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The Chicago Traveler

Gold Coast Dogs Are as Good as Gold

by Matt B on September 30th, 2008

Do I sound like a broken record yet? From one of my earlier articles: gold coast dog

The Chicago-style hot dog has seven essential toppings: a boiled or steamed all-beef dog on a poppy-seed bun with (1) mustard, (2) relish, (3) chopped onions, (4) tomato wedges, (5) a pickle spear, (6) sport peppers, and (7) celery salt. I've seen a few varieties on this (including lettuce, sliced pickles, cucumbers, and/or green peppers) but the 'lucky seven' mentioned above are the components of a classic Chicago-style dog. And yes, the exclusion of ketchup is just as important as the ingredients that are included. Why? One could argue that the sweetness of the ketchup does not mingle well with the other toppings, but really, the ketchup ban is a legendary custom. It's akin to messing with someone's great-great-grandmother's classic apple pie recipe.

If you want to make sure you get a legendary Chicago dog and not some odd variation, Gold Coast Dogs is a good bet.

Now, I'm not usually one to write about chain restaurants (well, maybe occasionally), but this no-frills spot is well-known for its all-beef Vienna dogs and attracts tourists and locals alike. Man cannot live on steamed dogs alone, unfortunately. Gold Coast also offers char-cheddar dogs, char-Polish sausages, double char-dogs, double char-cheddar dogs, char-burgers, char-cheddar burgers, and char-bacon cheddar burgers. Noticing a theme here? Don't worry; not everything comes with grill marks on it. The menu provides Italian beefs, burritos, gyros, nachos, and even a couple of unexpected vegetarian options (falafel sandwich and garden burger). And yes, you can get some hand-cut fries with that super-thick shake.

Gold Coast has ten locations in the Chicago area. Five of these are in major transit spots (O'Hare, Midway, and Union Station), which give the business a bit of a 'touristy' rep among locals. However, Chicagoans can't deny that GC follows the classic and tasty Chicago-style recipe quite well.

Photo credit: (c/o Flickr) Navin75

Gold Coast Dogs ($): 159 N Wabash Ave; 312-917-1677
Mon ' Fri: 10:00 a.m. ' 8:00 p.m.
Sat: 10:00 a.m. ' 6:00 p.m.
Sun: 11:00 a.m. ' 5:00 p.m.
Street parking
Public trans: Bus # 2, 3, X4, 6, 10, 26, 29, 36, 62, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 151
Orange/Pink/Green/Purple/Brown Line train (Randolph)
Red Line train (Lake)

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POSTED IN: Hot Dogs, Italian Beef, Restaurants

2 opinions for Gold Coast Dogs Are as Good as Gold

  • Peggy
    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Darn. I just visited and was surprised by the lack of hot dog stands. I finally just got one on the way out at Tasty Dogs in Oak Park. I’ll have to track down GC next time.

  • Matt B
    Oct 3, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Really? That’s surprising to me. Hot dogs are so popular here in Chicago, there are more hot dog stands than Burger King, McDonald's, and Wendy's restaurants combined.

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