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Staff Picks: Best Spots for Sausages in Chicago

By Anthony Todd in Food on Aug 17, 2011 6:00PM

Photo by Cosmo_75.
This week, we bring our staff picks a little more down to earth. After telling you about restaurant bathrooms and the best eateries in which to avoid having your brains eaten, now we weigh in on a more mundane topic: sausages. Chicagoans love their encased meats, and the city boasts some amazing places to buy them. They're cheap, come in infinite variety and can be made in any season. Even vegetarians can have them!

1) The Chicago Brauhaus Lincoln Square's Brauhaus has the best sausages in Chicago, and anyone who tells you different is a Schei├čkerl. Hot, big, German, and juicy, they are best enjoyed with a side of polka music, which regularly plays live at the Brauhaus stage. The sausages at Brauhaus are the best and not the wurst. 4732 North Lincoln Avenue. By Caitlin Roth

2) Gene's Sausage Shop Skip the migraine-inducing polka of Brauhaus and head two doors north to Gene’s Sausage Shop where they’re serving up sausage with guaranteed flavor, quality (all preservative-free) and quantity. Gene’s is a true experience, with food pr0n all around, floor upon floor of strange foreign ingredients and a whole quarter of the store dedicated to hard-to-find wine, liquor and beers. Buy some sausages to take home and grill, or take advantage of the summer heat on Gene's rooftop deck where you can enjoy a view with a brew, and brats from an open-wood sausage grill. 4750 N. Lincoln Ave. By Minna An

3) Bari Foods The hot Italian sausages at Bari Foods kick ass and take names. Well, the friendly guys behind the gloriously stocked deli counter at Bari actually do the name-taking, but whatever. Order up a sub with said spicy, crunchy, delicious housemade links - which follow a secret family recipe - and have it decked it out with Giardiniera and peppers. Then welcome the most sublime meat sweats of your existence. 1120 West Grand Avenue. By Roger Kamholz

4) America's Dog Sausages, snausages! Who needs a bunch of fat and gristle ground up and cased in innards? Don't you all know that if you eat enough of them, your arteries will be just as nasty looking and hard? Seriously, with all due respect and much love for my meat eating friends, let me suggest something different . . . veggie dogs. Healthy vegetable protein in that all-too-familiar tubular form. Yes, they can be an acquired taste. But your cholesterol count will thank you for it. Pop on in to any America's Dog and grab a veggie wiener any way you want it. Pile it high with fixin's and indulge. Our favorite, of course, is Chicago-style with plenty of relish. Just think, no more sitting there wondering exactly what went into your sausage. Vegetable have neither hooves nor other unmentionable parts! Tough sell, I know. But you cannot blame a vegetarian for trying. By John DiGilio

5) The Butcher & Larder Any list about anything meat-related in Chicago wouldn't be complete without mentioning B&L. But their sausages deserve special mention. If any of you have been reluctant to visit the shop because you think the prices are too high or the organ meats too strange, go right now and buy some sausage. It's cheap, interesting and usually in stock; though if you follow Rob Levitt on twitter, you'll see that the special orders of unique sausages sell out very, very quickly. Oh, and did we mention that they're local and sustainable. Yeah. 1026 North Milwaukee Avenue. By Anthony Todd.