Once upon a time you could buy a hot dog on almost any corner of the city, including in the Southwest Side—at least according to legend. But nowadays, in the West Lawn neighborhood, there’s only a few places where you can get a Chicago dog. I recommend Windy City Hot Dogs.
When you walk or drive on 63rd Street, it’s impossible to miss the shack-style restaurant on the corner of Kildare. It could very well be a scene out of the 70’s, with its hand-painted restaurant sign that includes the downtown skyline, a hot dog “dragged through the garden,” and a gyro cone.
But this is a good thing because sometimes a person just wants to make a good old-fashioned fast food pit stop.
Upon entering the tight quarters, every customer looks up to see the fixed menu on the white letterboard (even though they arrive already knowing what they want). It runs the gamut of Chicago favorites, including cheeseburgers, Polishes, pizza slices, patty melts, chili cheese fries, Italian beefs, pizza puffs, submarines, fried fish and shrimp, grilled chicken sandwiches, and tamales (the English pronunciation).
The parking lot is huge, so you can wait or eat in the car. Or you can sit on the bar stools and look out the window while you wait five to ten minutes for your order to come out steaming in a paper bag or a checkered cardboard tray. If you’re hungry, you can’t go wrong here.
Windy City Hot Dogs, 4205 W. 63rd St. Monday–Saturday, 10am–8:30pm; Sundays closed. (773) 581-0332