The top dawg is the Chicago-style hot dog when it comes to hot dogs. Nothing else compares. First, you need to know the rules of construction.

We're talking about a legendary food here, you can't just run at it without some sense of what should and shouldn't be going on.

If your goal is to create authentic Chicago-style dogs at home and in your backyard this summer, you need to get familiar with the right way to go about it.

Rules for Making an Authentic Chicago-style Hot Dog

Rule #1 - Choosing the proper Weiner

Getty Images
Getty Images

The most popular weiner is Vienna's All-Beef hot dog, but you can use any brand you like as long as it is all beef.

Thanks to, I learned that the first Vienna Beef hot dog was served in Chicago in 1893 at the World's Columbian Exposition. That's the same event where Chicago's Palmer House Hotel debuted their world-famous brownies (the perfect companion to your hot dog and easy to make at home. Here's the recipe).

Rule #2 - Check Your Buns

Chicago hot dog on a poppy seed bun
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Don't bring home seedless buns, an authentic Chicago-style hot dog uses a poppy seed bun

Rule #3 - All About the Toppings

The last three rules all have to deal with the toppings that you should put on an authentic Chicago-style hot dog. Clearly, the rules are essential, or there wouldn't be three of them.

There's an order in which these toppings are placed, but I feel it's more of an aesthetic and doesn't really change the flavor profile at all. Here's the order:

  • Mustard

For the purists, from,

The trick is to swirl the mustard in a zig zag motion along the length of the hot dog, leaving half inch gaps between each zig and zag.

  • Relish
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Sport Peppers

Rule #4 - The Never-ever-ever Rule


Sometimes what makes something amazing is what it doesn't have as opposed to what it does. No Ketchup Ever!

Rule #5 - My Favorite Chicago-style Hot Dog Rule

The way I feel about this last rule, I'd say the same thing about my wife that I bet you'd say about your 'person'. My wife makes everything better. This last ingredient, just like The Dude's rug, ties the whole thing together.

Celery Salt


Sprinkle that celery salt over the entire hot dog.

There it is.

Your Guide to Building an Authentic Chicago-style Hot Dog

When it's time to hit up a joint to just enjoy eating one and not doing all the work, you need to check out these places. WOW!

5 'Must-Have' Chicago Hot Dog Experiences That Will Change Your Life

One look at these five Chicago hot dog spots and you will start to feel something move inside you. That's your hunger. Come eat and your life will never be the same.

More From 96.7 The Eagle