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Great HOT DOGS up and down the state!

Sometimes when I am travelling I wish I knew where a good hot dog place was located...

In Sacramento, Weiner Works on Madison Ave is really good. Beer steamed, long weiners. lots of snap when you bite em. Great buns too and the best fries in Sacramento.

Also on in Auburn (Hiway 49) too.

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  1. Here in Fresno on north Blackstone is Cali's (formerly Caliches) custard.. besides the great frozen custard, they sell 1 dollar Nathan's dogs on seeded buns.. for extra you can get an array of interesting toppings..

    Downtown we also have Coney Island that everyone else in town seems to rave about.. but I found the taste of the coney sauce a little offputting .. way too much of a clove flavor for my taste...but it is my understanding that it is closer to the traditional greek chili sauce that is popular in the midwest and other places..

    11 Replies
    1. re: foodchick45

      Afraid Coney Island has devolved from it's former status. Last visit was probably a year ago, but the chili was the only half-way decent part, the dogs themselves just the long thin skinless supermarket variety on a Rainbow bun. Wonder if anyone has tried one at the Dog House across from CSUF? BTW, where is Cali?

      1. re: PolarBear

        PB, Cali's, or formerly Caliches, is on the northeast corner of Blackstone and Barstow. There is also another store right next to Thai Fusion in the Herndon/Willow shopping center.

        I wonder what brand of dog they use at the DogHouse Grill? We have never ordered a hot dog from there, always one of the sandwiches and fries.

        Link to a report on Cali's:

        1. re: glazebrookgirl

          I've never had a dog at Doghouse either..but I found their hamburgers and fries to be so salty I could barely eat em.. I hear the tri tip sandwich is good though.
          I have also tried Caspar's Dogs in Clovis and wasn't impressed..

          1. re: glazebrookgirl

            Have you tried the stand outside of Lowe's in Fresno? Vienna brand dogs and also brats and polish on poppy seed rolls with Chicago style toppings if you want em..

            1. re: foodchick45

              Hello, thanks for the nice review on Woody's at Lowe's on Blackstone. Yes, all of our dogs are 100% beef, no fillers added. We try to heat kraut on request but sometimes it does not heat well and we prefer to have it fresh rather than in a heat well all day. We also have celery salt, hot sauce and sorano peppers as condiments. Hope you enjoyed your visit, please come again!

            2. re: glazebrookgirl

              Had the chance today to hit both Cali's and the stand in front of Lowe's (x fr River Park) for a comparison. At Cali's I got the chili-cheese dog ala carte ($4.05 w no drink, combo w/ drink and chips or pot. salad is $5.75). The bun was a little weird, not really dense, but gummy is only way I can describe it. The chili was decent but on the skimpy side, more would have probably masked the bread's texture. Cheese was a pre-packaged finely grated white/yellow mix, white onions were uniformly small diced but lacking any real flavor. The Nathan's dog was definitely the best part of the whole thing. Oh yeah, no option other than yellow mustard.

              The stand in front of Lowe's offered hot dogs, jumbo dogs, polish sausage, bratwurst, and a hot spicy one I can't recall the name of. The regular (and jumbo) were regular skinless all beef franks (Vienna, iirc), so went with the polish dog which was as long as their jumbo dog but not much bigger around (used to seeing them much fatter). Condiment tray was minimal, but they did have hand cut red onions with good flavor and a spicy deli style mustard in addition to the yellow. I opted for adding sauerkraut ($0.49) which offered cold or hot (nuked). The bun was fresh and seeded, one of the better ones around, the sauerkraut actually pretty good (didn't come out hot, though), and the polish dog very tasty. Coming in at $3.19 (incl. sauerkraut) have to give it top billing. Will have to try the bratwurst next time.

              1. re: PolarBear

                I most always get the minimal dollar dog at Cali's because I really don't need many condiments with a Nathan's .. (personally I could eat them plain).. sorry to hear that the Lowe's stand doesn't have all the traditional condiments the way they used to.. it's almost impossible to find a true Chicago dog here in Fresno..

            3. re: PolarBear

              Wow. Hey, Fresno pals, when I was growing up there were a couple of places near one of the streets that cut across the downtown "mall" that had "Coney Island Reds". Do those still exist?

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Only one that comes to mind Sam, is the old Coney Island place, on Tulare St. just past Fulton (Mall) and the old Gottschalk's bldg on the left side if you're heading toward Chinatown. As I mentioned previously, last visit was kind of a let down, at least in comparison with the foggy memories of the old days. I seem to remember a big yellow sign advertising hot dogs long ago but have no idea where it was/is located. Might have to visit CI again just for nostalgia's sake.

                1. re: PolarBear

                  PB, exactly, that's it! My nostalgia has the red neon sign in the window!

            4. re: lacrosse22

              The first BTB was in East LA and their prices were kind of out of line with the neighborhood ($3.95 for a chili dog) in addition the location was hampered by road construction. This was a few years ago and the owner told me he wanted to open several locations in LA. Yes, he was a nice guy and great talker, I wish him well. One of the problems with this first location seemed to be they had very flexible hours....opened when they felt like it? The other strange thing was they had this big sign out front when they first opened that said something like "Voted best hot dog", which I though was a bit bold.

              The hot dog they use is Cantella's which you can get at Tommy's and they sell Cantella brand sausages at Trader Joe's.

            5. Casper's Hot Dogs in Castro Valley and Hayward, CA has been around forever and is devoted solely to hot dogs. They used to crunch and snap when you bit into them, but alas the wonderful quality is no more. Have to go to Germany to get the real thing.

              1 Reply
              1. re: glbtrtr

                Caspers dog have many outlets in the Bay Area. But the snap is gone? OHH NOOO! I have eaten about a bazillion Caspers dogs in the past. love the way they line em up and put the onion, tomato and relish on them with Guldens mustard (a must).
                It has been about two eyars since I last had one though so now you got me worried.

              2. Pink's Hot Dog Stand in L.A. is phenomenal!! :) They even make a low-carb hot dog. They have just about any topping you could ask for.

                1. In Redding, there is a place called Fast Weenies. I think it should win a prize for best name if nothing else. They serve Caspar's dogs that do indeed go snap/crunch. If you get a Caspar's with "everything" it comes with lettuch, tomato, onions, relish, mustard and cheese. I'm not a huge fan of an "everything" dog. They also have assorted hot links etc. Their homemade potato salad is swimming in mayo. Not sure if they qualify in the "great" category, but they are about 2 minutes off I-5 and a diversion from the chains. To get there, take Cypress exit off I-5 and go West. Turn right on Athens Ave and then right on Locust street. Fast Weenies is located in what seems to be a former Fotomat in the parking lot of the shopping center on Locust street (right next to the oil change place.) It's drive thru only at Fast Weenies - no restroom for travelers.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ThisNThat

                    This isn't a "hot dog place" but this is a place where their "hot dog platter" is good cuz they are huge and the hot dog roll is amazing cuz it's soft and kinda sweet ,can't explain it! u have to try it for yourself! FUDDRUCKERS!!

                  2. In Los Angeles, Carney's has great chili dogs, chili burgers, and fries. There are two locations--one on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City and one on the Sunset strip. Both locations are in railroad cars.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: brandygirl

                      I second Carney's, I love their red eye new yorker, spicy style. Add some chili cheese fries and hot peppers and it's heartattack heaven.

                    2. I've heard there is an old airplane that was converted into a hot dog stand somewhere around Tulare or Visalia? A friend told me they went there and the hot dogs were real good but they couldn't remember exactly where it was.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: CraigH

                        It's called Aero Dogs and it's located in Tulare at 240 L St.

                        1. re: CraigH

                          Stopped in at Aero Dog on my way to Yosemite this past week and wouldn't recommend going there unless you really want to eat in an old airplane. Hot dogs and buns were straight from the grocery store, and the chili looked / tasted like it came out of a can.

                        2. When I lived in LA many years ago we used to go to a place called The Weiner Factory. It was a shack (literally) on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, about 1/2 block off Kester IIRC. It had wonderful "graffitti" writing on the walls. Haven't been there in over 12 years or so.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: rednails

                            Weiner Factory is still there and still wonderful. I am a very big fan. They have the best polish dogs (mild or red hot) around. I am happy to say that not much has changed except they stopped serving beer and they added chicken sausage to the menu. Open 11am-8pm.

                            14917 Ventura Bl, Sherman Oaks

                            Also see http://hotdogspot.com/2004/07/wiener-...

                            It's near the 405 and 101 freeway.

                          2. This won't help your search for a Chicago style or other basic great dog, but last week, here in Fresno, I did try a chili cheese dog at the Fig Garden Golf Course that was decent, toasted bun, dog split and grilled then all on a dinner size plate smothered in chili with beans and lots of red onion, pretty decent and a good deal for @ $3, iirc.

                            On a tip from my dear BIL, also hit the cafeteria in the basement of the FUSD main office, aka the Pink Palace, aka the Old Post Office, at Tulare and M Sts. Again, nicely toasted bun, dog split and grilled, then add your own chili from a large pot, and cheese from the salad bar, which also offered sliced pickled jalapenos. Yellow mustard and mayo are in institutional packets. Chili with beans was pretty good combined with a pile of decent cheddar, dog appeared to be a Vienna all beef, definitely would stand up alone as a regularly dressed dog.
                            Do not order a burger here, preformed, off tasting patties.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: PolarBear

                              I've heard about that cafeteria from my hubby who works downtown, he and his co-workers like it pretty well....be on the lookout for rotating daily specials..

                              1. re: foodchick45

                                Thanks for the reminder on that, fc45. Can't be sure, but it might have been enchiladas the day I was there. I'm sure the lunch specials are the way to go.

                                1. re: PolarBear

                                  lowe`s has these wagons that sale different hot dogs and polish sausage and
                                  bratwurst sanwiches and I like these real well.

                            2. There's a newsstand in Santa Cruz on Mission St. called "Santa Cruz News" that has really good dogs. They serve Vienna Beef and Niman Ranch sausages. I'm not a coffee drinker, but am told they have the best coffee in town as well.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Matt of Aptos

                                I used to live a few blocks from this newsstand and wondered if I was nutty to keep coming by for my Chicago dog fix. I mean, it's a newsstand, right? Because, well, woe unto anyone who sees "DIM SUM" and "BEST CHINESE FOOD IN TOWN" outside the rice-and-two in the Santa Cruz bus station and takes it at its word.

                                They are pretty thorough about hitting all the notes on the Chicago dog, down to the poppy seeds and celery salt. Good snap on the dogs. The only thing that's a miss is the relish, which is a muted natural Santa Cruz olive green instead of a Chicago traffic light LED fluorescent green. I guess that's not really a bad thing.

                                I haven't been there in a few months but coffeewise, I assume they're still using Intelligentsia beans. I came here mainly for dogs, but the handful of standard morning cups and the espresso drinks I've had have been consistently good. And I get to read Backwoods Home Magazine while I eat.

                              2. Good chili dog at the basement cafeteria of Santa Maria Hospital just a block off 101 at Main Street (turn east). Fat, juicy, spicy and delish. About $3.25 IIR. I recall it as being a 'decadent' treat. Decent inexpensive coffee, too.

                                Great fast, low-cost travelling meal. Many other options as well; everything I had while DH was in hospital there was a solid "good", and very reasonablly priced, though not chowish. Lunch is available from 11:30 till 2, not sure if the the hot dog is available at the dinner hour.

                                1. Has anyone tried Booney's Dogs and More at Shaw and West in Fresno? I've heard they have regular size and jumbo dogs (up to 1/2 lb). As well as brats, polish, hot links etc.....in many different configurations as well as burgers and salads. They say they use "natural casing" dogs, but don't say what brand.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: foodchick45

                                    Let me answer my own question..we just tried Booney's and I would recommend them to anyone.. all types of sausages, in 3 sizes, and every type of topping you can desire or imagine..those natural casing dogs have a nice snap to them. The fries are indeed hand cut, and taste great, but I prefer a crispier fry.. I can even recommend the cheeseburgers..very juicy and flame grilled. The service is very friendly and prices reasonable.

                                  2. Top Dog in Berkeley! They are open late and they also have amazing chicken apple links!

                                      1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                                        second Pinks it's worth the drive and the wait in line

                                        1. re: kitchenhag

                                          Pinks was good in the 80's but their are several places that blow them away today in my opinion... "Skoobys" The Stand" and my favorite "Between The Bun"..


                                      2. Pinks in LA.

                                        Unless you are talking about the state of Illinois.

                                        1. I don't think they actually sell cooked hot dogs, but the wurst at Ditmers on San Antonio Rd in Palo Alto is not to be missed. I am very fond of the hot dogs, the weisswurst, et al.

                                          they do make great sandwiches and have lebekase, and some really great ham.

                                          Dittmer's Gourmet Meats
                                          400 San Antonio Rd Ste 4, Mountain View, CA 94040

                                          1. If in Bay Area, Let's Be Frank - they have carts in the city and the grass-fed beef hotdogs are served on local Acme buns - and they are available for sale in stores like Andronico's and Berkeley Bowl. Yummy and sustainable, yay!

                                            1. I'd like to suggest Franks Famous Hot Dogs in San Luis Obispo. They're on Monterey Street, off the 101. It's been there for years, owned by one family forever, and I think was purchased by employees a few years ago. Dogs are great, burgers are made with natural beef, and the fries are amazing. Prices are great, too! They're not the fanciest place in the world, but locals love it, and pack the place every lunch-hour.