The hot dog is America’s unofficial summertime dish. Whether you’re grilling by the pool, out in the wilderness on a camping trip, or enjoying a baseball game, it’s almost certain some franks will be involved. But if you’re having a staycation in your city, here are 13 restaurants for upscale hot dogs that take the summer standby to the next level. Not near any of them? With more than 51,000 restaurants worldwide, OpenTable has a spot that’s right for you.
Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan
Get ready to get fancy. A housemade beef wiener is gussied up with sauerkraut, smoked Dijonnaise, Gruyere, and sprigs of fresh dill. Bonus: the haute dog is served with a side salad, so you can feel all sorts of virtuous for ordering it.
Rave restaurant review: “Best place EVER. Staff was amazing, so nice and friendly! Food and cocktails were also delicious! Best restaurant in Regina FOR SURE :)”
Make a reservation at Avenue.
Roadhouse Pub & Eatery, Jackson, Wyoming
There’s a Korean spin to this dapper dog. Made with “bovine and swine” (a.k.a. beef and pork), it’s topped with kimchi, scallions, and gochujang aioli. Just what you need to mix up your hot dog routine.
Rave restaurant review: “Great people and great food and very good beer selection, and I’m sure to go back.”
Make a reservation at Roadhouse Pub & Eatery.
40 Love, West Hollywood, California
Regular old beef isn’t good enough, so they make their dog with Wagyu instead. It’s definitely a next-level link. Maui sweet onions, sautéed peppers, banana peppers, and mayo give it a unique twist.
Rave restaurant review: “Great West Hollywood sports bar with great food, drinks, and service. Swanky for such a chill vibe with a cool crowd.”
Make a reservation at 40 Love.
101 Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland
There is so much happening with this Mexicano street corndawg. A locally made beef and pork dog from Polock Johnny is dipped and deep-fried. Then it’s accessorized with chipotle mayonnaise, roasted corn, queso fresco, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Rave restaurant review: “Dinner at 101 was just awesome, and we will be returning. They had delicious food and crafted cocktails, I wanted to try everything. My server was so knowledgeable and seemed to know exactly what I wanted. I’d give it 10 stars if it was an option!”
Make a reservation 101 Baltimore.
Acadia House Provisions, Stonington, Maine
Here’s a mash-up of LA’s Koreatown street tacos and the flavors of Vietnamese banh mi. A W.A. Bean & Sons hot dog arrives with lobster mayo, tonkatsu sauce, and shredded nori. Sophisticated, scrumptious, and satisfying.
Rave restaurant review: “AHP is a wonderful restaurant. It is outstanding in every respect. I wish Boston had a restaurant like this — reasonable prices and all aspects of food and service being terrific.”
Make a reservation at Acadia House Provisions.
Toro Toro, Miami, Florida
Latin America inspired this hot dog. The grass-fed, all-beef wiener is dressed with tomato kimchi sauce for kick, while aji panca (Peruvian red pepper) ketchup adds a sweet touch to soften the blow. It’s topped with Puerto Rican-style crispy fried plantains for a crunch factor.
Rave restaurant review: “Toro Toro always does it right! This is the second year my wife and I celebrated our anniversary, and the service we’ve received is amazing! Keep it up!”
Make a reservation at Toro Toro.
Elm Street Cask & Kitchen, Dallas, Texas
Chili dogs are our jam. Especially when they’re also topped with pimento cheese, jalapeños, and white onions. Put a little bit of the South in your mouth!
Rave restaurant review: “We tried this place during restaurant week and what a find!!! The food options were great, and the prices were perfect for a downtown lunch! Awesome atmosphere, and our waiter Mike was just fabulous! Can’t wait to go back!!”
Make a reservation at Elm Street Cask & Kitchen.
Dirt Candy, New York, New York
There’s no mystery meat in these broccoli dogs. Two of the verdant stalks are smoked, grilled, and quickly sautéed before they’re tucked into toasted buns. Condiments include broccoli kraut, mustard-vinegar sauce, and micro broccoli. Eat both and you’ve just consumed 800% of your daily Vitamin C requirement. Seriously.
Rave restaurant review: “Every single course was stunning, surprising, and delicious. You will not leave hungry! Some of the courses had multiple dishes within the course. We were blown away!”
Make a reservation at Dirt Candy.
Founding Farmers, Tysons, Virginia
You know what they say about little hot dogs? Little buns. You can choose big flavored mini franks sassed up with tomato chow chow, blue cheese and bacon, or our favorite, chili with shredded cheddar.
Rave restaurant review: “Great ambience. Our server kindly went over the menu with us as we hadn’t been there before. We are going there again within the week as the rest of my group wants to try out the restaurant as well!”
Make a reservation at Founding Farmers.
The Mission–Old Town, Scottsdale, Arizona
Here’s an upscale remake of the Sonoran hot dog. Wood-grilled over pecan and mesquite, this two-fisted Kobe dog is wrapped with bacon and nestled inside a warm brioche bun. It’s garnished with green chile pintos, cotija cheese, red onion, and rocoto peppers.
Rave restaurant review: “We always love The Mission. We brought some friends visiting from Scotland. It was a perfect local experience with delicious food and great atmosphere.”
Make a reservation at The Mission–Old Town.
Bayside Restaurant, Newport Beach, California
Say guten tag (good day) to the “Käsekrainer” bratwurst. Smoked pork sausage is lavished with Emmental cheese-infused sauerkraut. It comes with roasted potatoes and a side of sweet ‘n’ spicy mustard.
Rave restaurant review: “We love this restaurant because the food is excellent, the service is warm and personable, and you can hear your dinner companions’ conversation. Thank you for providing this gem to our community.”
Make a reservation at Bayside Restaurant.
Kings of Kobe-The Burger & Hot Dog Monarchy, New York, New York
These guys are wiener royalty. Their Empire City dog takes an American Wagyu beef link and crowns it with baby arugula, tomatoes, bacon bits, and royal fry sauce. One bite and you’ll swear your allegiance.
Rave restaurant review: “Had the Monarch hot dog and it was just as delicious as its description with their signature creamy coleslaw and bacon bits. The dog had a great snap to it, juicy and all-around tasty! Service was awesome!”
Make a reservation at Kings of Kobe-The Burger & Hot Dog Monarchy.
Duende, Oakland, California
This hot dog has a Basque accent. Rich with spicy chorizo flavors, it comes dressed up with squid ink aioli, pickles, garlicky Savoy cabbage slaw, mustard, and crispy onions. One bite and you’ll swear you’re in San Sebastian.
Rave restaurant review: “Always a great time. Been here four times in 2019, and three in 2018.”
Make a reservation at Duende.
Let us know if you’ve tried any of these upscale hot dogs here in the comments or over on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Anthony Tahlier (Acadia).