Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Tristate Archive >
Sep 25, 2006 10:20 PM

New Jersey, not Los Angeles, the hot dog capital of the world.

I had replied to a topic on the Los Angeles board, but it was deleted because it deals with Jersey dogs. I was told to repost it here. See below.

I think that last year, it was determined by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council that New York consumed more hot dogs than any other city. The year before, it was Los Angeles. But that takes into consideration the amount sold in supermarkets. In any event, just because a certain place consumes more hot dogs doesn't mean it has the best. In Manhattan there are pushcarts on almost ever corner. Thousand of people who walk by stop and grab a dog. But I stand by my statement that New Jersey, specifically North Jersey, is the hot dog capital of the world.

We have a bigger variety of hot dog styles than anywhere. And the quality of the dogs in the area is unmatched. There are kosher style all beef dogs, German style beef/pork dogs, deep fried dogs like Rutt's Hut. Texas Weiners, which, despite the name, were invented in Paterson in the early 1920's. Italian style hot dogs, which were also invented here. Deep fried dogs are popular, but far from the only way that hot dogs are prepared. You can get them charbroiled, griddle cooked, deep fried, boiled, and combinations of these.

Perhaps the best all beef dog is made in Jersey. Better than any dog I've had anywhere including Sabrett, Nathans, Boars Head, Vienna Beef, Hebrew National, Usinger's, Lobels, Niman Ranch, and numerous others. It comes from Best Provisions in Newark. And the best German style dog, made from beef and pork, is also made in Jersey. The brand is Thumanns. Both of these franks are made from top quality cuts of beef. And pork for Thumanns. Not trimmings.

Every year I run a New Jersey Hot Dog Tour. We rent a bus and go to between 6 and 10 hot dog establishments in Jersey. We try to get a variety of different types of dogs. Between 40 and 50 people attend. This year (last week actually) we had people from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, D.C., and one guy from Nova Scotia. All agree that the hot dogs in Jersey are better than anywhere else. And some of the people attending have lived all over the country. At least 2 were brought up in Chicago. Anyone who will be in New Jersey, please contact me. I can give you great suggestions. I just completed a summer of sampling hot dogs for a state wide paper. We went to 87 hot dog establishments and rated the best. Link here:

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I grew up in New Jersey, a native New Yorker, but I love New Jersey, except for the harsh winters. Live in the Southwest now. I guess you know Sabrett hot dogs are made in New Jersey too. We used to drive down to South Jersey in the summer to go to the factory and buy them by the case. Haven't had these Thurmann's you mention but I bet their great, but I'm vegetarian now. I think New Jersey gets a bad rap though and that's mainly why I wanted to write. I guess from being under the shaddow of NY, they have always been the brunt of jokes and misunderstanding. New Jersey also has the best shopping, everyone knows NY'ers cross the river to do the brunt of their shopping and the best diners in the world. For some reason NJ is the mecca of Diners and it's time people know about it. Everything from the old tradional 50's diner to fine french cuisine! One Diner my Mom took me to when I was about 18 years old in South Jersey, have to ask her what town, or township shall I say? it's in. It looked like a regular diner on the outside but when you walked inside, it looked like a old southern manor with fabric draped walls and heavy drapes with cording and wing-back chairs! The menu was about 26 pages that went from 3 eggs and ham to meatloaf, to quail and lobster and lavender creme brulee. Don't hold me to those exact dishes but they offered very fine french cuisine for sure and everything was exquisite, not only was it great, but like in true diner form everything was served all 24 hours! Totally awesome! NJ ROCKS!! PISCATAWAY HIGH GRAD '82, GO CHIEFS!!

    1. hotdoglover, you really seem to know your NJ dog facts, can you tell me why when I moved back from 5 years of living in the midwest, Don's of South Orange was gone? I remember it being very popular. By the way, do you know who supplied their dogs?

      1 Reply
      1. re: The Engineer

        Don's not only had the best hot dogs, but their hamburgers were also top of the list. Unfortunately Don "sold" the place three times in the 70's and 80's, each time taking back a note for thesale. Each time the new owners screwed up and Don had to come back to the rescue. He finally sold to a young couple who violated the edict "if it ain't broke don't fix it." They thought they knew everything and crash and burn occured.

        Best provisions provided their hot dogs and Tabatchnicks although Don's were more plump. They cost $1.00-$1.25 each uncooked from the deli ($10.00 for a typical 8-pack). The Hamburgers at about 3-pound ranged in the $2.00-2.50 per) from the deli. Let's not forget their cole slaw which I have not found a substitute for. And their Chocolate Cake which adorned our birthday dinners for years. :-(((

      2. Engineer,

        Don's was very popular. The elderly couple that owned the place decided to retire and closed the place down. I believe it was later owned or sold to someone else, but it didn't last long before it was closed. The dogs were from Best Provisions in Newark. They used a 4 to a lb natural casing dog that was prepared on a griddle. When Don's closed, Best was going to discontinue making this dog, but so many customers went to Best requesting it that they continued to make it. Now this dog is being used by other hot dog restaurants including Amazing Hot Dog in Verona. The dog there is fried rather than griddled cooked. I, myself prefer the thinner, longer 5 to a lb dog that is served at Syd's in Union. The 4's are good, but a little too thick in my opinion. You can go to Best and buy any of their dogs. It's the only place besides the actual restaurants where you can get the natural casing dogs made by Best.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hotdoglover

          Thanks, I'll get some soon! I wonder if the 13 Bite Hot Dog at the Brooklyn Diner is also Best 4-to-a-pound... have you tried it?

        2. Once a month I find myself on 287 from suffern to short hills nj. Are there any places worth trying?

          The Dog House in Newark, Delaware has become a regular stopping point for our family on trips to the south. The cheese dog with onions and kraut is a piece of art.

          1 Reply
          1. re: vinouspleasure

            to be closer to the dogs, you're better off taking GSP to 78...

          2. I haven't tried the hot dog at the Brooklyn Diner, but I found out that they use a Golden D brand all beef dog. Same brand that is used at Tony's Truck in Newark. This dog is huge and definitely bigger than the 4 to a lb Best. More like a half pound or bigger.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hotdoglover

              ...which promts my next question: where is Tony's truck in Newark?