George’s Gyros Spot | The History of the Well-Loved Chicago-Style Hot Dog

Chicago Hot Dogs

Binge-watching sessions, picnics, and casual get-togethers have one thing in common: they all require a savory snack. If you’re looking for tasty yet convenient food to enjoy regardless of the occasion, then why not try a Chicago-style hot dog? It consists of a steamed poppy-seed bun and an all-beef frankfurter. It is topped with chopped onions, mustard, sweet pickle relish, juicy tomato wedges, a kosher-style pickle spear, some spicy sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt. To learn more about this well-loved food, check out the following facts:

  • It started as the “Depression Sandwich”

The Chicago-style hot dog has been around for decades and has even become a city staple for snacking during fun events. But did you know that its origins are rooted in the Great Depression in the 1930s?

It started when Abe ‘Fluky’ Drexler converted his father’s vegetable cart into a hot dog stand to get an extra income. He used hot dogs since red meat is costly during those tough times, and he topped them off with all the vegetables he could find. He started making recipes that became known as the “Depression Sandwich.”

  • It was the food of the working class

Hot dogs were the food of working people before, during, and after the Great Depression because these snacks, especially with their hearty helping of toppings, satisfy their cravings and provide their bodies with nutrients on the cheap. They have all these condiments that made them almost like a full meal, and customers can get them only for a nickel.

Hot dog stands soon became popular. They serve food that could provide a cheap, quick meal for those working on road crews and factories. Fluky’s hot dog stand became the best in the city, and he eventually operated in four bustling locations. Eventually, Germans and Slavs had brought their hot dogs to the country, making them more famous among the immigrants.

  • Its toppings changed over the years

Years after, the love for the Chicago-style dog has lived on. It maintained its popularity and became a shareable tradition even beyond The Windy City, allowing different hot dog stands to thrive. As for Fluky’s hot dogs, their toppings have changed over time.

For instance, Drexler originally served his hot dogs with cucumber slices, but he replaced them with dill pickles. The traditional dog also used to be steamed, but grilling a char-dog over charcoal became popular among hot dog lovers.

At present, many hot dog stands and restaurants add Chicago-style hot dogs to their gyro menus, and they also made several tweaks in the original dish according to their preferences. They offer a stripped-down version of the classic, and this dish contains only onion, relish, mustard, sport peppers, and even add cheese sauce.


The Chicago-style hot dog that we know and love today was born during the hard times when money was scarce. Keep its rich history in mind so the next time you eat this delicious meal on a bun, you get to appreciate it more and have a more enjoyable eating experience!

If you’re looking for a restaurant in Chesterton that offers the famous Chicago-style hot dog, then you’ve come to the right place. At George’s Gyros Spot, we offer your favorite hot dog meal at affordable prices. Order online today!

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