Chicagoland Joint Wins March Hot Dog Madness

February 13, 2011

It probably comes as no surprise that the best hot dog in the country is right here in Chicago.

Each March, as the nation busily fills out its brackets for the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, the blog Serious Eats (SE) and Rachael Ray’s magazine team up to create a bracket of their own.

Last year’s Every Day with Rachael Ray annual food bracket concentrated on pizza. This year: Hot dogs.

With 64 contenders vying for the top stop, SE chose Gene and Jude’s Red Hot Stand in River Grove as “America’s Best Hot Dog.”

City workers Gene Mormino and Jude DeSantis opened the joint in 1946 in Chicago on Polk and Western Streets before relocating to Grand and River Road in the suburb near O’Hare Airport in 1950.

Gene & Jude's Hot Dogs SignThroughout the years, the restaurant has stayed true to a simple menu:

*Hot dogs




Something you won’t find at Gene & Jude’s: Ketchup.

Two other Chicago hot dog stands made SE’s top 64: Hot Doug’s and Superdawg.

Hot Doug’s lost to Gene & Jude’s in the Elite Eight while Superdawg failed to get out of the first round. Want to see the entire bracket? Download it here.

Gene & Jude’s, which ultimately beat out Aqui con El Nene in Tucson, Arizona, for the championship, will be featured in the March edition of Every Day with Rachael Ray.

This is not the first award for Gene & Jude’s. In 2006, the hot dog stand was inducted into the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Hall of Fame.

Categories: Awards, Cook County

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