Special Report

The Best Hot Dog Joint in Every State

Alabama: Gus’s Hot Dogs
> City: Birmingham

Not to be confused with another famed Birmingham-born eatery chain, Gus’s Fried Chicken, this Greek-owned institution, founded in 1947, serves highly rated 50-50 dogs (half pork, half beef) with various combinations of the standard condiments.

Source: Courtesy of Esther L. via Yelp

Alaska: International House of Hot Dogs
> City: Anchorage

The Alaskan dog is a reindeer (actually caribou) or buffalo frank with sautéed onions and “secret” chipotle sauce. All-beef Polish sausages, available as an alternative, come in Asian, Hawaiian, Italian, Sonoran, and other variations. (Chicken and all-vegetable dogs are also served.)

Arizona: El Güero Canelo
> City: Tucson

This mini-chain of Mexican restaurants (there are three Tucson locations plus a meat market and a bakery and tortilla factory) began life as a hot dog stand in 1993. While there is now a small menu of Mexican dishes (tacos, quesadillas, burros — big burritos — and more), the Sonoran-style hot dog — wrapped in bacon and topped with beans, grilled and raw onion, tomato, mayonnaise, mustard, and jalapeño sauce — remains a major attraction here.

Source: Courtesy of Hot Rod Wieners via Facebook

Arkansas: Hot Rod Wieners
> City: Little Rock

The “gourmet dogs” at this mustard-yellow food truck include the Italian Stallion (with “meaty marinara,” provolone, pepperoni chips, parmesan, and basil) and the El Ranchero (homemade chili, sharp cheddar, and Fritos), and there’s a “custom deluxe” option with a choice of 15 different condiments.

Source: stevezmina1 / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

California: Pink’s Hot Dogs
> City: Los Angeles

This self-styled “Hollywood legend since 1939” (with outposts around the state and country plus a location in Manila) is famous for its chili and kraut dogs, but also offers a menu of countless other variations. The Today Show dog, for instance, is two franks in one bun with mustard, onions, guacamole, chili, and cheese. The bacon burrito dog is also two franks, this time with cheese, bacon, chili, and onions, wrapped in a flour tortilla.

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