Gold Coast Dogs

Hot Dogs
159 N Wabash Ave (at W Randolph St)
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 917-1677

These days, there’s little left of the charm and personal touch at Gold Coast Dogs that’s detailed in Bob Schwartz’s Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog that once characterized it. The stand, which was founded in 1985 by Barry Potekin (who had washed out in the commodity business), is said to have produced good food at a time when it wasn’t the modus operandi of the typical stand (especially in the downtown Loop). There are now five locations (two at O’Hare and one at Midway), but Potekin and his partner Paul Michaels divested themselves of Gold Coast more than a decade ago. And while there are still standard-bearing hot dogs, there’s little personal touch. What Gold Coast may lack in charm, it makes up in char. These are some juicy red tomato-laden, char-grilled dogs with split ends that flay open in quarters like some crazy, juicy-crunchy hot dog end propellers on either side of the bun. 

— Arthur Bovino, Chicago's 29 Best Hot Dogs, 7/22/2013

Lists & rankings



  • GCD dogs are natural-casing Vienna Beef, you can get them char-grilled, and they have the weird splayed-ends thing, setting these Chicago-style dogs apart.
  • Greatest Char-dog Ever. Extra for extra sport peppers.
  • Awesome dogs
  • Gold Coast Dogs splits the ends of their hot dogs before char-grilling them to crispy perfection, giving a unique blooming flower-petal look to their otherwise classic Chicago style dog.
  • The char dog at Gold Coast Dogs is an excellent introduction to the world of Chicago-style hot dogs. The ends are sliced, so that when tossed on the hot grill they flare out wildly.
  • Cheese fries suck.
  • yummy... so delicious
  • While a steam-simmered (not boiled) hot dog is preferred among connoisseurs of the Chicago-style dog, grilling is also an acceptable cooking method.
  • The bratwurst usually takes a few minutes longer, but it's well worth it!
  • A little different variation on a typical Chicago dog. Very good! Excellent fries too.
  • Hot dogs were good. Chili was totally on point for the chili cheese dog. Service was 'eh', location was 'eh'. Haven't been to too many hot dog places, so I don't know if this is better than any other.
  • Gotta try chicago style ;) and char dog is really good
  • Counter Service
  • Chagbbjigf
  • After Demon Dogs closed, Gold Coast became king of the Chicago-style dog.
  • Char dog is what I would request as my last meal
  • They do the Chicago dog right.
  • Best grilled hot dog in the city.
  • Dogs are on the small side. Fries are mediocre at best.
  • Tell your mom to get her own basket of french fries. You're not going to want to share.

Nearby places

201 E Randolph St (btwn Columbus Dr & Michigan Ave)
100 W Ontario St (at Clark St)
111 North State Street (btwn W Randolph St & W Washington St)