The end of a year brings out the best of the best when it comes to year end awards. The same can now be said of hot dogs as "Taste of Home" has released their list of the top hot dogs in each state.

Girl (7-9) eating hotdog, two girls (9-12) queuing in background
Credit: Christopher Robbins

Hot dogs, with their timeless appeal, encapsulate culinary delight in a simple, usually cheap, and easy to grab on the go package. A symphony of flavors unfolds in each bite – the savory blend of seasoned meats, the satisfying snap of the casing, and the harmonious marriage of condiments. They transcend mere food, embodying a cherished slice of Americana. Well, that is if you get one of the dogs on this list.

Barbecue Grilled Hot Dog With Cucumber, Cheese And Salad And Fresh Juice
Credit: NSphotostudio

As a Tri-Stater there's really only one place that comes to mind when I think, "Man I could really go for a hot dog." And that my friends is no ordinary dog, but is instead Mulgrew's famous chili dog, found just across the bridge in East Dubuque.

But, I digress. We have the best of the best to try so where else should we point the car in Illinois. Have you ever tried the Superdawg Drive-In in Chicago?

Everything at this iconic hot dog joint is said to be "super." The dogs, the drinks, the sides, and the legacy.

Superdawg Drive-In has been family-owned since 1948. Customers at both locations are greeted by 12-foot hot dogs on the roof named Maurie and Flaurie after the original owners. The Superdawg is built like a classic Chicago dog and is delivered “lounging” in a retro-styled box.

There is also a Superdawg location in Wheeling, Illinois. Not gonna lie those look amazing, but how does our Hawkeye state fair when it comes to the decadent tubular meat snack? Have you ever tried The Flying Wienie, in Cedar Rapids?

You don’t need to head to the Windy City for a great Chicago-style dog. Instead, take a trip to Cedar Rapids and get to the Flying Wienie. As Iowa's top hot dog joint, it's known for its classic Chicago dogs and dogs-to-go. In fact, you can even snag a 12-pack for a party.

Make sure to also try the Italian beef, gyros, and other Midwest favorites. Let's say heading North would be a closer option for you? Not to worry you can explore your German roots and enjoy a Wisconsin favorite at Vanguard in Milwaukee.

Vanguard is located in the city’s Bay View neighborhood. Their hot dogs, bratwurst, Hungarian sausage and more are all made in-house. The folks there get creative, try options like the Milwaukee which is topped with cheese curds, cheese, and Cheez Whiz or the Kimchi Dog that is topped with house kimchi, fried egg aoli, scallion, and sesame. Even in Wisconsin, you can't escape the reach of the treasured "Chicago-style dog." Look at this beauty.

And because it’s Wisconsin, all menu items have a recommended beer pairing. I mean, what else would you drink with a hot dog?

Credit: Stockbyte

In the grand symphony of flavors that is America's hot dog culture, each state proudly boasts a top dog. Whether indulging in the iconic Superdawg in Chicago, savoring the Chicago-style delights of The Flying Wienie in Cedar Rapids, or exploring the creative twists at Vanguard in Milwaukee, hot dogs remain a cherished "tube-shaped slice" of Americana. As the year comes to a close, these hot dog havens beckon to you. Start the new year savoring the best of the best, even if it is "just a dog." Sometimes celebrating the simple things are as easy as the joy found in every bite of these beloved tubular treats. So, which dog is your "best of the best?"

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