The Wieners Circle
Location: Chicago, Illinois (2622 N Clark)
When to visit: For the authentic experience, go on Friday or Saturday night after midnight
Cost: Around $10 for a meal (an extra $20 for the chocolate shake, and don’t you dare forget the tip!)
Time needed: 30-45 minutes
Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wieners_Circle (unofficial)
If you’ve ever gone to a hot dog stand and thought, “This experience would be so much better if only the person taking my order would viciously berate me while serving my food,” then the Wieners Circle in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago is for you.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re curious about visiting this unusual Chicago institution!
Visiting the Wiener Circle in Chicago
Oh yes, the Wieners Circle is a Chicago institution. During the day, it’s a normal little hot dog shop. But when the sun goes down, it becomes one of the best places to go in Chicago at night.
On weekend late night shifts, it turns into a free-for-all, where profanities are spewed left and right by the sassy women behind the counter and the customers waiting in line. “Curbside Abuse,” they call it.
RECOMMENDED TOUR: Chicago Food Tasting: Guided 2.5-Hour Walking Tour
Many customers show up for the abuse because it’s oddly strange and fun. One of my balding friends gets called “Rogaine” by the staff.
Not everyone gets the same level of verbal abuse. I’ve been disappointed I wasn’t yelled at more – all I got was the forceful inquiry, “Where my tip at?!”
You can guarantee yourself some insults by not being totally on the ball. When my friend’s order was ready but he didn’t hear his name being called, he was on the receiving end of some screaming: “Hey you, hairy mother—er in the Members Only jacket, get over here!”
Some customers initiate the abuse by yelling at the servers as soon as they walk in, which leads to a hilarious back-and-forth contest of insults. While the crudeness may not be for everyone, it’s all in good fun.
The Wieners Circle is not afraid to get political. They’ve been vicious about roasting Donald Trump. First, they mocked the size of his hands with a 3-inch “footlong” Trump dog, then after Trump’s unfortunate immigration comments, they changed their marquee to read, “People from all countries are welcome at this sh– hole!”
— The Wiener’s Circle (@TheWienerCircle) March 10, 2016
Every now and then, rumors surface that the Wieners Circle in Chicago may be closing. A couple years ago, the property was put up for sale, causing panic among fans of the late night rude hot dog stand.
But the owners of the business bought the property. So now it’s here to stay as long as customers keep showing up for the verbal abuse.
If you’re wondering what the menu looks like at Wieners Circle, well, it’s pretty much what you’d expect. Hot dogs costing between $5-7 depending on type. They also have hamburgers, veggie burgers, turkey burgers, and chicken sandwiches.
As for the sides, it’s pretty much just fries. With or without cheese.
There’s no seating area indoors, as this is a very small establishment. There are some picnic benches out front where you can dine if the weather cooperates.
By the way, the restaurant’s actual name is “The Wieners Circle,” plural, with no apostrophe. Many people assume there’s an apostrophe in the name, but there is not. Even Google gets this wrong!
Conan Visits the Restaurant
Some celebrities have visited Wieners Circle over the years. Years back when Conan O’Brien filmed a week of shows in Chicago, he stopped by the restaurant. Joining him were 30 Rock star Jack McBrayer and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, the puppet canine known for hurling insults.
The full video is hilarious, as Triumph exchanges insults with the staff, such as “Oh no you didn’t… go to high school!” Click to watch the full video of Conan at Wieners Circle.
The Wieners Circle Chocolate Shake
If you’re feeling really adventurous, for $20 you can order the chocolate shake – and no, it’s not a drink. It involves the large women behind the counter taking their tops off.
I have yet to witness one of these, but I hear they’re epic. The shake is one of the wildest parts of Chicago’s nightlife!
In recent years, the Wieners Circle has stepped up its game in terms of merchandising. They now offer souvenir tshirts and caps, in case you’d like to commemorate your visit.
By the way, if you’re interested in hearing about the other famous Chicago milkshake, click to read about the chocolate cake shake from Portillo’s.
The Wieners Circle is the perfect capper to a drunken Chicago late night on the town. Here’s a short sneak peek video of what you might expect there.
How do you feel about this famous rude restaurant in Chicago where they insult you? Would you visit the Wieners Circle?