Chicago-style Hot Dog and Beer Pairing

Chicago Beer and Hot Dogs

photo by: 52 Weeks In Chicago

With an estimated 1,800 hot dog stands in the city of Chicago, it’s pretty clear that Chicagoans love their dogs. But not just any hot dog will do. Chicago has their own ornate style. An all beef hot dog is steamed and then topped with yellow mustard, green sweet pickle relish, tomatoes, cucumber, white onions, a crunchy pickle spear, and light green sport peppers. It’s thought that this wide variety of toppings was influenced by the immigrants who called Chicago home. The mustard from Germans, the cucumber from the Greeks, and the tomato sliced was thought to be from the Italians.

Here are five local brews that pair great with a Chicago-style dog:

India Brown Ale, Haymarket Brewing

Between the tangy yellow mustard and the bold white onions, the Chicago-style dog can pack a punch. A malty, dark brown ale can stand up to the zest without overpowering it.

Top Heavy Hefeweizen, Piece Brewery & Pizzeria

Since the dog itself along with the mustard are believed to be influenced  by German immigrants, pay homage by pairing it with this South-German style Hefeweizen.

5 Vulture, 5 Rabbit Brewing

When the relish has a kick and the dog is topped with spicy sport peppers, try a bolder dark ale, like this 5 Vulture. The spicy finish of the beer goes right along with the heat of the condiments.

Ebel’s, Two Brothers Brewery

The light, maltiness compliments the slight sweetness from the juicy tomato and crispy cucumber.

A memorable hot dog is always near a good beer. We’ve found great places to grab a beer in the same area as some of Chicago’s favorite places to have a hot dog.

Hot Doug’s & Revolution Brewing

Also known as an encased meat emporium, Hot Doug’s draws a massive crowd of foodies, tourists, and hot dog enthusiasts alike, some even willing to get tattoos of the logo for free food. Gourmet dogs are served alongside the traditional, classic hot dog, such as smoked yak, thuringer, and duck sausage.

(Hot Doug’s, 3324 N. California & Revolution Brewing, 2323 N. Milwaukee)

Chubby Wieners & Half Acre Brewing

This Lincoln Square hot dog stand has been impressing Chicagoans since 2005. They’ve even implemented the Wiener Wagon that could be found throughout the city satisfying hunger on a daily basis. The plentiful hot dog is one-fourth pound all beef with natural casing.

(Chubby Wieners, 4652 N. Western & Half Acre Brewing, 4257 N. Lincoln)

Superdawg Drive-In & Hops & Barley

Swing by this traditional drive in that’s been serving classic Chicago-style hot dogs in tiny little red boxes since 1948. You’ll be sure to recognize the giant hot dog couple on the roof that’s been featured on television for decades.

(Superdawg Drive-in, 6363 N. Milwaukee & Hops & Barley, 4359 N. Milwaukee)

Franks N Dawgs & Metropolitan Brewing

This hot dog stand served up gourmet dogs like the Brunch dog, which is a pork loin breakfast sausage with bacon, fried egg, and maple mayo and was featured on Food Network, Travel Channel, and local shows. For a play on the original, try the Chicagoesque, which starts with an uncured, skinless dog and topped with house pickles, a cherry tomato relish, caramelized onions, and beer mustard. Since it’s BYOB, you can wing by Metropolitan Brewing, only 5 miles away, prior to getting a bite.

(Frank N Dawgs, 1863 N. Clybourn & Metropolitan Brewing, 5121 N. Ravenswood)

Goose Island’s Wrigleyville Brewpub

Goose Island’s Wrigleyville location has a Chicago-style dog right on their menu. They start with local Paulina Market ‘s Frankfurt, that have been using sausage recipes from Europe since 1949. It’s complete with house made relish and all the typical toppings, but they switch up the poppy seed roll with a New England style roll.

(Goose Island Wrigleyville Brewpub, 3535 N. Clark St.)

What’s the best place hot dog in Chicago? What beer do you drink with hot dogs?

About Kristen Kuchar

Kristen Kuchar, author of Mac n' Cheese to the Rescue, is a food, travel, and beer writer based in Chicago. She contributes to Draft Magazine, Craft, Brewing News, and many other notable publications. When she's not writing, editing, or cooking, she's traveling the country with her husband visiting breweries and checking out the best places to grab a beer on the road.


  • Sarah

    Yum! Cannot wait to try these pairings!!

  • Andrew

    Yep, got to watch the waist line after all the irresistible pairing