Where can I get the best Chicago-style hot dog in San Francisco?
May 27, 2007 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Where can I get the best Chicago-style hot dog in San Francisco?

My sister wants to take her California-raised boyfriend out for the quintessential Chicago style hot-dog. Ideally, a genuine "Vienna Beef" brand hot-dog. Difficulty: They would like to eat in or near San Francisco.

She'll be able to spot a fake right away, so we will silently mock any suggestions of "There's a Der Wienerschnitzel down on first and main."

Bonus: If the same place sells Italian Beef sandwiches, you'll blow her mind.
posted by IvyMike to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I lived in SF, there was a place called Moishe's Pippic that had Vienna hot dogs. I think this was the only place in SF that had Vienna's. This was ~3 years ago so it's probably worth digging around to see if Moishe's is still there, but it probably is. It's in Hayes Valley.
posted by the dief at 2:18 PM on May 27, 2007

If you're up for a long roadtrip, there's a Portillo's down the 5 near Anaheim. It doesn't get any better than that. Stop at a Dodgers game on the way back and poke fun at the fans who think their Dodger Dogs are something great.
posted by AgentRocket at 2:23 PM on May 27, 2007

Moishe's is still around, and while it's probably the closest thing SF has to a real deli, the dogs just aren't on par with an actual Chicago dog.

You're going to hate this, but having lived near Chicago all of my young life, and still enjoying a Chicago-style all-beef every once in a while now that I'm in the Bay Area, Wienerschnitzel has by far the most authentic Chicago style hot dogs around here. They really get everything right except the tomatoes and the poppyseed buns. In San Francisco proper, you'll get a weird, crusty bun, a too-long frank, a fancy relish that isn't the proper nuclear-green, not enough salt and/or pepper, and rarely tomatoes.

SF doesn't have any halfway decent gyros or italian beef stands. There ain't no Portillos here. Only a trip to the midwest will do.

That being said, please let me know if one of the suggestions here actually does lead you to a decent dog or beef.
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 2:26 PM on May 27, 2007

If I remember Moishe's correctly, they had the nuke-green relish and proper buns and the lot. They definitely had that relish, at any rate.
posted by the dief at 2:28 PM on May 27, 2007

Since I see AgentRocket recommended the one Portillos in California, while I said that there was in fact no Portillos in the Bay Area, I feel the need to point out that the closest Portillos is seven hours away from San Francisco.
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 2:29 PM on May 27, 2007

i know your sister probably doesn't want to come to the east bay, but here's a pretty comprehensive tour of the east bay by hot dogs. the guy eats a lot of chicago dogs. (which i can't get behind. relish is foul and not to be tolerated.)
posted by kendrak at 2:53 PM on May 27, 2007

Top Dog, which I think has an SF location. There are two in Berkeley, one on Center Street next to Bongo Burger and another on Channing Way near the Pacific Film Archive and Telegraph Avenue. Definitely worth it, they have more than chi-dogs too, the best half-smokes in the west.
posted by parmanparman at 3:27 PM on May 27, 2007

You might want to check out Gourmet Franks at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. Although I didn't order one myself, I once watched the owner pile on weird topping after weird topping to create what she called a Chicago-style hot dog. Not sure if she still works there regularly if at all (this was many years ago), but they at least have the green relish and a huge assortment of condiments.
posted by metaly at 3:29 PM on May 27, 2007

Sorry it's not Chicago, but if New York style appeals to you, be sure to visit Rosemunde, on Haight near Fillmore. Get the dogs and visit the bar next door, Toronado to enjoy the full beer and hot dog experience.
posted by jasper411 at 6:00 PM on May 27, 2007

According to Chowhound, Gumbah's in Vallejo does a pretty good job on both the dog and the beef. I know it's not San Francisco, but it sounds like it might be worth the drive.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:39 PM on May 27, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! My sister is completely impressed, and says she will be taking her boyfriend to a few of the places you guys suggested.

On the other hand, I'm down in L.A., so that Anaheim Portillo's isn't so far for me. Just like any good older brother would do, I'm going to eat there and then taunt her about it.
posted by IvyMike at 8:46 PM on May 27, 2007

In LA, there's also Rubin's Red Hot---with salvaged El tracks--on Ventura across from the Sherman Oaks Galleria.
posted by brujita at 10:33 PM on May 27, 2007

Actually, Der Winerschnitzel's Chicago Dog isn't all that bad. It's pretty accurate, neon green relish and all.

For somewhere semi-close, I recommend Windy City Pizza down in San Mateo. The pizza there is extremely good as well.
posted by o0o0o at 11:17 PM on May 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh, and they have Italian beef sandwiches.
posted by o0o0o at 11:20 PM on May 27, 2007

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