Our 10 Favorite Hot Dogs in Phoenix

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hot dog big unit.jpg
Zachary Fowle
The Big Unit, Cooper'stown.
5. The Big Unit from Cooper'stown

Ballpark dogs are all well and good if you're looking for a light aperitif, but I'm of the conviction that bigger is better, especially when it comes to wieners. And it doesn't get much bigger than Alice Cooperstown's Big Unit Hot Dog. Named after former D-Backs hurler Randy Johnson, the Big Unit features a 22-inch log of Vienna Beef nestled inside a whole baguette and topped with chili, cheese sauce, sauerkraut, jalapeno, diced tomato and onion, sweet relish, shredded cheddar and BACON! Weighing in at three pounds, it's enough to feed me and my Frankenstein. -- Zachary Fowle

6. The Maxwell Street Polish at Great Dane's Dog House 
The Maxwell Street Polish at Great Dane's Restaurant is a Vienna beef grilled sausage, topped with savory grilled onions, tomatoes, a pickle, hot peppers, and spicy deli mustard. I call it a classic Chicago-style dog done right. The Polish sausage is made to perfection, the grilling creates a crisp outside and tender, juicy center. The made-fresh daily grilled onions and deli mustard accentuate the smoky flavor of the dog and it's all served on a poppy seed bun that managed to stay relatively firm and intact till the very end. -- David Sydiongco

7. The Chicago Dog at the Chicago Hamburger Company
I'm in love with the Chicago dog at the Chicago Hamburger Company. Not only is it the perfect size for an adequate, non-food-coma-inducing lunch, but the meat is juicy, the toppings are crisp and fresh, and the service is quick. Made-to-order, the dog rests between a crunchy pickle spear, hot tomato slices and sport peppers that are nicely spicy but tolerable. To be honest, I might cheat on the Chicago dog sometimes with the Medley, which is layered beneath neon green relish and chopped onions, is wrapped in a poppy seed bun and christened with a generous smattering of savory celery salt. -- Hannah Hayes

8. The BBQ Dog from Dave's Doghouse
With shaded tables scattered about outside and silly phrases written with marker on newspaper decorating the inside, Dave's Doghouse is a counter-service hot dog stand, conveniently located on ASU's Tempe campus. The dogs are distinctly Boston-style, with custom-ordered, hand-stuffed, all-beef links imported straight from Beantown, and the buttered and grilled New England style bun (the sides look and taste like the outside of a perfect toasted cheese sandwich). Dave's only offers only a few style preparations. The Beantown comes with beans, the Mac and Cheese dog is topped with mac and cheese and bacon, and the Reuben has the fixins of a Reuben sandwich: Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut. The dog I can not get enough of it the BBQ Dog. It started with that toasted buttered bun, and then that delicious secret recipe, handmade all beef hot dog, a slight stripe of tangy BBQ sauce, and topped with cool coleslaw. Yum. We will take this lunch anytime we are on campus. FYI: Summer hours are limited from 10 to 3, M-F, through August 5. -- Michelle Martinez

 

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Jonathan McNamara
The offering at Nogales Hot Dogs.
9. The Sonoran Hot Dog from Nogales Hot Dogs

Don't going looking for the Nogales Hot Dogs restaurant. It doesn't exist. No, Nogales Hot Dogs in all their bacon-wrapped, mayo-slathered, bejeweled-by-diced tomato glory come straight from a truck surrounded by a make-shift, outdoor dining room of plastic tables and folding chairs that doesn't open til 6 in the evening. These dogs are so good that they caught the attention of Bizarre Foods' Andrew Zimmern when he came through the Valley. But you need not make afternoon snacks of dung beetles and pig ears to appreciate this decadent dog. Each one comes equipped with bacon armor, topped with beans, mayo, tomatoes, and onions. Add some crumbly Mexican cheese and guacamole on top then drown the tasty bastard in a wave of hot sauce. The cleanliness of your shirt will be compromised, but doggone it, you won't care a bit. -- Jonathan McNamara

10. The #4 at Two Hippies Beach House
Phoenix may not have a sandy beach (at least, not a real one), but it does have a cool surfside beach shack in Two Hippies. The menu features a handful of tasty wieners including Sonoran and chili dogs, but my favorite is the #4, a Greek-inspired version slapped on a tasty egg bun. The dog itself is a plump pink jumbo beef frank that's boiled rather than grilled, making for less char and more focus on the natural juiciness of the meat. Pungent feta and bacon provide a salty base, while chopped tomato adds an acidic sweetness that lightens up the topping combo. Pesto mayo boosts the creamy texture and brings the whole dish together for a Mediterranean-style dog that goes down easy. -- Wynter Holden

 

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33 comments
Keti Tsereteli
Keti Tsereteli

I think this one should have made it on that list, too: http://onioncrunch.tumblr.com/...

Homemade, but looks and tastes wonderful! That's the accomplishment of the Onion Crunch on top. Those crispy, fried onions definitely make the hot dog for me!

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Mugua23

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The Main Ingredient
The Main Ingredient

I find it almost comical that we are the current award winner from New Times for Best Of Phoenix, Best Hot Dog, & on this list we didn't crack the top 10! Because Michele is gone? Our dog remains AWESOME & unchanged since we won, so just curious about the inconsistency there guys!

TheCosmicJester
TheCosmicJester

I'm missing the Ted's love, too! A jumbo all-beef dog with everything on it, onion rings, and the loganberry drink... man that's good eatin'! And they have darned good corn dogs too.

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

Though I love any attention lavished upon a Chicago classic, if you want to be pedantic about it (and let's be honest, that's basically what we do), a Maxwell Street Polish isn't a hot dog... it's a Polish sausage.  On a Venn diagram they're both sausages, but though they share many attributes, a Polish isn't a subset of a hot dog.

Also, FWIW, the pickle and tomato are non-canonical.  It's not *impossible* to find those on a Maxwell Street Polish in Chicago (Wolfy's, for example), but it's pretty hard.  And neither of the two classic Maxwell Street places (Jim's Original and Maxwell St. Express, both since relocated from Maxwell Street) serve it that way.  Bun, sausage, griddled onion, mustard, sport peppers. Unlike a Chicago-style hot dog, which has a couple of different standards that are only loosely adhered to by the majority of Chicago hot dog stands, I think outliers are a lot rarer when it comes to a Maxwell Street Polish... or, in that case, they might simply be called a Polish rather than a Maxwell Street Polish.

JuxtaPalate Food Blog
JuxtaPalate Food Blog

Sad to admit, but I've honestly had dreams about the Short Leash Dogs. Yet another sign that I need a life.

CK
CK

No mention of Ted's in Tempe?!  

Anna
Anna

Have you ever been to Pittsburgh Willy's? Great dogs in Chandler!

vicelord
vicelord

In need of some attention today? Perhaps upset that you didn't get free publicity? Shut up and keep making food and serving drinks, nobody owes you anything.

CBW
CBW

Because it never was what you thought it was or is.  You may have been on the Best of however that doesn't really mean its the best.  Cause its not.  Sorry...its the best you have but its not the best.

WS
WS

Dawgfather

Oxtox
Oxtox

TED'S! TED'S! TED'S!

Doug'sDsDs
Doug'sDsDs

I'll bet you eat yours with a knife & fork. What does non-canonical mean anyway?

Oxtox
Oxtox

Having Dave's Doghouse on the list but excluding Ted's is downright criminal. Dave's Doghouse sucks compared to Ted's. One more reason not to like Amy Silverman's articles....

Internet Tough Guy
Internet Tough Guy

What a nasty little cunt.  I'm sure the owner of the business that you're harassing anonymously over the internet is far too classy (and busy being successful) to respond, so I will.  Shut your fucking mouth and keep sucking cock for beer money, nobody owes you anything.

The Main Ingredient
The Main Ingredient

Think you might be missing the point a little captain. YOU don't have to think it is. Hell, maybe I don't think it's the best in the whole valley for argument's sake. Point is, NEW TIMES gave us the distinction of "Best Hot Dog", now, a few months later it's not even on this top ten list? Just calling out a contradiction in good fun. Lighten up & eat a big juicy sausage- you deserve it!

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

Yes, I eat my hot dogs with a knife and fork.  Preferably silver.  But only when they're topped with caviar and gold leaf and served on bone china.  Which is always.  The proprietors of the countless Chicago hot dog stands I've visited become confused when my manservant amends my hot dogs thus, but I refuse to eat like a barbarian, even when surrounded by them.

By the bye, have you seen my monocle?  The help have been searching for it all morning but they're practically useless.  No matter.  The chauffeur has just had the tires on my motorcar re-vulcanized, and I'm off for a country drive.

Ta!

Guest1
Guest1

Just calling this to attention, if you notice this is not a comprehensive single author review, it seems to be INDIVIDUAL NT bloggers describing what may be THEIR personal preferences. That's what I perceive it to be anyway, especially with a line like; "Can you guess which hot dogs Zach Fowler and Carol Blonder love? Find out after the jump." Now while Michele may have enjoyed your dogs MD, I assume the other bloggers may have their own favorites.. not everything has to be tied into who had what best of.. last year. Whats wrong with other writers formulating their opinions autonomously?And again its about Hot dogs.. Shortleash FTW.

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

"...reviewing mariscos joints in south phoenix that anybody who is not chicano wouldn't eat at if their family was being held hostage."

Aaaaaaand this is why we can't have nice things, people.  

Internet wuss....
Internet wuss....

You are all losers. MD has a point. I don't think motor trend could award a car "car of the year" and then not even rank it in the top ten and get away with it. Whatever.  Newtimes is a rag. They should stick to stories about the MCSO that nobody gives half a fuck about, or reviewing mariscos joints in south phoenix that anybody who is not chicano wouldn't eat at if their family was being held hostage.

The Main Ingredient
The Main Ingredient

I really think EVERYONE should go back & re-read my original comment. The POINT was that they are contradicting themselves by literally sending us a plaque in the mail that says "Best Hot Dog". Now, until this year's "Best of" comes out & someone else (I think Short Leash is a no brainer) gets it, it's kind of strange that you don't put TMI on this list of TEN places. Vicelord, not sure what your deal is, but THE NAME OF THE GAME IS FREE PUBLICITY! I would be out of my mind if I didn't push this business to the extreme! In this market?! In the summer?! Internet Tough Guy, wow, little exteme. EVERYONE: We're talking about HOT DOGS, lighten the fuck up!  -MD

vicelord
vicelord

I'll go harrass him in the restaurant too. Lord knows I've been there enough times.

vicelord
vicelord

that's why he is going online and complaining that he wasn't on the list, huh?

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