6547321591 1fea729a9d bAs Americans all over celebrate National Hot Dog Day, Chicagoans know that to truly celebrate the day, you have to do it with a Vienna Beef dog.

The origins of Vienna Beef go back to the 1890s when Emil Reichel and Sam Ladany emigrated from Austria to Chicago. When the Columbian Exposition came to Chicago in 1893, Reichel and Ladany sold hot dogs to the many visitors.

The next year, they opened a storefront in Chicago’s Westside on Halstead Avenue. Reichel and Ladany also began selling their hot dogs to other restaurants throughout Chicago.

During the Great Depression, people selling Vienna Beef began advertising that their dogs had a “salad on top”, what we now call the Chicago Dog. A Chicago Dog is a Vienna Beef dog with mustard, relish, tomato, pickle, onion, hot peppers and celery salt. No ketchup!

Today, Vienna Beef dogs are made in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago with annual revenues over $100 million. For more information about Vienna Beef, click here to visit their website.

For a list of places you can find a good hot dog on National Hot Dog Day, check out this article.