Friday, July 12, 2019

David Berg & Company, Chicago, Illinois. (1860-1992)

David Berg & Company had developed a following of customers fond of their signature, kosher-style hot dogs beginning in 1860. David Berg hot dogs were sold at the 1860 Republican National Convention held in Chicago. This Convention is where Abraham Lincoln was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate. Since Lincoln, following tradition, did not attend the Convention, he would not have eaten a David Berg hot dog.

I'm guessing (or joking) that the concessions at the Republican National Convention did not have ketchup, and that's where the ritual of "No Ketchup on Chicago Hot Dogs" originated.

David Berg was a pioneer who introduced the "hot dog" at a professional baseball stadium. That happened in 1901; it was the Chicago White Stocking's first season as a major league team and their second season in Chicago playing ball at South Side Park, located at 38th Place and South Princeton Avenue, in Chicago.
The Chicago White Stockings first played ball at South Side Park.
When Vienna Beef set up shop in 1893, one of the few great sausage companies around was David Berg & Company. 

In 1992, almost a hundred years later, David Berg joined the Vienna Beef Products family. 
Vienna Beef carried on David Berg's taste and tradition by honoring their unique spice blend. Vienna Beef bought David Berg & Company and sells them online.

  • In 1978, David Berg made a six-foot, 681-pound premium beef hot dog in a 100-pound poppy seed bun covered with two gallons of mustard. 
  • The average hot dog is consumed in 6 bites. 
  • At one point in modern times, more hot dogs were sold at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport than at any other location on the planet. 

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D. 


  1. I grew up in Chicago being born in 1948 so I had my share of hotdogs there and I always remember each hotdog stand that I ate at served Vienna products. I had heard of David Berg hotdogs but not sure if I ever had one. Sonic makes a Chicago Dog and they have the fixings right but a poor choice for their hotdog since they use Oscar Mayer. Just not the same taste at all. Shake Shack franchises serve Vienna hotdogs but they grill them and offered on fixings when I just went there except for ketchup. Grilled hot dog tastes like what my mother would cook on the patio barbeque grill, not what you would get at a hotdog stand in Chicago. So Shake Shack falls short. Good tasting hotdog but not Chicago style at all.

    1. I agree. I grew up inn Skokie and spent 48 years in Chicago and the suburbs. I remember a little snap too. I didn't know they were bought out or gone in 1992. I'm in Texas now and there is a Wrigleyville in S.A. The owner is a Chicago transplant. They have Vienna. Their polish are great. Miss those David Bergs.

    2. The Cubs official Hotdog of the 1980’s

  2. David Berg hotdogs were the absolute best bite that you could experience in a hot dog. They were right up there with the chocolate malts that The May Co. featured.

    1. There was another hot dog brand popular in Chicago, Best Kosher.


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