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23 Best Hot Dogs In The World

Spicy Hot Dog at Kimbo Dogs in Vienna
Image: ©2foodtrippers

Our passion for hot dogs is non-discriminatory.

We love hot dogs grilled at cookouts and hot dogs sold at food carts. We love hot dogs topped with simple condiments, hot dogs topped with chili and hot dogs topped with everything except the kitchen sink.

We love hot dogs made with beef and pork as well as hot dogs made with non-traditional proteins. And, not to be corny, we also love hot dogs coated with cornbread and served on a stick.

Hot Dog in Stockholm
Why eat Swedish meatballs when you can eat Swedish hot dogs? We topped this Swedish hot dog with both ketchup and mustard when we ate it in Stockholm. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

It’s not just us. Hot dogs are such a symbol of America that the 1970s jingle about ‘baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet’ doesn’t seem ironic despite the fact that neither hot dogs nor apple pie were invented in the USA.

Thuringer Bratwurst Sandwich in Nuremberg
German cities are great spots to eat sausages and hot dogs. We ate this Thuringer bratwurst sandwich in Nuremberg. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Yes. Hot dogs have a German past that probably began in Frankfurt, hence the hot dog’s other name – frankfurter. And, while hot dogs are an American food favorite, they’re equally popular in other countries around the world. Alas, we can’t say the same about baseball.

Pro Tip
Don’t discount hot dogs if you follow a vegetarian, vegan or halal diet. Instead, join the global hot dog party by eating a meat-free hot dog made of soy or another plant-based product.

Our Favorite Hot Dogs Around The World

Polser Selfie in Oslo
Sharing this hot dog made us happy. It also fueled us through a busy day of food tripping in Oslo. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We love hot dogs and have found many of them during our travels. Or maybe they found us.

Not surprisingly, we’ve eaten great hot dogs in America (our homeland), Germany (the hot dog’s homeland) and Portugal (our current home base). But we’ve also eaten great hot dogs in countries like Japan and Italy.

We get that loving hot dogs isn’t necessarily the most trendy passion in the world but we don’t care. We’ll keep eating and photographing wonderful wieners and fabulous franks during our travels anyway. These are our favorites hot dogs so far:

Classic Hot Dog (Everywhere)

Class Hot Dog at Janet by Homer in Paris
You never know where you’ll find a classic hot dog. We found and ate this one in Paris. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Classic hot dogs make us both happy whether they’re made of beef or pork and especially when they have toppings like relish and diced onions. However, we agree to disagree when it comes to condiments – Daryl is adamant that mustard is the only appropriate classic hot dog topping while Mindi likes to add ketchup to the mix.

We learned that the French agree with Mindi when we ate a fantastic classic hot dog at JANET by Homer in Paris. Not only was the beef wiener topped with relish and onion, but it also had both ketchup and mustard. Daryl gave the kitchen a mulligan in light of the hot dog’s beautifully diced onion and brioche bun.

Discover more great food in Paris.

New York Hot Dog (USA)

Hot Dog at Grays Papaya in New York
We topped this classic New York hot dog with mustard when we ate it at Gray’s Papaya in New York City. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Eating a hot dog in New York is a rite of passage for most visitors to the Big Apple regardless of budget. But why? For starters, the New York hot dog ranks with New York pizza as one of the city’s best cheap eats options. It’s also one of the city’s most iconic foods.

Fun Fact
New York locals typically top their hot dogs with mustard, relish and occasionally sauerkraut. We tend to do the same when we eat hot dogs in the Big Apple.

Hot Dog in front of Grays Papaya in New York
Gray’s Papaya is great for those times when we’re hungry, broke or just in a hurry. That’s what the sign says and we’re sticking to it. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The hot dog’s icon status is nothing new. Charles Feltman opened world-famous Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island in the 19th century after immigrating from Germany while Paul Gray opened local favorite Gray’s Papaya in 1973. Both operations are still going strong though, in terms of ubiquity, they pale in comparison to the thousands of carts that sell ‘dirty water’ dogs in all five boroughs.

Discover more great food in New York City and then check out must-visit NYC restaurants.

Original Hot Dog (Germany)

Bratwurst at Hamburg Christmas Markets
This bratwurst hit our hot dog sweet spot when we ate it at a Christmas market in Hamburg. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

New Yorkers may have made hot dogs iconic but Germans get credit for creating the hot dog concept. This should be no surprise considering Germany’s obsession for sausages that includes bockwurst, landjáger, leberkäse, knackwurst, thüringer, weisswurst and wollwurst. And, of course, we can’t forget the frankfurter since it’s the most relevant sausage of them all.

Fun Fact
The Frankfurt airport has numerous frankfurter stands. When we first flew through Frankfurt in 2007, it took us a few minutes to make the connection.

It’s not hyperbole to say that Germany’s frankfurter has conquered the world since it’s the sausage most typically used to make hot dogs. It also fits into a bun as smooth as butter. However, we don’t recommend topping frankfurters with butter. Mustard and ketchup are much better hot dog condiments (though ketchup is questionable in some countries).

Discover more great food in Germany.

Chicago-Style Hot Dog (USA)

Chicago Hot Dog at Mr. Beef on Orleans in Chicago
This Chicago-style hot dog was dragged through the garden before we ate it at Mr. Beef in Chicago. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

With roots in both Frankfurt and Vienna, Chicago-style hot dogs are made with beef and adorned with a garden of toppings and not just any garden. This colorful garden includes yellow mustard, white onions, green peppers, green pickles, red tomatoes and relish so green that its shade defies science. A dash of celery salt completes the recipe.

Fun Fact
Ketchup not a typical hot dog topping in Chicago.

Also called Chicago red hots, Chicago hot dogs are typically steam boiled before they’re ‘dragged through the garden’. Originally sold for a nickel during the depression, this iconic Chicago food now costs more than 100 times that original price (ouch!) and often comes with fries (yay!).

Discover two other Chicago food favoritespizza and Italian beef sandwiches.

Red Hot Dog (Denmark)

Hot Dog at DOP in Copenhagen
We enjoyed eating this hot dog at DØP in Copenhagen so much that we ordered a second. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Danes love eating hot dogs on the go as much as they love dining large at top restaurants. They’ve certainly been eating hot dogs for a longer period of time – gastro pioneer Noma opened in 2003 while the Danish love for Rød Pølser (i.e. red hot dogs) dates back centuries.

Like New Yorkers and Chicagoans, Danes have unique hot dog rituals. They generally buy hog dogs at pølsevogns (i.e. sausage wagons) or at 7-Eleven. They then top their skinny red hot dogs with sliced pickles, onions (both fried and raw) and remoulade. Sometimes they add ketchup and mustard too.

Discover more great food in Denmark.

Charbroiled Hot Dog (USA)

Hot Dog at Teds in Buffalo
We paired this charbroiled hot dog with onion rings at Ted’s Hot Dogs in Buffalo. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

While most people associate buffalo wings with Buffalo, true hot dog fans know that the upstate New York city has another fast food trick up its sleeve – charbroiling hot dogs and topping them with pickles.

Charbroiling hot dogs in Buffalo became a thing almost a century ago when Greek immigrant Theodore Spiro Liaros opened the original Ted’s Hot Dogs stand in 1927. It also became a Buffalo thing to top charbroiled hot dogs with toppings like pickle slices, hot sauce and onion rings.

Discover where to eat in Buffalo.

Currywurst (Germany)

Currywurst Platter at Curry 61 in Berlin
This Currywurst at Curry 61 was the best Currywurst we ate in Berlin. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Proving that not all hot dogs are served on a bun, the popular German snack called Currywurst tops sliced wurst with tangy tomato sauce and spicy curry powder. Though the combination sounds weird to many, the dish has grown into a German classic that’s available from dawn to dawn in cities like Hamburg and Berlin.

Fun Fact
It’s no coincidence that Currywurst is popular in Berlin. This is the city where the tasty hot dog variation was invented.

Despite its bun-free status, Currywurst is an ideal street food that’s typically eaten on paper plates. We recommend eating Currywurst with french fries and a beer.

Discover more great food in Berlin.

Octopus Hot Dog (Portugal)

Octopus Hot Dog at Sea Me at Time Out Market Lisbon
Eating this Octopus Hot Dog in Lisbon reminded us of eating lobster rolls in America. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We’re not going to lie. Portuguese people don’t eat octopus hot dogs on a daily basis. In fact, the only one we’ve personally eaten has been at the Time Out Market in Lisbon. But it’s such a doozy that this hot dog varietal earned a prime spot in our guide.

A twist on the traditional Portuguese octopus dish called Polvo à Lagareiro, the octopus hot dog reminds us of lobster rolls served in America. But this hot dog is made with tender octopus tentacles instead of lobster meat. Considering that the Portuguese have mastered cooking the cephalopod, it’s a twist that works.

Discover more great food in Portugal.

Steirer Hot Dog (Austria)

Steirer Hot Dog at Standl 5 in Graz
Pumpkin seed oil mayonnaise gives the Steirer hot dog a unique flavor profile. We ate this Steirer hot dog in Graz. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We never heard of Steirer hot dogs until we visited the Styrian city of Gratz in Austria. Now we can’t get Steirer hot dogs out of our heads.

This obsession makes sense once you realize that Steirer hot dogs are wrapped in bacon and garnished with salad, onions, horseradish and pumpkin seed oil mayonnaise. Mustard adds the finishing touch to this Austrian hot dog treasure.

Discover where to eat in Graz.

Potato Hot Dog (USA via South Korea)

Potato Hotdog at CrunCheese Korean Hot Dog in Las Vegas
Eating this potato hot dog at CrunCheese was a fully immersive experience. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

It would be easy to describe Korean hot dogs as corn dogs on steroids but that wouldn’t be technically accurate. You see, although both involve frying hot dogs and serving them on sticks, Korean hot dogs are coated with rice flour while corn dogs are coated with cornmeal batter.

However, it would be correct to describe potato hot dogs as Korean hot dogs on steroids since these big boys are essentially Korean hot dogs studded with potato cubes. CrunCheese in Las Vegas pushes the potatato hot dog envelope further with its potato mozzarella hot dog filled with – you guessed it – mozzarella cheese. Oh my!

Discover more great places to eat Off the Strip in Las Vegas.

Sonoran Hot Dog (USA Via Mexico)

Sonoran Dogs at Ruiz Hot Dogs Los Chipilones in Tucson
We ate a few Sonoran hot dogs in Tucscon. This duo at Ruiz Hot Dogs was our favorite. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The Sonoran hot dog may be the most unique hot dog in this guide. It’s also a Tucson food favorite with roots in the Sonoran city of Hermosillo in Mexico.

A Sonoran hot dog is wrapped in bacon before it’s grilled and stuffed in a soft bolillo bun. Toppings include jalapeño peppers, mayonnaise, mustard, onion, pinto beans and tomato. Crazy people like Mindi add hot sauce. If you go this route, we recommend using Valentina or another notable brand of Mexican hot sauce like Cholula or Tapatio.

Discover the best restaurants in Tucson for Sonoran Hot Dogs and other food favorites..

Loaded Hot Dog (Everywhere)

Hot Dog at Bangers in Austin
We didn’t just eat this loaded hot dog at Bangers Sausage House & Beer Garden in Austin. We also drank craft beer during our afternoon visit. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

A hot dog is a blank slate – a canvas where a food artist can elevate simple food to a masterpiece. Purists can eat them plain or with a single condiment or two. Others can load them with toppings galore using their imaginations to guide them.

We fit into both categories. Sometimes we like a simple hot dog on the go. Then there are times, like when we’re drinking in a city like Austin, when more is more. That’s when we order a loaded hot dog with as many toppings as physically possible.

Discover more great food in Austin.

Prague Dog (Czech Republic)

Lumberjack Dog and Fries at Mr Hot Dog in Prague
We chose to call this Lumberjack Dog a Prague Dog. We also chose to eat it with fries. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We completed our mission to eat a hot dog in Prague, or a Prague Dog as we called it, moments after we strutted into Mr. Hot Dog in Prague’s Letná neighborhood and ordered a lumberjack dog. Sure, we could have checked off this box at one of the city’s many sausage stands but that would have been too easy.

The reward for our extra effort was a pork hot dog topped with relish, cheese sauce and maple glazed bacon bits. All of this protein gave us enough energy to chop down a tree which makes sense considering its Paul Bunyan-esque name.

Discover more great food in Prague at the best Prague restaurants.

Hot Dog Poutine (Canada)

Poutine at La Banquise in Montreal Canada
We couldn’t resist ordering poutine at La Banquise in Montreal. We also couldn’t resist ordering poutine topped with hot dogs. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Hot dogs aren’t one of Montreal’s most iconic foods. Instead, they take one of Montreal’s most iconic food to the next level. That iconic food is poutine.

Fun Fact
Poutine was invented in Quebec in the 1950s.

Quebecois chefs typically prepare poutine with french fries, cheese curds and brown gravy. Adding sliced hot dogs to the recipe is a natural evolution that we like. In fact, we like it so much that we’ve ordered hot dog poutine at two different Montreal restaurants with no regret.

Discover more great food in Montreal.

Alligator Hot Dog (USA)

Hot Dog at Dat Dog in New Orleans
We said ‘see you later, alligator’ when we ate this rougarou hot dog at Dat Dog in New Orleans. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

You might wonder what an alligator hot dog tastes like. Wonder no more. We ate an alligator hot dog in New Orleans and it tasted like a bun full of yum. Granted, that particular hot dog didn’t just feature alligator sausage. It also had grilled onions, Creole mustard, tomatoes, jalapeños, barbecue sauce and bacon.

We’ve read that alligator tastes like chicken but that wasn’t the case with our alligator hot dog at Dat Dog. The popular New Orleans cheap eats spot also serves hot dogs made with crawfish and battered cod fish if you’re not into eating alligator meat.

Discover more great food in New Orleans.

Rice Dog (Japan)

Pombashi Rice Dog
Rice dogs are proof that the Japanese can create almost anything with rice. We ate this rice dog at an Osaka street food stand. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Nicknamed Japan’s kitchen, Osaka is a mecca for junk food junkies who want to eat something different between sushi and ramen meals. And that’s exactly what these two food trippers did when we ordered a rice dog in Osaka.

Despite its name, that rice dog was neither vegetarian nor healthy. Instead, it was a hot dog encased inside fried Japanese rice batter. We haven’t yet found rice dogs outside of Osaka but we’re still looking.

Discover where to eat in Osaka.

Pølse (Norway)

Hot Dog Stand in Oslo Norway
Erlend Dahlbo served us this Norwegian hot dog with a smile and homemade condiments. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Hot dogs are so popular in Norway that Pølser (Norwegian for hot dogs) are sold in supermarkets, convenience stores and food halls. They’re also sold at stand-alone stands like Syverkiosken in Oslo.

Going full Norwegian at Syverkiosken, we ate a loaded Pølse nestled inside a tortilla-like Lompe instead of a standard bun. Made with potato and flour, that Lompe was an ideal vessel for our mid-afternoon guilty pleasure and begs the question of why more hot dogs are served inside potato-based wrappers.

Discover more great food in Norway.

Chef Driven Hot Dog (France)

Hot Dog at Frenchie to Go in Paris
People who don’t eat hot dogs in Paris are missing out. We didn’t miss out when we ate this hot dog at now closed FTG on Rue du Nil. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Most people choose to eat dishes like steak tartare, onion soup and blanquette de veau at restaurants in Paris. However, we broadened our Paris dining horizons to include hot dogs designed by a Michelin-starred chef. Not your average hot dog, this freshly made wiener was placed in a brioche bun with a presentation that was pure soignée.

Since serving hot dogs at Frenchie isn’t an option, Chef Grégory Marchand proudly served grilled all-beef hot dogs at his more casual FTG where cooks artfully drizzle yellow mustard on top of each beefy dog. And to that we say oui and merci.

Discover more great restaurants in Paris as well as more great Paris cheap eats.

Chopped Hot Dog (Portugal)

Cachorrinhos Gazela Cachorrinhos da Batalha in Porto
The Cachorrinho is one of many great sandwiches served in Porto. We ate this one at Cervejaria Gazela where this particular chopped hot dog sandwich was created. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Hot dog lover rejoice when they see Cachorrinhos on a Porto menu. Although the Portuguese word cachorrinhos literally translates to puppies, this snack served at casual Porto restaurants is actually a hot dog spin-off with staying power.

Portuguese cooks have been chopping hot dogs at Cervejaria Gazela since 1962. They’ve also been topping them with melted cheese and spicy sauce. The combination is a winner that has won fame from Anthony Bourdain and accolades from both locals and tourists.

Discover more great food in Porto.

Hot Dog with Mashed Potatoes (Sweden)

Hot Dog with Mashed Potatoes in Sweden
We never ate a hot dog with mashed potatoes until we at this Tunnbrödsrulle at a Stockholm food stand. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Don’t be confused by Sweden’s evolved society that eschews cash as a payment option and serves cardamom bulles with third wave coffee. Swedes like hot dogs just as much as anybody and maybe even a little bit more than most.

Finding hot dogs in Stockholm is easy to do since the city has a plethora of hot dog stands scattered throughout the city. The key is to order a Tunnbrödsrulle with toppings like mayonnaise, mashed potatoes and shrimp salad. We say order them all – especially the mashed potatoes.

Discover why we fell in love with Stockholm.

Italian Hot Dog (Italy)

Bratwurst at Forsterbrau Trento in Trento Italy
We didn’t expect to eat hot dogs in Italy until we ate this bratwurst platter at Forsterbrau Trento in Trentino. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The concept of eating hot dogs in Italy seems counterintuitive except in Northern Italy where food skews more German than Italian. The same goes for drinking since beer flows as freely as wine in this part of Italy.

Restaurants in both Alto Adige and Trentino are just as likely to serve canederli and schnitzel as they are to serve pizza and pasta. They’re also likely to serve hot dogs with fried potatoes and spicy mustard. If you’re lucky, you may even get a bun.

Discover more great food in Italy.

Hot Dog With Onion Rings (USA)

Loaded Sausage Sandwich at FLX Weinery in the Finger Lakes
Fried onions was just one topping on this hot dog we ate in the Finger Lakes. The whole hog wiener was also topped with bacon, cheese curds, corn relish, fried egg, chipotle mayo and herbs. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Tasting wine on the Finger Lakes creates a hunger that can’t be ignored. If there’s a better way to satisfy that hunger than with a hot dog, we don’t know it. This is when it’s time to go to whole hog at F.L.X. Wienery.

We’re not being cute. F.L.X. Wienery literally serves a hot dog called the whole hog that’s topped with fried onions, bacon, cheese curds, corn relish, fried egg, chipotle mayo and herbs. If this ginormous hot dog doesn’t satisfy your hunger, nothing will.

Discover more about the Finger Lakes wine and food scene.

Wurstel (Austria)

Wiener at Vienna Wurstelstand
Two wieners were better than one when we ate this tasty pair at a Vienna würstelstand. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We grew up singing about Oscar Mayer wieners without realizing that wiener literally translates to Viennese. Not only did we eventually connect the dots, but we also later ate wieners in Vienna. Talk about going full circle.

Wieners called wurstel are easy to find in Vienna since they’re a popular food cart item sold at würstelstands. Thin and long, these Austrian hot dogs make great late night snacks, especially when they’re topped with both ketchup and mustard.

Discover more great food in Vienna.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where was the hot dog invented?

Germany gets credit for inventing the hot dog but the USA is where the hot dog got its name.

What country has the best hog dogs?

Every country thinks it has the best hot dogs. Only you can decide which is your personal favorite.

What are hot dogs made of?

Traditional hot dogs are made of beef, pork or a combination of beef and pork. Modern hot dogs are made of a range of proteins as well as soy and vegetable products.

Are hot dogs healthy?

Not really. Most hot dogs are processed and tend to have high amounts of saturated fat, sodium and nitrates.

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About The Authors

About The Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.

Disclosures

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Funding
We purchased and ate the hot dogs featured in this article.

Original Publication Date: November 13, 2022

Paul Lorinczi

Sunday 30th of July 2023

Koegels Viennas from Flint, MI. A Flint Coney dog is the best. The Hot Dog itself is delicious. No ketchup needed.

BOB S

Monday 22nd of May 2023

Grew up in the Trenton NJ area and my Italian relatives always made the Italian hot dog or Casino dog they called it. Crusty roll, grilled dog with sauteed onions, cubed potatoes and green peppers. Fantastic.

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

Daryl grew up near Trenton but he never had the Casino dog. Next we come through that area we'll have to try one.

Lorenzo's forever!! (The restaurant - not to be mistaken with DeLorenzo's)

Andrew

Sunday 21st of May 2023

You need to try a Detroit Style Coney Dog. And don’t think “it’s just a chili dog” it’s different. It’s not really “chili” as you would think, it’s more of a gravy. And it’s not like chili from Ohio, this is influenced by Greek immigrants. I have never had a coney like a Detroit style anywhere else in the USA.

Larry

Sunday 21st of May 2023

@Daryl and Mindi Hirsch, about 60 miles north of Detroit in Flint, our Coney Dogs have a dry sauce on them, along with mustard and chopped onions. They use the Koegel’s Viennas natural casing dogs that snap when you bite into them. I much prefer the dry over the wet.

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Sunday 21st of May 2023

You don't have to twist our arms! Visiting Detroit and eating a Detroit Style Coney Dog are high on our US travel 'to do' list. We're also keen to eat Detroit style pizza at the source.

bryan alberto valdez

Sunday 16th of April 2023

Hot sauce in a Sonoran hot dog is the most common thing here in sonora haha, and we don´t recomend tapatio/valentina, the real deal is huichol salse, and the beans is just an hermosillo thing, not a fan of that tho

Crystal

Sunday 19th of February 2023

Excellent info and a huge trip down memory lane. Thank you.

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