Nick Tahou Hots

Diner | Hot Dog
Worth driving from anywhere!

Founder Nick Tahou died in 1997 after more than fifty years running Rochester’s premier hot dog joint. His culinary legacy remains the amazing dish known as a garbage plate. It is up to each customer to choose the foundation of his or her garbage plate. It can be based on Texas hot wieners, hamburgers (with or without cheese), Italian sausage, steak, or even a grilled cheese sandwich. The nucleus of your choice is plated with piles of baked beans and home-fried potatoes, a scoop of cool macaroni salad, a dollop of spicy chili sauce, a squirt or two of mustard, and a sprinkle of chopped raw onions. It comes with plastic fork and knife, a bottle of Ketchup, some hot sauce, and white bread with butter.

It is a wild, ridiculous, delicious mess! Especially noteworthy is the sauce, a fine-grained, Greek-accented brew that also is available on such lesser variants of frankfurter cookery as Nick Tahou’s peppery pork hots and the basic garlic-packed Texas hots, as well as on grilled hamburgers.

Burgers are OK, but upper New York State is hot dog country. Nick Tahou’s are exemplary, if not epicurean. They are called Texas hots, and they are split and fried, which gives them a nice, chewy exterior and hash house raunch that boiled or even charcoal-grilled weenies do not offer.

As befits its menu, Nick Tahou is a raffish dog house, with chairs and tables scattered around and plenty of noise as customers call out for red hots and white hots with the works. While it has become a tourist attraction for its outlandish garbage plates, Nick Tahou is something very special to a large cadre of loyal locals. To regular customers, this place is home and family, infused by the generous spirit of Alex Tahou, who feeds needy kids at Christmas and takes care of neighbors and friends as well as newcomers all year around.

What to Eat
Nick Tahou Hots, Garbage Plate
Garbage Plate
A classic garbage plate, made with a pair of split, grilled red hots
Nick Tahou Hots, Sausage Garbage Plate
Sausage Garbage Plate
With the sausage garbage plate, you get two taut, crisp-skinned, spicy, Italian sausages. This has been my favorite garbage plate so far.
Cheeseburger w/chili
Nick Tahou Hots, Grilled Cheese Garbage Plate
Grilled Cheese Garbage Plate
Grilled cheese makes the perfect garbage plate garnish.
Nick Tahou Hots, Chicken Garbage Plate
Chicken Garbage Plate
Wanting to try something different, I ordered the chicken garbage plate. At first, I wondered if the fried chicken breast would be too aristocratic for the rest of the plate, but those thoughts disappeared after it was covered with mustard, onions and hot sauce.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Monday8 am - 8 pm
Tuesday8 am - 8 pm
Wednesday8 am - 8 pm
Thursday8 am - 8 pm
Friday8 am - 12 am
Saturday8 am - 12 am
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
9 stops | 148 MILES | 3 hr 28 min

Of the many eating tours has sponsored to delicious destinations around the U.S., one of the happiest was a restaurant crawl through Rochester and Buffalo, New York. Here are edible treasures found nowhere else and, of course, wings galore. This eating tour stays close to that tour's itinerary of favorite upstate Roadfood sources.

11 stops | 279 MILES | 5 hr 30 min

Watertown to Niagara Falls

This tour will take you on a five and a half hour drive along America’s Great Lakes Seaway Trail. Beginning in Watertown, you will end your tour by Niagara Falls. Along the way, we have picked 11 excellent restaurants and candy shops to fill your journey and your stomachs.


Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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