Original Hot Dog Shop

Review by: Michael Stern


The Original Hot Dog Shop has a large menu, including pizza, hoagies, fish sandwiches, and hamburgers; but if the name of the place doesn’t clue you in to what’s good, the view behind the counter will. There on a broad grill are row upon row of handsome hot dogs – pale pink ones barely warm and darker ones cooked through and ready to be bunned, as well as a formation of deep red all-beef kosher dogs. Regular or all-beef, these are fine franks, available plain or gooped with cheese or in a “Super” configuration with cheese and bacon, and with a full array of condiments that include ketchup, mustard, relish, onion, pickle, chili, mayo, and kraut.

On the side of whatever hot dog suits your taste, you must get French fries. Big O fries are legendary, crisp and dark gold with a wicked crunch that makes them such a good companion for just about any sandwich. Although cheese for dipping is available, as are gravy, hot sauce, and ranch dressing, these exquisite potatoes want only a sprinkle of salt.

Aside from great fast food and post-midnight hours, one reason Pittsburghers are so fond of the Original Hot Dog Shop is that it can trace its heritage back to the Original Famous Sandwich Shop, where the foot-long hot dog was introduced in 1928. Syd Simon, who opened the Original Hot Dog Shop in 1960, worked fifteen years at the old Famous.

What To Eat

Hot Dog

French fries


Original Hot Dog Shop Recipes


What do you think of Original Hot Dog Shop?

One Response to “Original Hot Dog Shop”

Rod Teel

July 31st, 2006

As a grad of the U. of Pittsburgh, I gotta tell you that the Original Hot Dog Shop is known around campus as the “Dirty O.” Now I won’t say it’s exactly dirty… shabby would be more accurate.

The hoagies and cheesesteaks have a great reputation, but the hot dogs are its namesake. Where else can you ask for your dog medium or well-done? But the real deal at the Dirty O is quantity – an excess of chili, cheese or onions on that dog. And the fries! A small order of fries covers a typical cafeteria tray – no lie. They’re good and hot, if not the most elegant plate of Belgian style pommes frites you ever ate.

Take a place in line at the hot dog station, move on back to the hoagie and fries station, and stop at the beer station. Pretty soon you’ve got a trayful! When you consider the quantity, the price, the beer on tap or in bottles and the extended hours, the Dirty O is the late evening place to go for another round and a satisfying meal on a budget.


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