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Jul 30, 2008 08:57 AM

Best Chili Dogs and Fries in Greater Los Angeles

Okay everyone talks about Pinks and even Carney's. They are all fine but to me Pinks especially is overly hyped. Yeah they have this dog and that dog like the Guadalajara dog and so forth but big deal. I think Pinks tastes just fine but I don't find it exceptional like people say and I don't think it's worth waiting in a line that is 15 to 25 people deep. I think Pinks is trendy but has a good product but not as good as the hype. Well in Alhamba, yes Alhamba, a suburb of LA, on the east side, there is a place called Tops Jr with the best tasking chili for hot dogs and fries. If you don't live in Alhambra or within the area or neighboring cities I don't expect people to go from the west side to the east side just to eat altho the food is awesome there. I was just saying if I had to choose between Pinks, Carney's and Tops Jr it would be Tops Jr. I don't picture snobby west side people who love waiting in line 20 people deep to go to the east side and eat at a dive like Tops Jr but if you are a real chili dog and fry fan go to Tops in Alhamba on Main near Fremont. About 200 yards east of Fremont. It's great. Oh Okie Dog is another one. Pretty good food but vagrants go there and bums. I don't mind the bums and vagrants really but just don't expect trendy West Side people there with their nice BMWs and Mercedes.

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  1. Best Chili dog, nothing fancy or weird, Art's in El Monte on Valley Blvd. Nothing better!

    Art's Take Out Burgers
    11629 Valley Blvd, El Monte, CA 91732

    1 Reply
    1. re: Burger Boy

      Burger Boy, thanks for the tip. I'm an east side guy and I'll stop over at El Monte and try it. I'm heading out that way today to Claro's Italian store on Valley in Rosemead and I'll go further to El Monte and try it. Thanks.

    2. Tried Tops Jr recently and their chili dog was just average for me. I prefer my chili dogs to be a little more spicier and enjoy the ones served at Rick's in Rosemead or Pharos Burgers in Alhambra. Keep in mind that both places serve humongous chili dogs so you're going to need plenty of napkins if you eat them by hand.

      1 Reply
      1. re: SoCal Foodie

        SoCal, not sure about Rick's in Rosemead but I go to Rics in Alhambra and like their Chili Dogs. Very good. I think the Tops are kinda thinner like you know more watery and I like that you know. Then you go to Tommy's and it's thick chili. I went to Tops in high school as a junior and the fries were really super long and greasy. I kinda like it better that way. I stopped going, totally forgot about the place then about 12 years later I stopped by and tried the chili fries and dogs and loved it. Just wish the fries were longer and greasy like they used to be.

      2. Believe or not, Dodger Stadium had the best chili dogs.

        4 Replies
        1. re: J.L.

          J.L, at the Universal City Walk there is a Dodger Dog place there. Yes they sell Dodger Dogs. I'm not sure if they have the chili from the Dodger Stadium but if they do that could be a good place to go.

          1. re: J.L.

            GF dragged me and my lads to a Dodger game last year with tickets that included a Dodger Dog and I couldn't finish my first bite. Worst limp and almost tasteless dogmeat and cheap bun that I have ever had! Chili would not have helped.

            1. re: sel

              Yup, don't get the love for Dodger Dogs. Unlike you, I *will* eat any tube steak you put in front of me, unless it's moldy or something, but any Farmer John's weiner I've encountered has been pretty much at the bottom of the scale. I understand that Dodger Dogs used to be pretty good until FJ took over the franchise - I guess this is just another case of the legend outliving the reality...

            2. re: J.L.

              OK clarification needed: I wasn't a big fan of Dodger Dogs either. Until...

              I had an epic chili dog just last week (Dodgers vs. Nationals) - they must have "retooled" the dog this season, 'cuz it tastes a lot better this season.

            3. In E.L.A., on Whittier I think, is a stand with chilidogs as its specialty -- Chronie's. Good simple chilidogs, and the fries and chilicheeseburgers are good too. Friendly place with multiple lines and covered patio seating.

              3 Replies
              1. re: nosh

                nosh thanks for the info. I hear there is a good on in Montebello on Garfield, I think called J&S or J&R.

                1. re: nosh

                  I tried Chronies and Art's in the same day, Art's chili has more flavor and depth.

                  Art's Take Out Burgers
                  11629 Valley Blvd, El Monte, CA 91732

                  1. re: Burger Boy

                    IMO it is Carney's for the best dog and chil. But if you are in the SGV it would be nuts to drive to Carneys and spend more when Art's makes such a great chili dog. Many years ago Art told me that his dog and chli are the same as Pink's. Several places use Pink's chili recipe. Today, IMO, Art adds something more to his chili and it adds more flavor than Pimk's chili has. A few months ago I asked Art to add his chili to a breakfast burrito and WOW!, it was so good. As I was trying to figure out what it might be, Art walked by the outside table I was seated at and said he sometimes likes to add the chili to the eggs in the burrito. He smiled and said, "It reminds me of having chrizo and eggs at home."

                    A good taste test would be between Art's and Big D which is just a few blocks East. After more taste test than I will admit I am still not sure which is best. Maybe they are the same -- not sure. Art once worked at the Dig D place before he took over the original locaton of Big D and changed the name. One thing is for sure, Big D piles on the chili and takes special pride in the expert way the wrap / fold the paper around the over stuffed dog. Just opening that dog at Big D makes you think, "This is goin to be good."

                    Art's, The Art of Burgers.(Chili Dogs better then Pimks but not quite as good as Carney's, Chili Cheese fries, Breakfast Sandwiches and Burritos, Burgers as good as In N Out, Steaks, Pastrami better than the Hat but not as good as the Original Top's, Hand made Onion Rings)
                    11629 E. Valley Blvd.
                    El Monte, CA 91732

                    Big D, Enter Out Burger (Burgers and Chili Dogs and Chili Fries, Pastrami)
                    12300 Valley Blvd
                    El Monte, CA
                    (626) 350-4222
                    Corner of E. Valley and N. Durfee Ave. / Just West of 605 Fry

                2. I'm a sucker for Oki Dog. The one on Pico.

                  Their chili dogs are spectacular and packaged oh so neatly.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ns1

                    Yeah me too and I'm always entertained every time I go there by the patrons or those who just hang out. Last time I was there there were bums all over the place but they were polite bums at least. They were pretty nice bums. Then these three guys came in, one walking around staring at the ceiling for whatever reason, then another staring at everyone like staking them out trying to figure out who's an easy mark and then another at the order window. It was weird.