Hot dogs: they’re certainly not the most refined food on the planet.
But hey, when you’ve just smoked a monster blunt or sucked down 15-too-many bong hits before lunch, it’s not as if you really care what part of the animal the meat came from, especially when it tastes so delicious in your mouth.
Ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut and relish are all pretty cool as toppings (and a special shout-out to NYC-street-cart-style onions in tangy orange-red sauce -- you’re the bomb, too), but certain potheads’ appetites often demand more than these average accoutrements. That’s why HIGH TIMES scoured the nation for the highest forms of hot dogs available to hungry, discerning stoners. Instead of predictable adornments, we discovered spots where the fixins seem to go against the very principles of space and time, and the creators of these culinary delights were likely to have been dabbling in some dank when they developed them.
And, clearly, these people love playing with wieners.
Phallic jokes aside, we hope you’re happy with our picks and if we left out your happy place for hot dogs, do us a favor and give it Honorable Mention in the comments below.
New York Dog House -- Astoria (Queens), NY
Astoria may be known for excellent Greek food, but now it’s also known as a neighborhood where you can score gnarly dogs. Almost every topping is made in-house, including the zucchini relish and pickled red onion you find atop the Relish Dog, and the carrot-cucumber slaw your find (with shaved apples) on the Slaw Dog. Because we encourage flatulence, we recommend The Beaner: a spicy, all-beef sausage topped with bacon baked beans, toasted hominy and cilantro. Hominy, eh? More like harmony.
Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs -- Denver, CO
Some of the meanest wieners on the planet are to be found in one-of-two states where rec-weed is legal -- and how sweet it is! Biker Jim’s offers adventures eaters the chance to try exotic hot dogs made with meats like rattlesnake and pheasant, Alaskan reindeer, elk, duck, and wild boar. We like the Bat Dog (don’t worry; it’s not made with bat flesh), a smoked bacon brat with avocado puree, tomato cream cheese, caramelized onions, bacon bits and tomato-bacon powder. We also really dig the Southwest buffalo sausage (spiked with cumin, chipotle and green chilies) topped with the combination known as “The Desert”: harissa-roasted cactus, Malaysian curry jam scallions, cilantro, and onions two ways.
Dreamy Weenies -- New Orleans, LA
The weenies really are dreamy at this NOLA nosh station, where the toppings are as colorful as a Mardi Gras parade. When in New Orleans, do as the New Orleanians do and get your weenie wet with red beans and rice or good ol’ barbecue shrimp sauce (it’s not your typical BBQ sauce, trust us). You can even add grits, Creole mix (celery, green peppers and onions), Dream’oulade sauce (a dreamy version of remoulade), and amazing house-made chili to create one funky flavor combo. Halal and vegetarian options abound, as well.
The Red Hot -- Tacoma, WA
Out in Washington State, we’d recommend smoking a fat (and totally legal) blunt and then heading to this delectable dive in Tacoma. Stars of the menu include the 6th Ave Strut, a prototypical hot dog of the Pacific Northwest, topped with cream cheese, tomatoes and chopped onions, and the Hosmer Hound Dog, topped with peanut butter (seriously) and two crispy strips of bacon (conceived while stoned silly, we’re guessing). If you have time to sit and eat, order the not-available-for-takeout Tideflats, featuring two beef hot dogs on an open-faced bun topped with the works: yellow mustard, ketchup, fresh chopped onions, sport peppers, locally made Red Hot Moma relish, jalapenos, chili, apple cider-braised sauerkraut, nacho cheese, coleslaw and a special house-made spice blend. You’ll definitely need a fork. (You might also need a bib.)
Crif Dogs -- East Village and Brooklyn, NY
New York City is a veritable hot dog heaven, with carts on every corner and an array of shops touting gourmet versions of tube steak. One of our favorites is Crif Dogs, with two NYC outposts. You can’t go wrong with the “jon-jon deragon,” featuring a shmear of cream cheese, scallions and everything bagel seeds. But, if you’re feeling some with more heat, go with the “spicy red neck,” a bacon-wrapped dog piled high with cole slaw, chili and jalapenos.
Doggy-Style Hotdogs -- Alameda, CA
In NoCal, the place to carry your craving for wieners is Doggy-Style, where you can find an international homage to the hot dog. In the mood for Asian? Try the Doggyzilla, a bratwurst topped with wasabi mayo, teriyaki, Asian slaw and seaweed, or order the Banh Mi dog, garnished with pickled carrots and daikon radish, cilantro, jalapenos and mayo. If your taste is leaning more toward domestic flavors, go for the All-American, loaded with coleslaw, cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce.
Happy Fatz -- Houston, TX
Down in the Lone Star State, get your dog decorated Slaw Dog Millionaire-style (that would be with cole slaw, bacon, red cabbage and celery salt; or, try the Lotus Blossom, a hot dog served on a jalapeno bun with fresh spinach, red cabbage and white cheddar pimento sauce. If you’re you’re feeling extra happy about getting fat, order the Happy Fatz, topped with tomato, onion, bacon, cheddar, dill pickle, yellow mustard and secret spices.
Skooby’s -- Los Angeles, CA
LA’s Skooby’s is perhaps the most traditional dog-slinger on this list, but its beloved bacon-cheese dogs and chili-cheese dogs are such supreme munchies that it begged to be included. We recommend creating something extra-awesome with one of these already-brolic foundations, for instance by adding grilled onions, garlic and aioli to the equation.
La Perrada de Edgar -- Miami Beach, FL
After looking at the menu for this Colombian-turned-international hot dog spot in the tropical paradise of South Beach, you’ll quickly conclude that this Edgar dude must blaze copious amounts of trees. If you want something savory, go for either the Uruguayan (with chorizo, mozzarella, bacon, potato sticks, garlic sauce, a South American condiment known as salsa golf, or “golf sauce,” and chef sauce [which we think might be this]) or the Venezuelan (with sausage, mozz, coleslaw, ketchup, mustard, guasacaca, and crunchy potato sticks); if you’d rather something sweeter (and insanely stoner-rific), try the fruitiest tubesteak in SoBe, the “Edgar Special:” a sausage with mozzarella, pineapple, blackberry, plum, and whipped cream.
Los Perros Locos -- East Village, NY
Another NYC hot dog spot makes the list because it’s too good to be left out. We’re talking about the city’s craziest dogs at LPL, including toppings like strawberry-ancho jam, spicy mango mojo, and sriracha pico de gallo, in addition to crunchy goodness like chicharrones de puerco, crushed Fritos, Doritos and potato chips. The Amerro-Perro is proclaimed as “the BEST chili dog in todo el MUNDO!” on the menu, and it might be true; topped with beer- and cocoa-infused chili, shredded Vermont cheddar, chipotle kraut, crushed Fritos and ChipZana sauce (a chipotle-apple concoction). If you’re fiending something big and sloppy, go for the Más Perfecto, “the ultimate Colombian hot dog,” loaded with the following insanity: crushed chips, five salsas (sweet pineapple, roasted garlic, creamy avocado, ChipZana, and pink sauce), melted mozzarella, deep-fried bacon cubes, apple-chipotle slaw, and quail eggs). One wiener even comes on a deep-fried French toast bun. Wowzers.
Hot Diggity! -- Philadelphia, PA
Last on our list is Philly’s Hot Diggity!, but they are by no means last when it comes to creativity. Take “The Big Kahuna,” for example; with a mouthwatering mix of guava mustard, grilled onions, pineapple salsa, and spicy orange habanero aioli, it hits all the flavor notes that stoners who can handle heat are looking for. Then, there’s the local fave, “The Philly Surf & Turf,” which features a fishcake-wrapped hot dog (we kid you not) topped with pepper hash and mustard. Monthly hot dog specials often bring in local chefs to provide inspiration, and this month it’s chef Lucio Palazzo of Taqueria Feliz who decided that chapulines, a Mexican delicacy that happens to be a certain type of grasshopper, should make an appearance, in two forms, no less, as a topping. The “El Perro Feliz” is billed as “a wild Mexican street dog” and is crowned with black beans, avocado, salsa de chapulines, onions, serrano chiles, crispy chapulines, and a lime wedge. (Better take some extra binger rips if you plan on ordering that.)
What crazy hot dog places did we miss? Don’t forget to shout them out in the comments!