In the midst of the dog days of summer, America prepares to celebrate one of its favorite warm weather foods: the hot dog. Whether it is off the home grill, a cart on the corner or a vendor from the ballpark, a few extra franks will be consumed around the country on July 23 in celebration of National Hot Dog Day. Here are some of the best places to down a few franks, kick back and enjoy the holiday:
1. Pink's Hot Dogs - Los Angeles, CA
Pink's has become a Hollywood fixture and internationally famous since its founding in 1939. It is the ultimate Mom and Pop hot dog stand. While a haven for the rich and famous today, the stand had humble beginnings. It was started by Paul and Betty Pink, who sold hot dogs from a cart on a neighborhood street corner.
2. Show Dogs - San Francisco, CA
Situated in the heart of San Francisco's theater district, Show Dogs features a wide variety of sausages and other fine foods. And it's not just your run of the mill hot dog shack either. Its white marble tables, antique pews, metal stools, tin ceiling tiles and holophane light fixtures create an early industrial city environment.
3. Crift Dogs - New York, NY
Crift Dogs was opened by Brian Shebairo and his childhood pal, Chris Antista, in 2001 after two years of riding their motorcycles throughout the Northeast to sample hot dogs. They came up with the name when Brian tried to say his former partner's name with a hot dog in his mouth.
4. Dat Dog - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans natives and old friends Constantine Georges and Skip Murray reconnected after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to found Dat Dog. Opened in a 475-square-foot building that was originally a shed, its mouth-watering food is highlighted by its range of sausage choices and condiments, including mustards, guacamole, wasabi, sauerkraut, and homemade chili.
5. Cock and Bull - Dallas, TX
This establishment was opened by Noel Graham in 1997. It has since become a popular place for Dallas residents to relax and enjoy great tasting food and drinks.
6. Sammy’s Wild Game Grill - Houston, TX
You won't find growth hormones, antibiotics or preservatives in your meat at Sammy's Wild Game Grill. This restaurant's fine exotic meats, including antelope, venison, elk, ostrich and buffalo, serve as a healthy alternative to your typical fare of poultry, pork, or beef.
7. J Dawgs - Salt Lake City, UT
Started from a 12-foot by 12-foot, abandoned red shack covered with concert posters, J Dawgs was opened in 2004 by a broke BYU student named Jayson. It has since opened a bigger location after becoming widely-known throughout Utah County for its high-quality franks that are blanketed by freshly-baked buns and condiments.
8. Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC
Originally a silent movie house built in 1910, Ben’s Chili Bowl opened for business in 1958. It has been running strong for 55 years and has since opened a new restaurant and bar called Ben’s Next Door.
9. Crown Candy Kitchen - St. Louis, MO
Opened by best friends Harry Karandzieff and Pete Jugaloff in 1913, Crown Candy Kitchen remains up and running 100 years later by Karandzieff's third and fourth generation descendents. Its giant gourmet beef franks will be sure to satisfy a hungry appetite.
10. Spike’s Junkyard Dogs - Boston, MA
These all-beef hot dogs were dubbed by AOL as superior to the famous Fenway Park franks. The classic Junkyard Dog, topped with mustard, tomato, pickle, hot pepper rings, and chopped scallions is only good for one thing, devouring.