The blue “V” set against a yellow background is nearly as ubiquitous as the Old Style signs above neighborhood bars, and for good reason. Vienna Beef, established in 1893, counts 80 percent of Chicago’s 1,800-plus hotdog vendors as their sole distributor. And in a city that redefined the hotdog (ever not have to ask for ketchup?), that’s saying something. Amazingly, Chicago accounts for less than half of Vienna Beef’s business, which now serves cities as far away as the Pacific Rim, not to mention numerous European capitals, Mexico and cities across the States.
Best of Chicago 2002