Where to Find the Best Hot Dogs in Boston Right Now
Topped with everything from pineapple salsa to Sriracha sour cream, here are our favorite franks.
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For social-distancing reasons, fans won’t be filling the stands at Fenway Park this season. But now that baseball is back in the swing of things, we’re nonetheless thinking about our other favorite reason to hit a Red Sox game: the excuse to eat as many hot dogs as humanly possible. Guess what? A grilled frank tastes just as good via takeout when you’re watching the action on ESPN—and even if you’re not a sports lover, enduring a hot dog-free summer would be a major foul. So here are some of the best spots around Boston to find ’em, from German frankfurters in a bretzel roll to Brazilian-style dogs in a hot-pressed sandwich, to straightforward selections from classic New England snack shacks.
Back when he was plying his fine-dining skills at his now-shuttered restaurant T.W. Food, it would have been hard to imagine that chef Tim Wiechmann’s signature dish would wind up a hot dog. But the Brondog, a staple of his Bavarian-inspired restaurant Bronwyn since 2014, is—to be frank—a now-classic. The foot-long frankfurter sits in a bretzel roll and is topped with chili, cheese, ketchup, and mustard; crispy bratkartoffeln potatoes come on the side. It’s available for takeout, or as a choice on the three-course prix fixe menu that Bronwyn currently offers for on-site dining.
255 Washington St., Somerville, 617-776-9900, bronwynrestaurant.com.
Want to knock two must-try plates off your Boston-foodie bucket list? Head to this casual, street-side takeout window on the ground floor of chef Carolyn Johnson’s otherwise high-end Mooncusser’s Fish House. There you’ll find our just-named winner for the best lobster roll in Boston, as well as one alpha dog: a Randolph, Mass.-made Pearl beef frank topped with house mustard and bread-and-butter-pickle relish.
304 Stuart St., Boston, 617-917-5193, cussersboston.com.
The Lexington at the Picnic Grove at Cambridge Crossing
Chef Will Gilson’s trussed-up takes on picnic-style fare is currently luring eager diners to this al fresco setup in Cambridge. After all, the splay includes a few sneak peeks at plates that will eventually wind up at the Lexington, one of three restaurants Gilson opens on the site in September. We’ll have to wait and see if the hot dog is among them—but regardless, there’s still an incentive to swing by and try the wiener, which is made of top-quality Wagyu beef and topped with ketchup, mustard and relish: Through August, a portion of proceeds from Lexington sales will benefit the food-rescue organization Lovin’ Spoonfuls.
219 Jacobs St., Cambridge, 617-642-1642, thelexingtoncx.com.
Lone Star Taco Bar
Sadly, this summer saw the closing of Allston bar Deep Ellum, a nationally-noted craft-beer destination. There is a small consolation: The shuttering makes room for an expansion of neighbor-sibling Lone Star Taco Bar, so at least we’ll have a little more room for chomping into its superlative Mexican Dog. Loaded with roasted salsa, refried beans, chipotle mustard, and longhorn-style Colby cheese, it’s available at both the Allston and Cambridge Lone Star locations.
479 Cambridge St., Allston, 617-782-8226; 635 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 857-285-6179, deepellum-allston.com/lonestar.
Love Dog Hot Dog Buffet
It’s too bad the bars are closed, because this creative hot dog cart makes what might be the some of the best drunk-food in the Boston area: Brazilian-style boiled hot dogs receive mounds of toppings from a buffet-style assortment, which includes unusual options like potato sticks, peas, mozzarella cheese, and bacon-bedecked bread crumbs—and coolest of all, you can then get your hot dog pressed hot, panini-sandwich style. Intrigued? Keep an eye on Love Dog’s Facebook page for updates on appearances, but right now you’ll find the setup at the Lynn location on Wednesdays through Sundays from 11:30 a.m to 7 p.m. and at the Everett location on Wednesdays through Sundays from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.
1865 Revere Beach Parkway, Everett; 453 Chatham St., Lynn, 617-869-1705.
Outdoor dining has been the centerpiece of the Pour Yard since it opened four years ago by transforming a former parking lot into a large enclosed patio and herb garden. Naturally, then, the place feels well-equipped to navigate the al fresco-oriented era of COVID-19—and when Pour Yard reopened this summer, it even added a creative lineup of “hot dog flights” to enhance the already-summery experience. Offered at $5 a pop, options include the Atomic Dog with Buffalo sauce, blue cheese, and celery; the Tropical Dog with sweet salsa, jalapeños, and Sriracha sour cream; and the Reuben Dog with sauerkraut, shredded Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing.
210 Washington St., Quincy, 617-481-9667, thepouryard.com.
Publico Street Bistro & Garden
At this globally-inspired kitchen in Southie, the open-air atrium has been a neighborhood hotspot for a while. Now, though, there’s also an expanded street-facing patio for sampling the eclectic eats—including the heat-beating Hot Dawg, which adds refreshing pineapple salsa, zingy lime mayo, poblano chili, and bacon to a Chelsea, Mass.-made Kayem frank.
11 Dorchester St., South Boston, 617-622-5700, publicboston.com.
Whether you want a meaty hot dog or an equally awesome vegetarian version, you’ll find it at one of the two Saus locations. Carnivores should head to the original downtown spot, where the flavorful beef-and-pork sausages come in a few forms—pickled jalapeños, curry ketchup, and cheddar-ale are among the toppings. Saus’s newer location at Somerville’s Bow Market, meanwhile, focuses on vegetarian fare, so there you’ll find meat-free Impossible dogs made even more marvelous with chili-cheese or served “Thai-style” with papaya slaw, peanuts, and sambal sauce.
33 Union St., Boston; 1 Bow Market Way, Somerville, sausboston.com.
Bigger isn’t necessarily better—unless you’re talking about hot dogs, in which case, bring on the (nearly) foot-long favorites from Simco’s. The longtime Mattapan landmark is a simple walkup window with cool, vintage signage that nods to its decades-spanning history of serving some of the best dogs around; they’re big, juicy, served on a grilled and buttered roll, and topped with chili, cheese, or both. There’s also a Roslindale location, though from a local-character standpoint, the original still has the edge.
1509 Blue Hill Ave., Mattapan, 617-296-3800; 679 Canterbury St., Roslindale, 617-524-2700.
Spike’s Junkyard Dogs
This straightforward hot dog specialist has been treasured by Allston-area college crowds for years. No wonder: Spike’s A-plus dogs do the trick every time, from the signature Junkyard—topped with banana peppers, scallions, and pickles—to the 57 T-Bird, which gets a lift from honey mustard and Swiss cheese.
108 Brighton Ave., Allston, 617-254-7700, spikejunkyarddogs.com.
Sullivan’s Castle Island
Eventually, this Southie icon will spawn a second location inside Hub Hall, an as-yet-unopened food hall next to TD Garden and North Station. Until then, though, you can still swing by the takeout-only original—a beloved fixture for its fried seafood and simple, super-cheap Kayem dogs that are grilled and then tossed on a toasted roll. Top ’em with cheese and chili for maximum mouth-watering.
2080 William J Day Blvd., South Boston, 617-268-5685, sullivanscastleisland.com.
Trina’s Starlite Lounge
Variety is a major virtue at Trina’s, a retro-cool hangout known for its “Dog of the Day” offerings, regularly-changing breeds such as the “Flyin’ Hawaiian Dog” with grilled pineapple salsa, bacon bits, and ginger- and brown sugar-laced barbecue sauce. There are menu standbys, too, including the Starlite Dog topped with coleslaw and tangy aioli. Whatever you order, enjoy it under twinkling lights on the new patio—or take your dog for a walk after hitting the just-launched Starlite Snack Shack window, which serves standard franks, veggie-friendly “tofu pups,” and delicious fried corn dogs.
3 Beacon St., Somerville, 617-576-0006, trinastarlitelounge.com.