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Jun 8, 2002 08:34 AM

Where are the best HOT DOGS???

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A few years ago, I heard of a place, somewhere in the Hudson Valley, that served AUTHENTIC Chicago hot dogs....with the rolls even imported from Chicago! Does anyone know if this place still exists, and if so where exactly is it?

More importantly...where are the very best hot dogs in New York? I live in the Binghamton area but would travel anywhere north of NYC for a good hot dog!

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  1. If you search this site, you'll find extensive opinion on hot dogs.

    1. See the link below for a passionate discussion of hot dogs on the "What's My Craving" board.


      6 Replies
      1. re: Val G

        Aaron, I was part of that "passionate" hot dog discussion in February, and even since those discussions (what- all of 4 months?) I have come to discover and love "The Chicago Hot Dog" as found in my neck-of-the-woods, Florida (sorry).
        Anyway, I seriously recommend you take some notes, especially from the "John Fox" posts, and you take a weekend scouting out a few hot dog stands in New Jersey. I am surprised that John hasn't already jumped in and suggested that himself!
        And if you do track down a great "Chicago" in New York state, please post it so I can keep it in mind on my next visit.

        1. re: ric

          Hello fellow hot dog lovers! I just got back from Penn. and while their dogs are ok; they can't compare to what is in the north Jersey area. I would definitely suggest a trip or a weekend here to sample the many fine hot dogs and type of hot dogs available. See some of my earlier posts. I've found it informative to taste dogs from different places side by side to determine which are better, or which you prefer. I sometimes go to places, bring home some dogs, and heat them up later. Or I get the dog raw, refrigerate them, and cook them on my griddle.

          A lot of dogs are equal in quality, but have a unique spicing. Tasted next to each other, you can see which you prefer. For all beef hot dogs; I love them with casing. Best's, Grote & Weigel, and Sabrett are all high quality. Each have a unique taste; Best's is a little less spicy/garlicky than the other 2. Recently I tried the three together and Sabrett's is definitely the spiciest. This dog is served grilled at Boulevard Drinks in Jersey City, Papaya King, Gray's Papaya, and Katz's in Manhatten.

          My favorites are Tommy's in Elizabeth for Italian Hot Dogs; Rutt's Hut for deep fried pork dogs (try their relish, it is the best and I don't usually get anything but mustard on my dogs unless I want a Texas Weiner); Boulevard Drinks, Father & Son, and Syd's for all beef natural casing grilled hot dogs (using the aforementioned Sabrett, Grote & Weigel, and Best brands respectively) Galloping Hill Inn or Max's for a less spicy beef and pork dog; Jerry's and Dees for boiled hot dogs; The Hot Grill and Libby's for Texas Weiners. For mail order, Usinger Angus Beef franks are the best dogs you can buy. If you need directions to any of these places, you can contact me.

          1. re: John Fox

            John- I have read your great hot dog posts... maybe you could put them all together into a complete and detailed writeup some time and repost as a whole. It is that season after all.

            1. re: John Fox

              Hey John? Did you get a chance to have one of those really great Chicago Hot Dogs?

              1. re: chuck

                I think I'll pass on the Chicago Hot Dog. I drove about an hour and a half to this hot dog truck that used the vaunted Vienna beef and made a Chicago style dog. So much junk, you could barely taste the dog. Maybe they do it to disguise this dog. A limp, skinless, boiled, flavorless dog beneath a garden salad. Oh well; must be one of those things you have to acquire a taste for.

                1. re: John Fox

                  Thank you John! I have never been able to understand why they put so much crap on a Chicago style dog.

        2. My favorite hot dog is served at Hot Dog Johnnie's on Route 46 in Buttzville, NJ (about an hour from the George Washington Bridge).
          The total experience is great: long lines of patient customers, a pretty setting by a winding river, the original (1940's) stand still on display, and the best buttermilk in the world, served in chilled mugs.
          The hot dog itself is served on a steamed bun with chopped onion, mustard, and a pickle slice.
          If you like hot dogs, don't miss it.

          1. Only on ChowHound would I have a half dozen people answering a query about the best hot dogs in New York with locations in New Jersey!

            If I were willing to go to New Jersey, I would just as well go to NYC or Long Island. But I've been down there and, frankly (no bun intended), I have no plans to go back!

            Now to repeat the query - Where, ABOVE NYC, are the best hot dogs in NEW YORK???

            16 Replies
            1. re: Aaron

              In response to your quest for a good hot dog north of the NYC area, there's a place in Mamaroneck, Westchester County, called Walter's that is not to be missed. It's a little hut by the side of the road that looks like a pagoda. Lines stretch down the street at busy times, but it's worth the wait. I'm not sure the exact street address but it's across the street from the local high school. Hope this helps.

              1. re: blazee

                Walters is good for a one time thing but I wouldn't travel... Their dogs are so mild that they are almost boring and their relish mustard (the only allowed fixin') isn't anything much.

                Out of desperation I ate there about once a week for while when I was working in the area as a teen. Usually when the MAd Dog truck on Mamaroneck Ave wasn't open... too bad he is long gone. He had several varieties of dogs and about 10 types of onion sauces, pepper sauces, and chili's as well as a huge selection of mustards, relishes and ketchups... a mad dog had some of everything and was a total tasty mess guaranteed to melt your ear wax.

                1. re: the rogue

                  Walters is on Palmer Avenue, for the person that asked where it was, but I would not waste my time, it used to be GREAT in the 60's and 70's ....but if you are going to be in Mamaroneck....crave pizza instead and go to Sals on Mamaroneck Ave..still great after all these years.

                  1. re: suzanne

                    I agree about Walters. The architecture is better than the food. It is nice that it has been around for so many decades, but the dogs are nothing to travel from Binghamton for.

              2. re: Aaron

                OK,OK, so I shouldn't have mentioned New Jersey! (You are right and this Chowhound sends his apologies!)
                Nathan's has a big operation on Central Avenue in Yonkers. I've eaten there and enjoyed the food, but I am posting to see if others who know the place more "inimately" than I do would really recommend it as one of the best in NEW YORK.

                1. re: Ric

                  P.S., to Aaron: This is a case of "What goes around comes around" or poetic justice, or something. I thought you'd appreciate it, anyway.
                  On the Chowhounds' "South" website, I started asking about the "West Virginia Hot Dog," because what I know about them (the toppings), they are delicious. I really wanted more ideas and opinions from West Virginians. What did I get? You guessed it-- NEW JERSEY!!! Aaron, I know I was innocently part of the conspiracy on this thread, but I gotta tell ya, they're everywhere! So we just gotta grin and bear it, and in between, you may pick up some of the info you wanted about NY and on another site, I'll pick up the inside information about West Virginia! Please pass the mustard...

                  1. re: Ric

                    First, I do not mean to discourage posts about hot dogs in New Jersey. New Jersey is a fine state - the only place where I've ever seen hot dogs boiled in oil! (ughhh!) Anyway, keep posting those NJ hot dog tips, but not to the EXCLUSION of upstate NY locations!

                    Second, I did it! Last weekend, I drove to Buttzville, New Jersey to try Johnnie's hot dogs and buttermilk. The hot dogs were very good - I had them topped with mustard, relish, onions and pickle - but not special enough to be worth the trip (I drove 2.5 hours each way). I have never had buttermilk so I asked the gentleman behind the counter what it was - he answered that it was "like sour milk", which made me lose all interest in the stuff.

                  2. re: Ric

                    I live right down the road from Nathans in Yonkers and it isn't even in the running for good dogs. You can get better from the trucks in the area. Over cooked leathery dogs, cold saurkraut... yuch. It wasn't bad 20 years ago but...

                    1. re: the rogue

                      Any really good small, simple, Hot Dog stands; other than stores and delis in the yonkers, Mt. Vernon, White Plains area?

                      1. re: dogluvr

                        don't go often as it is out of my way, but so dam hot in valhalla,usually serves a good dog,burger fries and wings, much better imho than little spot,actually very close to each other, and often overlooked.

                    2. re: Ric

                      Hands down the best dog in Westchester is at Walters on Palmer Ave. in Mamaroneck. No chili, no kraut, no onions, just a super mustard-relish. Good Fries and a decent black & white shake. It's only open for lunch and if you go on the weekend be prepared to wait on a LONG line, but it's worth it. MMMMmmmmmmmmm sooooooooo much butter!!!!

                      1. re: D_Train

                        Walters is boring. The dogs are a bland pork, veal, beef combo that is totally flavorless. The only flavor they have is if you order them well done so they get a bit caramelized. The relish mustard is sweet but with no character, it's hard to tell that it actually has mustard seeds in it. The "famous" milkshakes are watery and without much flavor. The people who wait in line so long have little or no appreciation of what a fine hot dog can really taste like.

                        1. re: the rogue

                          DTrain - ever been to NJ for a dog? Lots of fantastic places, but I am concerned when you say "bland" - Perhaps you just like a Jewish style, all beef, natural casing dog like Nathan's or Sabrett - Hey, nothing wrong with them.

                        2. re: D_Train

                          Walters is open until 6pm every night.

                      2. re: Aaron

                        Just want to say that although Aaron's query was for NY hot dogs, I appreciated the new tips on NJ dogs. Let's not discourage folks from posting NJ tips on this Tri-State board.

                        Aaron, I wish I know of some good NY hot dog places, but I don't leave NJ very often :-)

                        Pass the relish...

                        1. re: Aaron

                          Pony Express to go serves the best dog around - no question. Natural casing, fresh home made bun and spicy mustard. You can top it with sauteed onions, fresh onions, chili, cheese - whatever you want. But the taste and crunch is the key. Wow.

                        2. Why not head in the other direction to Buffalo and hit Ted's? That's certainly north of NYC. They are chargrilled and come with special chili sauce if you so desire along with the regional and obligatory Loganberry as well as some good onion rings. While in the area you can also get a good beef on weck as well as some good wings.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Jambalaya

                            Ted's makes the best hot dogs in the universe. And the Loganberry and onion rings are just a bonus.

                            Get a foot long, and order "with everything, and burn it"