Dog Daze: Take a Look at Philly’s 15 Best Hot Dogs

Whether hot off the grill or plucked from a cart’s mucky waters, no single food is more synonymous with the summer season than that all American mongrel, the hot dog. Thanks to some of Philly’s enterprising chefs, the old dog is learning some tasty new tricks lately. With the July 4th holiday ahead, we decided to search the city for some of its best dogs. And with this slideshow we present what we found. Some are new creations, while others are timeless classics. Click through and let us know which ones you think look the most appetizing.

The South Street newcomer’s most popular dog is a bacon-wrapped all-beef Sabrett wiener topped with shredded cheese, hot sauce, onions and Percy Street Barbecue’s Old Faithful Barbecue Sauce.
For what it lacks in beauty, this combination of two all-beef franks wrapped in sopressata and topped with bolognese, sharp provolone and Italian long hots on a seeded Sarcone’s roll, delivers in taste.
This Franken-furter brings together two junk food staples: Pretzels and hot dogs.
Some claim that long-gone Philly hot dog shop Levis’s gave birth to what’s known in some circles as “Philly Surf and Turf.” It’s an all-beef dog, split down the middle and topped with a fried fish cake and pepper hash, a traditional Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch condiment. Others say it goes back further, possibly to the Colonial era.
Stephen Starr’s still new-ish beer garden in Fishtown serves up this traditional Frank simply on a Martin’s potato roll with sauerkraut and spicy mustard.
Mitch Prensky and his kitchen staff grind pork shoulder and stuff these pups in house. Wrapped in thick cut bacon and deep fried, they are served with house-cured kraut, barbecued onions, and beer mustard on a house-baked, New England style top-split bun. The side of buttermilk fried pickles serves as a perfect accompaniment.
Chef Scott Schroeder’s Scott Dogs cart has yet to make its debut, but in the meantime, you can get a taste of the dogs he his and his tube steak conspirator Nick Marci (from Southwark) are making with the Tap Room’s Mexican Hot Dog. It’s a housemade wiener wrapped in country bacon and deep fried. Then it’s placed on a toasted potato roll, and topped with mayonnaise, ketchup, yellow mustard, pickled jalapenos, red onions and diced tomatoes.
Another of the South Street newcomers regionally inspired dogs. This one fuses the tastes of the East and West with a Sabrett dog smothered in chopped onions, pickled cucumber, shredded carrots, jalapeno, Thai vinaigrette and Sriracha.
Memphis Taproom opened its beer garden this spring with the addition of a stationary food truck, which in addition to bringing what can only be described as a little slice of Portland, OR to the heart of Fishtown, also serves an impressive lineup of hot dogs. This one pays homage to the Keystone State with a grilled dog piled high with beer mustard, bread and butter pickles, tomato, chow chow, raw onions, cucumbers and celery salt.
The housemade kobe beef dog is served on a toasted bun with smoked mustard and micro cilantro. For just $2 at happy hour, it could be one of Midtown Village’s best budget-friendly bites.
Chef John Taus constructs these dogs from a mixture of fresh caught fish that’s minced, seasoned, fashioned into a cylindrical hot dog form, and poached. It’s browned and crisped to order, and served on a potato roll with avocado mayonnaise, housemade fingerling chips and cole slaw.
Misconduct Tavern also rolled out an impressive wiener lineup recently, with a rotating selection of housemade dogs. This one, which is made with duck and Grand Marnier, is served with fennel slaw, shallots, orange zest and mustard.
This bacon-wrapped dog loosely pays homage to the Caribbean with mashed plantains, pork belly, garlic, hot sauce and cilantro.
From Philly’s Chinatown comes this hot dog baked into its own, slightly sweet and buttery, brioche-like bun. For just eighty cents, you can’t go wrong with it.
Iron Chef Garces serves this house-cured mortadella dog at lunch, but during Phillies daytime games, it’s paired with a beer and chips for $9. It’s made with local pork, white wine, espelette, pistachios, and is served on a house-baked pain au lait bun.
Dog Daze: Take a Look at Philly’s 15 Best Hot Dogs