Top dogs for 'Hot Dog Season'
August 31st, 2012
01:15 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Some key statistics from the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council:

– During "Hot Dog Season" from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs: That’s 818 hot dogs per second.
– Los Angeles residents consume more hot dogs than any other city, including New York.
– The biggest hot dog day of the year is surely the 4th of July: it’s estimated that Americans eat 150 million hot dogs, enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. over five times.
If you want to send out summer with a bang, and make Labor Day an even bigger hot dog holiday than Independence Day, we can help you get started at the following places. Better still, some of them can help save the world while you eat their terrific dogs. 

Dreamy Weenies - New Orleans, Louisiana
This brand new spot on the edge of the French Quarter has hot dogs that address your kosher, halal and vegan dining concerns. In fact, all their dogs are kosher, from the beef “knock” to the Polish sausage; halal options include the beef kebab; the falafel is vegan.

Dreamy Weenies says, "The prepping, cooking, and serving process avoids any mixing of ingredients and oils. In other words, your vegan dog will be just that after it’s prepared." The groovy toppings, like red beans and rice, grits and BBQ shrimp sauce, reflect their New Orleans location.

DogHaus - Pasadena, California
This So-Cal mini chain features the Sooo Cali, a hot dog topped with mixed greens, diced tomato, tempura fried onions, spicy basil aioli and avocado all served on King’s Hawaiian bread. Their other spots include Dog Haus Biergarten and, for, take-out Dog Haus To Go.

Dog Haus believes in giving back to the community: Last winter, they dedicated a day to serving hot dogs and chili to homeless people at Union Station Adult Services in Pasadena.

Station Street - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
On Station Street’s website you’ll find adorable pie charts detailing the ratio of ingredients in their dogs. For example, the kimchee dog looks to break down like this: hot dog (75%); kimchee (12%); kewpie mayo (7%); nori (3%); bonito (3%). You can similarly calculate the amount of eggplant and tahini in their vegetarian Tabbouleh Dog. Chef Kevin Sousa gets the most from his ingredients at Station Street: Leftover hot dogs go into the baked beans at one of his other spots, Union Pig & Chicken.

Bowery - Dallas, Texas
At this new combo hot dog restaurant/Champagne & cocktail bar, sausages are made in-house from farm-raised, grass-fed organic meat (regular, all-beef franks are not). Bowery respects the traditional hot dog, but also dresses it up and takes it around the world. Look for the Moroccan dog with merguez and harissa slaw; a battered-fried Buffalo chicken dog; and a bacon-wrapped Mexican dog. This is Dallas; there are schmancy dogs, too, like the Croque Madame with Paris ham, béchamel sauce, Swiss cheese, and a fried egg.

Hot Dog on a Stick - Multiple Locations
This chain started back in 1946, but its first-ever drive-through location just opened this past July just outside of Salt Lake City. HDOAS makes it easy for the decisionally challenged because there are only 6 menu items. Here, count them:  The namesake Hot Dog on a Stick (a turkey hot dog dipped in "Party Batter"); Cheese on a Stick (either American cheese or spicy jalapeño jack, dipped in that Party Batter); hot dog in a bun; funnel cake sticks; French fries; and lemonade.

The chain's president Dan Smith told Nation's Restaurant News that it's the ideal drive-through menu because everything can be eaten with one hand.

Got a different top dog? Shout it out in the comments below!

More from Food & Wine:

America’s Best Bars

Best Burgers in the US

Best Pizza Places in the US

America’s Best Beer Bars

Best Fried Chicken in the U.S.

Previously - How to pair wine with hot dogs and Relish the taste of Detroit-style hot dogs at Motor City Coney Island and Haute dogs to relish

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Filed under: Casual • Chain • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Hot dogs • Labor Day • Restaurants

soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Gary

    Gotta add Vicious Dogs in NoHo California to this list. Best Dogs and Sausage in LA in my opinion.

    March 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
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    November 18, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  3. Thomas

    The author of this article can't be serious. Two of the five places mentioned are new. There is no mention of any place from NYC, NJ, or Chicago. The author needs to put down her caviar and go out into America and have a real hot dog. For my money Portillos in Chicagoland is the best.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
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    September 8, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  5. John Burkett

    Franks Smokehouse in Wilber, Nebraska has AWESOME weiners! No fillers here- all meat!!!

    September 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  6. Rocky

    Fab in Reseda Ca is great so is Garage Dogs in Thousand Oaks Ca.

    September 3, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  7. Aziz

    I live in New Orleans and I can confirm dreams denies is one of the best hot dog experiences I've ever had. I'm a NY transplant who was raised on Nathan's and sabrett as well as halal carts and none of them have anything on this place. If you're ever in New Orleans dreamy weenies is a must.

    September 3, 2012 at 2:33 am |
  8. adam

    stuggy's in baltimore!

    September 1, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  9. Ostiman

    Speed's in Boston. I'm amazed that hasn't been mentioned.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  10. Jerry

    Any hotdog list that doesn't include ay least 1 of Detroit's Coney Island restaurants is sadly lacking!

    August 31, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Jerry

      Oh, and I almost forgot Toledo, Ohio's "Tony Packo's" (Max Klinger's favorite place) – one of the very few legitimate reasons for going to Ohio!

      August 31, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • Larry

      Any hot-dog list that doesn't include the one and only, original Coney Island's Nathan's hot dogs isn't worth talking about. It's the place where New Yorker's learn to love hot dogs in the first place! ;)

      September 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  11. Scott Hayducsko

    How can you fail to mention Hot Dog Johnnies in Buttzville, NJ. I travel from Wisconsin for their hot dogs!

    August 31, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  12. Jim Beranis

    What a bunch of hullabaloo. A dog is a dog is a dog, Pick your toppings and just make it up. Celebrity photos seem to add to the aura of a great hot dog stand and that tells you that.......a dog is a dog is a dog.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  13. richbanick

    Coney Island in Scranton Pa. They serve a grilled locally made Guetheinz Weiner, covered in onions, mustard and Texas wiener sauce, served on a National Bakery roll. They have been around since the 20s in the same spot. Locally made hotdog, locally made bun and a house made sauce, can't beat that!

    August 31, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  14. Marie

    I agree. Bowery in Dallas is awesome. Their Mac n' Cheese dog – not to be missed!

    August 31, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  15. Robbie

    In L.A., of course there are Dodger Dogs, which is probably why we're tops in hot dog consumption. I also like Pink's (multiple locations), and Fab Hot Dogs in Reseda.

    August 31, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  16. cincitucky

    This article is blasphemy! No Chicago representation? Portillos, Hot Dougs, Byron's, even the Weiner Circle. My lunch fav is franks and dogs on Clybourn.

    August 31, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Theo

      Hell yeah! I was thinking the same thing. To have a list of quintessential hot dog joints without any of them being from Chicago is utter nonsense!

      August 31, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  17. Jay

    How do you not mention Nathan's....Coney Island

    August 31, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  18. Xan

    dirty franks in columbus ohio!

    August 31, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
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