Hot Dogs!

Cross-posted from

Finally, there’s a GOOD place to get a proper Chicago-style hot dog in West Town!

Rockstar Dogs, on Chicago and Ashland, deserves to be in the Weird Chicago book (as it will be) for two reasons right off the bat: for one thing, it’s thought to be the narrowest-eat-in restaurant in the city. Years ago, when Ashland street was widened, the already-narrow building was chopped in half. For another, it’s probably the only hot dog place in town that boasts its own stripper pole. If not, it’s certainly the only one you’d want to eat at.

Rockstar Dogs are new to the Chicago scene, but deserve to take their place among the new generation of Chicago dog icons. While the all-hot-dog menu isn’t as wildly original as Hot Doug’s, one doesn’t get the sense that these guys are trying to be quite like Doug – this is a hot dog joint with attitude. A sign on the menu specifies that ketchup is not allowed unless you’re under 13 (the fastest way to a Chicago dog connoisseur’s heart), the decor is mainly rock photos by Philin Phlash, whose work also adorns much of The Liar’s Club, and the place is open until the wee small hours of the night. The logo features a woman in a bikini holding a hot dog in one hand and a bottle marked “XXX” in the other.

Given the style of the place, the food almost seems like an afterthought, but it turns out to be fantastic. The Chicago-style dogs are perfectly executed, well constructed, and wonderfully tasty. The fries, which come with every dog, are well above average, as well. To top it all off, each one comes with a guitar pick. Another true Chicago original.

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