Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

"A long-time family favorite. The authentic stands use Vienna Beef franks and buns with poppy seeds and that trademark green relish and yellow mustard. If you're not fortunate enough to live near a stand (like us), this home version does nicely (with my own preferred changes of course)! The natural casing frankfurters have a pleasant "pop" when you bite them and are far superior to normal hot dogs. I don't advise using serranos in place of sport peppers as they are not the same type of chile and the serranos are MUCH hotter (as well as not usually being found pickled)."
photo by Ashley Cuoco photo by Ashley Cuoco
photo by Ashley Cuoco
photo by ChefLee photo by ChefLee
photo by ChefLee photo by ChefLee
photo by ChefLee photo by ChefLee
photo by ColoradoCooking photo by ColoradoCooking
Ready In:


  • 4 natural casing beef frankfurters (I like Boar's Head brand)
  • 4 hot dog buns (with poppyseeds if you can find them)
  • 1 small onion, diced fine
  • 3 -4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish (bright green type if you can find it!)
  • 1 cold-pack kosher dill pickle, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 small tomatoes, sliced into julienne strips
  • 4 -8 pickled sport bell peppers or 4 -8 tiny hot peppers (Kroger sells these)
  • dusseldorf-style brown mustard, with horseradish,to taste (may use yellow mustard)
  • celery seed
  • poppy seed (omit if using seeded buns)
  • beer, for simmering (standard golden lager preferred; not authentic) (optional)


  • Simmer frankfurters in beer or water for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Warm buns in microwave, until slightly warm and soft.
  • To assemble hot dogs, place frank in each bun.
  • Add mustard to taste; top with dill spear, relish, onion, tomato, and 1-2 sport peppers (Jalapenos"might" be a reasonable substitute if you are desperate to find the sport peppers, but the taste won't be quite the same).
  • Sprinkle with celery and poppy seeds.
  • Serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Marie Nixon
    How do I report an inappropriate picture that was posted for this recipe? The photo needs to be removed and the poster needs to have his account closed.


  1. Linda F.
    The recipe given here has nothing to do with actual Chicago hot dogs. Vienna dogs, yellow mustard, celery salt are the actual ingredients. The Neon green relish, onions and tomatoes are necessary. The best hot dog in the world.
  2. Daniel P.
    Anyone from Chicago can tell you a Chicago Style dog starts with Vienna Brand hot dogs and Rosen poppyseed buns, although some people don’t like the poppyseeds. Yellow mustard is the tradition and Sport Peppers are optional. Wieners are poached in hot water and buns are lightly steamed. Cooking in beer is not a local thing and ketchup will get you run out of town!. It’s the only way we can eat a hot dog here. Although I want to try a chili dog I can never bring myself to do it!
  3. sheriboren
    I never had a Chicago-Style hot dog before and was really excited about trying this. I could not find the sport peppers, but they turned out good anyway.
  4. zeluna28
    Yellow mustard (we like Plochmans),celery salt, not celery seed..the only hot dog brand for these is Vienna Beef hot dogs. Sport peppers a must. Vienna beef sells the dogs and peppers via their website, which we have done numerous times. Being a transplant to the south, we can't get them down here. And i would kill for a portillo's! Maybe one day :-)
  5. Jeff B.
    the best dogs are deep fried or microwaved until they split open. then add toppings.


  1. BDTurcotte
    Tips from the Chicago Street Chef: Poppy Seed buns can be hard to find, but are essential. Vienna Beef Dogs are ideal. Good quality all beef natural casing dogs will do. Celery SALT, not celery seed. Pickles quartered are too big, Pickles sliced in 8 work better. A drop of BLUE food coloring in 8-16 oz or sweet relish makes it perfect bright neon green. Green food coloring works, but not as well. Yellow or brown mustard is added by the diner - not the server. Sport Peppers are standard, but can be held by the server. Steaming the dogs in beer doesn't add much to the dogs, but it sure makes the steamed buns better - and adds an aroma to the room. Current price on the street $3, at the ball park $6.
  2. Bob B.
    i did add some diced up homemade slaw. It fused very well the spice.
  3. zeluna28
    Mustard, celery, sport peppers


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