Olneyville N.Y. System

Hot Dog
One of the best

Rhode Island’s distinctive New York System hot dog, known also as a hot wiener, is a small, pink, natural-casing, pork-beef-veal frankfurter that gets grilled, then inserted in a steamed bun, topped with yellow mustard, chopped raw onions, and dark sauce of ground beef plus a sprinkling of celery salt. It’s the sauce that makes the hot dog unique – spicy but not hot, the meat as fine as sand, the flavor vaguely sweet, reminiscent of the kaleidoscopic flavors that give Greek-ancestored Cincinnati Five-Way chili its soul.

When we first wrote about New York System weenies decades ago in Roadfood’s early days, they were cuisine maudite, that’s for sure. But times have changed and regional specialties now receive attention they deserve. In 2014, Olneyville New York System received the James Beard Foundation’s American Classics award.

The restaurant was opened in the 1930s by the Stevens family, Greek immigrants who came to Rhode Island by way of Brooklyn, New York. It is still a Stevens-family operation, and countermen continue to use the old-time wiener-up-the-arm technique of preparing the hot dogs, lining up six to eight bunned ones from wrist to elbow and spreading sauce, onions and mustard on all of them in the blink of an eye. A sign posted outside announces the everyday special: “Buy ONE wiener for the price of TWO and receive the second FREE!”

One curious item on the short menu is beef stew, which is not beef stew at all. It is an order of salted French fries spritzed with vinegar and ribboned with ketchup. The beverage of choice is the Rhode Island favorite, coffee milk – like chocolate milk, but coffee-flavored.

Also at: 1012 Reservoir Ave, Cranston, RI (401-275-6031)

What to Eat
Olneyville N.Y. System, New York System Hot Dog
New York System Hot Dog
Two wieners, dressed "all the way!"
Olneyville N.Y. System, Coffee Milk
Coffee Milk
This is a good place to find that Rhode-Island-only beverage, coffee milk.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday11am - 12am
Monday11am - 12am
Tuesday11am - 12am
Wednesday11am - 12am
Thursday11am - 12am
Friday11am - 12am
Saturday11am - 12am
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
3 stops | 12 MILES | 21 min

New York system hot dogs are unique to Rhode Island: little weenies in little buns dressed with ultrafine-grind chili sauce, mustard and onions, plus a sprinkle of celery salt. Cooks make them systematically by lining up all the dogs in buns and dressing them assembly line style. The line-up may be along a prep area,…

4 stops | | 1 min

Twenty-eight states have an official state drink. For several in dairy country, it is milk. In California, it is wine; in Maine, Moxie; in Indiana, water. Dine around Rhode Island and it becomes apparent what the Ocean State's official drink is: coffee milk. It is mild stuff -- more milk than coffee, and more sweet…

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

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