Chicago-style Americana: hot dog stands (and one majestic bowling alley)

I’ve got some posts planned about architecture, but like a lot of Americans right now, I’m in an anxiety-induced holding pattern, just getting through the final two days of the Cheetolini administration. Like maybe he’ll pardon a few more war criminals, but hopefully now that he’s cut off of twitter he can’t goad his Nazi-wannabe toadies into more acts of domestic terrorism. Anyway, he’s out of here, leaving 400,000 of us dead from Covid, and many of our livelihoods destroyed.

So now for something happy to to get us through, something we do best in Chicago: hot dog stands.

629 W Lake

I can’t tell you the last time I ate a hot dog, though I do fancy a chocolate malted, which is frequently found at finer hot dog stands throughout the city.

No, the hot dog stand itself is the attraction for me.

2622 N Clark

Some of them have cheeky signs.

4652 N Western

And they often have suggestive names, like Chubby Weiner. (Bit of a cannibal, no?)

2734 W Peterson

I walked the 6 miles round trip from my apartment several times during the pandemic just to be cheered up by the vision of Wolfy’s.

6363 N Milwaukee

I’ve often been depressed by the bad press Chicago seems to always get. Even savvy travel bloggers are like “I’m coming to Chicago, am I going to be safe?” You know what you should be asking? “How do I get to Superdawg?”

3700 N Western

Would you prefer to eat your hot dog in a bowling alley? Well here’s a combination bowling alley / hot dog stand with special “Cosmic Bowling” hours where you can bowl in black light accompanied by a fog machine.

Horner Park

This is going to be a long two days. I’m keeping my eye on the hot dog stand at the end of the tunnel.


  1. Those are really something else. I confess – I sometimes eat them with sooo much sauerkraut and mustard. Counting down the minutes with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to eat at a hot dog stand called Yesterdog when I was visiting relatives in Michigan and I would order a veggie dog that was just sauerkraut and condiments. I’ll be toasting with you on Wed at noon!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My son and DIL got married in Grand Rapids, MI and has Yesterdogs as their post-reception midnight snack!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Recipe for a happy marriage!


  2. I wish I still had my Oscar Mayer weiner whistle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When you blew the whistle, did it summon a Weinermobile?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Weinermobile driver handed them out. It had two finger holes and you could play the four-note Oscar Mayer jingle.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What I would give for fish and chips cooked in beef dripping and wrapped in newspaper….is that the U.K. equivalent of the hotdog stand?
    Unfortunately newspaper has been banned – and the stuff comes on styrene plates with wooden forks…utter decadence!
    Those signs are great…but the Cosmic Hour sounds like a recipe for disaster where I am concerned. Those balls could be going anywhere…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That probably is the U.K. equivalent of a hot dog stand—not healthy, but likely healthier without the weird nitrates in hot dogs.

      We’re safe from flying bowling balls right now (the alley is closed due to Covid) but I might be tempted to drop by for the sheer silly spectacle.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Loved fish and chips wrapped in newspapers and those treats in a trolly circa 1976!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m sorry I never got to try these trolly treats!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Or beans on a bun?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmmmmm…..creamy on the inside…..

      Liked by 2 people

  4. One of the things I LOVE about Chicago is the hot dog stands! I need to go to Wolfy’s!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Highly recommend the chocolate malted.


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