There’s nothing quite like a good hot dog, done the right way. You might not know that there are several hot dog stands in Illinois that have been around for quite some time. Here are some stories about some of the most iconic hot dog stands.
1. Jim's Original
Jim's has been around since 1939. He tried selling taffy apples to make a living, but that didn't work so well. He turned to hot dogs. He claims to have invented the Polish sausage sandwich bone-in pork chop sandwich. Whether he did or not, he certainly perfected it. 1250 S Union Ave, Chicago, IL 60607.
In 1948, a couple opened a hot dog stand as a way to make ends meet over the summer. Fast forward almost 70 years, and you have one of the most iconic hot dog stands in America. Everyone knows those hot dog statues on the top of the building. Car hops still bring your meal to your car. 6363 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60646.
3. Jimmy's Red Hots
This joint was founded in 1954 by Jimmy Farrugia. Employees wear shirts and signs all around the place tell you "No ketchup ever." You will only find four menu items: hot dogs, Polish sausage, tamales and fresh cut fries. This is how it's always been. 4000 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60651.
4. Jakes Pup in the Ruf
Jakes was founded by a CTA bus driver in 1959. Brightly colored cartoon figures adorn the walls. Son and grandson work this joint to this day. Make sure you don't leave without getting a 49 cent ice cream cone. 4401 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60640.
5. Dave's Red Hots
Dave's was founded in 1938. Narrow booths and boarded up windows give this place vintage ambiance. The red hots are prepared the way they always were. Relish was not even an option until 5 years ago. Fresh fries are cut every morning. 3422 W Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60624.