Hot Diggity Dog! National Hot Dog Day Is Here
Celebrate this frank-filled holiday on July 18 at these NJ spots.
iStock // Juanmonino
WHERE TO GET DEALS
There are a handful of corporate chains offering up discounted franks, but these NJ-only spots will really do the trick. Casino Pier & Breakwater Beach in Seaside Heights is also celebrating. Head to the Pier Grill on the boardwalk or Dockside Grill at Breakwater Beach water park for a belated Hot Dog Day fix on July 23 for BOGO dogs. Not near the shore? Head to Jimmy Buff’s, the 1932 originator of the Italian-style dog packing fried spuds, onions and peppers with 1-2 deep-fried franks (or sausages) on soft pizza bread, in Kenilworth or West Orange instead. On July 18, you’ll score a BOGO deal on these famous pushcart-style weenies (pick up only)
PLACES TO GO
While these spots don’t have special discounts going on, they’re beloved in NJ and beyond for their top-notch dogs. Head to one near you to get your fix.
443 Howard Blvd., Mount Arlington
Specialty: Affordable yet creative hot dogs (be sure to try Andy’s onions!)
Hot Dog Deets: This spot is everything that’s sacred about food truck fare: it’s reasonably priced, simple yet adventurous and aimed to please everyone and anyone. The Pig Dog, a weenie topped with pulled pork, BBQ sauce, cheddar and bacon, might be the main attraction, but the Mr. Potato-Dog (basically a loaded potato in dog form), the Asian-inspired #1 Super-Dog and the buffalo-drenched Wing Thing are worth a bite, too. Bonus? You can order these franks puppy sized (aka smaller) for the kiddos.
10 Broad St., Norwood
1-844-HOTDOG1. Ext. 1
Specialty: Over-the-top Instaworthy cheat meals (Cap’n Crunch Fried Chicken Burger, Cool Ranch Dorito Mac ‘n Cheese, etc.)
Hot Dog Deets: Saveur rated this spot’s dog the best in the state. Indulge in a standard nine inches of pork and beef and top with everything from brown gravy to spicy onions to signature “so good” sauce. Spring for the footlong Super Dog if you’re feeling extra peckish, or a Jersey cornerstone, the Italian: a hot dog topped with fried potatoes, peppers, onions and mustard.
2576 US 22, Union
Specialty: Italian everything and anything
Hot Dog Deets: While the pushcart menu boasts classic dogs and meatball subs, Italian hot dogs, sausages and burgers are the claim to fame. These puppies are packed with potatoes and served on traditional pizza bread.
100 US 46, Parsippany
Specialty: Say it with us: Best. Chili. Dogs. Ever.
Hot Dog Deets: Traditional dogs go for $2.50 a pop and include two toppings, but you should go for the 50-cent splurge for the beloved house-made chili, which has received tons of media attention and local hype over the years. Italian hot dogs are also popular, but toppings like homemade marinated onions, cheese sauce and hot pepper seeds seal the deal for beyond-satisfying bites.
323 S. Pine Ave., South Amboy
Specialty: Dirty water dogs and old fashioned fries and sides
Hot Dog Deets: Go big (as they do in Texas, of course) with BBQ sauce, onions and cheese, spice things up with the Mississippi Killer (chili and hot peppers) or the Tijuana Hotty (chili, jalapenos and cheese) and give off island vibes with the Hawaiian Luau Wrap (two dogs, cheese, bacon, pineapple, crushed potato chips). Italian dogs are also available, not to mention burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, tacos and chili cheese fries.
Faitoute and Webster Aves., Roselle Park
Specialty: All-beef dirty water dogs (they’re bigger than most!)
Hot Dog Deets: Dee’s has been slinging franks for 53 years out of both her dad’s original hot dog cart and her present-day trucks. This local fave is all about the basics: ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, chili, relish, onions and hot peppers. Get there early, though: once the hot dogs run out, Dee hits the road.
101 Paterson St., New Brunswick
Specialty: Internationally-inspired dogs and gourmet exotic meats.
Hot Dog Deets: With 17 state- and country-themed weenies each, there’s something for everyone at this hot dog haven. Get a taste of NYC with the classic Cyclone (beef dog, chili, onions, spicy brown mustard) or Boston with the Red Hots (beef dog, baked beans, cole slaw. Feeling adventurous? Try Canada’s Le Poutine (duck sausage, fried potatoes, gravy, cheese), One Bite in Bangkok (python sausage, cucumber salad, pepper jelly, peanuts, cilantro) or Australia’s Underdog (kangaroo sausage, frizzled onions, vegemite aioli).
240 US 46, Dover
Specialty: 20 varieties of grilled beef dogs
Hot Dog Deets: Stock up on napkins for the All the Way combos and chili cheese variations, or try something different like a Reuben (Thousand island, sauerkraut, swiss), Soprano (ketchup, onions, garlic powder, parmesan), or Chicago (mustard, pickles, tomatoes, relish, onions, celery salt). The go-to for the kids? The fried corn dog. Other signature items include Italian dogs and sausages, cheesesteaks, and fries with everything from cheddar and chili to hot red onion sauce.
1140 Goffle Rd., Hawthorne
Specialty: Texas-style weiners (say yes to all the way sauce), famous milkshakes and signature potato rounds
Hot Dog Deets: The standard? A fried frank with homemade chili, mustard and onions. Pair that with golden tot rounds and a hand-packed shake. Other signature dishes include the Frank & Beans (deep fried dogs served with a whole pound of baked beans), the home-cooked turkey sandwich and the sang-weech (grilled or crispy chicken with broccoli rabe and house mutz on bread).
210 US 46 E., Lodi
Specialty: Texas- and pushcart-style dogs served in a nostalgic ambiance
Hot Dog Deets: There’s no fuss about these weenies. Get ‘em plain, with sauerkraut, relish, cheese or homemade red onions, or drenched in hot Italian onions or chili. Going with the whole fam? You can buy eight dogs and get one on the house. Oh, and the perfect thing to wash it all down? An old-school orangeade or birch beer should do the trick, not to mention a chocolate or vanilla egg cream.
1345 Palisade Ave., Fort Lee
Specialty: Deep-fried, no-frills dogs; a lot of Yoo-hoo (yup, that’s right, the beloved chocolate drink from your childhood was invented in NJ around Hiram’s opening)
Hot Dog Deets: Hiram’s make look unspectacular, but 35 percent of foodies who voted for this DVlicious’ Best Hot Dogs in Bergen winner beg to differ. Half this spot is an old-school service counter, while the other half is a bar. The pork and beef blend is enhanced with German spices, then fried in a special mix of oils that makes them extra puffy. Make sure to scoop the sweet-and-sour slaw onto your dog.
319 Beach Ave. Rear, Cape May
Specialty: Grilled dogs and trademark service
Hot Dog Deets: After the original owners stepped down in 2016, the signature HotDog hat was passed down to Bruce, the present-day HotDog Tommy. Dog options include the Leaner Weiner (pork and beef, steamed bun), Bigger Bad Dog (black angus all-beef, deli bun) or the Vegan Dog (you can even get a gluten-free bun!) Choose from nearly 30 signature dogs including the Thunder Dog (mashed potatoes, baked beans, mustard, onions, cheddar), the Zippy Chippy Zorro Dog (tangy red pickled pepper relish, onions, potato chips) and the Black Russian Dog (black pepper rub, russian dressing, pickle). Add special toppings like cranberry coleslaw, banana peppers, crumbled bleu cheese and salsa for just a few cents more.
669 Lexington Ave., Clifton
Specialty: Texas weiners, all the way
Hot Dog Deets: These franks are a deep-fried beef and pork blend, and experts would tell you to get the works: mustard, chopped onion and famous chili sauce. Other simple options include the roast beef platter, BLTs and tuna salad on a soft roll.
572 US 46 E., Fairfield
230 Bloomfield Ave., Newark
Specialty: Boiled dogs
Hot Dog Deets: With a food truck in Newark and a brick and mortar store in Fairfield, it’s the easiest it’s ever been to get your fix. These franks are priced at about $2 each, but can get gussied up in many outfits, like Hot Works (kraut and hot onion), Hook-Up (mayo, slaw, hot chili and ketchup), and Belly Buster (kraut, hot onion, cheese, hot chili). Special topping combos on these pups include cheese and pepperoni, cream cheese and bacon, sweet peppers and potatoes and french fried onions.
906 2nd Ave., Elizabeth
Specialty: Old-school, no-frills dirty water dogs
Hot Dog Deets: These weenies are boiled first, then grilled. Three doors down from Tommy’s, bring your appetite and try both without having to travel far. The mustard and kraut combo is a no-brainer, but the red onion sauce is also not to be missed.
77 Water St., Newton
Specialty: 15 signature dogs that can come pushcart-style or deep-fried
Hot Dog Deets: From basics (house Dirty Jersey relish and mustard, anyone?) to extravagant (bechamel cheese sauce, cubanelle peppers and tzatziki), these pups get doused in just about every topping imaginable. Hop the guac train with the Volcano Dog (avocado spread, mustard, raw onions, jalapenos), taste the boardwalk with the Coney (chili and onions), reinvent your bagel shop fave with the Jersey Dog (taylor ham-wrapped dog, American cheese, crumbled hash browns and, of course, saltpepperketchup) or ditch the bun for a tortilla with the Burrito Dog. Fun fried sides include zucchini sticks, mushrooms, clam strips and pickle chips.
23-20 Maple Ave., Fair Lawn
Specialty: Texas-style weiners served all the way (mustard, chopped raw onion and house chili)
Hot Dog Deets: The menu ranges from brown gravy burgers and Italian dogs to subs, chicken fingers and cannolis. But all the way dogs are the highlight here, made with J&H’s famous chili sauce that’s been passed down since 1939.
98 McBridge Ave., Paterson
Specialty: Jersey diner essentials and Texas weiners
Hot Dog Deets: Frank basics include regular and XL Texas-style dogs, available with cheese, Italian style, classic with mustard and sauerkraut or relish, or veggies and vinaigrette. Libby’s chili has such a following that it’s available to take out in pints and quarts. Dogs go best with signature fries (and any self-respecting NJer will spring for cheese and gravy).
8th and New Jersey Aves., North Wildwood
Specialty: German-style weenies, freshly breaded shrimp, chicken cutlets and chicken fingers, and varieties of loaded fries
Hot Dog Deets: Dogs here are a mashup of beef, pork and veal. With 29 toppings to choose from (everything from house Horsey mustard to Wisconsin Cheddar to white wine sauteed spinach), there’s something for everyone at Maui’s. First-timers should try the Forget-About-It dog with mustard, onions, chili, cheese and crispy bacon, not to mention the famed house-made macaroni salad with secret Maui spices and tuna.
400 Rte. 38, Moorestown Mall, Moorestown
Specialty: 17 signature dogs (highlights include the Mac Dog with mac ‘n cheese, the Filipino with sticky rice, mango and sweet chili sauce, and fresh corn dogs)
Hot Dog Deets: Regular-sized dog not cutting it? Splurge for a Terminator, a quarter pound beef weenie that’s available with toppings like cheese sauce, fried egg and spicy red pepper relish. If the kids love sweets, the Gadzooks Dog won’t disappoint: think peanut butter, brownie pieces, chocolate and caramel sauces and whipped cream on a crisp deep-fried dog.
417 River Rd., Clifton
Specialty: It’s all about the Ripper!
Hot Dog Deets: These franks are deep-fried until the casings crack and split, resulting in the legendary nickname Rippers. Rutt’s has been featured on the Travel Channel, Food Network and PBS, plus was listed in 1000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die. Don’t pass on the famous relish here, made with a special combo of mustard and spices.
900 2nd Ave., Elizabeth
Specialty: Italian hot dogs and sausages (in case you couldn’t tell)
Hot Dog Deets: Talk about getting your daily meat and potatoes. Top all-beef dogs or Italian sausages with the works: onions, peppers and potatoes. Kids picky eaters? Hit ‘em with the potato sandwich or potato cup.
Corner of Park Ave. and Lake St.
Specialty: Simply put, dogs and sausages.
Hot Dog Deets: Classic toppings like relish, kraut and mustard can be upgraded with spicy or sweet chili, bacon bits, potato sticks, hot or sweet onions and more. Prices start at a seriously reasonable $2, while a super dog or sausage will cost you $3-4.
4110 Quakerbridge Rd., Lawrenceville
Specialty: 24 unconventional, colossal dogs with surprising toppings
Hot Dog Deets: Franks come naked and bacon-wrapped, while you can also sub chicken sausage, bratwurst or falafel. Honor your Jersey roots with the PLT Dog, piled with pork roll, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, buffalo mayo and a fried egg. Purists can get the famed chili cheese, while those who don’t mind a mess can indulge in the Roadhouse, a bacon-wrapped weenie topped with house cheese, BBQ and ranch sauces and frizzled onions. For the kids, you can’t go wrong with the Unlawful Waffle: a beef dog dipped in waffle batter and deep-fried, served with honey maple mustard dip.
Seven Jersey Shore locations
Phone number varies by location
Specialty: Larger-than-life pork and beef blend dogs
Hot Dog Deets: These gems are nearly a foot long, and have been a Jersey Shore staple since the ‘60s. Pair your classic chili cheese with a side of breaded mushrooms with secret-recipe horseradish sauce, add pork roll to your burger in proper Jersey fashion or scarf down an order of crinkle-cut fries smothered in WindMill’s famous cheese sauce. Craving these franks in the off-season? No worries: you can order packs of these dogs right to your door.