Vienna Beef — yes, the Chicago-based purveyor of hot dogs, operating since 1893 — is currently collaborating with some of Chicago’s best poster artists and actually cool brands (Awful, UNRL). WTF? Hot dogs, for one reason or another, a food synonymous with Chicago, have evolved into an icon synonymous with Chicago. It’s somehow possible to wear hot dog-related, Chicago-centric merch every day without raising an eyebrow. So: here’s what to wear. And what to put on your wall, what to bring to the beach and what to assemble as paper art. All hot dog-related. (No ketchup, of course.)
Hot Dog Origami
New City, the monthly print magazine that’s been going for 34 years, recently released a hot dog-focused issue. What sets this apart from most every other regional publication shining a light on Chicago’s most famous food is how the cover doubles as a piece of art. It features a Chicago-style hot dog, with a two-page paper model of a Chicago-style hot dog.
Hot Dog Prints
There’s no shortage of fantastic Chicago hot dog art. We’re going with this one by Left Handed Wave at All Star Press Chicago because it’s screen printed, so it looks a bit better than anything digital. If you do not care about the difference in printing styles, and most people don’t, it’s hard to beat Joe Mills’ Chicago Hot Dog Stands print or anything in the Vienna Beef Print Series.
The Chicago Dogs Minor League Onesie
The White Sox are not good. The Cubs can’t decide if they’re good. Thank god for minor league baseball. The Dogs are part of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball and play at Rosemont’s Impact Field — the stadium you can see from the Blue Line near the Rosemont stop, and on 294 whenever you’re going to O’Hare. There’s no shortage of fantastic Dogs merch, but the best stuff is for the babies. Get a onesie for your expecting friends because babies already look like hot dogs and it’s cute.
Vienna Beef Beach Towel
Is your body beach-ready? Yes, it is. Regardless of whatever the scale says, the Vintage Vienna Beef Sign Beach Towel will look good draped around your midsection. You can also use it as a really big napkin.
Your Guide to Chicago’s Best Giardiniera-Topped Hot Beefs, Hot Dogs and MoreAs curated by one of Chicagoland’s top butchers
Hot Dog Lapel Pin
If you need to class up your wardrobe and don’t want to look foolish with a hot dog tie, consider the Chicago Mustard Hot Dog Pin from the MCA Store. Once I was wearing a Cubs enamel pin on my suit lapel and someone thought I worked for the ballclub and I did not correct them. Maybe wear this pin and people will think you own all the hot dogs?
Portillo’s Hot Dog Tote
This bag is great because you can put a hot dog in it, and it’s a great explainer for everyone who does not know what a Chicago-style hot dog involves. Just look at the bag. All of the ingredients are on the bag.
Superdawg WhooperWinter Hat
Celebrate Chicago’s-best looking hot dog stand, which celebrates 75 years(!) in 2023, with a WhooperWinter Hat featuring both Maurie and Flaurie (the giant hot dogs on top of the stand) embroidered on the front.
Chicago-Style Hot Dog Socks
While I prefer hot dogs in my mouth, you may prefer them in your shoes. Transit Tees offers socks that’ll remind you that just because you can put anything on socks, doesn’t mean you should.
Hot Dog + Chicago Flag T-Shirt
Does a hot dog on a shirt not scream Chicago enough? How about a Chicago flag but the stars are hot dogs and above the flag is the name of a hot dog joint?
No Ketchup T-Shirt
Do you want — nay, need to remind everyone ketchup doesn’t belong on a Chicago dog? The Original Jimmy’s Red Hot shirt will remind you. No ketchup. Never ever.
Hot Dog Pride
The Wieners Circle — the Lincoln Park stand with the “surly staff” (Google’s words, not ours) — serves fantastic char dogs and classic Chicago hot dogs. They also offer a Pride tank top. You can wear it year-round, not just in June.
Chicago White Sox Chicago Style Dog New Era 59Fifty
Unfortunately, this is the highlight of the 2023 Chicago White Sox season. It’s a really good-looking highlight, but it’s barely baseball related.
Chicago Cubs Hot Dog Plush Dog Toy
A good dog toy is a hot dog-related toy. The best dog toy is a hot dog-related toy that also reminds you of your favorite baseball team.
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