Superdawg: It’s a bird…It’s a plane…

"Hiya, thanks for stopping!"

“Hiya, thanks for stopping!”

At the corner of Milwaukee and Devon, situated in a Chicago suburb called Norwood Park, located between two major Chicago highways, the Kennedy and the Eisenhower, you’ll find two mighty weenies on a rooftop welcoming all hungry motorists and tourists.  Maurie and Flaurie are those weenies and Superdawg is the place.  And this place offers up some of the best tasting dogs this side of O’Hare and Midway.

Superdawg was opened in May 1948 by Maurie and Flaurie Berman, and it is still owned and operated by their family.  Although the restaurant has undergone some expansion and remodeling, the landmark figures of anthropomorphic hot dogs “Maurie and Flaurie” on the roof date from the beginning.

What makes Superdawg so unique isn’t just their food or family-run fare, but the fact that it is a drive-in hot dog stand with carhop service, just like Arnold’s from Happy Days.  Just don’t expect to run into Fonzie and Potsie at the front entrance.  With the exception of Sonic Drive-In, Superdawg has the distinction of being one of the few original drive-in restaurants left in the United States.  Its methods have been the same since it opened in 1948.  Drivers can putt-putt their way up Milwaukee Avenue, pull into Superdawg, press an order button from their driver seat, and be delivered food to their window.  And no, there is no time warp or space-time continuum, it is just how they do things.  And they’ve been doing it the same way for almost 70 years!

"Pull up to Superdawg..."

“Pull up to Superdawg…”

I had been putting off seeing this place for years, mostly due to the fact that it was located far away from the nearest train station and it involved a long walk.  Having finally visited almost every major attraction in Chicago, I finally had the time to visit Superdawg.  My long sojourn began with a ride on the Blue El towards O’Hare.  After getting off at Harlem station, I walked all the way down Harlem towards Devon Street.  I continued my walk down Devon until I saw Milwaukee Avenue.  It was then that I saw those two mighty hot dogs like a beacon, beckoning me to the wafting aroma of spicy hot dogs and fries!

Maurie and Flaurie

Maurie and Flaurie

The traditional Superdawg hot dog (don’t you dare ask for a weiner, red hot, or frankfurter!) is served on a steamed poppy-seed bun, topped with traditional yellow mustard, chopped white onions, neon-green relish, sport peppers, a pickle spear, and a pickled green tomato.  It is served atop a bed of crinkle-cut fries inside a red paper box.  Talk about a portable meal!  The hot dog, er, I mean, Superdawg, was exceptional.  It reminded me of a really, good deli sandwich; the mustard, onions, and pickle spear may have been the catalyst in it.  I was a bit skeptical about the fries; sitting underneath the heavy dog in the steamed bun might make them soggy, but they were crisp and very delicious.  Finish it off with a root beer and I can honestly say that it was SO worth the long walk.  In other words, I highly recommend this joint for everyone visiting Chicago.  Even without a car, it is definitely worth the trip!

Superdawg...with a side of fries!

Superdawg…with a side of fries!


Maurie Berman died on May 17, 2015.  Thank you for everything Maurie.  Your giant rooftop hot dog will live on…


About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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One Response to Superdawg: It’s a bird…It’s a plane…

  1. Alisoun Brewster says:

    What an adventure!! Sounds like it was worth every step getting there….it does remind me of “Happy Days”!!! Nice job!

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