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National Hot Dog Month: Five top Chicago franks to try

Chicago hot dog beauty shot ©2010 by Leah A. Zeldes

A Chicago hot dog is more than the toppings. (Photo by Leah A. Zeldes.)

During National Hot Dog Month in July, why not visit some area sausage makers and try some great locally made dogs? No matter what you put on top, it’s the wiener that matters.

  1. Vienna Beef is the oldest and best-known hot dog maker in Chicago, and a visit to its Bucktown company store is always a treat. You can buy Vienna and David Berg hot dogs in bulk or by the pound or have a meal in the company cafeteria.

  2. Crawford Sausage Co., founded in 1925 on what was then South Crawford Road in Little Village, makes Daisy Brand hot dogs. They’re best known for natural casing beef-and-pork frankfurters, but they also offer an all-beef dog and a jalapeno wiener.

  3. Bobak’s Sausage Co. in Garfield Ridge makes natural-casing all-beef, all-pork and all-veal wieners.

  4. Gene’s Sausage Shop in Belmont-Cragin and Lincoln Square makes all-veal, veal-and-pork and all-beef wieners.

  5. Romanian Kosher Sausage Co. in Rogers Park offers skinless, all-beef franks seasoned according to an Old World recipe and hardwood-smoked in small batches.

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