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The Chicago hot dog — nothing else compares.

The magic happens and tastes combine between the halves of a steamed, poppy-seed bun. The initial sharp bite of diced white onion and yellow mustard is calmed by a fresh tomato wedge and a sprinkling bright-green sweet pickled relish. Subsequently, the glorious “snap” occurs as you break the casing of the Vienna hotdog. The pinch of celery salt and mighty sport peppers pack a big bang, leaving you craving another bite.

Today, places across Chicago such as Jimmy’s Red Hots, Portillo’s and the recently shuttered Hot Doug’s have drawn crowds for the famous, ketchup-free dogs.

But how did something so perfect come about?

While the hot dog has been around since the 1800s — when German and Austrian immigrants began selling them from street carts — the Windy City’s famous frankfurters came to life during the Great Depression.

It has been reported that the Chicago-dog was created by a jobless teenager named Jake “Fluky” Drexler. Jake transformed a vegetable cart into a hot dog stand – adding toppings that became known as “dragging it through the garden.” His selected veggies representing different cultures — sport peppers for Italians, mustard for Germans, tomato for Mediterraneans.

This five-cent “depression sandwich” sparked a craze that’s still part of the city’s culture today.

Here are just a few spots to try the city’s famous dogs this summer.

Gene and Jude’s

2720 River Road, River Grove

http://www.geneandjudes.com

Simple ingredients and quality meat topped with fries has turned these Chicago dogs into a fan favorite since 1946.

Downtown Dogs

804 Rush St., Chicago

http://downtowndogschicago.com

Stop by for a true Chicago hot dog — never topped with ketchup! The dog spot claims to have the best char dog on the Magnificent Mile.

U.B. Dogs

185 N. Franklin St., Chicago

http://www.ubdogs.com

This restaurant specializes in hot dogs, but encourages diners to try a variety of menu items.

Fatsos Last Stand

2258 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago

http://www.fatsoslaststand.com

This stand has evolved to becomes Chicago’s neighborhood snack bar. It’s open all day and late into the night, letting you indulge your dog cravings at almost any time.