How to Draw a Chicago Dog

Our family went camping recently, a quick one-night jaunt to check out the nearby state park where Trevor's Scout troop will be doing summer camp. Because it was such a short trip, we brought the bare minimum and kept meals extremely simple. We had hot dogs for dinner, but I didn't bother packing the variety of toppings I'd normally set out for hot dogs. Instead, I just grabbed a few ketchup packets. As we were eating, Steve commented that we'd be lucky if we weren't banned from Chicago for our blasphemy. The only thing we did right was use all-beef franks. 

A proper Chicago Dog is is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, neon green pickle relish, tomato slices, a dill pickle spear, pickled sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt. To atone for my ketchup-on-hotdog sin, I'm sharing this tutorial to teach you how to draw a hot dog that would make Chicagoans proud. 

How to Draw a Chicago Dog


  • drawing paper
  • colored pencils


Begin by drawing the basic outline of the hot dog and bun. Sketch very lightly; I've used pen on these step-out photos to make them easier to see. Add the pepper (shaped like a leaf) and half a tomato. 

Add a second tomato to the foreground, then draw a wiggly line of mustard the length of the dog. 

Draw small bits of onions and relish along the mustard. Add a slightly smaller half-circle to each tomato slice. Add an oval plate beneath the hot dog.

Now it's time to color. I used the World Colors set, which gave me a good variety of browns and creams that came in handy. Don't forget to add poppyseeds to the bun!

If the Chicago dog is not your cup of tea, you may enjoy this Ultimate Hot Dog Style Guide, with varieties from across the world. I would like to try a Sonora Dog, stat! There are quite a few others I wouldn't turn down. Which ones catch your eye?


  1. I don't eat meat anymore and I don't really miss it, but I do sometimes remember the delicious Chicago Dog I had in Chicago and think to myself, if I were to eat meat, just one more time, THAT would be how I would do it! Of course, if they could give me a vegan dog...with all the same fixings, I'd much prefer that to having to ingest meat again!


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