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Nathan's Hot Dogs in T.O?

Does anybody know where I can get packages pf Nathan's Hot Dogs in natural casings here in T.O? These to me are by far the tastiest hot dogs out there in my opinion but I've only purchased them in the states. Hebrew National are a close second.

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  1. Sob. Moan. Kvetch.

    Don't even think about it. You can't. With or without casings. Not now and probably not ever.

    Ditto for Hebrew National. Nortown was importing the skinless Hebrew Nationals, but stopped when we had the mad cow scare. No plans to resume that I know of.

    The closest sources of skinless Nathans and Hebrew National dogs are in Niagara Falls NY at the Wegman's near the big outlet mall and at the Tops Supercenter next to Target on Niagara Falls Blvd. The closest source of these dogs with casings may very well be the New York City area.

    1. I LOVE Nathans.

      You can get a very tasty Nathan dog at Johnny Rockets in the Fallsview Casino. It isn't grilled quite as well as at a true Nathan store, but it still tastes great. And of course the fries are nothing like Nathan fries.

      There are 2 other locations in Toronto but I am not sure if they carry the Nathan Hot Dog as not every JR location in the States does.


      Check it out and reoprt back!


      2 Replies
      1. re: deelicious

        Given Johnny Rocket's many dollars per dog, one might as well spend the time and gas to get to a supermarket in the States, get a large quantity, and grill them properly at home. (And the Fallsview Casino is almost IN Niagara Falls NY.)

        1. re: embee

          Yes. JR charges a crazy price for their dogs. But they do have locations in Vaughan and Mississauga.

      2. If you can handle pork frankfurters, there is a good one, in lamb casings, for $9/kg at Costco from Freybe's of Burnaby. These are traditional German style links.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jayt90

          I agree with you.These are the only hot dogs I buy.
          I prefer beef to pork, but have not found a decent beef hot dog available.
          At least the Freybe's have a crunch, and a burst of juice.
          By the way, they are identical to the Frankfurters in Frankfurt.

        2. You are a true gourmet. I completly agree. Nothing comes close to these dogs. Have you ever had them in Martin's Potato Rolls? http://www.potatoroll.com/pages/produ...


          5 Replies
          1. re: howdydoody


            Martin potato rolls are THE BEST. I have not found Martin Potato rolls anywhere, let alone potato bread products in the GTA. Man, I might just have to trek to Buffalo--Tops Markets carries them...hopefully they'll have Nathan's Dogs too!

            1. re: saucethatcounts

              The Tops Supercenter in Niagara Falls has both Nathans and Hebrew National, skinless only.

              1. re: embee

                I tried Moishe's all beef dogs, and they are quite good, with an old time flavour that Schneider's and Shopsy's have abandoned.Not like a Euro-frank, but more ball park in style.

                1. re: jayt90

                  Where does one get Moishe's all beef dogs??

                  1. re: embee

                    They are at Costco (Ajax). Probably at the Wilson Av.. warehouse as well. There are other stores selling Moishe's sour dills, and cold slaw, so maybe the "Pure Angus Hot Dogs" will be available in a non warehouse setting..

          2. Perhaps its time to find out what they mean by "special circumstances".

            1 Reply
            1. re: Googs

              Please do try and good luck :-)

              I emailed them a couple of times and didn't even get an automated form answer, much less a real one.

              Even knowing the second generation of the founder's family (true -- I went to summer camp with Nathan Handwerker's grandson when I was 10) didn't net the courtesy of a reply.

            2. Easy answer, as others have stated. Drive down to Niagara Falls, NY and get them at Wegman's or Tops. If you are a Sam's Club member, they have 2 locations there, one in Niagara Falls the other in Cheektowaga (near the Walden Galleria), and they carry both brands (Hebrew National and Nathan's) in large sized packs.

              Note that there are no Costco's in western or upstate New York, only Sam's Club (a major reason why I went with Sam's instead of Costco)

              10 Replies
              1. re: TexSquared

                Here's the e-mail I got back from Nathan's. Oh lucky westerners.

                "Thank you for writing to Nathan's! We just started doing business with a company called Canalta Group. You can contact David Bursey at dave@canaltagroup.com to find out how you can buy the franks. Have a great day!"

                1. re: Googs

                  And the e-mail I got back from Dave Bursey-----"Yes we are currently working on Ontario now"!

                  I fell in love with Nathan's ever since my trip last year to Coney Island. Great to hear we'll be seeing them in Ontario stores soon.

                  1. re: Brain of J

                    It's possible, but don't get your hopes up yet. They are looking for a local distributor, rather than offering product for sale to stores. I put Dave Bursey in contact with Nortown and my understanding is that they will be negotiating, but I don't think anything has been set up yet.

                    There is a possibility that we might get just the skinless variety and not the natural casing ones (which taste much better) or the new kosher franks (ditto). There is also a possibility that they won't reach a deal.

                  2. re: Googs

                    Did you ever get the dogs from these guys?

                    1. re: howdydoody

                      It's been 30 months for negotiation, and nothing has appeared on the horizon. The bureaucrats win.

                      1. re: jayt90

                        You'll have to drive to Buffalo.


                        1. re: Davwud

                          By bureaucrats, you probably mean the meat cartels who have the government in their back pocket to block any meaningful competition.... but that's another thread!

                          Definitely drive down to Buffalo and visit Sam's Club and Wegmans... we keep our freezers well stocked with stuff you can't get here, and stuff you can get here at triple the price thanks to the cartels (like chicken)....

                          1. re: TexSquared

                            While I do agree with you about the cartels, our chickens are, in general, both better and safer than their chickens.

                            1. re: TexSquared

                              Buffalo or Detroit are not on my horizon, until the border improves, and fuel is cheaper.

                        2. re: howdydoody

                          Canalta no longer answers emails. Neither does Nathans.

                    2. I'm excited. I just bought a 32 pack of Nathan's skinless from Costco in Huntsville, Al.
                      They're planned for dinner tomorrow night.
                      Well......not all of them of course.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Davwud

                        Oh they were good.
                        If you consider Tony Packo's as my favourite dog (even though it's more like a sausage....yes I know a hot dog is technically a sausage too) then it's the second best dog I've had. Good crunch with a good amount of seasoning. Just right.

                        My only complain on them is that they're skinny. Red hots sized. I like the plumper, Juicy Jumbos size. I also don't like the huge Shopsys sized ones either.


                      2. If you're open to non-beef dogs, I highly recommend the elk sausages from Lyle Renecker's Elk Farm. The texture and taste are similar to kosher hot dogs, and with the health advantage of being produced outside the industrial food system. He's usually at the weekly Saturday farmers market in Stratford, Ontario.
                        His website is http://www.eatingelk.com

                        1. johnny rockets ( i know of at least 2 locations in ontario ) advertise Nathan's hot dogs in huge letters and logo's right on their menu... I haven't tried one (ever)

                          are they that good?

                          21 Replies
                          1. re: duckdown

                            Their beef franks have a more pronounced spice to them, I find them saltier than what seems to be the norm up here (Shopsy's, Schneider's etc). They definitely have a less 'mushy' texture than Canadian mass produced hot dogs. I used to get a beef frank up here that I thought tasted pretty close (the name escapes me) but they seem to have disappeared since my university days....

                            Would I make a special trip for them? No.

                            I do pick up a few packs when I'm on the other side of the border. I have a thing for Sahlen's as well, a different beast altogether (and a bit of an acquired taste).

                            1. re: duckdown

                              I don't think they grill them (correction welcome if wrong) and their price is preposterous. A couple of meals there (especially considering the cost of parking downtown or the cost and time of driving to Vaughan Mills) equals or exceeds the time and cost of picking up a year's supply in Niagara (with a nice summer weekend getaway as an optional bonus).

                              What I don't understand, and can't get an explanation of, is why Johnny Rocket's can sell these in Canada but no local food distributor can take them on. Either there are import issues or there aren't. And it seems that there aren't.

                              1. re: embee

                                First time I had a Nathan’s hot dog was at the New York New York Hotel and Casino in Vegas. It was quite good. Liked their pizza too.

                                When I finally tried a dog at the Coney Island flagship on my first and only trip to NYC I liked it about the same as in Vegas. But surprisingly, I liked my buddy’s double cheeseburger from Nathan’s more than my hot dog. I thought he was nuts for going to Nathan’s Coney Island and ordering a burger, but I must say, I liked it more than my dog.

                                Nathan’s is pretty good and all, but truthfully I like my dogs when I go to Big Franks better. Even Nortown’s dogs are pretty wonderful. I guess it’s what you are used to maybe. That said Nathan’s is fine.

                                1. re: embee

                                  "What I don't understand, and can't get an explanation of, is why Johnny Rocket's can sell these in Canada but no local food distributor can take them on."

                                  Exactly! I was at the ACC the other night for the Leafs' game and they had Nathan's as well.

                                  Johnny Rockets Restaurant
                                  1 Bass Pro Mills Dr, Thornhill, ON L4K5W4, CA

                                  1. re: Brain of J

                                    I would just guess that it's a question of being able to make a profit on what the licensing would be.


                                    1. re: Brain of J

                                      I now have more info, though I can't take anything from Canalta (the Canadian distributor) at face value.

                                      - There are no more import issues
                                      - Some foodservice operators got them within the terms of their franchise agreements
                                      - They are supposedly now available to foodservice operators generally, and were exhibited at the 2010 CFRA trade show
                                      - They are not yet available to retailers and will remain unavailable until there is a Canadian manufacturer

                                      A Nathan's rep from Canalta occasionally surfaces on this board and then disappears for months. I've seen no evidence of any movement in the past year.

                                      1. re: embee

                                        Not questioning you at all, but something doesn't make sense here... you said "There are no more import issues" and foodservice guys can obviously buy imported product, but it won't be available at retail "and will remain unavailable until there is a Canadian manufacturer".... reading between the lines, sure sounds like there IS an import issue of some kind, like maybe the beef marketing boards are blocking it?

                                        Where did this requirement for a local manufacturer come from? And you know if some local place (say, Schneiders or Loblaws) makes it they'll screw it up and it won't taste like the genuine article.....

                                        1. re: TexSquared

                                          The exclusive Canadian distributor, for whatever reasons, is not moving this forward. Early this year, they claimed they had brokers in place for foodservice and that retail would come later. Perhaps they do, but the only outlets to date are US-based franchises and major foodservice operators. I've never seen them at a small resto.

                                          I've no idea what's with retail. I know there are labeling issues, and the US manufacturer may have no interest in the Canadian retail market.

                                          The US product is already made under license by a contract manufacturer in Virginia. It's quite different from the original recipe, though it retains the basic flavour profile - barely. However, Nathan's franks were made by many different companies over time, even when it was family owned. A similar Canadian company, Desco, produces products for Dunn's and Chicago 58.

                                          Canalta operates restaurant franchises (Boston Pizza; A&W), small hotels (Super 8; TraveLodge), and convenience stores in Western Canada. My personal opinion (from following this over several years) is that Canalta doesn't really know anything about retail food distribution or the deli trade, two of the major markets for the product.

                                          1. re: embee

                                            One place that is a smaller restaurant that serves them in Poutine Plus on Queen (around Bathurst)... I had one there and one at ACC.... Too bad they aren`t available retail but I guess by it being more exclusive they can charge more to restaurants... or maybe so they think,,,

                                            1. re: embee

                                              Thanks for the clarification. Again I wasn't calling you out or anything, you completed the puzzle for me. Seems the answer lies in Canalta -- by keeping the product out of Canadian retail, they're forcing everybody to eat it at their restaurants (unless you cross-border shop for it; easily obtained at any Sam's Club or major supermarket). If they're involved in Boston Pizza, wow, that would be the only product worth ordering in those places, if they ever decided to actually serve it there :-)

                                              1. re: TexSquared

                                                Like you said, cross boarder shop.

                                                I'm planning on stocking up at Christmas.


                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                  I should make up a list of foods to bring up from NY. Nathans, grits and Jif. Now that it's winter, I don't have to pack the hotdogs in a cooler, I can just throw them in the trunk and they'll stay cold. My FIL seemed to like them over the summer so I'll tie a bow around them before I give them to him.

                                                  1. re: GoodGravy

                                                    These old threads might give you some more ideas for your shopping list. My biggest recommendation along with things you can't get here, is stock up on things that are cartel-controlled in Canada (poultry and dairy are the worst), that's where the best money savings are. Other than that, I won't say anything new here that wasn't already discussed at length on those threads.





                                                    1. re: TexSquared

                                                      I will add Rotel tomatoes to the list if they aren't mentioned anywhere on those threads. Great for queso dip.


                                                2. re: TexSquared

                                                  The exact response below from a Canalta rep regarding the Nathan's situation. Sent to me yesterday.

                                                  "We have focused on Retail and Restaurants in the past 6 months. Our first restaurant will be opening at the end of February in Airdrie Alberta. We are also dealing on a few locations in the east. Our retail product is coming. There are more issues regarding fresh product and we are almost ready to move forward. We are setting up appointments in the new year with Retailers. I can't give you a timeline, as it could be out of our hands. I will pass on any news as it arrives "

                                      2. re: duckdown

                                        Nathan's have a good mild hot dog flavor, lots of garlic, and a natural skin that snaps when fully cooked (steamed or grilled without burning), but they are a bit too greasy for me.
                                        If they do come in, we have to hope the natural lambskin version arrives. I won't hold my breath.

                                        I have recently enjoyed Schneider's Angus dogs (unfortunately skinless), and Dave's recommendation for a skinless pork dog (Schneider's Juicy Jumbo's) is a fine standby.

                                        1. re: jayt90

                                          The last "official" word from Canalta was skinless only.

                                          1. re: embee

                                            Natural casing ones are hard to find in the US as well.

                                            The Juicy Jumbo's I recommended are the All Beef variety. The pork and beef ones are pretty good too.


                                            1. re: Davwud

                                              does CostCo carry anything good lately?

                                              1. re: shekamoo

                                                I think they have Shopsys and Olympic. Not sure what the Olympics are like. I don't like the Shopsys. Especially the 1/4lb dogs.


                                                1. re: shekamoo

                                                  You'll have to wait for Deli Cart next spring (they always start the BBQ season with them.)
                                                  Olympics are the same as their food court dogs, nothing special, just another Maple Leaf brand.

                                        2. can't find them but they are sold at the ACC - Great!!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: duke9987

                                            Nathan's are sold at Portions, 340 Woodlawn W., Unit 4, Guelph, according to their website.


                                            Look under gluten free meats.

                                            1. re: jayt90

                                              They're also sold at Frabert's Fine Foods in Fergus.

                                          2. Nathan's will be avail in Sobeys in Ontario as of April 1, 2013

                                            1. Try Sobeys they are advertising them this week Apr 11-17/2013

                                              18 Replies
                                              1. re: sryake

                                                Which store(s). The guy on front street looked at me like I was from a distant planet. And why the hell can't you get a potato bun in Toronto?

                                                1. re: TorontoTuna

                                                  you might want to show him this week's flyer...


                                                  1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                    Nathan's was almost like forbidden fruit here three years ago.
                                                    Then they started to trickle in, and I got some for the freezer.
                                                    Every time I have one now, I am grateful for the full beefy flavor
                                                    but taken aback by the mouthful of grease. Is anyone else getting this?

                                                    1. re: jayt90

                                                      Did you ever have some of the ones I brought back from the US?? I'm wondering if they're using a different recipe.

                                                      embee, embee, embee


                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                        My thoughts too. Yours, from the southern U.S., were very good. So are the new ones, but there is an excess of fat.
                                                        M.B. would say fat is necessary. Hope he is lurking!

                                                        1. re: jayt90

                                                          I know they leach a lot of fat when I fry them but don't have the mouth feel that you described though.
                                                          Are the ones you're using with casings or nekkid??


                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                            No casings in Canada as far as I know.

                                                            1. re: jayt90

                                                              That's what I thought. It was an easy explanation however I figure you'd have figured that out yourself.


                                                      2. re: jayt90

                                                        Agree on the grease/fat....that's what the bun is for! : P

                                                        I agree they seem more fatty than those from the US.

                                                  2. re: sryake

                                                    Checked 2 sobeys....the one on Bloor and Bathurst and the one on Bay and College...didn't find it in either...didn't bother to ask....

                                                    1. re: warlock

                                                      No issue at my local Sobey's in KW.
                                                      Bought two packs for $7. Have yet to try them.

                                                      Can any Nathan's fans advise any difference (or preference) between the "standard"(?) and the "bigger than the bun" versions? aside from the obvious size/count difference...

                                                      1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                        They are probably the same mix. I have been following Nathan's marketing for a few years, and they have one basic hot dog mix for most types. Sometimes a 'hot' version is available, and a few markets get natural casings (we don't).
                                                        Nathan's is produced under licence by a very large meat processor, a division of Smithfield, who owned Schneider before Maple Leaf bought it.

                                                      2. re: warlock

                                                        I checked Sobey's online flyer, page 3, Delicatessen, for Nathan's Famous hot dogs, 2/$7, 750 g total,
                                                        and discovered that the item does not appear for mid Toronto, below Lawrence. It is widely flyer-advertised in 905 area and SW Ontario.
                                                        Anyone looking for these should check the local flyer, onlne or newsprint, to see if they are in your area. You can try www.sobeys.com and plug in a postal code.

                                                        1. re: jayt90

                                                          You're totally right. Just looked at the flyer for the Sobey's near my work (Bath/Bloor) and nothing. How disappointing!

                                                          1. re: ramenramen

                                                            I called Sobey's on Monday, and they replied today.
                                                            Nathan's Famous hot dogs will be available by Friday in the Toronto stores. For any stores that don't have them, the manager can order 1 case.

                                                            1. re: jayt90

                                                              THANK YOU FOR THIS! Starting my diet now so I can pig out over the weekend!

                                                              1. re: jayt90

                                                                jayt90...thanks for the heads up and making the effort to call

                                                                1. re: warlock

                                                                  Bought some at the Sobey's on the Queensway/Parklawn about a week ago.

                                                      3. Baldwin st kosher at Pusateries and Metro. The Big Chill on Manning at College, they have Nathan's and Chicago 58's.

                                                        1. I saw them at Fiesta Farms the other day.

                                                          1. They're easily available at my local Sobeys, in 2 varieties.. Regular size and jumbo. The jumbo ones we tried were extremely salty, wondering if it was a bad batch or something

                                                            1. Probably mentioned below, bur saw Sobeys on Queensway was selling them now..