The hot dog is an iconic American food long associated with summertime and baseball. Just like baseball, residents of different cities and states argue about who has the best. I decided to briefly compare two iconic hot dogs in two major cities to determine which wiener is the winner!

Both Chicago and New York City, have their unique regional take on these sausage sandwiches that includes specific ways of preparing the sausage as well as distinctive condiments;

The Chicago hot dog is a grilled frank on a sesame seed bun that’s then “dragged through the garden” by being topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt.

The New York City style hot dog is much more simple; A “dirty water” sausage topped with sauerkraut, a pale deli-style mustard and a sweet onion and tomato sauce.

This dogfight has been fought many times and it really is a matter of personal preference since both hot dogs taste great.

The New York Style Hot Dog is moderate and efficient, just enough mustard and sauerkraut for a slight zing and just enough sweet onion to counter the zing.

A bun that’s soft, doughy and slightly sweet. Tasty but basic.

New York Style hot dogs suit the fast-paced city that invented them. It’s possible to walk into classic hot dog eateries like Gray’s Papaya or Papaya King and leave with two hot dogs and a tropical fruit smoothie in less than a minute.

The Chicago Style Hot Dog has been described as the antithesis of the New York hot dog. Simplicity is definitely not what it goes for!

Bright yellow mustard and a poppy seed bun seems almost like a one-up on the New York dog.

Chicago Style Hot Dogs are tangy, salty, and definitely not for everyone, but Chicago beats New York City for one important reason.

Getting A Chicago Style Hot Dog is an Experience;

Hot Dogs are an afterthought in New York City, something to get when you need a quick snack.
In Chicago they’ve become more than just a simple street food, Restaurants like Hot Doug’s have become internationally famous due to constant media coverage and being able to provide a gourmet experience on a budget. The line to buy a hot dog might have been two hours long on weekends, but the conversations on the line were worth it!

While standing in a line for hot dogs you could compare your visit to Chicago with other tourists and even make plans to get some deep-dish pizza later.
You could get tips from a local on some of the Top Things to do in Chicago, or insider information on local only gems. The exotic alligator, snake, pheasant, and wild boar Sausages and Duck Fat Fries served by Doug have become a Chicago attraction just as iconic and apart from the Chicago Style Hot Dog!

Chicago-Style Hot Dog with Duck Fat French Fries

Hot Dougs isn’t the only famous hot dog vendor in Chicago.

The Wieners Circle has also grown famous for the crude banter and mutual verbal abuse between the employees and the customers during the late-weekend hours and they’re had their share of media coverage as well.

The point here is that the experience of ordering, buying and eating a hot dog in Chicago makes it better than doing the exact same thing in New York City.

To the dismay of many, Hot Doug’s closed their doors a few years ago, luckily quite a few hot dog vendors in Chicatgo are continuing his legacy of exotic encased meats.

One such vendor is Hot G Dog a new restaurant run by two former chefs who got Doug’s blessings to continue making some of his classics while also coming up with their own creations. Check out our review of Hot G Dog here. Doug Sohn also periodically pops up at food events, so keep that in mind the next time you’re planning a Chicago visit!

Gourmet Hot Dogs in Chicago