8 Best Hot Dogs in Boston

By Scott Kearnan
June 15, 2014
By Scott Kearnan  |  June 15, 2014

They're a summer-day staple: hot dogs. And though they're not generally regarded as fine cuisine, we found dogs around town that have us howling with delight. From chef-driven spins to simple, shack-served classics, here are a few of our favorites.

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  • Sullivan's Castle Island

    There's nothing wild or fancy about the dogs ($1.80) served at this seasonal seaside shack, which opened back in 1951. The natural-casing dogs, made especially for Sully's by Kayem, are perfectly grilled and tossed into a toasty bun. Order it "all around" to get it topped with mustard, relish or onion.

    2080 William J Day Blvd., South Boston; 617-268-5685

  • Kirkland Dog at The Kirkland Tap & Trotter

    Chef Tony Maws turned Craigie on Main's "Craigie Burger" into a legend among off-the-menu orders. So when he opened Kirkland, it was inevitable he'd do the same with a hot dog. Offered in limited "first come, first served" numbers, it's a delish dog of pork shoulder and grass-fed beef chuck, served on a pretzel bun and Maws-made mustard and relish.

    425 Washington St., Somerville; 857-259-6585

  • Photo by: Heath Robbins

    Poor Man's Surf and Turf at Legal Harborside

    Steak and lobster? Maybe if you're wicked fancy. The Harborside outpost of this Boston-based brand has fun with the tried and true "surf 'n' turf" tradition by offering a Poor Man's take ($12.95) of a quarter-pound hot dog paired with a Rhode Island "stuffie," a clam baked and stuffed with spicy breading and spiced chorizo.

    270 Northern Ave.; 617-477-2900

  • 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

  • Choripán at Brass Union

    Among the new standouts is the choripán at Brass Union, which just opened last week. We're already in love with this South America-inspired entry, an Argentinean "hot dog" of grilled chorizo, topped with chimichurri and served open-faced on an Iggy’s roll.

    70 Union Sq., Somerville; 617-623-9211

  • Spike's Junkyard Dogs

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder. So maybe the June closing of Spike's Back Bay location made us appreciate the remaining Allston location that much more. (The small regional chain still has a few other spots in the 'burbs and Rhode Island.) Every variety is an alpha dog, especially the classic Junkyard seen here, topped with house mustard, pickles, scallions, tomato and hot pepper rings.

    108 Brighton Ave., Allston; 617-254-7700

  • Dog of the Day at Trina's Starlite Lounge

    Another day, a different dog at this Somerville spot, which never seems to run out of creative ways to make a good thing better; take one recent permutation seen here, which was topped with creamed corn, melted cheddar and chipotle aïoli.

    3 Beacon St., Somerville; 617-576-0006

  • Tasty Burger

    The burgers might be tasty, but the hot dogs are definitely delicious. And this local chain, which in just a few years has expanded to four locations, boasts both standby selections and rotating specials like the Boston Dog, seen here, topped with crispy bacon, baked beans and a smoky sauce.

    1301 Boylston St.; 617-425-4444


Places Mentioned

Tasty Burger

American • Fenway/Kenmore

Food25 Decor20 Service21 Cost$12
Tasty Burger

Burger • Cambridge

Food25 Decor20 Service21 Cost$12
Food25 Decor20 Service21 Cost$12

European • Somerville

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
The Kirkland Tap & Trotter

New American • Somerville

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
Food25 Decor25 Service25 Cost$49
Trina's Starlite Lounge

American • Somerville

Food23 Decor21 Service23 Cost$22
Sullivan's Castle Island

American • South Boston

Food22 Decor12 Service20 Cost$10
Legal Harborside

Seafood • Seaport District

Food25 Decor23 Service23 Cost$36
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