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Gene & Jude's

2720 N. River Rd., River Grove, IL - (708) 452-7634
Posted By Michael Stern on June 3, 2004 9:19 AM
We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Glen Stepanovic, who wrote imploring us to visit Gene & Jude's. Somehow, this estimable hot dog stand just a few minutes the OTHER side of O'Hare had eluded our radar. It is hugely popular – Glen said it's the largest purveyor of Vienna hot dogs on earth – but it is a relatively small and extremely modest place. There are no tables or chairs at all; as is Chicago custom, the eatery offers a chest-high counter to which you may bring your meal, unwrap it, and eat standing up. When you're finished, use the wax paper in which the food was served to gather up any scraps and heave them in one of the large garbage cans provided in the corners of the room. We find this arrangement comfortable and eminently practical for eating extremely messy food; however, many customers choose to dine in their cars in the parking lot.

You get a hot dog or a double dog. The natural-casing, all-beef Vienna brand tube steaks are slim and snappy; they are inserted into soft buns and dressed with mustard, onions, piccalilli, or sport peppers as you request. Glen told us that some hot dog historians consider this the "original" Chicago style dog, before the more baroque garnishes of pickle spear, tomato slice, and celery salt.

A fine, fine hot dog … but wait, there's more! Whatever toppings are included, each dog gets heaped with a large fistful of French fries … some of the best French fries in Chicago. Fresh? Forget about it! As you wait for your hot dog to be prepared, you can watch the counter folks peel and cut whole potatoes, then fry them, drain them, and pile them onto waiting dogs. They spend a good long time in the bubbling oil, emerging a dark, dark brown with some pieces crunchy through-and-through, others thick and potato-creamy inside.

It's a great, true-Chicago meal.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
French Fries
Hot Dog

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Posted By Mark Reitman on June 8, 2014 12:19 AM
Gene and Jude's is a classic fifties Chicago hot dog stand serving a small natural casing Vienna Beef hot dog on a steamed plain bun with mustard, coarse relish, onions, and two sport peppers. Fresh cut fries are applied on top as a condiment and wrapped in a one sided wax paper, just like the old days. Eat standing at a counter or in your car and don't even think of asking for ketchup, cause it ain't gonna happen!
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Hot Dog
Double Dog with Fries
French Fries

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Posted By Karen Carlson on March 17, 2014 11:56 AM
We drive for an hour to get there and have been going to Gene's and Jude's for over 40 years. My out of town kids have to get here at least once every visit. They are driving over 800 miles!!!!
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Hot Dog
French Fries

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Posted By Stephen Gifford on July 18, 2012 12:25 PM
Great dog and fries. Fun atmosphere. We call them the "dog nazi." They have a sign that says, "STOP HERE, order food, then move on!" Heart attack, who cares. At least I'll die happy.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
French Fries
Double Dog with Fries
Hot Dog

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Posted By Terry Hasek on July 14, 2012 9:25 PM
There is absolutely nothing great about this place. Chicago is the hot dog capitol of Illinois and this place isn't even in the top 50. It has this cult following that keeps the mystique of this place going. Otherwise, it is nothing more than a dive.
1 star rating
Overall Rating
French Fries
tamales
Hot Dog
Double Dog with Fries

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Posted By Julie Magnini on April 27, 2012 1:41 AM
I love this place! My husband's childhood favorite that he passed to me. At the ambulance company I used to work for, we would take orders from dispatch and get one of our rigs to go and pick up dogs for all! I love the French fries stuffed in the dog
0 star rating
Overall Rating
Hot Dog
French Fries

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Posted By Dwight Hatcher on April 14, 2011 7:21 PM
Hand-cut fries - literally made before your eyes - wrapped up with a great Chicago dog in a piece of butcher's paper. Probably THE finest hot dog I have ever eaten. A difficult drive out to the burbs but worth every mile. Stand on a line - regardless of the time or day - and then eat standing up. Staff is a bunch of tattooed slackers who are efficient and funny. The food is simply perfection.
5 star rating
Overall Rating

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Posted By Robert Myers on April 15, 2007 6:29 PM
Gene and Jude's is a great stop either to or from O'Hare, on your way back from Six Flags, or just to take a friend for the best hot dog in Chicago. Nice and simple. They offer only hot dogs and tamales, fresh-cut fries and Pepsi products.

No catsup served here; go next door to McDonald's if you want that. Mustard, onions and sport peppers! Real steamed Vienna skinned hot dogs ready to snap at your first and last bite. Double dogs are the way to go. Fries right on the dog; what a way to die happy. My kids will only eat them that way too!

I take friends from here in Bolingbrook just to get some dogs, and my cousin from Oklahoma City could not stop talking about them. He said "the best wienie" he has ever had; called his friends to tell them.

Open early, open late, fast friendly service. Have your order ready and your money too, they do not screw around!
4 star rating
Overall Rating

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