Virginia: Ray’s Dog House
> City: Portsmouth
The dogs at this strip-mall storefront, a locals’ favorite, come from Boar’s Head, and include Coneys, all-beef, and skinless pork-and-beef options. There are also foot-longs and quarter-pound wieners. The toppings are standard, with the exception of sweet Vidalia onions. Customers rave about the French fries.
Washington: Matt’s Hot Dogs
> City: Seattle
At this counter-service restaurant, the 100% beef dogs are made according to the proprietor’s recipe. The chili dog is Matt’s most famous offering, but there are also Chicago- and New York-style variations, among others. The Seattle Dog is topped with grilled onions and cream cheese.
West Virginia: Hillbilly Hot Dogs
> City: Lesage
Hillbilly is almost certainly the only hot dog joint in America (in the world) with a wedding chapel. Really. They also have a house anthem, “Weenie Song.” If you sing it, you get a free basic hot dog or a scoop of ice cream. The extravagant — and extravagantly named — options include the “Whazz UP” Dog (a deep-fried frank with chili sauce, habanero sauce, BBQ sauce, jalapeños, nacho cheese, shredded cheese, and ranch dressing) and the Pine-Appalachian Dog (BBQ sauce, country ham, shredded cheese, and crushed pineapple).
Wisconsin: Martino’s Italian Beef and Hot Dogs
> City: Milwaukee
Staking a claim to serving what they describe as Milwaukee’s No. 1 Chicago-style dog, the family-owned Martino’s offers not just the classic but nine variations — all available in regular size or as jumbo or foot-long Vienna all-beef franks (there’s also a “fire” option if you like your dogs spicy).
Wyoming: Dog Haus Biergarten
> City: Cheyenne
Cheyenne has had several well-known hot dog stands and carts, but they seem to come and go, so this unit of a major California-based national dog and burger chain is widely considered to be the best bet in town for (as their motto puts it) “the absolute würst.” The specialty is hormone- and antibiotic-free all-beef franks served on King’s Hawaiian rolls. Possibilities include the Sooo Cali (wild arugula, avocado, tomato, crisp-fried onions, and spicy basil aïoli) and the Downtown (a bacon-wrapped frank with caramelized onions, pickled peppers, mayo, mustard, and ketchup).