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Good hot dogs

I'm looking for a good hot dog joint in DC or NOVA, besides Ben's Chili Bowl. Any suggestions?

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  1. Would a hot dog more on the gourmet end work? If so try the chicago style mini hot dogs at PS7.

    1. The Vienna Inn is on the low end of things but their chili dogs are excellent and they are also on the bar menu of the Del Merei Grill in Del Ray due to a family connection.

      1. Sigh...I feel for you, Swenson. This is another sad deficiency in the Greater Washington food scene. We have nothing even approaching the hot dog cultures of NYC, Chicago, Ohio, etc.

        Honestly...I can't think of a single place where you can compelling good, or unique hot dog.

        1. Are you object to grilling yourself? If not, head to Wegmans and buy Sahlen's brand. They are by and far the best dog on the market.

          1. It's not a hot dog joint per se, but I enjoy the hot dogs at Five Guys. They split them down the middle and put them on the grill. I add the grilled onions and mustard and I'm a happy camper.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sharonlouk

              I have to agree - I love the 5 Guys burger - but I always end up with th grilled dog - I like raw onions, mustard and jalepeno peppers and I am also a happy camper!

            2. In Arlington, Heidelberg Bakery on Lee Hwy has a sandwich counter operating at lunchtime with four or five varieties of wurst. They're not as cheap as as a street vendor dog, running about $6, IIRC, but they're darned good.

              Other possibles in Arlington are Hard Times Cafe (Clarendon) for chili dogs or the Weenie-Beenie drive-in in Shirlington for chili half-smokes (and, surprisingly good NC barbecue sandwiches). (I say "surprisingly" because they have no other BBQ on the menu.)

              1. Like OPs have said, we lack the classic joint or lunch counter for dogs, with the exception of Ben's. I second the Heidelberg and Hard Times recs. if you're in Rockville MD area, Urban BBQ and Urban Burger have brats as well as smothered corn dogs.

                1. Ah, forgot one. As Washingtonian reminds me, Johnny's Half Shell has a great but upscale dog. I haven't been to their Capitol Hill location, but when they were on P St. the dog was great--the match between meat and bread was fantastic. Do you want to pay nearly $10 for a hot dog, though?

                  1. Weenie Beenie does good halfsmokes. Cheap. Burger Delite also. Both carryout only.

                    Second the Vienna Inn, as well as the Hard Times recommendation. Excellent footlong chili dog. Reminded me of the Dairy Queen footlongs of my youth.

                    Washingtonian did a piece on DC hotdogs.


                    1. if you are willing to make a trek to MD for a GREAT hotdog, Ann's Daricreme in Glen Burnie is probably one of the best/mostuniquesingular hotdogs in the country.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Crocken

                        I'll second that! Ann's is great. Double footlong, chilli, cheese......I'm hungry

                        1. re: Crocken

                          For anyone unfamiliar with Ann's Daricreme - they cook their hotdogs by deep frying them. This is not a bad thing, but wish they would leave them in the oil just a bit longer. (I've been to places that deep fry their hotdogs. It's best when they get a bit of crust on them.)

                          1. re: Sean D

                            Indeed. The Jersey hotdog place that deepfries them has three grades: in-and-outer (lightly deepfried), ripper (the skin starts to rip), and cremator (totally shredded and almost porkrind crispy). I'll have to check this out next time I"m near Bmore.

                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                              oh, i'm gonna try that cremator version when i have the deep fryer out next time!

                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                You're talking about Rutt's Hutt in Fort Lee, which mnay NY/NJers feel has gone down hill.

                                1. re: nickdanger

                                  So where do NY/NJers go for their deepfried hotdogs?

                            2. re: Crocken

                              Let's not forget Polock Johnny's in Halethorpe and Lexington Market. Get the large Polish with chili, cheese and onion or just with that red relish/sauce they have. Awesome.

                            3. One must consider DC's roots. NYC and Chicago were populated by settlers direct from Europe (and all over) who established neighborhoods, Polish, Germans, Italians, etc etc and brought with them ethnic foods like brats and sausages and delis and Italian dishes, et al. Whereas DC was staked out by the govt founders seeking to create a District; a place to establish the seat of the US govt. That's my theory.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: lukeinva

                                yeah, and all they brought from their home country was a culture of hot air.

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  Shouldn't that mean we have good popcorn or something?

                              2. Windy City Red Hots! A few weeks ago someone posted about this place...a cart that makes an authentic Chicago dog out in Ashburn. The husband and wife owners are Chicago natives who relocated to NoVa. Have not ventured out there yet, but folks say it's the genuine article (celery salt and all)...and delicious. They have a website with location, hours, etc. Enjoy!