Chicago : Hot Doug's

I've been trying to get to Hot Doug's (The Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium) since last summer! I saw some special about hot dogs on the Travel Channel featuring the restaurant and was like 'Mariann, we must go!' But then we didn't and she went without me then bragged about how awesome it was. Well the stars finally aligned last Friday and it was awesome. My friends Katy, Ella, Ginny and I waited in line for over an hour and a half for our sausages but it was definitely worth it!

What's really nice about Hot Doug's is how quickly everything happens once you finally get inside the restaurant. Doug, the crazy genius behind the sausage, takes your order at the counter. He's super nice and helpful. I overheard him recommend a small soda to the girl in front of me, since refills are free. It's nice to have someone looking out for you :) Anyway, after ordering, your food comes out in just a few minutes! And even though the line is long, because everyone orders individually, there's always a table ready for you.

On Fridays and Saturdays Hot Doug's serves Duck Fat Fries. They're basically the best french fries ever. Seriously, they're that good. Delightfully crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside, and surprisingly light, not heavy at all. I think they were $3.50, and you get a lot! Our table got two orders didn't come close to finishing them.

We ordered a whole assortment of hot dogs, pretty much all daily specials! I had the taco pork sausage, with jalapeno mayo and habenero-jack cheese. It was delicious! The sausage was super tasty and the cheese/mayo combo was spicy but creamy enough so it wasn't overwhelming. I also ordered the traditional Chicago-style hot dog, very yummy. The hot dog was perfectly grilled to crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside.

Ginny ordered two amazing daily specials. Curry lamb sausage with spinach raita and kasseri cheese and cognac pheasant sausage with aioli and white truffle cheese. They were both fantastically delicious in different ways. The pheasant sausage was delicate and smooth while the flavors in the lamb sausage were bold and bright.

Katy chose another daily special, teriyaki chicken sausage with bits of mandarin orange inside and crispy onions and sweet chili sauce on top! Ella got the pork cheddarwurst, which was wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and covered in more cheese and garlic dijonnaise. I didn't try either, but they looked fantastic and the girls said they were really good. Katy and Ella also shared a grilled chicken sausage with carmelized onions.

The specials were around $6-$7 apiece. But Chicago-style dog is just $2 and the other basic sausages are pretty cheap as well. All of the specials sounded so fantastic that over-ordered a bit. But we couldn't resist, we knew we probably wouldn't be back for a while. We arrived at Hot Doug's around 2 pm on a Friday and got our food around 3:45. Travel time took a while too, since the restaurant is out in Avondale, and we were using public transit. Travel time + wait time makes Hot Doug's a bit more of a journey/destination then just a lunch spot. All the effort invested in the trip was more than worth it, I can't wait to go back!

Hot Doug's
3324 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 279-9550
Menu including daily specials!

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