Vienna Beef Factory Store and Cafe - Chicago
Vienna Beef, the hot dog sold by some 80 percent of Chicago's hot-dog stands, has a long history in Chicago, starting with the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. The current factory dates to 1972, and they still smoke their meats in old-fashioned smokehouses.
At the cafe, you can get hot dogs, sausages, sandwiches and soups straight from the plant, and eat them side-by-side with the people who make them. Breakfast fare includes omelets, breakfast burritos, eggs and cereal. After the cafe closes in the afternoon, a walk-up stand sells a limited menu of hot dogs and ice cream.
At the company store, you can stock up on frozen hot dogs, like the hard-to-find half-pound "Frankwurst," and other Vienna products, manufacturer's seconds, advertising posters and Vienna "Wienie Wear." Factory tours are available weekly on Wednesday mornings with advance reservations.