Hot dogs are a classic American food. Not only is it a light meal and customizable, but it's one that you always enjoy at happy times. You have a hot dog at BBQs with friends and family, at sports events, on trips to new cities, and more. And, in recent years, the hot dog has genuinely undergone a revolution. Today, you can get the most unique, delicious combination of flavors that will leave you dreaming about hot dogs for weeks. We've scoured America's menus and found the 10 best hot dogs. Of course, Chicago made the list, but you might be surprised what other states are on this list!
1. Wolfy’s Hot Dogs (Chicago)
If you're looking for the perfect Chicago hot dog, Wolfy's is the place to go. The restaurant has been open since 1967, is in the opening credits of the movie While You Were Sleeping, and has been continuously on best hot dog lists since 1974 by the Chicago Tribune.
Your hot dog here can come steamed or charred. Of course, you have to order the classic Chicago-style hot dog when you come here. Your dog will be served with relish, mustard, tomato, pickle, onion, peppers, and celery salt on an all-beef hot dog and a soft Poppyseed bun. It's so good, you just might go back for seconds and thirds.
2. Crif Dogs (New York)
With a restaurant slogan like "frankly the best," you know Crif Dogs is going to impress. You can find a decent hot dog on just about any street in New York. But, Crif Dogs goes above and beyond with their hot dogs being bacon-wrapped. Our favorite is the Spicy Red Neck which comes with a fried egg and American cheese. If you're feeling adventurous, try the Everything Dog, which comes with cream cheese, scallions, and Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.
3. Dat Dog (New Orleans)
If you want to try something new, but on your own terms, you have to come to Dat Dog in New Orleans. This popular hot dog restaurant has become a staple with locals and tourists and has a lineup most days. You start by choosing the type of dog you want. And, trust us, the choices are impressive. You can select Vienna All-beef sausage, Polish Kielbasa, Italian sausage, Alligator sausage, Crawfish sausage, Duck sausage, Vaucresson hot sausage, a brat infused with Guinness, or vegetarian options. Next, you pick which of the 30 available toppings you want to add. You might not be getting a classic hot dog, but you'll get one you remember forever!
4. Dirt Dog Inc (Los Angeles)
Dirt Dog calls itself "the official hot dog of Los Angeles." The majority of the hot dogs at Dirt Dog Inc come topped with crispy, delicious bacon bits. We recommend going with the House Dog that comes with a 100% all-beef dog wrapped in center-cut bacon, the special house sauce, and green chile spread. Make the meal complete with a basket of filthy fries - delicious fries topped with bacon bits, cheese, jalapenos, guac, chipotle aioli, sour cream, and cotija.
5. Denali Doghouse (Alaska)
Denali Doghouse is a summer-only spot serving up hot dogs with an Alaskan twist. You can choose from reindeer hot dogs or buffalo bratwursts grilled on a flat top. There are several types of hot dogs, but our recommendation is the Southern Dog. You get house chili, house slaw, and onions all in a delicious bun.
6. Biker Jim's (Colorado)
Biker Jim's is the Colorado spot for gourmet hot dogs that are delicious and different. Your hot dog meat can be ostrich, elk, wild boar, a mix of rattlesnake and rabbit, veal, chicken, or classic all-beef. After you pick your meat, you get to move on to the toppings. The topping combination that seems to win everyone over is called The Conspiracy. You get blue cheese, bacon red onion marmalade, fried onions, and lemon aioli. It might be something entirely new to you, but once you have this flavor profile once, you'll be hooked.
7. El Guero Canelo (Arizona)
Walk into any restaurant in Arizona serving hot dogs and they will have a Sonoran-style hot dog on the menu. This style takes the all-American hot dog and adds some Mexican flare to it. And no one does the Sonoran-style hot dog better than El Guero Canelo. Your hot dog comes wrapped in bacon and topped with beans, grilled and fresh onions, tomatoes, mayo, mustard, and jalapeno sauce. If you're feeling hungry, get the "Sammy dog" version, which is just two dogs instead of one.
8. Pincho Factory (Florida)
The Pincho Factory is well-known for burgers, but the single hot dog they have on their menu is noteworthy. The Pincho Dog is an all-beef hot dog topped with applewood bacon bits, grilled pineapple, secret PINCO sauce, cilantro sauce, and pepitas. It's sweet, spicy, and salty and will satisfy your hot dog craving instantly.
9. Dog Haus Biergarten (Colorado)
Dog Haus Biergarten has done so well it now has expanded to multiple locations across the country. This restaurant knows how to do gourmet hot dogs that are on another level. All their hot dogs are served on King's Hawaiian Rolls and you can pick between beef hot dogs or pork, chicken, or beef sausages. It's hard to choose just one favorite, but the Cowboy is definitely a winner. You get bacon, cheese, crispy onions, and bbq sauce - what more can you ask for?
10. Jimmy’s Red Hots (Chicago)
It wouldn't be a list about hot dogs without Chicago at least making the list twice. If you search up "best hot dogs in Chicago," you'll mostly find results for Jimmy's Red Hots. This no-frills spot doesn't do crazy flavors or unique combinations. Instead, they pride themselves on doing the classics well. Come here when you're craving a traditional Vienna hot dog with simple toppings.
We’re willing to bet money this list has you searching which hot dog restaurant is closest to you! And if you're still hungry, check out our list on the top 10 donut shops in the US next!