Travel + Leisure
Get it here In an old mom-and-pop–style storefront, Murphy’s Red Hots (1211 W. Belmont Ave., Lakeview; 773/ 935-2882) has wooden floors and cheery red-vinyl tablecloths for a cozy, pub-like feel. Best bites After 20 years, genial Bill Murphy has mastered every detail of the authentic red hot: a perfectly cooked Vienna Beef dog with a snappy natural casing on a warm, but not soggy, Rosen poppy-seed bun piled with impeccable condiments.
The Daily Meal
Susan Smith March 2012
Murphy’s is special. On the North Side of Chicago just blocks from Wrigley Field, off the corner of North Racine and West Belmont on the ground floor of a gray-vinyl-sided house, Murphy’s is a throwback joint. It’s what Vienna Beef senior vice president and author Bob Schwartz of Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog says harkens "another time when small storefront shops were set up on ground floors or in back of the restaurants or stores" and owners lived nearby, as Schwartz noted Murphy’s owner Bill Murphy does. One difference here is the fresh, crusty French roll Murphy serves dogs on. Char-broiling is more prominent than at most of Chicago’s notable hot dog joints, and that split, charred dog adds lots of texture and flavor to the Chicago icon. A char-broiled dog with all the Chicago fixings is more complex and interesting than most other dogs you’ll find, but if you feel the need to go big, Murphy’s offers two great options. There’s the charbroiled footlong red hot (in Japan, where Murphy’s has done a cameo, it’s called the "Big Murphy"), and the "Screamin' to be Eaten Polish," Murphy’s ⅓-pound charbroiled Polish sausage.
This Lakeview spot is the quintessential Chicago hot dog stand. You can watch your dog being cooked and prepared. Owner Bill Murphy is the man who took the Chicago red hot to Japan--he has two stands there. And while you're here, take a peek at the Murphy's memorabilia. Pictures and T-shirts adorn the walls of the seating area. A foot-long red hot will cost you $3.35, and the menu points out that the Japanese call this treat the 'Big Murphy.' Besides dogs, you can get a garden salad, chili or even a grilled chicken and salad plate for less than $5.
You can’t walk a dozen blocks in this town without bumping into a Chicago-style hot dog, so what’s so special about this one? We think it’s owner Bill Murphy, who takes a lot of pride in greeting regulars and walking new customers through their orders—this man clearly loves his job. Polish sausages and Italian beef are on offer, but we keep it sweet and simple with a red hot, grilled and dragged through the garden, with a side of hand-cut, skin-on fries, dropped in bubbling oil only when you order them to ensure freshness.
Food & Wine
Brian Ferry March 2012
In the mid 1980s, Bill Murphy opened a hotdog stand in Lakeview to put himself through architect school. Soon after, though, he realized his calling to serve some of the finest split and grilled Vienna Beef links in the Windy City. His small shop is now located in an older home with limited seating, but since it’s close to Wrigley Field, most diners just grab one on the go. Branch out from the usual toppings, and take your dog on a “walk through the garden,” adding mustard, relish, onion, pickle, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, celery salt and sport peppers.