City Dogs | Richmond, Virginia’s Hot Dog Central

Review by: Michael Stern

Where are the Great Hot Dogs?

Most American cities feature at least one place that attracts hot dog connoisseurs. Some — like New York, Chicago, Newark, and Tucson — boast many. I haven’t taken an inventory of the good weenies of Richmond, Virginia, but I can say with assurance that one of the finest hot dog joints anywhere is right here. It’s called City Dogs. Walk through the front door and you enter Hot Dog Central.

Chicago in Virginia

As far as I know, this particular part of Virginia claims no one unique style of hot dog. But that’s OK, because City Dogs aims to recreate the best hot dogs from all over the nation. For the Chicago dog, they import Vienna all-beef franks and neon-green relish and drag it through the garden just like in the Second City. They even add hot sport peppers on top. Yes, tuck into a fine facsimile of the real deal, including even a poppy-seeded bun. It’s a dandy wiener-eating experience.

Choose Your Weenie

City Dog’s kitchen uses five different kinds of hot dog. In addition to Vienna Beefs, the inventory includes Thumann’s, Sabretts, Hebrew National, and a soy option. If you want a chili dog, pick from among Cincinnati-style chili, Richmond Original chili, and cauliflower-based vegan chili. The Richmond blend is a fine-grind, all-beef brew featured on a Richmond Original Dog. That’s a Thumann’s frank that also is topped with mustard and chopped raw onions. It’s a Virginia Coney Island. Only at Hot Dog Central!

The Indy Dog wins a prize for creativity. Top a Hebrew National frank with mustard, onions, sport peppers and a fistful of French fries. Other menu highlights include a Louisville Stag Dog featuring sauteed onions caramelized in Jim Beam Red Stag bourbon, a Wisconsin brat, a Houston Dog with BBQ sauce, and a Honolulu Dog with BBQ sauce, pineapple chunks, and melted provolone.

Other Dishes … and Drinks

Even if it is Hot Dog Central, City Dog offers other kinds of sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, and wings. Vegetarians can have a black bean burger.  Really good hand-cut French fries and made-to-order milk shakes round out the menu.

City Dogs is a fairly small storefront in Richmond’s bustling Shackoe Slip. A full bar and late-night hours can make it a raucous place. A sound system playing alternative rock fills the room.

A second City Dogs is located at 1309 W.Main Street in Richmond. (804-359-3647)

What To Eat

Chicago Dog

Richmond Original

Indy Dog

French Fries

Milk Shake


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