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21 Best Hot Dogs in the World

Hot Diggity Dog! We’ve compiled our picks for the best hot dogs in the world. This tasty list includes American hot dogs plus hot dogs from countries as far away as Japan and as close as Canada.

Spicy Hot Dog at Kimbo Dogs in Vienna

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.

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.

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.

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 New York Hot Dog (USA)

Hot Dog at NYC Cart
We bought this ‘dirty water’ dog topped with mustard from a NYC pushcart. It tasted better than it looked.

Eating a classic 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 is 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 favorites – pizza 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.

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 a 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.

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.

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.

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 this 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 these hot dogs are made with tender octopus tentacles instead of lobster meat. Considering that the Portuguese have mastered the cooking of 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.

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.

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.

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.

Check back soon to discover more great food in Tucson.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 FTG on Rue du Nil.

Most people choose to eat dishes like steak tartare, onion soup and blanquette de veau at restaurants in Paris. However, savvy diners can broaden their Paris dining horizons to include hot dogs designed by a Michelin-starred chef. Not your average hot dogs, these freshly made wieners are placed in brioche buns with a presentation that’s pure soignée.

Since serving hot dogs at Frenchie isn’t an option, Chef Grégory Marchand proudly serves 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 food in Paris.

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.

Don’t be confused when you 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hot Dog FAQs

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.

Hungry for More Great Food Around the World?

Check out our picks for the best sandwiches, the best desserts, the best noodle dishes, the best salads, the best soups, the best fried chicken and the best donuts. Then check out our meals at the best restaurant in the world and the world’s best pizzeria.

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 and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

Disclosure

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.

Original Publication Date: November 13, 2022

Lisa

Sunday 4th of December 2022

Have you ever tasted deep fried hot dogs?

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Tuesday 6th of December 2022

Yes, of course. Corn dogs are deep fried but we also distinctly remember eating deep fried hot dogs on a stick when we were kids at Arthur treacher's Fish & Chips. Our parents wanted nothing to do with those.

Brian Flick

Sunday 13th of November 2022

You need to try, and then add to your list, the Icelandic hot dog.

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Monday 14th of November 2022

We look forward to eating an Icelandic hot dog in Iceland. Thanks for the tip!