Visiting the Wieners Circle in Chicago, Where The Employees Insult the Customers

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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: (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.

wiener circle chicago hot dog stand

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!”

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.

SEE ALSO: Visiting the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan

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?

36 thoughts on “Visiting the Wieners Circle in Chicago, Where The Employees Insult the Customers”

  1. Oh my – this sounds like an interesting place for sure! I’m still on the fence as far as it being somewhere I’d actually like to *visit* but I’d definitely like to look inside once in my life. 😉


  2. This sounds like an awesome place to get some hotdogs 🙂 Don’t think I would pay for the Chocolate shake though!

  3. When something like this works, it’s an absolute blast. When someone (like the sandwich shop lady in my office building in Singapore) tries it and it doesn’t work, it really doesn’t work.
    I don’t like hotdogs but I’d go to this hotdog stand to listen to the abuse. I like sandwiches but I won’t go near the freak at the sandwich shop!

    1. Oh yes, I wouldn’t stand for that kind of abuse if it wasn’t at a place that specifically markets themselves that way.

  4. This American Life (Public Radio and TV show in the US) featured this food stop back in the 90s I believe – Host Ira Glass spent an overnight at the location. Great read/video at:

    Glad to see it’s still a hot spot!

  5. This has GOT to be the best quirky attraction you’ve featured thus far! I’m not sure how I would handle the insults, but as long as I knew what was going on beforehand I think I’d be okay. I can only imagine what goes through the minds of people who wander in there unaware, though….

  6. Best form of street theatre I can think of! Now, I only wonder why you didin’t order the chocolate shake?? Are you chicken shit my man???

  7. I remember there were peculiar restaurants like this in Oklahoma as well, where you’d be publicly and loudly berated or embarrassed by the staff. They were quite popular. Odd tradition this 🙂

  8. acutally julia, the food is really good. they char grill their hot dogs and their cheese fries are some of the best!

  9. Haha this sounds crazy! I can’t believe people pay $20 for the privilege of the Chocolate Shake. This is one of those crazy word-of-mouth places where I’ll bet the entertainment is better than the food itself, not always a bad thing 🙂

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