Chicago-style hot dogs

For those of you looking for a top notch foodie destination stateside, I highly recommend Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Chuckles and I visited the Windy City a couple years ago and had some incredible eats there. This, of course, included the highly coveted dinner at Alinea, but a food that we really loved was the much more budget friendly Chicago-style hot dog.

Chicago dogs are a distinct style of hot dog traditionally featuring a steamed all beef frankfurter on a poppy seed bun, topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, red tomato wedges, pickled sport peppers, and celery salt. Oh, and no ketchup.

A few of these ingredients are quite difficult to find, at least in our neck of the woods, so we made a few modifications for our own version.


Servings: 2 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Ready time: 15 minutes


  • 2 all beef hot dogs
  • 2 brioche hot dog buns
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped white onion
  • 8 tomato wedges
  • 2 dill pickle spears
  • 4 pepperoncini peppers
  • Dash of celery salt


1) Bring a pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and place hot dog in the water. Cook for 5 minutes or until done. Remove hot dog and set aside.

2) Place a steamer basket into the pot and steam the hot dog bun for 2 minutes or until warm.

3) Place hot dog in the steamed bun. Pile on the toppings in this order: yellow mustard, sweet green pickle relish, onion, tomato wedges, pickle spear, pepperoncini peppers, and celery salt. The tomatoes should be nestled between the hot dog and top of the bun. Place the pickle between the hot dog and bottom of the bun.

4) Do not add ketchup!

👨‍🍳 Notes from Mr. Chuckles

I’m sure some Chicagoans will debate this, but the best place we were recommended for an authentic Chicago dog was Portillo’s. It’s also an essential ballpark snack, which we enjoyed when we went to Wrigley Field for the Cubs home opener.

In Toronto, we once stopped by a place called Fancy Frank’s, which serves various ‘gourmet’ hot dogs including a mediocre attempt at a Chicago dog. We would not recommend this place. Get yourself over to Chicago instead.

As noted in our recipe, we swapped out the poppy seed buns with brioche buns and the sport peppers with pepperoncini peppers, simply due to availability. If anyone out there knows where we can find sport peppers in downtown Toronto, let me in on your source!

4 responses to “Chicago-style hot dogs”

    1. They are, I love Chicago dogs!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. […] by Wrigley Field while watching the Cubs home opener. We tried to recreate Chicago dogs with our own recipe at home, but they were never quite the same as the ones in the origin […]


  2. […] think it may rival the Chicago dog, but this is still a topic of debate between Mr. Chuckles and me. What do you all […]


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