Frankie’s

Drive-In | Hamburgers | Hot Dog | Sandwich Shop
Memorable
One of the best
Save

Many people who grew up eating at Frankie’s say the hot dogs served at this 1937-vintage roadside stand are the best on earth. I would not say that. After all, I am from Chicago. Plus, I do love Blackie’s on the other side of Waterbury and Denmo’s down the road and Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield and Walter’s in Mamaroneck, not to mention the Sonoran dogs of Tucson, the half-smokes of DC, and also Dixie dogs and New Jersey rippers and Texas hots and Flo’s and Yocco’s and Zack’s. However, I definitely would consider Frankie’s foot-longs for any East Coast Top Ten list.

The dog itself is firm and chewy, slightly garlicky and very porky, grilled so there’s good snap to its skin. A fine frank, but it’s the bun and dressing that make it a pride-of-Connecticut favorite.

The bun is not all that different from the area’s best, except that it seems to be extra buttery and crunchy-brown on its outside surface and fleecy-soft, utterly fresh within. And the relish, ah, the relish: that is extraordinary. It is a dark, pepper-flecked mystery, hot but not ferocious, just sweet enough to tantalize taste buds and sing harmony with dog, bun, and mustard. Onions, sauerkraut, and chili sauce also are available, but I can’t imagine topping my wiener with anything but mustard and the splendid sauce.

I like Frankie’s hot dogs so much that I confess to not having explored the menu, which lists burgers and assorted sandwiches including Philly cheese steaks, fried vegetables of every sort, whole belly clams, fried shrimp, and chicken wings. The one other item I do recommend is the lobster roll, which is the most expensive dish on the menu, yielding little change from a $20 bill.  It’s worth the price, holding a large allotment of big, warm pieces of lobster with just the right amount of resiliency. They are bathed in enough butter to quickly catalyze disintegration of the toasty bun that holds them. No, it is not just-picked lobster meat like you’ll find in the best places along the shore, but it is far better than you’d expect from a raffish wiener joint like Frankie’s.

Note: There are three Frankie’s in Waterbury and one each in West Haven, Bristol, Naugatuck, and Meriden.

What to Eat
Frankie’s, Lobster Roll
Lobster Roll
Must-Try
Lobster roll is loaded with big hunks of warm meat.
Frankie’s, Foot Long Hot Dog
Foot Long Hot Dog
Must-Try
Dark, glistening relish is a Connecticut thing.
Frankie’s, Hot Dog Relish
Hot Dog Relish
Must-Try
Brilliant relish: a Frankie's trademark; a Connecticut hot-dog joint signature.
Frankie’s, Curly Fries
Curly Fries
Curly fries are crisp and brightly seasoned.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday11am - 9pm
Monday11am - 9pm
Tuesday11am - 9pm
Wednesday11am - 9pm
Thursday11am - 9pm
Friday11am - 10pm
Saturday11am - 10pm
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
No
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No
Website

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Shady Glen

    Manchester, Connecticut

    Shady Glen cheeseburgers are awesome works of art, but don’t ignore the excellent ice cream concoctions from this vintage Connecticut dairy bar.

  • Breadzilla

    Sag Harbor, New York

    A small, bustling bakeshop, Breadzilla is the spot for hot clam chowder with bacon, fresh shrimp salad sandwiches, cinnamon buns the size of popovers.

  • Outdated Cafe

    Kingston, New York

    For squash donuts, hot coffee, and spicy egg sandwiches, look no farther than Kingston’s Outdated Cafe. You’ll also find a beautiful selection of interesting antiques for sale.

  • Wethersfield Pizza House

    Wethersfield, Connecticut

    The pizza’s OK, but it’s huge, beautifully crafted sub sandwiches that make Wethersfield Pizza House a notable Roadfood restaurant in Connecticut.

  • Mamie’s

    Roxbury, Connecticut

    Mamie’s is a country cafe and bakery in Litchfield County, Connecticut, known for beautiful weekend breakfast and brunch, including creme brulee French toast.

  • Bantam Pizza

    Litchfield, Connecticut

    At this good old reliable pizza parlor in Bantam, Connecticut, hero sandwiches, here known as grinders, are heroically portioned and very good.