Along with hamburgers, ice cream and barbecue, hot dogs are an iconic American comfort food that shines in the summer months. Whether enjoyed in a stadium, on a picnic blanket, or on the sidewalk next to a street cart, it's a savory staple that never goes out of style, no matter how you prepare or garnish it. Summer is a particularly suitable time to feast on francs. While outdoor family meals are great, if you'd rather avoid the most common mistakes, a sure way to satisfy your sausage cravings is to try a high-quality version from an experienced professional.
Across the country, sausages come in a kaleidoscope of styles, rolls, and toppings. Regional styles abound in cities like Detroit, Tucson, and Seattle, but classic sausages are found in every corner of the United States. You can find sausages prepared with different techniques and packed with everything from peanut butter and jam to fried eggs, collard greens and Fruity Pebbles cereal. Old-school hot dog spots in cities like Chicago and New York are deservedly time-worn, but you can also increase creativity and try something new and daring.
Without further ado, here are the best hot dogs in America. Detroit is high on the list of quintessential hot dog cities, along with New York City and Chicago. Motor City is a sacred place for its Coney sausages, a unique style of sausage that combines traditional Greek ingredients with the American pastime, in this case, an intoxicating veal chili with raw onions and a splash of yellow mustard. The ritual continues at hot dog temples such as Lafayette, Coney Island and American Coney Island.
However, Detroit is a city that values tradition and innovation, the last of which you can sample at Vinsetta Garage. Vinsetta Garage, a restaurant suitable for a city known for its car culture, is a modern restaurant in a modernized garage, serving novel versions of the classic American type of food. Today, these include unique creations such as The 3 A, M. Dog, a sausage that seems to be a far cry from Coney Island recipes with its mix of homemade bacon jam, sriracha mayonnaise, fresh scallions, spicy fried onions and a fried egg without cages in the sun.
The melted yolk oozes over the plump veal sausage, wrapped in a fluffy bun. Any butcher shop that also doubles as a meaty sandwich counter bodes well for their sausage offering. In fact, Pasture is a fast-casual, fast-food place that takes classic American sandwiches and serves them with the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients, many of which arrive in the form of whole animals and are massacred in the house. There are plenty of delicatessen-style favorites, such as Reubens and mortadella, but don't overlook the humble hot dog.
Sausages can lean towards the traditional or the regional, but they can also turn into something whimsical. Some clever restaurants use sausages as a blank canvas for a bold invention. Such is the case of The Dog House, a peculiar restaurant focused on sausages in downtown Pensacola. They use Nathan's famous beef sausages, Kobe veal sausages and Beyond meatless sausages for a lot of quirky temptations, some of which are so wild and unexpected that you should try them.
In addition to po' boys, smashing burgers and sandwiches, much of the menu includes customizable hot dog creations and epic menu dishes that seem too crazy to be true. You can order a more traditional Chicago-style dog or the meek Usual Dog (with chili, cheddar cheese and onion sauce). Or, you can let go of caution and get yourself Rubble Rage, a unique blend of mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, chili, sriracha, sour cream and, most surprisingly of all, a little Fruity Pebbles cereal. It all sounds rather strange, but the contrast of flavors and textures is an unusual success, since it mixes sweet, spicy and acidic elements, all juxtaposed with creaminess and crunch.
A sausage traditionalist might be out of breath, but this is a singular invention that tastes much better than it seems. Presented as a new version of an American classic, as well as a celebration of flavor, history and people, Hot Dog Pete's is an Atlanta venue that takes the history of hot dogs seriously while modernizing and innovating along the way. This casual and colorful restaurant is the vision of Nick Pihakis, who teamed up with Pete Graphos, the founder of the historic Sneaky Pete's Hot Dogs in Birmingham, Alabama. Together, they created an Atlanta original that combines old school and contemporary.
That new-school spirit is evident in Hot Dog Pete's emphasis on top-notch ingredients, sourced from local suppliers, and on hot sausages custom-blended with iconic Fritz's smoked meats and superior sausages in Kansas City. Customers can choose their hot dog-based Cheddar sausage, Cheddar sausage with jalapeño, bratwurst sausage, chicken and apple sausage, or Beyond plant-based sausage, and then choose from a variety of ingredient options. The highlight is the Slaw Dog, which updates the standard coleslaw situation with an earthy green coleslaw, which provides more texture when chewing than typical cabbage slices, along with a touch of mustard and chili. Of the infinite varieties of Sonoran sausages in Tucson, the one served at Ruiz Hot Dogs, a food truck permanently parked on land almost south of the city center, is remarkably epic.
The pan, a thick Mexican roll bun similar to New England-style lobster rolls, is buttered and grilled with a unique technique that adds richness to a crispy hot dog wrapped in bacon. The hot dog includes layers of raw and fried onions, beans, finely chopped tomatoes, sprinkles of mustard and mayonnaise, sauce and a garnish of peppers with blisters for a smokier touch. Meatier and smokier than most regional hot dogs, these delicious bagels wrapped in bacon are dressed with mustard and mayonnaise, while the tomatoes add a refreshing touch of sweetness. Rain City Hot Dogs, a modest-looking hot dog cart permanently parked in a Lowe's parking lot, offers the classic Seattle Dog (a meat hot dog with cream cheese and roasted onions on a toasted bun), but that's just the tip of the iceberg.
A bold alternative to cream cheese is the Smoky PB and J, a grilled hot dog that includes cream cheese with peanut butter, toasted raspberry jam and crispy strips of bacon. It's a delicious mix of sweet, smoky, creamy and savory stuffed inside a hot, toasted bun. The menu combines two of the most nostalgic American comfort foods: hot dogs and PB&J to offer the ultimate in pleasures that go beyond limits. A quarter-pound beef sausage is ideal, but customers can also exchange it for a spicy Louisiana sausage or a vegetarian sausage.
Los Angeles sets itself apart from sausage vendors like Chicago and New York with quirky and inventive restaurants like Dog Haus. This local mini-chain offers a new take on the traditions of hot dogs with sandwiches that enhance every aspect of the shape, from the bun to the garnishes. Dog Haus uses beef sausages without hormones or antibiotics for its menu dishes. They are served in King's Hawaiian rolls, sweet and oversized, which have a texture almost similar to that of French toast that contrasts nicely with the click of sausages and crunchy ingredients.
Of all the dazzling options here, Sooo Cali is worth mentioning. Include a giant grilled sausage in a delicious pasty roll with wild arugula, fresh avocado, bright tomato slices, crispy onions, and a generous drizzle of spicy basil aioli. Greenish and green, the herbs and vegetables help it feel strangely fresh and light, even though it's stuffed with meat and is the size of a foot-long sandwich. Perhaps no city in the United States is as synonymous with hot dog culture as New York City.
Whether in restaurants or on street corners, hot dogs are as ubiquitous as tourists in this food-loving metropolis. What makes the sausages here so unique and omnipresent has a lot to do with the simplicity of it all. Classic hot dogs are cooked in boiling water and served fresh with toppings such as whole-grain mustard, sauerkraut, and sweet onion sauce. Despite their simplicity, many hot dogs receive upgrades to level up, such as in Mile End Deli, where the only hot dog on the menu is the one that reigns.
Brooklyn's modern delicatessen specializes in premium comfort food, taking familiar flavors and dishes and cooking them with care, quality and the best ingredients available. It is a cuisine inspired by family recipes and Montreal-style delicatessen (Mile End is named after the Mile End neighborhood of Montreal), known for its smoked meats, poutine and homemade sausages. So, it's safe to expect the Hoyt Dog to be gorgeous: an all-meat hot dog topped with tasty sauce and sauerkraut in a sweet, buttery challah roll. Keep an eye out for the special offers that Mile End offers from time to time, such as a Seattle—inspired sausage with cream cheese, caramelized onions, and cucumbers.
In a city known for its meaty sandwiches, such as Po' Boys and Muffulettas, a special hot dog is needed to differentiate itself from crows. However, with some of the most creative sausages in the country, this is exactly what New Orleans Dat Dog does. With a few locations throughout the city, the eccentric mini-chain specializes in unique novelties, such as the hamburger, made with a hamburger in the shape of a sausage, and wild game sausages, including some that rely on its Louisiana roots with bold ingredients. For the best New Orleans experience, buy the Snappy Dog, an alligator sausage that combines a bit of the swamp with flavors from the Southwest.
Each hot dog comes topped with cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, chipotle mayonnaise and barbecue sauce in a traditional, slightly sweet hot dog bun. Smoky, earthy and slightly spicy at the same time, it's a spicy original that stands out among New Orleans' culinary traditions. As a bonus, Snappy Dog profits go to Son of a Saint. The organization provides tutoring, education, recreation, and emotional support to young children without parents in the New Orleans area.
Based in Warwick and Allston, the lively restaurant offers clever versions of traditional American comfort foods, such as sausages, hamburgers and fried chicken. In a hot dog-friendly state like Rhode Island, the emphasis is on the former, but don't expect to find traditional hot sausages here. Instead, Spike's Junkyard Dogs offers huge sausages on hearty rolls with condiment bar toppings (where everything from ranch dressing to teriyaki sauce is fair game), plus the Spike's Dogs specialty. The Junkyard Dog, of the same name, comes with a winning combination of granulated mustard, tomatoes, slices of pickles, chopped scallions and hot pepper rings to give it a little heat.
Hot dogs are part of the culinary culture in a meat-loving city like Chicago. Chicago-style hot dogs are some of the most famous dogs in existence. They traditionally come with yellow mustard, celery salt, tomatoes, onions, sports peppers and neon green sauce. New and old hot dog locations cost ten cents a dozen around here, but a father-daughter duo manages to carve out a unique space in The Hot Dog Box.
What began as a pandemic induced turnaround for Bobby and Brooklyn Morelli has turned into a full-fledged hot dog restaurant in Portage Park. The menu includes classic Chicago-style sausages, but what makes The Hot Dog Box a Chicago original are the most astute original creations that prove that there's more room for sausages than garden standards. Bronzeville's bourbon hot dog is one of the most outstanding dishes on the menu, including a delicious steak with barbecue sauce with bourbon, a fresh mix of cabbage and carrots, and smoked bacon with walnut. As if all of that wasn't indulgent enough, it's served on a rich, chewy pretzel bun.
In Denver, the godfather of locked meats is Jim Pittenger, an adventurous diner who takes his love for wild hunting to the kingdom of sausages with one of the most extravagant menus in the country. Biker Jim, a leader in the local hot dog scene, sells exotic sausages in food carts, a food stand at Rockies Stadium and his own physical restaurant, Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs, where you can find any quantity of gourmet sausages with one-of-a-kind ingredients. Beef hot dogs, bratwursts, and Louisiana-style hot dogs are available for more familiar flavors. However, Biker Jim's bread and butter are gourmet wild game options, including ostriches, elks, and rattlesnakes, along with quirky ingredients, garnishes and sauces, such as caramelized apples, creamy mustard sauce, and wasabi aioli.
Guests can choose their combination of base and sausage dressing, so the sky's the limit. If you're looking for something wild that isn't too intimidating, wild boar meets the bill with its pork flavor and texture, sweetened with apricots and blueberries. To double up the pork and add a little heat, opt for the El Diablo topping, which includes tomatillo and green chili sauce, lime mayonnaise with sriracha and pieces of smoked bacon. What began as a modest hot dog cart in Houston called JonJon's Hot Dog has now been transformed, renamed and renamed as a food cart called DittyDog in Austin.
Located right in the center of the city, conveniently surrounded by a sea of nighttime bars, this place marches to the beat of its own drum, avoiding regional styles and typical ingredients and opting for something different. To begin with, customers choose between a meat sausage, a vegetarian sausage, or a plump pork sausage. Large sausages are split in half and grilled, ensuring that they are crisp and charred with every bite. Rather than offering a handful of menu options or customizable garnishes, all sausages come fully loaded into a toasted bun with cream cheese, honey mayonnaise, caramelized onion, Asian tomato sauce, chipotle mustard, sriracha, and herbaceous green sauce.
It sounds like a lot, but the mix has just the right notes with sweet, creamy, crunchy, spicy, smoky and spicy elements. There's more than enough flavor to deal with a huge sausage. It's not the best thing in a conference room with no windows and fluorescent light, and it's certainly not ideal when sausages follow closely from the second to the 15th of the summer. But these are the sacrifices we make for journalism.
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Deerhead Hot Dogs has been cutting its sausages in the center and making crispy according to local tradition since 1935. Pulliam Barbecue in Winston-Salem, but most people come here for the sausages covered in salad, served on butter-toasted rolls; onions, mustard and generous amounts of hot sauce from the house complete the beautiful picture. Complete the picture with mustard and chopped raw onion, and you'll have the best hot dog not only in Michigan, but in many other states, whether you know it or not. Take a crash course on South American hot dog culture in Miami, where there are fewer chili dogs and more chili dogs, as in Chile, the country where hot dogs are a way of life.
Hot Dogs, a Butte classic that Loomis has taken a fascinating direction, drawing on years of experience managing Italian restaurants to create a fun menu of Italian sausages with a knife and fork. But like almost everything the United States has done, good or bad, the story of the origin of the hot dog begins somewhere else, in this case, Europe. It might seem strange that a place for barbecues is better known for its sausage salad than its taco, but it combines the best of the South in its unique recipe. Hot dogs are a rite of passage in baseball, and few dogs are as associated with a baseball club as the Dodgers' Dodger Dog.
Its classic hot white preparation is covered with the usual hot sauce based on meat, mustard and onion. As small as the state is, it's easy to overlook that Rhode Island is home to its own regional style of hot dogs. Showcasing the new gourmet sausage craze from Frankfurt to New Orleans in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Dis and Dem offers a selection of nationally inspired sausages, including the Pacific Dog of fried cod battered with beer, a classic Chicago Dog and the grilled alligator Swamp Dog. .