Fat Johnnie’s

Review by: Michael Stern

A short while back when I posted a list of a dozen essential Roadfood eateries in Chicago, I was called on the carpet for not including Fat Johnnie’s. Mea culpa! No one can say they’ve had a full taste of the Windy City at its raunchy best unless they’ve chomped into a Mother-in-Law at Fat Johnnie’s.

Curiously, despite the hegemony of hot dogs (or, as they’re known hereabouts, red hots) in Chicago, the Mother-in-Law is not a hot dog. It is a tamale, a  tamale nestled in a poppy-seed bun just like a hot dog and fully dressed with chili, onions, plenty of hot sport peppers, and maybe a few tomato slices and crisp cucumber slices and relish. While the tamale itself is no big deal, in concert with all the other ingredients it’s the basis of a street-food symphony.

But of course, there are hot dogs, and you can have one fully and beautifully dressed (or overdressed?) the Chicago way, or you can add one to a tamale, along with chili and cheese, creating what’s here known as a Mighty Dog.

That list of Roadfood favorites in Chicago is now a baker’s dozen.

Directions & Hours

  • Monday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat


Hot Dog


Fat Johnnie’s Recipes


What do you think of Fat Johnnie’s?

Nearby Restaurants

Original Rainbow Cone

Chicago, IL

Stanley’s Tavern

Chicago, IL

Vienna Beef Factory Store and Café

Chicago, IL

Kevin’s Hamburger Heaven

Chicago, IL

Harold’s Chicken Shack

Chicago, IL

Pearl’s Place | Chicago Bronzeville Soul Food Breakfast Best

Chicago, IL

Article’s & Guides Tagged Pearl’s Place | Chicago Bronzeville Soul Food Breakfast Best


Connect with us #Roadfood