America's 13 Craziest Hot Dogs

Get wild with over-the-top fixings
June 17, 2014
by Billy Lyons

When mustard seems dull and ketchup seems boring, seek out one of these trippy hot dogs — there's one topped with bacon, goat cheese and chipotle-fig chutney and even a sweet-salty creation smothered in pineapple, blackberry, plum and whipped cream. Read on for more out-there frankfurter creations. 


The Breakfast of Champions at Snap Franks & Coneys

This mobile food trailer's based out of Smyrna, but shows up all over the city's northside to proffer its New York-style dogs and sausages. The Breakfast of Champions is a bacon-wrapped frank smothered in cheddar, grilled onions, fried eggs and salsa if you like, somehow managing to keep it together on a grilled roll. (Multiple Locations; 770-508-0850)


Roppongi Dog at the Peached Tortilla

We love that chef Eric Silverstein tops an all-beef Hebrew National dog with the ultimate treif: pork belly. Add pickled daikon carrot, chile aïoli and wasabi sesame seeds, and you have yourself the winner from the Tortilla’s catering menu (the price depends on how many goodies you can’t live without). Look for the Roppongi as a brunch special at the food truck’s much-anticipated brick-and-mortar on Burnet Road. (Multiple Locations; 512-222-8781)


Brondog at Bronwyn

Chef Tim Wiechmann recently added the smoked Brondog ($10) to the menu at his Somerville German restaurant, and it's already made a Travel + Leisure roundup of America's Best Hot Dogs. Made from pork and beef, it's nestled in a house-baked potato bread roll crusted with poppy seeds, slathered with sauerbraten (vinegar-marinated brisket, ground and stewed with paprika and tomatoes) and topped with sauerkraut and melty Emmenthaler. On the side: homemade paprika chips. (255 Washington St., Somerville; 617-776-9900)


Belly Dog at Belly Shack

The Belly Dog is a work of art on a pita bun. The all-beef hot dog is topped with egg noodles, pickled green papaya and fries seasoned with togarashi, along with a side of curry mayo. (1912 N. Western Ave.; 773-252-1414)


Bad Dog at Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House

This friendly East Dallas gathering spot treats Rudolph’s all-beef dogs with the utmost of care, covering them in housemade chili and queso. The surprising addition of sauerkraut adds a wonderful tartness that stands out amid the gooey goodness. (1154 Peavy Rd.; 214-324-3335)


Dirk Figgler at Moon Tower Inn

The renowned purveyors of wild meats rolled out a new showboat: the Dirk Figgler is a fancy duck foie gras hot dog on a pretzel bun with bacon, goat cheese and chipotle fig chutney. Pair it with any of the 66 craft beers and ciders on tap for a truly boogie night. (3004 Canal; 832-969-1934)

Los Angeles

The Terimayo at Japadog

The wildly popular hot dog stand from Vancouver, the culinary capital of Canada, has officially landed in Los Angeles. The goal is to open three street-food vendors and one brick-and-mortar store within the year. According to the website, they're eyeing locations around LA, near Hollywood and in Santa Monica. The Terimayo is the classic, a hot dog topped with teriyaki, mayo and seaweed. But why stop there when you can get hot dogs topped with shrimp tempura, yakisoba or Japanese potato croquettes? The cart has already hit Little Tokyo, Pershing Square, Abbot Kinney and the Wilshire lineup near LACMA. (Multiple Locations)


Edgar Special Hot Dog at La Perrada de Edgar

This staple Colombian spot in South Beach revamps the classic American dog into one that's more suitable for dessert: made with sausage and cheese that's then covered with pineapple, blackberry, plums and whipped cream. (6976 Collins Ave.; 305-866-4543)

New York City

Ditch Dog at Ditch Plains

Marc Murphy's ever-popular Ditch Dog is one of the most indulgent in town. He starts with an all-beef frankfurter, tops it with homemade mac 'n' cheese and serves it with fries. It's kind of a gutbomb, but in a good way. (29 Bedford St., 212-633-0202; 100 W. 82nd St., 212-362-4815)


The Big Kahuna at Hot Diggity

A hot dog made for the beach. Keith Garabedian tops a snappy Sabrett frankfurter with guava mustard, grilled onions, pineapple salsa and habanero aïoli as one of the many creative combos at his zany South Street hot dog shack ($5.50). Don’t miss the housemade sodas or fresh-cut fries with dozens of housemade dipping sauces. (630 South St.; 267-886-9253)

San Francisco

El Frijolazo at Los Shucos

We love the Guatemala-inspired Los Shucos, which opened in February serving a menu of hot dogs (shucos) smothered in cotija cheese, black beans and the like. There are handmade chorizo and all-beef franks served on toasted shuco rolls baked daily by a local Guatemalan baker. There are also Guatemalan sauces like salsa chapina laced with garlic, parsley and lime. Try El Frijolazo ($6.95), a bacon-wrapped, all-beef frank — and an ode to the iconic Mission dog — laden with refried black beans, avocado, queso fresco and an aïoli-esque mayo sauce. (3224 1/2 22nd St.; 415-366-3868)


Hot Dog at Radiator Whiskey

Nobody quite knows how cream cheese became the driving force behind Seattle's signature dog. The heat of the frank transforms the cream cheese into a velvety goo that brightens the richness of the hot dog. It just works, and Radiator Whiskey's take is spot-on. (94 Pike St.; 206-467-4268)

Washington, DC

Q's Seoul Bulgogi & Kimchi Dog at DC-3

The Cincinnati Coney topped with chili, cheese and onions is the most popular, but we suggest going for something a bit more international like the Korean-inspired all-beef dog ($4.99) topped with marinated rib-eye bulgogi, pickled kimchi and Sriracha on a buttered, grilled "frankfurt loaf" (aka "bun"). This place also has soft serve and lists cotton candy as a side, and veggie dogs are available as a substitute. (428 Eighth St. SE; 202-546-1935)

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