Feb 13 2009

Ketchup on hot dogs!

Published by at 3:00 am under Awesome!,Why?!?

chicago hot dog

OK, I will explain this one time and one time only… NEVER put ketchup on a hot dog!

The only exception is if you are a child. I have come up with a handy way to know if you are too old to put ketchup on a hot dog. If you are old enough to grow pubes you are too old to put ketchup on a hot dog. It’s that simple. As Maurie Berman, owner of Superdawg, says “Ketchup on a hot dog is an abomination!”

So what is allowed on your precious wiener?
– All-Beef frank, grilled not boiled
– Neon green relish
– Raw white onion
– Yellow mustard
– Cucumber slices
– Tomato wedges
– Shredded lettuce
– Dill pickle spear
– Celery salt
– Hot sport peppers (optional but advised)
– All resting nicely on a steamed poppy seed bun

In Chicago this is known as “dragging it through the garden.” As a hot dog expert I can tell you there are no better hot dogs than in Chicago. New York easily wins the pizza battle but Chicago owns the hot dog.

(said in annoying whiny voice) “But I like ketchup on my hot dogs.” BULLSHIT! Stop embarrassing yourself.

Best Chicago style hot dog: Murphy’s Red Hots – 1211 W. Belmont, Chicago
Best fancy dogs: Hot Doug’s – 3324 N. California, Chicago

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43 comments so far

43 comments to “Ketchup on hot dogs!”

  1. Jeffon 13 Feb 2009 at 3:10 am

    Yes, congratulations. You win the prize for the best ground up animal bits encased in the small intestines from a sheep.

    With so much nastiness to hide, does it really matter what goes on top as long as it kills the flavor?

  2. Yubberson 13 Feb 2009 at 6:30 am

    Cucumbers. Now YJMML… I’m usually with ya. If I’m not agreeing with you I’m at least empathizing… but cucumbers?? Cucumbers barely belong on a sandwhich let alone a hot dog.

    I very much enjoy ketchup on my hot dogs and I happen to live on the Southside where I have to hide my ‘screwy’ habit from locals in fear that I will have my tongue removed.

    Here’s my question. Chicagoans have a big issue with Ketchup on weiners… but why? Does it really taste that awful? Are cucumbers and lettuce that much more flavorful or accompanying? Or is this some sort of urban myth that’s carried through distinctly through the generations? I’m confused here.. I wanna do a mini pole in fact.

    Answer if you eat ketchup on your hotdogs:

    If you do not eat ketchup on your hotdog is it because:
    A) it sincerily tastes that bad
    B) it’s a secret understanding that you just don’t eat ketchup on hotdogs
    C) Skip, you love your ketchup

    And lastly:
    Do you eat cucumbers or lettuce on your hotdogs:

    My answers

    I’m going to pole my co-workers, too.

    I’m not trying to defeat your point here… I just wanna understand! 🙁 ???

  3. guilty noodleson 13 Feb 2009 at 8:11 am

    I’m one of the ones who put ketchup on my hot dogs… my husband has found this quality in me very upsetting. He has considered leaving me for it. He can’t even look at me when I slather my dog in ketchup, mustard, onions & tomatoes. The only reason that has kept our marriage going is me not consuming hot dogs. Haven’t had one in years!

  4. You Just Made My List!on 13 Feb 2009 at 8:59 am

    Jeff – geez, try and be more of a little girl why don’t you.

    Yubbers – The answer is this, ketchup tastes like shit on a hot dog! It adds a weird, unneeded sweetness.

    The rest of the Chicago style formula, including the cucumber, is PERFECT. Everything blending together in perfect, delicious harmony. I think I’m getting a little bit of a boner just thinking about it.

    Here’s the thing, not just anyone can achieve greatness with these ingredients. Everything has to be fresh and prepared correctly. Too many hot dog joints do not take the dog seriously enough and are happy to serve crap. A properly prepared hot dog can be AMAZING. Try Murphy’s and Hot Doug’s if you want to understand why I am so in love with good hot dogs.

  5. Patrickon 13 Feb 2009 at 9:53 am

    That whole ketchup on a hot dog thing is retarded.

    If you like ketchup on a hot dog, fine, Whatever. Who the hell cares? It’s just not a Chicago style hot dog, that’s all.

    Its a hot dog with ketchup.

    Want a true Chicago dog? You can’t put ketchup on it. Never would have thought we would have hot dog snobs who insist on what other people put on their hot dogs.

  6. You Just Made My List!on 13 Feb 2009 at 10:04 am

    Partick – Are you a cave man? Do you poop and pee in the woods? That’s the only possible explanation for such nonsense!

    Fuck yeah I’m a hot dog snob! ALL HAIL the mighty hot dog! It’s no coincidence that “hot dog” spelled backwards is “GOD toh.” I’m not sure what the “toh” part means but I’m sure it’s important!

    Apologize to hot dogs!

  7. Patrickon 13 Feb 2009 at 10:17 am

    lol, you right man. I think it is nonsense to put ketchup on a hot dog as well. Mind you, I live near chicago, and spent many a summer days at wrigley (where you can get a severe beat down for even mentioning ketchup).

    Which by the way, what the hell is up with catsup?

  8. You Just Made My List!on 13 Feb 2009 at 10:20 am

    Patrick – Catsup is only available to millionaires.

  9. poseuron 13 Feb 2009 at 10:51 am

    This might be your best post ever! I could not agree with you more. I too have a spouse who insists on acting like a child by putting ketchup on her hot dog. We live in Chicago and frequent both Murphy’s and Hot Doug’s. She won’t budge on the ketchup, but I have gotten her to agree to order her dogs sans ketchup and apply it herself later – hidden in shame from the owners of these great establishments.

  10. You Just Made My List!on 13 Feb 2009 at 10:57 am

    Poseur – “hidden in shame” indeed.

  11. Jasonon 13 Feb 2009 at 11:29 am

    No chilli?

  12. You Just Made My List!on 13 Feb 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Jason – Chili on a hot dog is called a chili dog. Come on, get your head in the game!*

    *chili dogs are awesome too.

  13. YouJustMadeMyAnus!on 13 Feb 2009 at 12:21 pm


    Listy, I always knew you were a commie bastard. This post just confirms it.

  14. hodanon 13 Feb 2009 at 1:44 pm

    I’m gonna go with YJMMAnus on this one, ketchup(mustard too) with hotdogs are good. it hides the oddly flavor hotdogs.never had a Chicago styled hotdog though, am i missing anything?

  15. J Dubon 13 Feb 2009 at 3:18 pm


    Ketchup on bologna is offensive as well.
    Who does this over the age of 10?

  16. Yours Trulyon 13 Feb 2009 at 3:44 pm

    @ J Dub: who over the age of 10 eats bologna in the first place?

  17. Your Momon 13 Feb 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Cucumbers are an excellent addition to a hot dog and ketchup is for french fries only. Anyone who disagrees with YJMML on this is subject is just wrong. Try it the right way once and then you’ll understand, especially if you go to Murphy’s.

    In LA it’s all about the taco stands. I have to drive all the way to Taste Chicago in Burbank to have a proper hot dog. They also have good Italian Beef sandwiches. Mmmm Italian Beef…

  18. texas gianton 13 Feb 2009 at 8:20 pm

    YJMML, i just wanted you to know Im a HUGE fan of your blog. Unfortunatley, I do like catsup, ketchup or smashed tomato paste (wtf ever you want to call it) on my hotdogs. I have never tried a chicago style hotdog, so im open to new ideas, however, CUCUMBER sounds REALLY REALLY weird to me, but then again, I am from TEXAS, and we pretty much put ketchup on ANYTHING, so that is weird, too……
    But cucumbers??
    For real, is that good?? Im going to have to go and try it now,lol

  19. Ryeon 13 Feb 2009 at 8:37 pm

    No, this stuff isn’t getting to me, the shootings, the knifings, the beatings, old ladies being bashed in the head for their social security checks, teachers being thrown out of a fourth floor window because they don’t give A’s. That doesn’t bother me a bit. Or this job either, having to wade through the scum of this city, being swept away by bigger and bigger waves of corruption, apathy and red tape. No, that doesn’t bother me. But you know what does bother me? You know what makes me really sick to my stomach? It’s watching you stuff your face with those hot dogs. Nobody… I mean NOBODY puts ketchup on a hot dog.

  20. SanFranon 14 Feb 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Fuck this.

    Ketchup is the ONLY thing I put on a hot dog… not much, just a dab’ll do ya.

    Truth be told, I find relish absolutely disgusting, but would gladly drown in a lake of it if given the choice between relish or mustard…

    No, seriously – it really is that bad.

    If given the choice to eat the condiment mustard, or get AIDS, I’d choose AIDS.

    Onions: I lack the enzyme that digests them, so those are off the table, too – unless they’re stewed or something.

    Basically, I guess this means that I need to bring a bat with me if I order a hot dog in Chicago, to fend off those who don’t think one should be able to exercise free will.

  21. You Just Made My List!on 14 Feb 2009 at 5:18 pm

    SanFran – Never order a hot dog in Chicago, you will be murdered for your nonsensical and irrational way of eating them.

  22. guilty noodleson 14 Feb 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Wow. No really, WOW.

  23. Neishon 14 Feb 2009 at 8:39 pm

    I put mayo on my hotdog once cause I went to my boyfriend’s family’s cottage and they had nothing else.

    I hate to say it but…it was good.

  24. Munchieson 14 Feb 2009 at 11:15 pm

    I want to cry a little.

    No mention of mayo anywhere, is that a good thing or a bad thing?

    Are you watching The Bachelor this season? If not, then do I have a girl for you!

  25. CreatureofHabiton 17 Feb 2009 at 8:18 am

    Hot dogs are gross all the way around, man. But being that I hail from the motor city, I wanted to point out that a hot dog with chili is a CONEY DOG. And the only way you are allowed to eat them in Detroit is Hot Dog + Chili OR Hot Dog + Chili + Mustard + onions. Those are your options. Well, except for the third option of neither – which I choose. But man, my Mom LOVED her a coney dog (with mustard and onions). Ew.

  26. joe rossonon 17 Feb 2009 at 2:18 pm

    I live in Arizona and I for one have put ketchup on my hot dogs for as long as I can remember, plus I have had a Chicago dog and I personally liked the cucumber, although I did burp the fucking taste of it for a day after though.

  27. YA'LL DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU TALKING ABOUT!on 29 Apr 2009 at 9:01 am




  28. You Just Made My List!on 29 Apr 2009 at 9:13 am


    Wow, typing in all caps gives me a headache.

  29. GFYourselfon 19 Jul 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Put whatever you want on your hotdogs it’s a fucking free country. Sometimes I put just ketchup, sometimes I put mustard, sometimes onions, sometimes 2 of the above, sometimes all 3. Why? Well for starters, if the bun/dog are dry, and I don’t want to have mustard stains on my teeth/lips/fingernails, then the hotdog NEEDS ketchup. Especially if you get a good quality ketchup, not that packet shit which is watery. Sometimes if I know I won’t be socializing in a day and am craving mustard, I’ll throw down mustard and onions on my dog. But honestly, I don’t eat hotdogs enough to feel like a egotistical bitch and go whine on my blog that people care for as little as thegreatestpageontheuniverse.


    PS. I’ve eaten a hotdog with ketchup in Chicago, no one gave a flying shit.

  30. You Just Made My List!on 19 Jul 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Dearest GFYourself,

    The thing I love about you is that you bitch and moan ON MY BLOG while instructing me NOT to do the exact same thing.

    OK, let’s analyze the ramblings of a ketchup loving werido, shall we?

    1) Just because it’s a free country does not mean you can just go up to someone and shoot them in the face. Putting Ketchup on a hot dog is no different and equally as tragic.

    2) Why are you using dry buns you psycho?

    3) How in the fucking fuck are you getting these “mustard stains” all over your face and fingernails? Do you know how to eat? Were you raised by ketchup-eating wolves in the forest?

    4) “Sometimes if I know I won’t be socializing in a day and am craving mustard…” – WHAT THE FUCK? Congratulations on one of the weirdest comments ever made in the history of man. I could literally spend the rest of my life discussing this odd sentence.

    5) I’ve already discussed the irony of you bitching on a blog about me bitching on a blog. All that ketchup is rotting your tiny brain..

    6) When you ate that hot dog in Chicago with ketchup, people DID give a flying shit, but you were too concerned with your various body parts being covered in condiments to notice all the middle fingers and nasty comments thrown your way.

    Thanks for stopping by and for being a big enough fan to leave a comment! I hope we hear more from you soon. I’m going to go fuck myself now 🙂

  31. Dub Pion 20 Jul 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I’m from Chicago and like my dog with ketchup. Tastes good and beats the shit out of the tomato/cucumber combination. Been to Doug’s and Murphy’s; bottom line is I eat what tastes good to me.

    I know the commentary around this has been widespread, apparently like your butt cheeks, you dog snob.

    Your blog is awesome.

  32. You Just Made My List!on 20 Jul 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I am proud to be a dog snob god damn it!

  33. dson 28 Aug 2009 at 3:20 pm

    i love me a hot dog with ketchup, and only ketchup. i eat my cheeseburgers the same way. guess i’m a no good dirty rotten ten year old with my taste buds up my ass.

    see when i go to chicago i’m a no good waste of space and i tend to eat hot dogs at the 7-eleven, you know, a quarter pound big bite, a big gulp, and some salt and vinegar chips for three dollars. once the lady asked me what i needed and i, the naive and innocent ten year old, said ketchup, please. the kind old lady laughed and told me i wasn’t from around here. well… she was right. and that was that.

  34. You Just Made My List!on 28 Aug 2009 at 3:27 pm

    ds – Ketchup AND 7-11 hot dogs? Oh dear fellow, we need to get you on that show “Intervention.” I’m sure they could do the whole hour just on your crazy problems.

    It isn’t too late!!! You first must realize you have a problem. Next, you have to want to change! If you don’t really want to change then you will be right back on the red stuff in weeks after rehab.


  35. Chopper Bobon 23 Nov 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Gene N Judes. Best hot dog in the world. Grand & River Rd River Grove, IL. Mmmmm

  36. You Just Made My List!on 24 Nov 2009 at 1:42 am

    Chopper – I’ve been there a few times after marathon drinking sessions at Hala Kahiki. Very good dogs, but if I remember correctly they aren’t full-on Chicago style. They are more street cart style, right? Super good though for sure.

  37. Kent jon 13 Nov 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Its funny. So many fellow chicagoans preach this like some kind of hangable offense. SERIOUSLY they look at you as less of a person if you prefer hotdogs in a variety of ways INCLUDING ketchup.

    Here is what is really funny for all you ketchup nazi chicago folk. When you eat your fries at the same time you are eating your hot dog do you dip them in kethcup? THEN eat the hot dog? You idiots ARE eating ketchup on your dog. All the flavors mix in your freaking MOUTHS. As a matter of fact you all LOVE that combined flavor.

    Frankly. I am a loud mouthed SOB that is willing to start a fight if you make fun of how i like my food. Its none of your effing business if i put obama puke on my hot dog, and there is PLENTY of that to go around believe me.

    Ketchup is good on just about ANYTHING. ANd if its an inferior dog then all the more so. Only way to eat it.

    So screw you chicagoland. Just remember me everytime you dip your fry in Ketchup and then munch on your dog.


  38. You Just Made My List!on 13 Nov 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Kenty – Your argument is almost as weak as your decision to ruin hot dogs with ketchup. Should I also pour my root beer on my hot dog? I just brushed my teeth too, so maybe I should squeeze some Crest on that sucker. Might as well chew some gum at the same time.

    I would love to hear you present your insane argument to a chef. According to you, they might as well just plop your dessert on top of your steak. It’s all going in the same hole, right? Just toss the whole mess in a fucking blender!


  39. Nate Won 15 Jan 2011 at 1:03 am

    “Should I also pour my root beer on my hot dog?”

    You’re already doing it when you put yellow mustard and that god awful relish on it. Seriously, it’s hard to take the Chicago hot dog folk seriously about the sin of ketchup when the put one of the worst things in existence on a hot dog: the nuclear green relish.

  40. You Just Made My List!on 15 Jan 2011 at 7:08 am

    Nate – Clearing you suffer from some form of mental retardation or possibly a head injury, so I will refrain from telling you how insane your comment is. Good day, sir.

  41. Trudels Sonon 08 Jun 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Hey, my mother was a Frankfurter, but not a hot dog ( see her blog at http://lgrossman.com/trudel )

    You have it right:

    – All-Beef frank, grilled not boiled (Well, boiled can be tolerated)
    – Neon green relish (optional, depending on mood)
    – Raw white onion
    – Yellow mustard
    – Cucumber slices
    – Tomato wedges
    – Shredded lettuce
    – Dill pickle spear
    – Celery salt
    – Hot sport peppers (optional, depending on your pallet.)

    – All resting nicely on a steamed poppy seed bun (Firm – not to soggy)

    DON’T FORGET THAT CELERY SALT.. sorry for shouting but that is the true sign of a Chicago Hot Dog.

    I saw the image on your page in a hot dog place in Bollingbrook yesterday, with a sign saying sale of ketchup with a hot dog was prohibited except to minors under 18, although I don’t know why anyone would want to corrupt children that way that is child abuse. (I was looking for a photo of that sign when came across your page)

    Yes, I have had a Coney Dog in Detroit, and a polish on Maxwell Street with steamed onions or sauer kraut… but those weren’t Chicago Hot Dogs and the team that plays in the Cell isn’t the Cubs.

  42. chason 10 Jul 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Extra ketchup on my dogs!!

  43. You Just Made My List!on 10 Jul 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Chas – I am sorry for your loss.