Famous Franks: The Best Hot Dog Stands Across America

Best Hot Dog Stands

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Best Hot Dog Stands
Wei C./Yelp

Frankly Delicious

Franks, wieners, weenies, red hots — whatever they're called and however they're topped, hot dogs are a perennial favorite of Americans. Tubed meat is a classic budget staple even when dining out, since a hot dog is often one of the least-expensive options on the menu. In celebration of July being National Hot Dog Month, Cheapism scoured reviews and rankings by expert food writers and countless hungry customers to find the best hot dog joints that offer a basic dog for $7 or less in most cases. 

El Guero Canelo, Tucson, Arizona
Dan B./Yelp

El Guero Canelo

Tucson, Arizona

El Guero Canelo has four locations in Tucson, serving traditional Mexican cuisine along with a Sonoran-style hot dog ($4.59) — a hot dog wrapped in bacon, grilled, and topped with pinto beans, tomatoes, onions, jalapeño salsa, mustard, and mayo. It's served stuffed inside a bun so even the ends are covered in bread. 

Top Dog, Berkeley, California
Richard L./Yelp

Top Dog

Berkeley, California

Top Dog opened in 1966 and has been serving the Bay Area ever since. It offers up a selection of German, Polish, Italian, American, Portuguese, and veggie sausages and hot dogs for $4 to $4.50 each. Grilled and served on a toasted French roll, a Top Dog hot dog isn't fancy, but it is a local favorite.

Nathan's Famous, New York, New York
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Nathan's Famous

Brooklyn, New York

At more than 100 years old, Nathan's is a hot dog shop that's hit it big, with franchise locations across the country and its famous July 4 hot dog eating contest. The company's hot dogs and other foods can also be found in grocery stores nationwide. Wait with the crowds at the original in Coney Island to grab a plain hot dog for $5.29.

See where Nathan's hot dogs rank in our hot dog taste test

American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island, Detroit
Lafayette Coney Island/Yelp
Blackie's Hot Dog Stand, Cheshire, Connecticut
Katie H./Yelp

Blackie's Hot Dog Stand

Cheshire, Connecticut

Blackie's opened in 1928 and has kept things simple since. The menu has just the basics: hot dogs, hamburgers, a few drinks, and ice cream cones or shakes. Locals love it, especially the homemade hot relish, and cheap meal enthusiasts will find it hard to argue with $3.25 hot dogs and $5 shakes.

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Pink's, Los Angeles
Linh T./Yelp


Los Angeles

Pink's started as a hot dog cart in West Hollywood more than 80 years ago. Over time, a storefront replaced the cart; Pink's also makes appearances at county fairs and amusement parks across the country. There are several options to choose under $7 including a chili dog, Guadalajara dog (relish, onions, tomatoes, and sour cream), and New York Dog (with onions). Standard dogs are 6 inches long, but stretch dogs, in 9- or 12-inch lengths, are available, along with burgers and plenty of sides. 

Arbetter Hot Dogs
Arbetter's Hot Dogs/Yelp

Arbetter's Hot Dogs


Founded in 1959, Arbetter's has become a Miami institution over the decades, thanks mainly to its popular chili dog. Now, Arbetter's menu includes hot dogs (starting at $3.29) and chili-cheese fries ($6.59). 

Biker Jim's, Denver
Samantha D./Yelp

Biker Jim's


Biker Jim's breaks our $7 target — hot dogs start at $10 — but its exotic menu makes it a must. Diners can splurge a little and grab one of the hot dogs that have made the shop famous: Try wild boar, elk jalapeño cheddar, ostrich, southwest buffalo, or a rattlesnake and rabbit combo.

Related: 27 Restaurants for Wild Game Across America

Olneyville N.Y. System, Providence, Rhode Island
Stephanie M./Yelp

Olneyville N.Y. System

Providence, Rhode Island

This hot dog shop may have a clunky name, but it won a James Beard Foundation award in 2014 for its classic American food. The Providence location is the original and dates back to the early '50s, but Olneyville N.Y. System has a second location in Cranston. Order the hot wieners, served with onions, mustard, and meat sauce, and pair with coffee-milk, a glass of milk flavored with sweet coffee syrup that's a local favorite.

The Steamie Weenie
Nitin B./Yelp

The Steamie Weenie

Henderson, Nevada

Located in a retail complex south of downtown Las Vegas, The Steamie Weenie offers traditional hot dogs alongside some wilder options, such as dogs topped with macaroni and cheese, watermelon barbecue sauce, grilled pineapple relish, or wasabi mayonnaise. Hot dogs top out at $7.50, but the standard dog is $4.95, and you can build your own from there.

Ben's Chili Bowl, Washington
Howard L./Yelp

Ben's Chili Bowl

Washington, D.C.

A well-known counter restaurant in northwest D.C., Ben's Chili Bowl is a late-night hot spot (made a bit more famous when Barack Obama stopped by in 2009 just days before his presidential inauguration). The go-to item here is the "half-smoke" — a quarter-pound pork and beef smoked sausage topped with mustard, onions, and chili ($7.99) — though more health-conscious diners might prefer the veggie dog ($7.99). The junior dog checks in at $5.29.

Related: 57 Iconic U.S. Restaurants to Try Before You Die

Rutt's Hut, Clifton, New Jersey
Sara S./Yelp

Rutt's Hut

Clifton, New Jersey

Rutt's Hut is known for its mustard and as the home of "the Ripper." The dogs' casing is cracked and split open when the shop deep fries the dogs, making it look as though they're ripped. You can also get side orders such as fries, potato salad, vegetables, or sauerkraut.

Dick's Hot Dog Stand, Wilson, North Carolina

Dick's Hot Dog Stand

Wilson, North Carolina

Dick's Hot Dog Stand has been in the family since 1921, and is run by the founder's son and grandson. Unlike some stands that have just a few items on the menu, Dick's makes sandwiches, gyros, and omelets. Newcomers, however, may want to start with the classic super dog, a quarter-pound hot dog topped with mustard, onions, and homemade chili ($2.50). 

Happy Dog, Cleveland
Steve K./Yelp

Happy Dog


Happy Dog, at its original location on Detroit Avenue (a second location at the historic Euclid Tavern opened in 2014) isn't particularly fancy — more like a dive bar, actually. But that never mattered to the patrons waiting to pack the place again. Its $8 to $9 dogs include as many toppings as you can stack on top, and there are 50 from which to choose, including oddities such as fried eggs and cereal. Tater tots, also available with toppings, start at $6.

Steve's Hot Dogs On The Hill
Christian K./Yelp

Steve's Hot Dogs

St. Louis

Steve Ewing, frontman of the band The Urge, opened this popular hot dog spot in 2011 after deciding he needed a daytime gig to complement his music career. The locations — in St. Louis' famous Italian neighborhood The Hill and in nearby Tower Grove — serve up 13 hot dogs (starting at $6) and several specialty burgers.

Rawley's Drive-In
Wil S./Yelp

Rawley's Drive-In

Fairfield, Connecticut

Since 1947, Rawley's has been serving up simple yet delicious hot dogs known for their crispy skin, a result the restaurant attributes to using "the best Natural Casing Hummel Bros. Frankfurters." A plain hot dog starts at $4.45, but it's probably worth spending 75 cents more for "The Works," which includes mustard, relish, sauerkraut, and chunks of bacon.

Tommy's Original World Famous Hamburgers, Los Angeles
Sarah J./Yelp

Original Tommy's Hamburgers

Los Angeles

Tommy's may have hamburger in its name, but don't let that fool you. What makes the burgers great is the same thing that makes the dogs great: the chili— and the fact that the place is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Chili dogs start at  $6.80. Add $1 for cheese.

Capital Lunch, New Britain, Connecticut
Neil T./Yelp

Capitol Lunch

New Britain, Connecticut

Hot dogs typically aren't expensive, but at $2.99 for a dog with mustard, onions, and "famous sauce," Capitol Lunch may strike some as downright cheap. Cheese, sauerkraut, and extra sauce are 60 cents each. But it's not the prices that make the shop a local landmark. It's the dogs from Martin Rosol (a local meat shop), the homemade meat sauce, the friendly service, and the nostalgia.

Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace, Columbus, Ohio
Rebecca C./Yelp

Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace

Columbus, Ohio

Open from lunchtime until past midnight, Dirty Frank's starts with either a basic Vienna all-beef hot dog or a Tofurkey veggie dog on a steamed poppy-seed bun. A basic hot dog is $3.75, but you can get it wrapped in bacon for $1, or make it jumbo, bratwurst, or Polish sausage for $1.75. Then you have more than two dozen toppings and sauces to choose from, or another two dozen-plus recommended variations. 

Dog House Drive-In, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Tim S./Yelp

Dog House Drive-In

Albuquerque, New Mexico

A hot dog shack that fans of "Breaking Bad" may recognize, the Dog House Drive-In keeps things simple and cheap. Foot-long hot dogs with cheese are $5.40, corn dogs are $2.60, and shakes start at $3.40. The grilled dogs are split, and topped with cheese, chili, and onions before being served on a fresh bun. 

Gene and Jude's, Chicago
Ann S./Yelp

Gene and Jude's

River Grove, Illinois

In this Windy City suburb, Gene and Jude's makes the bare essentials — hot dogs and fries — and makes them well. A dog with fries costs $4.84 while a double dog with fries is $5.74, and comes with a choice of mustard, relish, onions, and sport peppers. But don't bother looking for ketchup. As is Chicago's tradition when it comes to hot dogs, Gene and Jude's doesn't offer it — and hasn't since opening more than 60 years ago.

Super Duper Weenie, Fairfield, Connecticut
Leigh W./Yelp

Super Duper Weenie

Fairfield, Connecticut

Super Duper Weenie has its own costumed superhero mascot and serves seven specialty dogs (starting at $6.) Each is decked out with a regional taste, such as the Chicagoan, Cincinnatian, or New Yorker. Reviewers delight in the flavors, prices, and service. 

Crif Dogs, New York City
Eddie Q./Yelp

Crif Dogs

New York City

Crif Dogs serves all-beef, beef and pork, or veggie dogs topped with an assortment of condiments and sauces — and lays claim to being "New York's No. 1 Weiner." Its eponymous Crif Dog and New Yorker dogs check in at $4.50, while other signature concoctions are in the $6 to $10 range. The phone booth inside this hot dog hotspot is actually the door to speakeasy bar called PDT.

Related: 23 Tasty Places to Eat for Cheap in NYC

Superdawg Drive-In, Chicago
Ada H./Yelp

Superdawg Drive-In


Dating back to the late 1940s, the Superdawg Drive-In is known for the welcoming mascots atop its building and its signature dish, the Superdawg, a 100% beef hot dog on a poppy seed bun served with golden mustard, tangy piccalilli, kosher dill pickle, chopped Spanish onions, and a hot pepper. At $7.95 the Superdawg is a bit above our price point, but this local landmark is worth every extra penny with its carhops, neon lights, and enduring menu.

Roake's, Portland, Oregon
Chris H./Yelp


Milwaukie and Portland, Oregon

Roake's has had several names over the years and two locations in Oregon: one in Milwaukie, which has been a local hotspot since 1937, and a newer location in Portland. The menu offers a variety of dogs, burgers, and deep-fried sides, and most items are under $7, including a foot-long with all the toppings.

The Vanguard, Milwaukee
Ryan T./Yelp

The Vanguard


The Vanguard serves its share of hipster sausages, but it also has a classic pork and beef hot dog that can be dressed to suit your taste. Starting at $5, it's served on a warm roll with a choice of onions, sauerkraut, hot giardiniera, sport pepper, and relish. For an extra buck or two, style your dog based on six different locales: Milwaukee, Seattle, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Tijuana, or Buffalo. Pork brats and vegan chorizo or Italian-style sausages are $8 or $9 each before toppings.

Related: Where to Find the Most Extreme Hot Dogs Across the Country