Travel Stories

Wieners of America: the Best Hot Dog in Every State

We rounded up America's favorite franks in honor of National Hot Dog Day
by Jess Moss Posted Jul 22nd 2014 8:04a.m.
Jess is senior editor at MapQuest and prefers hot dogs at BBQs and baseball games. 

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council reports that 7 billion hot dogs will likely end up in stomachs across the United States this summer. That's about 22 hot dogs per American between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta were the country's biggest hot dog guzzlers last year, but the all-American dish has a presence from sea to shining sea. Styles vary across the country, from types of meat to acceptable condiments and toppings. To celebrate National Hot Dog Day on July 23, we've rounded up the best places to go for wieners in every state. Below are the winners. 

Alabama

Gus's Hot Dogs | Birmingham
Don't be put off by the parking garage location—Gus sells some of the most popular hot dogs in town at deliciously low prices. 

Alaska

M.A.'s Gourmet Dogs | Anchorage
Elsewhere you'll see bison dogs—here, it's a reindeer dog. Sorry, Rudolph.

Disagree with our picks? Tweet us @MQDiscover or find MapQuest on Facebook to tell us your favorite hot dog.

Arizona

El Guero Canelo | Tucson
With four locations around Tucson, this is one of the most famous places to try a Sonoran-style hot dog. 

Arkansas

Buffalo Grill | Little Rock
Little Rock is the birthplace of the cheese dog (that is, a hot dog with cheese inside), but at Buffalo Grill it's all about the chili dog. 

California

Pink's Hot Dogs | Los Angeles
MapQuest editor-in-chief Mike Yessis says you can't go wrong at Pink's in California. It's an L.A. landmark with Hollywood ties. Choose from good classic dogs and over-the-top celebrity-themed dogs. 

Colorado

Coney Island | Bailey
Eat a dog, in a dog. (The stand is shaped like a giant hot dog.) This spot is a favorite of MapQuest engineer Devin Brown.

Coney Island Hot Dog Stand
Aaron/Flickr

Connecticut

Super Duper Weenie | Fairfield
MapQuest's Dave Ciaburro says it's all about fresh ingredients with these split and grilled dogs. Heap a Chicago dog with one of the homemade relishes. 

Delaware

The Dog House | New Castle
A nostalgic favorite of Wilmington locals and those passing through on the highway, this hot dog joint is famous for its footlong dogs.

District of Columbia

Ben's Chili Bowl | U Street
What do President Obama and MapQuest's social fellow Mariel Rothman have in common? They're both fans of the classic chili dogs at this D.C. landmark. 

Florida

Hot Dog Heaven | Orlando
Here is a little slice of Chicago in Central Florida, with authentic Vienna Beef dogs. Rumor has it you won't get yelled at for adding ketchup, though. 

Georgia

Brandi's World Famous Hot Dogs | Marietta
This place is cash-only, lunch-only and almost always has a line out the door. For an extra kick try the spicy dogs with chili.

Hawaii

Puka Dog | Kauai
These are hot dogs with a Hawaiian twist, like taro buns and tropical fruit relish. 

Puka Dog
revrev/Flickr

Idaho

Twin Falls County Fair | Filer
Twin Falls is the birthplace of "tater pigs," a marriage of hot dogs and Idaho potatoes. Basically, it's a sausage or a dog stuffed into a baked potato instead of a bun.

Illinois

Wiener Circle | Chicago
A list of the best Chicago dogs could run longer than this one. We've praised the hot dogs at Wrigley and U.S. Cellular Field before, but for this list the spotlight goes to Wiener Circle. MapQuest's Libby McIlhany loves the sassy service and excellent Chicago-style dogs here. 

Indiana

King David Dogs | Indianapolis
Neighbor state Illinois hogs much of the hot dog fame, but Indiana has a healthy assortment of hot dog shops, too. About 15 styles of dogs at King David—from Chicago to Hawaiian to the hometown Indy Dog leave plenty of choices for wiener fans.

Iowa

Iowa State Fair | Des Moines
Food on a stick gets weird at the Iowa State Fair (salad on a stick?), but you can't go wrong with the original corndog at this corn-heavy state. Or for something different, try a cornbrat, a bratwurst in corndog batter. On a stick, of course. 

Kansas

New York Dog Pound | Shawnee Mission
Buck Night hot dogs at Kauffman Stadium across the state line are pretty great, but on the Kansas side this is the hot dog spot, where the dogs are good and the deals are better. 

Kentucky

Lonnie's Best Taste of Chicago | Louisville
This is the place to go if you want a Chicago-style hot dog in Louisville. The six dogs on the menu are all named after Windy City streets. 

Louisiana

Dat Dog | New Orleans
Who dat? Dat Dog. This colorful open air hot dog shed serves a range of classics, plus some local specialties like the alligator dog.

Dat Dog hot dogs
Infrogmation/Flickr

Maine

Flo's Hot Dogs | Cape Neddick
Mainers have been coming to Flo's for spicy dogs paired with sweet relish (it's a secret family recipe, but you can buy some to take home with you).

Maryland

Stuggy's | Baltimore
Stuggy's lets you be the chef: choose your type of meat then pick from a creative range of toppings (you're in Baltimore, so try the crab mac n' cheese). 

Massachussetts

Fenway Franks | Boston
It doesn't get much better than a Fenway Frank at Fenway Park. MapQuest's Brian Fitzgerald, says this is the classic, perfected.

Michigan

Lafayette Coney Island | Detroit
The battle of the neighboring Coney Island hot dog stands in Detroit is fierce. Lafayette and American both have plenty to offer, but our vote goes to Lafayette because its menu is a little more dedicated to the essentials: hot dogs, fries and chili. Plus they serve beer and American doesn't.

Minnesota

The Butcher and the Boar | Minneapolis
The foot-long hot dogs at this sausage-centric Minneapolis spot are best enjoyed in the beer garden.

Mississippi

Okay, this one's a bit different, but there's version of the song "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" that's called the Mississippi Hot Dog. Listen and see if you can hear why.

Missouri

Steve's Hot Dogs on the Hill | St. Louis
The Gorilla Mac n Cheese dog here is all kinds of awesome: a hot dog with bacon, fried onions and creamy mac and cheese. 

Montana

The Burger Dive | Billings
This place gets props for its burgers, but the hot dogs are just as good. Try a classic Nathan's dog or a dressed up chili or Chicago dog. 

Nebraska

Fairbury Hot Dogs | Lincoln
Catch a Fairbury dog from the Der Viener Schlinger at a Nebraska football game for a real Husker experience.  

Nevada

Buldogis | Las Vegas
These gourmet hot dogs with an Asian twist are cooked "Bulgogi-style" over an open flame,

New Hampshire

Puppy Love Dogs | Concord
This small stand on Main Street wins lots of Best of New Hampshire praise and has been selling dogs for 35 years. 

New Jersey

Rutt's Hut | Clifton
The famous "Rippers" at this restaurant are deep-fried hot dogs topped with Rutt's special mustard relish.

New Mexico

Dog House Drive-In | Albuquerque
A classic highway stop on Route 66, the chili sauce they put on the dogs is far spicier than normal chili dogs, adding a New Mexico kick to a classic dish. Bonus: Jesse Pinkman loved this spot in "Breaking Bad." 

Dog House Albuqurque
Getty

New York

Crif Dog | New York City
This one's going to spark a lot of debate. The state is stuffed with competitors: Rochester vs. Buffalo vs. Coney Island ... Papaya Dog vs. Gray's Papaya ... MapQuest's Dave Ciaburro gives the "best" nod to NYC's Crif Dog, a small East Village shop that deep fries its wieners. It's on gritty St. Marks and is open late.

North Carolina

J.S. Pulliam BBQ | Winston-Salem
Operating since 1910, J.S. Pulliam serves BBQ but is really all about the hot dogs. Order one with mustard, cole slaw, chili and onions and sit on the tree stumps out back to eat (there are no tables here).

North Dakota

Wurst Bier Hall | Fargo
North Dakota doesn't have the hot dog culture that other states boats. Wieners here are more of the sausage type than hot dogs, but they're pretty darn good.

Ohio

Hot Dog Shoppe | Warren
MapQuest's Andrew Biviano has been going to this northeast Ohio hot dog spot for over 30 years (His order? Two chili cheese dogs.). There's a line out the door every day, and the prices never change (you can still get dollar dogs).  

Oklahoma

Coney Island | Tulsa
Libby McIhany at MapQuest says this place is an institution. They serve amazing old-school hot dogs with great toppings, like chili, cheese and onions.

Oregon

Otto's Sausage Kitchen | Portland
This German sausage shop has been in business for more than 80 years and has an outdoor grill that's open 24/7—even in the rain. 

Pennsylvania

Hot Diggity! | Philadelphia
Mariel Rothman, MapQuest's social fellow, picks this Philly vendor because it partners with local artists and the hot dogs are inspired by regional dishes. 

Rhode Island

Olneyville New York System | Providence
Order your wiener "all the way" here—it'll come heaped with Olneyville's signature meat sauce, onions and celery salt. Not only is it the best of its kind in the state, it's one of the most popular overall restaurants in the state capital.

South Carolina

Perfectly Frank's | Summerville
Eclectic mixes of ingredients are combined to make great tasting dogs at this Summerville institution. It's a favorite of MapQuest's Darin Weakley.

South Dakota

Wall Drug | Wall
Wall Drug isn't just known for its aggressive advertising; the tourist stop also serves some fantastic buffalo meat hot dogs in its cafe. 

Tennessee

Cori's DogHouse | Nashville
Not only are there 38 hot dog varieties and 35 different toppings on the menu, wieners are organized by region and state. In fact, even if you're not headed to Nashville, you should check out the list to see how everyone around the country does hot dogs.

Texas

Frank | Austin
Self-proclaimed purveyors of artisan sausage, Frank has a range of different meat offerings for its wieners, plus the option to swap in a vegan dog for any menu item.

Utah

J Dawgs | Provo
A BYU classic, this place sells two types of hot dogs (100 percent beef and spicy polish) with a tangy "special sauce."

Vermont

T.J.'s Dawg House | Williston
This small cart gets rave reviews for both its authentic Chicago-style hot dogs and the friendly personality of its owner, T.J.

Virginia

Martinsville Speedway | Ridgeway
For over 60 years the chili dogs here have been a must-eat for race car fans and drivers. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a big fan—he's said that he eats three to four dogs a day.

Washington

Hot Dog Stop | Everett
The "Nimmerdogs" at this place are known far and wide. It's a hot dog covered in bacon, chocolate sauce, peanut butter and whipped cream.

West Virginia

Stewart's | Huntington
Huntington is awash in hot dog joints—it's been called the hot dog capital of the U.S. Stewart's sits at the top of the pack with its dogs, steamed buns and chili sauce. 

Wisconsin

The Dogg Haus | Milwaukee
There's a three-step "build your own hot dog" process at this local chain. And while there are about 15 specialty dogs to choose from, you can of course still get the Milwaukee classic: a bratwurst.

Wyoming

Four Seasons Jackson Hole | Jackson Hole
It's weather dependent, but the hot dog cart at the hotel's Handle Bar serves a regional elk bratwurst, which can be dressed up with a variety of toppings.

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Jess Moss is senior editor at MapQuest. Her favorite place to eat a hot dog is at a major league baseball stadium. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.  

Want more hot dogs? Check out our baseball guides.
Want more hot dogs? Check out our baseball guides.
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