- Jimmy’s Red Hots, 4000 W. Grand Ave.
- Dave’s Red Hots, 3422 W. Roosevelt Road
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