6 Insanely Good Hot Dogs to Try in Denver

By Ruth Tobias  |  June 16, 2014
Credit: Christopher Cina

Some are local legends, others out-of-the-way gems. But these joints all know how to put a juicy twist on the ordinary hot dog, topped with everything from peanut butter to spaghetti.

  • Credit: Christopher Cina

    Chimi Dog at Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs

    With chili con carne, bacon, jalapeños and a blend of cheddar and jack cheeses, the burrito-wrapped Denver Dog (pictured right) has long been a staple at this City Park institution. The Chimi ($5.65), meanwhile, is its turbo-charged alter ego — stuffed even further with green chile and salsa, then deep-fried and drizzled with sour cream. Owner Steve Ballas points out that you need a fork and knife to eat it properly; we’d add that you also need an empty gut and a lot of gumption. Otherwise, stick with Ballas's favorite: the Jersey dog with green relish, caraway sauerkraut and spicy mustard (pictured top, $4.25). 3525 E. Colfax Ave., 303-333-7627; Denver International Airport Gate B-22 

  • Credit: Christopher Cina

    The Dog About Town at Pink Tank

    David Mueller and his wife Lisa have a notorious knack for the wacky, from chicken and waffles topped with caramel-maple syrup and hot-sauce ice cream to the burger served on French toast with lemon cream cheese. But this dog ($8) takes the cake in our book. Peanut butter is the crazy glue that holds broiled cheddar, grilled onions, bacon and a whole green chile together, blasting every part of the palate to smithereens, in a good way. Follow the food truck on Twitter here

  • Credit: Christopher Cina

    Eddie Spaghetti Dog at Harley’s: A Hot Dog Revolution

    Working with a butcher who customizes links to his specifications and making “90%” of everything else, Ed Ginsburg clearly takes the kind of pride in his work that makes his stand an independent oasis in the food court of Littleton’s Southwest Plaza Mall. Its trial lease ends in a few months, so owner Ed Ginsburg is on the hunt for a new location — “an old gas station or something, maybe with a car hop out front.” But in the meantime, creations like the spaghetti dog ($5.95) with Italian sausage, marinara and mozzarella on a garlicky bun are worth the plunge into suburban-shopping chaos. “Everyone told me I was crazy when I came up with it, but now they love it,” he laughs. After all, it's like eating a whole Sunday dinner with your hands. 8501 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton; 720-236-9617

  • Credit: Ruth Tobias

    Freaks and Greeks Dog at Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs

    We weren’t being indecisive when we told you to “pick a dog, any dog” at Jim Pittenger’s cherished Ballpark haunt for our bucket list of local summertime dining experiences. Whether you go relatively simple with a buffalo dog smothered in cream cheese and caramelized onions or wild with the ham-wrapped, breaded, deep-fried pheasant brat in Fat Tire-mustard cream sauce, it’s all good. If you’re up for something new, however, check out this special of lamb sausage with feta and tzatziki sauce as well as chopped tomato, cucumber and red onion ($9). Available for the next couple of weeks or so, it’s basically everything you love about gyros in an all-American package. 2148 Larimer St.; 720-746-9355

  • Credit: Christopher Cina

    The Hatch at Über Sausage

    The gourmet-style sausages at this City Park hangout span the globe with glee, from a trip to Vietnam via lemongrass, basil and mint to a Louisiana-inspired concoction with crawfish and rémoulade. Sticking closer to home, though, is this all-time favorite (pictured left, $8), a Southwestern sensation loaded with green chile and pepper jack cooled by crema, mixed cabbage and cilantro. We also get a kick out of the brat-based Badger ($8, right), a cheddar-smothered homage to Wisconsin topped with onions and sauerkraut braised in good old PBR. 2730 E. Colfax Ave.; 

  • Credit: Ruth Tobias

    Salchipapa at La Polleria

    A Centennial strip mall probably isn’t the first place you’d go to find Peruvian street food. But perhaps it should be. While specializing in pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken), this cheerful counter joint also dishes up heaps of the guilty pleasure that is salchipapa, or french fries tossed with sliced hot dogs ($6). Some disks are juicy, others charred to a crisp, adding a whole new dimension to the addictive, thin-cut Yukon Gold spuds — as does the exhilarating aji dipping sauce. 7422 S. University Blvd., Centennial; 720-583-1051