Editor's Note: Over 100 years after Upton Sinclair muckraked Chicago's stockyards and frightened the world, and in spite of the general wisdom that "laws are like sausages; you never want to see one made," Chicago is a city proud of its sausages. Sausage City is a weekly chronicle of the best encased meats in the Windy City.
When I helped put together the Natural Casing Hot Dog Map to inaugurate this column, the scope was limited to the city limits; that helped make a daunting task a little less so by keeping the list to Chicago proper. It was better for my sanity—and my phone bill.
But that meant leaving some of my favorite stands off the list, and it didn't exactly seem fair. I grew up in the suburbs of this fair city, and some of my favorite spots (like Mustard's Last Stand) are outside the city limits. It seemed especially unjust to see an iconic stand like Gene & Jude's, opened in 1946, missing from our map (and the stand Serious Eats named the best hot dog in America earlier this year). And I heard from more than a few of you that the maligned suburbs deserve their own map.
Well, today I present the Suburban Natural Casing Hot Dog Map. As you'll notice, there are a lot of options, including nearly two dozen Portillo's locations. Like before, it's a work in progress, and now's your chance to weigh in in the comments and help fill it out. If you know of a place that serves a natural casing dog, leave it in the comments, or email photographic evidence to us. Help us make this map the accurate and extensive resource it could be.
A special thanks to the folks at Vienna Beef, who helped us generate this list.
All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.