Kansas: Leeway Franks
> City: Lawrence
The basic Leeway frank is a beef hot dog with brown mustard, sautéed onions, and kraut. There’s also a classic Chicago-style dog and a chili dog made with “Texas red chili” and yellow mustard. For an unusual hot dog variation, there’s even a frank Frito pie — a sliced dog with mustard, chili, cheese sauce, salsa, and sour cream on a bed of Fritos.
Kentucky: Lonnie’s Best Taste of Chicago
> City: Louisville
Lonnie’s serves not one but five variations on the traditional Chicago dog. The Clark St. dog, for instance, adds cucumbers to the usual condiments; the Rush St. chili cheese dog involves homemade chili, hot melted cheese, yellow mustard, and chopped onions. Four Polish sausage choices are also available.
Louisiana: Dat Dog
> City: New Orleans
What was once a small hot dog stand is now a three-store mini-chain around the city (with outposts in Lafayette, Louisiana, and College Station, Texas). “Dat Dog” offers a choice of Vienna all-beef frank, Polish kielbasa, Italian sausage, or sausages made from crawfish or alligator, among other things — as well as four vegan dog variations. Toppings? The usual, of course, but also blackberry sauce, Creole mustard, and crawfish étouffée.
Maine: Simones’ Hot Dog Stand
> City: Lewiston
Sinones’ got started back in 1908, “serving Lewiston, Maine and the rest of the world” according to its menu. There are burgers, sandwiches, and a full menu of breakfast fare, but the dogs are the thing here — steamed or grilled, with cheese, chili, or kraut, or some combination of them.
Maryland: G&A Restaurant
> City: Baltimore
This 94-year-old family-owned restaurant bills itself as “Home of Baltimore’s best Coney Island hot dogs.” Apart from that brag, they don’t make a big deal about it. There’s just one dog (with the usual accompaniments available) on an otherwise huge menu of sandwiches, meat and fish, and other fare. But Guy Fieri raved about that dog — and its Coney sauce, which he approvingly dubbed a “crazy meat concoction” — and G&A won a Reader’s Choice award for favorite hot dogs eight years in a row.
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