There are a number of variations to the beloved classic hot dog. One of the most amazing ones is easily the Chicago hot dog, which is made up of:
- A poppy seed bun
- An all-beef frankfurter
- Celery salt
- Dill pickle spear
- Chopped white onions
- Green relish
- Sport peppers
- Tomato slices
- Yellow mustard
The resulting dish is incredibly savory and flavorful. Aside from the meat, there’s a sweetness from the relish and tomato, salt, as well as vinegar. Chewiness from the hot dog then gets balanced out well by the crunch from the pickle.
Toppings play a major role in the distinct flavor of the Chicago hot dog. The sequence makes all the difference; everything has to be put in a particular spot in an appropriate amount.
Ta-da, you have the well-loved and extremely scrumptious Chicago hot dog! It’s named for the city, yes, but also has quite a bit of history to it.
Chicago Hot Dogs: Historical Pride
This particular hot dog is arguably the best street food out there. Why wouldn’t it be? One of the reasons it’s so beloved is the way it serves as comfort food for many. Aside from being quick to make (which means it will be served pretty fast and warm), it can fill up a tummy quite well.
Historically, it means a lot as well. Back in 1880, German immigrants made up a majority of Chicago’s butchers. The hot dog, which has basically been the best industrial food ever since, was something they had taken along. Commercially, the hot dog was first produced by Vienna Beef. It was then served by 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago. It took off almost immediately in that sense.
The Chicago-style hot dog’s key element, the all-beef frankfurter, actually traces its origins back to Jewish immigrants. Sam Rosen, an immigrant who was born in Poland, then created the poppy seed bun in his bakery by 1909. Hot dogs were sold at markets in high volumes because they’re a popular street food. Most of the vendors had vegetable stands as well, so they started experimenting with vegetable toppings on hot dogs.
It went on to become a staple during the Great Depression. It was largely because of the way it was so filling while being well within affordable reach. It was fast-food chain Fluky’s that took the vegetable vendor’s cues and really laid things out there in 1929. They put assorted vegetables on their hot dogs, which added an ideal element of nutrition to the meal.
Referred to as “depression sandwiches,” they were incredibly flavorful and sold for a nickel. This is where the signature taste and name of the Chicago-style hot dog is rooted in.
The Chicago hot dog is a popular street food that’s filling, flavorful, and has plenty of history to it. It’s made of multiple components from varying immigrants; the star of it all, the all-beef frankfurter, is from Jewish immigrants. Ever since its popularity blew up during the Great Depression, it’s been a source of pride for Chicago and a must-try for casual and devoted foodies alike worldwide.
If you’re looking to try Chicago hot dogs near Valparaiso, IN, check out George’s Gyro Spot! Our restaurant in Chesterton, IN has Chicago dogs, gyros, cheeseburgers, Polish hot dogs, and Italian beef.