The hot dog—an emblem of American culinary tradition—has woven its way into the fabric of our nation’s food culture. From the bustling streets of New York to the sunny beaches of California, this simple yet versatile dish has been reimagined in countless ways. While some hot dog enthusiasts swear by a simple stripe of yellow mustard, others venture into gourmet territory, experimenting with toppings that range from the traditional to the avant-garde. As we’ve previously explored the world of chicken sandwiches and smash burgers, we now turn our attention to the illustrious hot dog, a dish that has captured the hearts and palates of many.
Across the nation, hot dog establishments are elevating this humble snack to new culinary heights. Whether it’s a deep-fried dog from New Jersey, a Carolina-style staple, a charcoal-grilled dog from Buffalo, or a signature creation from the heart of Rhode Island, each hot dog tells a story of its origin, the passionate individuals behind its creation, and the communities that cherish it.
Join us as we embark on a flavorful journey, spotlighting some of the country’s most renowned hot dog establishments and their unique takes on this beloved dish. From age-old recipes passed down through generations to modern twists that challenge traditional norms, prepare to be amazed by the depth and breadth of hot dog artistry.
(P.S., Check out this fun infographic showing all the ways to cook a hot dog!)
Here’s a preview of our hot dog showcase:
- Catalyst Hot Dogs | Taylor Ham, Egg & Cheese Hot Dog
- JJ’s Red Hots | The Char Heel (Carolina Style)
- Ted’s Hot Dogs | Various Options
- Wally’s Wieners | Signature Wally Dog
Dive in, and let’s relish the journey together!
Catalyst Hot Dogs | Taylor Ham, Egg & Cheese Hot Dog
Catalyst’s Taylor Ham, Egg & Cheese Hot Dog
Restaurant Bio / Background:
Catalyst Hot Dogs was born and raised in Northern New Jersey. Owner Chris Van Jura grew up in North Jersey enjoying all the classic hot dog joints in the area. He didn’t know it at the time but after 20 years of working in high end restaurants he would find his way back and open his own hot dog joint. After being furloughed twice during the COVID pandemic, and with the support of hundreds of friends and family via a Gofundme campaign, Catalyst Hot Dogs would hit the streets of Maryland. Featuring premium black angus, dry aged hot dogs and serving with their own Texas Chili Sauce, relish like the style made famous at Rutt’s Hut and a classic NY Style Hot Onion Sauce, Catalyst Hot Dogs is on a journey to become the institutional Hot Dog Joint—one which generations of families can enjoy.
Catalyst’s Hot Dog Philosophy:
A focus on consistency and simplicity—it’s imperative to us that the hot dog you enjoyed today will look and taste like the one which you enjoy next time you visit. With a focus on high quality ingredients such as Martin’s Potato Rolls & Roseda Farm’s Beef, and a perfectly grilled dog, we intend to give you the absolute perfect hot dog you will ever enjoy.
Recipe Snapshot: “It’s Taylor Ham” – A Taylor Ham, Egg & Cheese Hot Dog
- The Hot Dog: Roseda Farm’s Hot Dog
- The Cooking Technique: Deep Fried
- The Toppings: Crispy Taylor Ham, Soft Scrambled Cheesy Eggs, Salt, Pepper, Ketchup
- The Bun: Lightly toasted Martin’s Potato Roll
Check out their menu to explore more varieties!
We drop a Roseda Farm’s Hot Dog in the deep fryer and make a ripper, lightly toast a Martin’s Long Potato Roll, prepare soft-scrambled eggs, add cheese to the eggs, and garnish with salt, pepper & ketchup.
Want to see more? Check out Catalyst Hot Dog’s sizzle reel here!
In the News:
- Table talk – Hot Dawg
- Food truck vendor thrives during pandemic shutdowns and challenges
- New Hot Dog Food Truck Hits the Streets of Silver Spring
JJ’s Red Hots | The Char Heel (Carolina Style)
JJ’s Red Hot’s Char Heel Hot Dog
Chef Bio / Background:
About Jonathan Luther: Jonathan is the creator and co-founder of JJ’s Red Hots in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since 2012, JJ’s serves premium hot dogs and house-made sausages out of its Charlotte East Boulevard location, operates a robust and growing food truck/catering operation, and has operated licensed operations at the Charlotte Hornets arena, FAU University and the Wells Fargo PGA Golf Tournament. Jonathan also serves as Executive Chef.
About JJ’s Red Hots: Let’s get this straight. JJ’s Red Hots is not a restaurant. It’s a hot dog joint that serves what we believe are the best hot dogs on the planet. It is a place where service and value still mean something. In fact, we believe that serving you is a privilege, how do you like that for old school? We also believe strongly in the quality of the products we serve. It matters that we serve Sahlen’s smokehouse hot dogs and sausages – who has been making premium quality products since 1869. It matters that we toast our Martin’s Potato Rolls, and it matters that we hand-craft pretty much everything else. Our chili, onion rings, borracho beans and sausage—among other items—are made in-house.
For more information, please visit: www.jjsredhots.com
JJ’s Red Hot’s Hot Dog Philosophy:
Imagine the best hot dog you have ever had. Maybe it was at a ball game. Or with your dad at a little shack along the highway. You may still tell stories about the experience. Now imagine creating these moments for every guest, every day. No greater joy.
At JJ’s Red Hots, we believe the hot dog is a blank canvas. Starting with the highest quality hot dog (Sahlen’s in Buffalo, NY) and bun – Toasted Martin’s Potato Rolls of course!
From there, we try to balance the flavors to excite the palate (sweet, savory, spicy, salty, sharp, etc.), and textures (soft, smooth, snappy, creamy, crunchy, chewy, etc.) to create an interesting mouth feel.
This can include classic toppings like relish, chili, sauerkraut, mustard and onions – but we also try to create new and exciting ones like Smoked Pork Shoulder, Beef Barbacoa, Pineapple Slaw and Bacon Jam as toppings to name a few.
Finally, we try to give them catchy names so we can market them in a fun way.
- Maui Gold – Grilled Pineapple Salsa, Pickled Red Onion, Cilantro Lime Crema
- Uptown/Downtown – Beer Queso, JJ’s Chili, Bacon, Onions, Yellow Mustard
- Swiss Family ‘Reubenson’ – Sauerkraut, Shredded Swiss, Pickle Spear, Remoulade
- You Got Smoked – JJ’s Pimento Cheese, Bacon, Fried Jalapeños, BBQ Sauce
- Seoul Survivor – Korean ‘Bulgogi’ Style Pork, Peanut Slaw, Gochujang BBQ Sauce
- Kaiser’s Revenge – Beer Queso, Fried Jalapenos, Onion Rings, Rocket Sauce
- Summer in the City – New York ‘Pushcart Style’ Onions, Sauerkraut, Deli Mustard
- Exit 4A – Whipped Cream Cheese, Bacon Jam, Chopped Scallions
- Big Kahuna – Bacon Crumbles, Grilled Pineapple Salsa, Pickled Red Onions, Rocket Sauce
View their website or social media for more fun variations.
Recipe Snapshot: Char Heel (Carolina Style)
- The Hot Dog: Sahlen’s Smokehouse Natural Casing Hot Dogs
- The Cooking Technique: Char-grilling over an open flame
- The Toppings: Anything and everything, as long as they harmonize! (See above)
- Char Heel Toppings: House-made Chili, Slaw, Diced Onions, Yellow Mustard
- The Bun: TOASTED Martin’s Long Potato Roll
In the News:
- Looking for the best hot dog? Where to celebrate National Hot Dog Day in Charlotte
- JJ’s Red Hots to celebrate selling 1 million hot dogs
- What’s For Lunch North Carolina? Try One Of These Spots Named Charlotte’s Best Lunch
Ted’s Hot Dogs | Various Options
Ted’s Hot Dog’s Assorted Hot Dog Tray
Restaurant Bio / Background:
Ted’s is a 100-year-old fast casual restaurant that was stated by Greek Immigrant Theodore Liaros under the Peace Bridge. The restaurant is now in its 4th generation and operating in Buffalo, NY and Phoenix, AZ.
Ted’s Hot Dog Philosophy:
The famous taste comes from their 900 degree cast iron grill that is fueled by Teds’ own hardwood lump charcoal. Ted’s uses only the finest ingredients like local sausage, Sahlen’s Hot dogs and Martin’s Potato Rolls.
- The Hot Dog: Sahlen’s Hot Dogs
- The Cooking Technique: Charcoal grilled
- The Toppings: Various options such as chili, cheese sauce, sauerkraut, caramelized onions, and mac & cheese.
- The Bun: Martin’s Long Potato Rolls
View full menu for more info.
Check out this short sizzle reel showing Ted’s signature preparation method!
In the News:
- [Video] National Hot Dog Day celebrated at Ted’s Hot Dogs
- 7 spots to feed your craving for hot dogs – and veggie options, too
Wally’s Wieners | Signature Wally Dog
Wally’s Wieners’ Assorted Hot Dog Tray
Restaurant Bio / Background:
Wally’s Wieners started as a hot dog cart called Wally’s Hot Dog Cart in the spring of 2019 by Bradley Head and his wife Morgan. Wally’s is named after Brad & Morgan’s goldendoodle, Wally! The cart traveled throughout the state of Rhode Island visiting a variety of breweries, festivals, and local events. As the popularity or the hot dog cart grew and grew, it became evident that the next step was to open a brick and mortar. In 2021 they partnered with Audrain Hospitality and in February of 2022, Wally’s Wieners opened its doors for the first time in Newport, RI. All of our hot dogs are Rhode Island’s first and most famous hot dog, Saugy’s. Saugy’s has been a family-owned and operated business since 1869 using a secret family recipe brought over from Germany in the late 1800s. Whether you enjoy your hot dogs plain or loaded, our menu offers a variety of topping combinations from just mustard to a BBQ Bacon Cheddar wiener, Chicago style wiener and so many more!
Wally’s Wieners’ Hot Dog Philosophy:
Wally’s Wieners approaches hot dogs in a fun and creative way. Our goal is to take the simplicity of a hot dog and turn it into a culinary experience that will make you rethink the versatility of one of America’s favorite meals.
Recipe Snapshot: Signature Wally Dog
- The Hot Dog: Rhode Island’s most famous hot dog, Saugy’s
- The Cooking Technique: Steamed or grilled
- The Toppings: Our Signature Wally Dog – bacon, grilled peppers & onions, Wally Sauce
- The Bun: Perfectly buttered and grilled Martin’s Long Potato Roll
View online menu for more variations.
The first step in making the perfect wiener is to butter and grill the Martin’s Potato Roll. Grab a piping hot steamed or grilled Saugy Hot Dog. Place inside the bun and top with desired toppings including but not limited to: variety of house made aiolis, veggies, bacon, cheese, chili, coleslaw, and of course the classics, ketchup, mustard, relish, and onions.
In the News:
- This Hot Dog Shop In Rhode Island Is A Deliciously Awesome Place To Dine
- “Wally’s Wieners” is Thames’ New Spot for Dining Dog-Lovers
And there you go—four distinct yet equally tantalizing takes on the classic hot dog! Don’t forget to connect with these restaurants on social media to keep your foodie cravings satisfied and to stay in the loop about their newest menu creations!
For more at-home inspiration, check out the below blog posts or browse through our archive of hot dog recipes.
- Regional Hot Dog Recipes
- Hot Dog Condiments and Toppings Guide
- 8 Hot Dogs for All Your Summer Occasions
Of course, the four restaurants highlighted above are just a few of the many great hot dogs being served up on Martin’s rolls. Check out a few more of our favorites below!
- Divine Dogs
- Golden Grill
- Rocket Fine Street Food
- Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs
- Sumo Dog
- The Dog Den
- Matt’s Red Hots
- Shake Shack
- Hugh Baby’s BBQ & Burger Shop
Want to be our friend?
We’re always looking for new foodie friends! Give us a shout on Instagram @potatorolls and say hi!
P.S. If you’re a restaurant looking to take your hot dog to the next level, be sure to reach out via our Foodservice Contact Form.
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