Chicago Hot Dog Fest: A red hot celebration

Chicago Hot Dog Fest: A red hot celebration

What better place than Chicago, the self-proclaimed hot dog capital of the world, for a hot dog fest.

Frankly nowhere.

In Chicago, hot dogs are a religion. There are hot dogs…and then there’s the Chicago dog.

hotdogchicagostyle-thumb-249x211-186434The Chicago dog is an all-beef dog with yellow mustard, fresh tomatoes, onions, sport peppers, neon green pickle relish, a dill pickle spear and celery salt nestled in a poppy seed bun.

According to a study by GrubHub, the country’s most popular hot dog topping is cheese…WRONG.

The second most popular topping is chili…WRONG AGAIN.

The study even mentions the “K” word. This is so wrong.

In Chicago, there are rules for the proper hot dog. A perfectly dressed Chicago dog never has cheese, chili or “K.”

The Chicago History Museum (1601 N. Clark Street) will be taking on these heavy duty subjects while showcasing some of Chicago’s best dogs at their 3rd annual Hot Dog Fest this weekend (August 7-August 9) in Lincoln Park, just north of the museum.

Some of the city’s leading hot dog experts will be addressing the important issues surrounding Chicago’s iconic dogs.

What could be better, during the dog days of summer, than to sink your teeth into a juicy hot dog while listening to hot dog debates, live music and a host of other activities.

Vendors include Boricua Dog, Flashy Hotdogs, Chubby Wieners, Frannie’s Beef and Catering, Chicago Classic, Select Cut Steakhouse, Cookers Red Hots, Fatso’s Last Stand & Frank Meats Patty and many more.

The music line-up features:


  • Friday brings ‘90s cover band The Personnel, boogie rock group Ryan Powers & the Secret Weapons and wacky cover-band and Chicago favorite, Wedding Banned.
  • Saturday’s music lineup includes reggae band Roots Rock Society, swinging jazz and blues band The Flat Cats and Led Zeppelin tribute band Kashmir and others.
  • On Sunday it’s ‘60s throwback band Generation, followed by Latin grooves with Guitarra Azul and classic rock headliner 97 Nine.

Speakers Stage (noon to 4 p.m. daily):


  • Bill Savage, Northwestern University professor, sheds light on “Ketchup: The Condiment of Controversy.”
  • Russell Lewis, the Museum’s vice president and chief historian, addresses Chicago’s Union Stock Yards.


  • Rich Bowen, Loyola professor and author of “Hot Dog Chicago.”
  • Bruce Kraig, author of “Man Bites Dog.”


  • Bob Schwartz, Vienna’s own author of  “Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog” explores the people behind Chicago’s favorite hot dog stands.

Tickets and information:

The third annual Chicago Hot Dog Fest comes to town on Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Sunday, August 9 the fest runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission to the Chicago Hot Dog Fest is free. Discounted ‘Early-Bird’ food ticket packages are now available online. Dog Dollars for food, alcohol, and non-alcoholic beverages will also be sold individually at the festival.

The Chicago History Museum is located at 1601 N. Clark Street. 312-642-4600

CTA buses 11, 22, 36, 72, 73, 151, and 156 go to the CHM.

Parking is available one block north of the Museum at Clark and LaSalle Streets (enter on Stockton Drive).

Subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email

If you would like to keep in touch with what’s happening in Chicago, like us on Facebook or subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email. To subscribe, type your email address in the box below and click the “create subscription” button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger

    Carole Kuhrt Brewer

    Arts, entertainment and dining journalist..

  • Follow me on Twitter.

  • Recent posts

  • Categories

  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: