There are few things that Windy City takes as seriously as properly dressing a Chicago hot dog. To make the cut, there can be no ketchup in sight – just a hearty topping of yellow mustard, onions, tomatoes, pickle relish, dill pickles, peppers, and celery salt.
Now, the city’s unique take on the street food classic will be celebrated with a museum run by the city’s most famous maker of the tasty treat – Vienna Beef. The original Vienna Beef hot dog debuted back at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, when a stand was run by the Austrian-Hungarian immigrants Emil Reichel and Samuel Ladany. Over the years, it has become a classic in the city and is the sausage that’s used by most of the city’s hot dog stands.
As the company celebrates 125 years in 2018, it has opened the Vienna Beef History Museum at its headquarters at 2501 N. Damen Avenue in Chicago. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 2 pm, offering visitors a chance to experience the evolution of the classic Chicago-style hot dog.
Of course you can sample one of the famous hot dogs on site, but you will be able to learn more about the company that produces the sausages, as well as more items like pickles and condiments. The museum will sell items like neon signs and staff uniforms, according to local news reports.
While the museum may seem a bit niche – even for hot dog lovers – the popularity of the dish is indisputable. In fact, Chicago is certainly a city that loves its junk food – after hot dogs it’s best known for messy favourites like sauce-slathered deep-dish pizzas and pepper-topped Italian beef sandwiches. But once you’ve tasted the local classics, there is also an incredible gastronomic scene that will keep foodies happy for days. Learn more about what to eat in Chicago here.