Chicago has the greatest hot dogs in the world.
Certainly, as an area native and near lifelong resident, I fully admit to being partial to that which I am most familiar. But from Pink's in LA to Nathan's in New York--and numerous places in between--I have tried many non-Chicago hot dogs and they just don't measure up to a great Vienna beef red hot.
Although, even in Chicago, I tend to prefer Polish Sausages to actual hot dogs, and that's what I typically order at most of the stands included in my list of favorites. As shown above, a char cheddar Polish on French bread, with mustard, grilled onions, relish and a pickle, is absolute heaven and should I ever be in a position to order a "last meal," that would likely be it (assuming I still have teeth).
Before I get to my choices, let me note that they are primarily based on the taste of the hot dog or Polish, with some inexact factoring of how much I like to visit that particular place, and perhaps the quality of the French fries. Although almost every hot dog stand serves several items besides hot dogs and Polish sausages, my picks here do not cover other menu choices or the breadth thereof. These are simply the places at which I most enjoy having a Polish sausage or hot dog.
Before I get to "My 11 Favorite Chicago Area Hot Dog Stands" in the slide show below, I'll first give you 11 Honorable Mention choices. To the best of my knowledge, all of the places cited are still open, but I have noted that a couple would-be honorable mentions have closed (Fredhot & Fries - Glenview; Scott Dogs - Lake Villa).
Byron's - Chicago
Wiener and Still Champion - Evanston
Wiener Take All - Buffalo Grove
Wolfy's - Chicago
Flip's - Glen Ellyn
Mustard's Last Stand - Evanston
Murphy's - Chicago
Portillos - Numerous Locations
Irving's - Wilmette
Jimmy's - Chicago
Fluky's - Niles (inside the Walmart on Touhy)