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Ask Chicagoist: Vegetarian Hot Dogs?

By Thales Exoo in Miscellaneous on May 29, 2007 4:22PM

Hi Chicagoist,

Ever since Swank Frank swiftly boarded up, I've been craving vegetarian chicago style dogs. I know Hot Dougs has them but there's always a huge line and their hours are short. Do you have any leads on other veggie-friendly hot doggeries in Chicago?



2007_05_askdogs.jpgDear Jackson,

OK, we'll admit it. We liked this question because it appealed to our own vegetarian dietary habits. We just enjoyed some nice veggie dogs out on the grill yesterday at a Memorial Day BBQ, and happen to prefer fake hot dogs to fake burgers any day of the week.

Hot Dougs (3324 N. California, 773-279-9550) does have good veggie dogs -- in fact our old co-worker used to call in our order and then go pick them up for the whole office on his motorcycle. So calling ahead may be a decent way to avoid the line, as it always seemed like a pretty quick journey from Hot Dougs to the office breakroom.

Our favorite place for a veggie dog, however, is Huey's Hot Dogs (1507 W. Balmoral, 773-293-4800) in Andersonville. The mere block proximity from our home may make us a little biased, but they're quite tasty and loaded with everything you can imagine, and their shakes and fries are fantastic as well.

We think Chicago Diner (3411 N. Halsted, 773-935-6696) has great "NOT Dogs." They come with plenty of toppings, and have a great flavor. Although honestly, we love Chicago Diner so much that we never seem to be able to convince ourselves to order the veggie dogs; there are too many other great options.

Something kind of unique and very cool, we think, is that veggie dogs are readily available for your enjoyment while watching a White Sox game over at U.S. Cellular Field. No luck yet, apparently, at Wrigley Field.

You can get a vegan and surprisingly authentic (we think) "Polish Sausage" with sauerkraut, relish and mustard at the Lake Side Cafe in Roger's Park (1418 W. Howard, 773-262-9503).

Veggie Bite, the all-vegetarian fast food restaurant in Beverly has a veggie dog that sounds pretty amazing. Apparently they're also opening a new restaurant somewhere on the northside coming soon, so vegetarians all over the city can join the fast food nation.

Our one veggie dog warning is to keep an eye on where they're being cooked, especially if you're a real stickler. Although most places anymore seem quite aware of the issue, you never can tell when your veggie dogs are being cooked right along with the meat hot dogs. And of course, never underestimate the deliciousness of making your own Chicago-style dogs at home. Plus that way you can get exactly what you want on them.

Wish you were an Oscar Mayer Weiner? Need some advice? Email ask(at)chicagoist(dot)com.