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Hot Doug's
Dogs at Hot Doug's.

When we were told, years ago, that it’s totally worth it to drive to an out-of-the-way spot on California Avenue and wait in line for hours for a hot dog, we were naturally dubious. So, now you ask, is Hot Doug’s really worth it?

Sigh. It is.

There are 2,500 Yelpers who rave about the place, 60 people with Hot Doug’s tattoos and one celebrity chef--Anthony Bourdain--who named it one of 13 places to eat before you die.

And now those superfans can dig into the restaurant’s history and trivia thanks to the just-published Hot Doug’s The Book. It’s officially the best hostess gift for your foodie friend.

Owner Doug Sohn is famously funny. He discusses everything from the “Bourdain effect” to what it’s like to be ticketed for serving foie gras sausage, what happened after the first location burned down and why the Ann-Margret is now the Brigitte Bardot. (Hint: so many great beauties, so few encased meats.)

His justification for being cash-only: “I’m telling you that as long as Dick Cheney is alive, do not leave a paper trail.” 

Twenty pages in, you’ll know what you’re having for lunch today.

Hot Doug’s, 3324 N. California Ave.; 773-279-9550 or

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