Yocco’s Hot Dog King

Review by: Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle

Hot dog places are often as much about the place as about the dog. That’s why we recommend that if you visit Yocco’s you head to the original downtown Allentown store rather than the newer branches. From the outside, the downtown location looks like a corner bar. Step inside to a narrow room with tables beyond the grill area and ordering counter up front. In keeping with the corner bar theme, there is a double-size self-serve cooler filled with beer, including the largest collection of oversize bottles we’ve ever seen.

The hot dogs are very well cooked, browned and crusty Hatfield franks (pork and beef, we think), and the standard garnishes are chopped onion, brown mustard, and Yocco’s sauce. This famous sauce is applied judiciously, and the thin, dark, barely-hot cumin-flavored liquid seeps into the bun, leaving a glistening moraine of very finely ground beef scattered along the dog. The combination is irresistable. Three of these pups make a nice five-minute lunch, though you may find yourself picking up another dog or two on the way out, as we tend to do.

Yocco’s is also known for their side of deep-fried Mrs. T’s pierogis (which don’t really interest us), but you can’t get ’em (or any other side dish) at the original location. Chocolate milk is the favored beverage. There are burgers and sausage sandwiches, and cheesesteaks with Yocco’s sauce, and there’s a rack of potato chips to select from if you must, but really all you need know about are the dogs, served with that familiar and knowing urban-dog-house attitude.

What To Eat

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Yocco’s Hot Dog

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Yocco’s Hot Dog King Recipes

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What do you think of Yocco’s Hot Dog King?

4 Responses to “Yocco’s Hot Dog King”

Bob

July 8th, 2021

Best jog dog around. Grew up on those dogs. Moved to flordiA after fifty years of being in Pennsylvania. What do I miss the most these great hot dogs

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Jane & Michael Stern
Jane & Michael Stern

December 19th, 2008

I went to the Yocco’s west side location on Hamilton recently. I had heard of this place years ago from a hot dog distributor who was delivering to a great hot dog place in Glens Falls, NY. The guy raved about Yocco’s. I was in Allentown on a business trip, so I had to go. If you’re looking for a fancy place, go elsewhere. If you’re looking for a classic working-class hot dog, this is the place to go.

The hot dogs are well-done, and done well. The sauce has a kick to it (which is different from the sweeter Greek-style meat sauce which can be found in Glens Falls or in Troy, NY).

I had three dogs, fries, and a Coke, and I was full afterwards. The presentation is simple: the hot dogs are placed on a tray. No plate, nor is there a need for one. The soda is cold, the fries and the dogs are hot. The service is friendly and extremely efficient. I don’t know how the other options on the menu are, but I was there for about 20 minutes and didn’t hear a single person order anything other than hot dogs with the works.

The customers are a cross-section of society. While I was there I saw two elderly couples, five young families with young kids, and three groups of teens; there was racial and ethnic diversity as well. It was America at its best: people from all walks of life enjoying good food.

If you are in the Allentown, PA area it’s worth looking for a Yocco’s. It’s not fancy. It’s not loaded with a bunch of newfangled stuff. They just serve good-tasting hot dogs with a great chili sauce.

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Jane & Michael Stern
Jane & Michael Stern

March 1st, 2008

Mmm, what can I say? Old restaurant, food placed on a napkin on a tray — no plates. I am used to lots of chili and shredded cheese on my chili cheese dogs. These had a slice of very thin American cheese under the hot dog and the dog must have been dipped in the chili with all but a very thin coating of chili wiped off. These were very sad chili dogs! Absolutely NOTHING to rave about.

Another thing — remember in biology class where you grew bacteria from different surfaces? Remember how the surface of a cafeteria food tray grew huge nasty looking bacteria? Well, the hot dogs are sitting directly on an open napkin and the tray. Yuk! I was kind of afraid to eat them.

This is not a place I would recommend!

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Jane & Michael Stern
Jane & Michael Stern

September 11th, 2007

I grew up near Allentown in Emmaus, where there is another location of Yocco’s. There are several Yocco’s, and most of them are better looking than the one in the editor’s review. The ironic thing is that I never had a Yocco’s hot dog until I moved away from Emmaus. My parents were too cheap to go there (“we can make better hotdogs at home and cheaper!”) and they didn’t really understand the point of wanting to go enjoy something that someone else cooked. So it made me all the more dysfunctional when I tried Yocco’s for the first time and realized what my parents kept me from enjoying all this time.

First of all, their sides are great. There aren’t all that many places that serve deep-fried pierogies as a side order. Yocco’s makes a mean pierogi. When I go, I must have them. They are crisp on the outside and full of soft creamy potato on the inside. The fries are excellent too. I am a fan of good crinkle-cut fries like theirs, and they don’t have any nasty coating on them like so many places have these days. These are basic crinkle-cut fries cooked to a perfect crispness. My only complaint is that the portions should be larger.

And of course, the dogs are what they are famous for. Have I had a better dog? Sure. But these are good. It’s the sauce they put on them that makes them worth buying. And they also don’t cost a lot, so it’s a nice, quick, cheap meal that hits the spot every time. I haven’t tried a lot of the menu, as it is only when I am visiting my parents that I get a chance to eat there. My wife tried the cheesesteak and gave it her thumbs up.

Needless to say, every time I am in the Allentown area, I go to Yocco’s. Google them to find their website so you can check out their other locations, as the original location is the least attractive, and the food is the same at all of them.

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