WATCH: Travel Back in Time With a Chicago-Style Hot Dog at Superdawg

When I went back to visit my hometown of Chicago, I knew I had to get a Chicago-style hot dog, so I figured I’d make it a Superdawg.

When I was a kid, they used to say a Chicago-style dog had been “dragged through the garden.” That means tons of toppings: mustard, relish, onions, pickles and peppers — but no ketchup. Ketchup is kind of against the rules for a Chicago-style dog. (Want to get adventurous with your hot dog toppings? Try some of these ideas.)

Superdawg in Chicago, IL
Superdawg in Chicago, IL

The exterior of Superdawg (Photo: Melanie Dunea)

While Superdawg is far from the only place serving a traditional Chicago dog, they claim it’s the best, with a bigger dog that’s smoked a bit longer and seasoned with a particular blend of secret spices.

The restaurant itself is quite the throwback. It was founded in 1948 by Maurie and Flaurie Berman not long after Maurie returned from World War II. Today the restaurant is still family-owned and is filled with old-fashioned drive-in era details, right down to the carhops delivering food to your car.

Speaking of the drive-in era, it turns out that Superdawg may have helped inspire the drive-in restaurant in the musical Grease! One of the play’s writers went to Taft High School not far from Superdawg, and used to hang out there in high school.

As for me, I just wanted a great hot dog and I got it. The carhop delivered my Superdawg right to my rental car, it was buried in fries and the whole thing was superb!

Chicago-style hot dog and fries at Superdawg in Chicago, IL
Chicago-style hot dog and fries at Superdawg in Chicago, IL

A Chicago-style hot dog and fries at Superdawg (Photo: Melanie Dunea)

What: Superdawg

Where: 6363 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago (or try their second location at 333 S. Milwaukee Avenue in Wheeling, IL)

When: For the Chicago location: Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Fun Fact: No ketchup on the dogs! Superdawg doesn’t serve ketchup on their dogs, but they do serve it for their fries and for kids because “kids like ketchup on everything.”

Want more fast food fun? Check out my visit to the world’s oldest operating McDonald’s.

Photo Tripping is a Yahoo Travel original series hosted by renowned celebrity photographer Melanie Dunea (author of My Last Supper). Melanie takes us on a photographic journey with her as she visits America’s top cities to experience the best tastes, sounds, and sights the city has to offer.

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