Midtown Wishlist: Hot Doug’s (aka the Best Hot Dog I’ve Ever Had)

Hot Doug's, Chicago

I spent this past weekend in Chicago, and came away with a) a much greater appreciation of New York pizza (sorry Chicago, your deep dish is just aiight) and b) a complete and 100% fatman-crush on Hot Doug’s. A sausage temple like none I’ve ever seen, Hot Doug’s was (surprisingly) worth the 45 minute wait. It also got me thinking that I’ve never really done any hot dog posts on Midtown Lunch. Carts litter the streets, and I’m sure there are a few exceptional ones, but I’ve never really bothered to try them out.

Sure, we had Mandler’s for a second or two, and the Hallo Berlin Cart (on 54th and 5th) is a great place to satisfy your German sausage craving. But what about a straight up hot dog? I know we’re not going to get anything as amazing as Hot Doug’s, but there has got to be at least a couple worthwhile dogs in Midtown. Got any suggestions, post them in the comments.

In the meantime, more Hot Doug’s porn- after the jump (if you don’t want to be jealous of Chicago lunchers, don’t click through.)

The Chicago Style Dog (seen above) is a steal at $1.75 and comes with Mustard, Caramelized Onions, Relish, Tomatoes, Pickle, and Celery Salt. Amazing… but if you’re willing to splurge, the specials are like nothing I have ever had before. Here are the ones we got…

Hot Doug's, Chicago
Jamaican Jerk Pork Sausage with Passion Fruit Mustard and Sautéed Plantains ($7.50)

Hot Doug's, Chicago
Saucisson Alsacienne: Bacon Sausage with Crème Fraîche, Caramelized Onions and St. Nectaire Cheese ($7.50)

Hot Doug's, Chicago
Burgundy-Citrus Pork Sausage with Cherry-Garlic Chutney and Wild Garlic Havarti Cheese

Oh, and of course… the duck fat french fries (only available on Fridays and Saturdays), which probably accounted for the long line.

Hot Doug's, Chicago

Mr. Doug… Please open one of these places in Midtown. Pretty please, with flourescent green relish on top.


  • They grill the dogs in Vancouver as well. I dont know why this isnt more popular.

  • Top pic looks like Snot Doug’s to me.

  • I see that my recent commentary has been censored.

    Suffice to say that I am deeply disappointed by the “moderators,” so-called, here at Midtown Lunch.

    For those of you who are astute enough to appreciate the telling insight of a man such as myself please refer to the “blog” on my MySpace page.

    By the way, in addition to being a PhD twice-over, I am also an esteemed senior member of the Freemasons, a generations-old fraternal group encouraging the intellectual and social growth of young men.

  • One of the very good hot dog carts in Midtown is on the NE corner of Madison and 55th. They grill their Sabbrets hot dogs and they are very good.

  • Nothing like a good Chicago Dog, but I can agree with the averageness of the deep dish.

    I am happy you went to one of the better places to get a Chicago Dog. Next time try a superdawg, it might be a drive from downtown, but its worth it.

  • God I wish NYC had a good hotdog place like this.

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    Two things. I’m from Chicago and real Chicagoans rarely eat deep-dish pizza. It’s more for tourists or entertaining out of town guests. The most popular pizza places these days serve thin-crust, wood-fired pizzas. And second, Hot Doug’s hot dog is not a true Chicago dog, because it has grilled onions. They should be raw (you can ask for them that way, I found out). Hot Doug’s is known more for its exotic sausages and duck-fat fries than its hot dogs. There are better places to get a Chicago-style dog in my opinion and the line at Hot Doug’s is a little ridiculous. Don’t count on a Hot Doug’s in New York any time soon. Doug only keeps the place open a few hours a day–I hear he likes to spend time with his family.

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