Are you craving a hot dog? We’re here to help
Every now and then, a reader asks, “Where can I get a good hot dog in Champaign-Urbana?”
Hot dogs don’t get a lot of love … but hot dogs are the ultimate comfort food, an unbeatable dinner-on-the-go (I’m looking at you, Sam’s Club Cafe!), and a lifesaver for parents of picky eaters everywhere.
Hot dogs are also perhaps one of the more common cravings for expecting moms. So common, in fact, that you can even find articles online about how to safely eat hot dogs while pregnant. (Hint: make sure they are fully cooked. Pardon the sarcasm, but shouldn’t you do that whether you’re pregnant OR NOT?)
Anyway, we hope this Hot Dog Trail helps those pregnant women in Champaign-Urbana satisfy their cravings. Of course, you don’t have to be pregnant to want a good ol’ fashioned dog, on National Hot Dog Day — July 21, 2021 — or any other day.
Fun fact: National Hot Dog Day usually takes place on the third Wednesday of July, the same day that meat industry lobbyists host an annual Hot Dog Lunch on Capitol Hill in D.C. Talk about the perks of being an elected official — a free hot dog at work sounds pretty fancy. While this tradition seems to be on pause during the pandemic (with no national celebration currently planned), we can still celebrate the humble hot dog here at home.
Reader Recommendations for the Best Hot Dogs in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
Please note these recommendations result from completely unscientific polls on social media and do not constitute endorsements by chambanamoms.com.
Niro’s Gyros, several C-U locations (including W. Kirby): “Legit good hot dogs, especially with their cheese sauce!!” “Great Chicago dogs and fries!”
Dave’s Dogs, Campustown: Dave’s Dogs is a food truck “serving Chicago Style All Beef Hot Dogs to Champaign-Urbana.” During normal times they can be found at 5th and Green, serving the late-night bar crowd. Look for them at private events also.
Project 47, Mahomet: “Has a good hot dog and the tater tots and pork rinds are yummy”
Normally at chambanamoms.com we strive to direct attention to local businesses. But on the topic of hot dogs, our readers have spoken loud and clear and one truth cannot be denied:
C-U loves its chain restaurant hot dogs.
Portillo’s (N. Prospect, Champaign): no further explanation necessary if you come from Chicagoland.
Meatheads (Neil St., Champaign): “When I was pregnant, I ate way too many chili cheese dogs at Meatheads. This is why my child named her baby doll “hot dogs.”
Freddy’s (Town Center Blvd., Champaign): “They use this amazing toasted piece of Texas toast for the bun. Fantastic hot dog overall.”
(As a summer special in years past, Freddy’s has featured a Key Lime Pie Concrete, with literally an entire slice of key lime pie blended with frozen custard. That is completely off topic for a hot dog post and I must go try one right now.)
Dog N Suds, Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana (!): “They advertise their humble beginnings in Champaign IL in 1953.” “I miss their coney sauce.” Nostalgia hot dog road trip?
Other national chains whose hot dogs are loved by our readers: Sonic, Wienerschnitzel, Dairy Queen
- Most unexpected reader recommendation: the Savoy golf course
- Most practical reader recommendation: buying Hebrew National dogs at the grocery store
- Most 2020 recommendation: “Try making them in an air fryer at home.”
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