Street Food 101 | Preparing an Authentic Chicago-Style Hotdog

Restaurant Hot Dog

One of the most iconic snacktime meals is the hotdog. Meaty, delicious, and easy-to-cook, these little packs of meat can be more than filling enough to substitute for an entire meal. Even better, the number of sides you can add to it is tremendous, more than making up for it’s seemingly “plain” presentation.

A person may argue that there’s no wrong way to eat a hotdog—and those people are wrong. If you’re looking for an authentic hotdog experience, then there IS a right way to eat those red packets of goodness—and that’s the Chicago way. Eating a Chicago-style hotdog is a culinary experience, which is why it’s just fitting to eat it in a strictly traditional way.

To help give you that authentic culinary experience, here is a quick guide to preparing a Chicago-style hotdog.

The Hotdog

When creating a Chicago-style hotdog, the most important factor would definitely be the hotdog in itself. While many would think these to be the same across all brands and across all types of meat, this simply isn’t true. Chicago hotdogs aren’t just noticeably distinct by its condiments, but also by the taste of its hotdog. For the best experience, the hotdog used SHOULD be from Vienna Beef. If your local hotdog stand doesn’t provide this, then it’s time to find a different stall to cater to your need.

The Bun

In today’s age, the image of a hotdog is in between a straight-cut hotdog bun that’s pristine, clean, and soft. As common as that bun is in circulation, those buns aren’t enough for a Chicago hotdog. Only poppy-seed buns should accompany a Chicago hotdog. While many wouldn’t think twice of this, only an impostor hotdog stand would serve one on the wrong bun.

The Garnish

Chicago hotdogs may appear extreme, but its baseline taste is brought out by the garnish. In fact, laying the works on your hotdog only requires three ingredients: the mustard, the relish, and the onions. First, lay on your mustard—take a zig-zag pattern from one end to the other at an equal and decent level. Next, drop the relish on your hotdog and don’t scrimp yourself out, as this will be providing a majority of your hotdog’s zest. Sprinkle a bit of diced onion to finish, but take care not to throw on too much.

The Chicago

What separates the Chicago from all other hotdog preparations is the “salad” on top of it. Apart from the freshness of it, it’s crucial to lay it on in a very specific manner to give you the best out of each bite. The salad requires you to have tomatoes, pickles, and short peppers.

To start, lay your sliced tomato neatly on one side, and the pickle spear on the other. After this, lay your peppers on top of the dog, facing it in the same direction as the tomatoes. Once done, all you’ll need to do is to add some celery salt, and you’re geared to start enjoying your very authentic Chicago-style dog.


Eating a Chicago Hotdog is an experience that all Americans should try, even at least once in your life. While exceedingly grueling to make, the complexities of the flavors and textures make it a worthwhile experience for the epicurean in you.

Are looking for restaurants in Chesterton, Indiana that serve gyros, burgers, and more? At The Original George’s Gyro Spot, we provide you with an all-American feast of the best flavors you can put your mouth on. Connect with us now!

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