The Best Hot Dog in Every State
Whether you’re vacationing in the next state or planning a cross-country drive, this is must-know info for every hot dog-lover.
Alabama: Gus’s Hot Dogs, Birmingham
Grab some napkins because things are about to get messy. Gus’s does it in the best way possible, though, thanks to the heaping ground beef, onions, sauerkraut and “special sauce” atop a Zeigler wiener at this long-time Birmingham tradition. The recipe for that sauce is a secret—just like these secret menu items at your favorite fast food restaurants.
Alaska: International House of Hot Dogs, Anchorage
Forget about pancakes, When it comes to sausages, all you need to remember is IHOHD (International House of Hot Dogs, of course). While you’re in the northern-most state in the United States, swap the regular frank for a super rich reindeer sausage known as the McKinley Dog. Drizzle their homemade chipotle sauce over your entire plate—locals swear by it!
Arizona: El Guero Canelo, Tucson
The reason the Mexican restaurant El Guero Canelo recently got a James Beard Foundation Award was for their Sonoran-style hot dogs. Wrapped in bacon then embellished with beans, onion, tomato, mustard, mayo, and a spicy jalapeno sauce, they’re the perfect marriage of American and Southwestern fare.
Arkansas: Scoop Dog, Little Rock
At Scoop Dog, the menu boasts pure beef hot dogs in the styles of six different cities, such as Chicago, Detroit, and Atlanta. Pair yours with a scoop of the shack’s icy-cold custard for dessert. If you want to recreate the edible experience at home, snag a pack of these Schmaltz all beef hot dogs.
California: Dirt Dog, Los Angeles
Imagine an all-beef Nathan’s hot dog wrapped in thick bacon resting inside a fresh-baked bun from local Melrose Bakery smeared with green chili. Sounds good, but that’s not all: Each dog is served “dirty dog” style, meaning they’re cooked in a Thousand Island sauce and trimmed with classic condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo) and bacon crumbles.
Colorado: Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs, Denver
Courtesy Lori Midson
Following a feature on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Coloradoans have flocked to Biker Jim’s for a bite of one of their unique wieners. There are 15 different types of sausages, from elk to jack-a-lope (a mythical creature) to rattlesnake, each made with meat free of chemicals and hormones. If you think those options are strange (although everyone swears they’re delicious), check out this list of some of the most bizarre foods people eat around the world. And if you can’t make it to Denver, you can always order some elk summer sausage.
Connecticut: Blackie’s Hot Dog Stand, Cheshire
Family-owned since 1928, Blackie’s is a Connecticut mainstay for the best frankfurters around. Their hot dogs, custom made by local Martin Rosol’s Meats, are so good in fact that they don’t even serve fries with them. Their reasoning? Have another dog instead. Tip: If you love their relish (which most people do) buy a jar to take home. Try these other ways to jazz up a plain hot dog, too.
Delaware: Johnnie’s Dog House and Chicken Shack, Wilmington
Courtesy Johnnie's Dog House
Bring a big appetite to Johnnie’s Dog House and Chicken Shack, home of the Delaware Destroyer: A sub roll packed with two hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, onions, beef chili, and hot sauce. Or try the Texas Tommy, a gut-busting bacon-wrapped hot dog that’s deep-fried and covered in cheese. You might need these quick kitchen cures for indigestion when you’re done—or some Extra-Strength Alka Seltzer.
Florida: Voodoo Dog, Tallahassee
What you put on a hot dog can make or break your meal—and at Voodoo Dog, their garnishes definitely make it. All-beef franks are nestled inside super soft buns and then topped with creative combos of toppings like a fried egg and cheddar cheese or hummus and cucumber. Don’t knock it ’til you try it—here are more weird food pairings that real chefs secretly love.
Georgia: Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand, Atlanta
We all know that hot dogs aren’t exactly health food. For a better-for-you version that tastes just as juicy and delicious, head to Delia’s for an all-natural chicken sausage. Each link is crafted from scratch using local, hormone-free chicken thighs and a special spice seasoning. The result? A sausage that’s lower in fat yet satisfies your craving. You can also prepare your own at home with Aidell’s chicken sausage.