The sign outside declares this place to be home of the char-broiled cheddarburger, and a comely patty of beef it is. But the name is The Wiener’s Circle, a typically Chicagoan bit of culinary word play that lets you know what’s really important. Here are seriously good Chicago-style hot dogs, served in steamy soft Rosen-brand poppy seed buns and topped with flawless condiments.
The major decision to make, dog-wise, is whether you want it boiled or charred. At many of Chicago’s red-hot joints, we recommend boiled or steamed because it yields the plumpest, tautest skin; but here at the Wiener’s Circle, charred is the way to go. Cooked on the grate just behind the order counter, the char dogs get a good crunch from the flames. For us, this rugged tube steak nestled in its super-tender bun is the essence Chicago.
Wiener's Circle French fries are among the best: crisp and fatty, impossible to stop eating.
Inside, the perimeter of the Wiener’s Circle is outfitted with counters and stools well-suited for hot-dog eating and for gazing out the window at Clark Street. Outside is a row of picnic benches.
"A close up of a Wiener's Circle red hot shows just how pretty the picalilli is, and how fresh the tomatoes are. Note also the natural casing on the Vienna frank ... and the poppy seeds dotting the soft Rosen's bun."
"Some of the best French fries in Chicago ... served in superabundance"
"A Wiener's Circle char dog, ordered without condiments for the picture's sake. Look at that crunchy skin!"
"The char-cooked cheddar burgers are great, but we can never resist getting Wiener's Circle hot dogs."
"All the way, grilled onions (no tomato!)"
"Like all the great red hot shops in Chicago, The Wiener's Circle is a humble place."