America’s Best Hot Dogs


There’s no point getting into a flame war over which American hot dog is best. It’s impossible, because the nation’s hot dogs are so diverse.  However, we will go out on a limb and make a bucket list of America’s best hot dogs of every style, and which restaurants serve them. Eat every one of the 30 tube steaks on this list and you will have enjoyed a spectacular, unique taste of America. Learn more about some of our favorite regional specialty hot dogs: Half Smoke, Dixie Dog, Sonoran Hot Dog, Newark Hot Dog, New York System.


Super Duper Weenie

A firm-fleshed local hot dog, split & grilled, is served with homemade condiments. Whatever you eat at Super Duper Weenie, get French Fries. They're the best.



Of all the great hot dog joints in Chicago, Superdawg might be the greatest. It's certainly the most fun, and the dogs (& burgers & shakes) are unsurpassed.


Ted’s Hot Dogs

Ted's is a Buffalo, New York, treasure, its charcoal-grilled hot dogs with hot sauce, a side of O-rings, and a loganberry a great American meal.



Hot dogs at Blackie's of Cheshire, Connecticut, are plumpies oil-boiled to the point that they literally erupt with flavor. Mustard & hot relish are musts!


Jimmy Buff’s

Jimmy Buff's is home of the original and best Italian hot dog: fried all-beef wieners nestled inside sturdy bread along with fried potatoes, onions & peppers.


Rutt’s Hut

Rutt's Hut hot dogs are called rippers because their skin tears and crinkles when they're deep fried. With spicy-sweet relish, a New Jersey best.


El Guero Canelo

For Sonoran-style Mexican food, especially Sonoran hot dogs, El Guero Canelo is a picnic-style restaurant that is a Tuscon, Arizona, best bet.


Otto’s Sausage Kitchen

Otto's of Portland, Oregon, makes some of the best hot dogs and sausages in the West and cooks them outdoors on a sidewalk grill. Great deli sandwiches, too.



Poochie's serves all-beef Chicago red hots (hot dogs) at their best, dressed to the nines. Char dogs are a good crusty alternative. Great French fries, too!



Mamaroneck, New York: Walter's pork-beef-veal hot dogs are grilled to crusty succulence. With house mustard, they're among America's most beloved wieners.

Must Eats

Dat Dog

Stupendous, outlandish wieners star (alligator sausage topped with crawfish etouffe), regular links are great, too, at this in-your-face NOLA hot dog house.

Must Eats

Kamp Dog

Making the best hot dogs in southeastern Connecticut, Kamp Dog also serves wicked-good breakfasts. Hand-cut French fries round out a wonderful menu.


Merritt Canteen

A beloved Bridgeport dive since 1942, the Merritt Canteen serves a chili dog that will make your lips glow. Breakfast sandwiches are loved by regulars.


Gene & Jude’s

Natural-casing, all-beef Vienna brand hot dogs are slim and snappy at Gene & Jude's. They come dressed to order and topped with excellent French fries.



Hot sauce, which is technically optional but culinarily essential, makes Flo’s little weenies a Maine legend. It's a little diner with huge personality!


Original Hot Dog Shop

Fine franks with seriously meaty flavor: Pittsburgh's Original Hot Dog Shop is also known for French fries: dark gold with a wicked crunch. * CLOSED *

Must Eats

Nick Tahou Hots

Nick Tahou is a Rochester, New York legend for its "garbage plate" -- the best sort of kitchen-sink meal that will challenge the most voracious appetite.


Ritzy Lunch

Ritzy hot dogs come in steamed-soft buns topped with zesty ground-beef sauce. Cole slaw atop the chili adds a sweet note so popular in West Virginia.


Graham’s Hot Dogs

One of Fall River's top hot dog shops, featuring Coney Islands, bean dogs, & chourico dogs, Graham's also serves a superb hot cheese sandwich.


Short Leash Hot Dogs

Creative hot dog variations are the specialty of this clever Phoenix restaurant. If Short Leash doesn't have a wiener you like, you don't like wieners.



Yesterdog's saucy toppings make for good, sloppy eating. The namesake house special is topped with chili and grated pickles. A Grand Rapids one-of-a-kind!


Cozy Dog

Dipped in batter and deep-fried when ordered, the Cozy Dog has vivid crunch and succulence. It's an Illinois Route 66 landmark.

Must Eats

Coney I-Lander

A handful of Coney I-Lander restaurants around Tulsa serve beguiling little weenies topped with mustard, raw onions & no-bean chili. Cheese shreds optional.


Ben’s Chili Bowl

Home of the unique DC street food, the half-smoke, Ben's is a beloved institution in Washington, its smoky links and hot dogs big and delicious.



Chili at this Port Chester dog house dive is all-beef, no bean, hot and greasy. A natural hot dog topping. Hubba: Love it or hate it!

Must Eats

Lafayette Coney Island

Spicy hot dog, soft bun, chili, yellow mustard and crisp onions (& maybe shredded cheese) are hash-house alchemy at Detroit's Lafayette Coney Island.



Wein-O-Rama is a full-menu, breakfast-and-lunch diner specializing in hot weiners, the unique Rhode Island way with franks. Correct beverage: coffee milk.


Clare and Carl’s

The unique "Michigan" hot dogs of New York's North Country are at their best at Clare and Carl's drive-in of Plattsburgh.

Must Eats


Doogie's is one of Connecticut's best hot dog restaurants. Beyond dogs, the menu includes good char-cooked burgers, Philly cheese steaks and a hot lobster roll.

Must Eats
2 Foot Hot Dog

Des Moines Dog House

In this neighborhood restaurant named for Des Moines, Washington, sausage options include brats, kielbasas, hot links, linguica, even vegetarian hot dogs.