The Washington Post
Best hot dogs photo
(by John McDonnell)

Best hot dogs

Going Out Guide staff  |  Updated 01/08/2015

Hot dog stands dot the street corners, and there's always Ben's Chili Bowl, but here are some of the city's more tempting options.


Galaxy Hut

Arlington, VA

Better known for its killer beer selection, live music and independent vibe, this small Clarendon bar also serves a mean dog. The all-beef or veggie dog is boiled in IPA and comes with sauerkraut or relish; or you can trick out your dogs with chili, cheese and onions, bacon (or veggie bacon) and melted cheddar, or just jalapenos. A fairly classic lineup in a wonderfully offbeat venue. $7 to $8.50 for two.


Johnny's Half Shell

Washington, DC

It's easy miss the listing for the Baltimore dog amid all the seafood items on the lunch menu. But Johnny's, with its charming decor reminiscent of the Cafe Americain of "Casablanca," offers an interesting spin on the classic weiner: Topped with blue cheese and with sauerkraut or translucent onions, the cross-hatched grilled dog is served on a toasted bun. $8.75.


Union Market

Washington, DC

Union Market is home to Red Apron Butcher's first location, where hot dogs and sausages are only a small part of the menu. The selection rotates; recent specials have included a chorizo hot dog with tomato salsa and lime crema, and a spicy corn dog served with hot mustard. Also available at the Mosaic District in Merrifield.



Washington, DC

The dining room includes whimsical art featuring characters from "Alice in Wonderland" (not to mention a waiter who sports the Mad Hatter's garb), but the restaurant is serious about its Mad Dogs, offering nine versions of the weighty wurst. The dogs are boiled, then grilled and served on a toasted bun with a smattering of toppings. Standouts include the Cheshire dog, sporting applewood-smoked bacon and honey mustard, and the Wonderland dog, topped with creamy mac and cheese. $8.


American Ice Company

Washington, DC

You can find the 13th Street Meats version of the half-smoke here and at the nearby Coupe on 11th Street.


Ann's Dari Creme

Glen Burnie, MD

Since 1951, this neighborhood joint has served footlongs (single or double) on soft sub rolls with the works: meaty chili, mustard and diced onions. Pull up a seat at the counter of this narrow restaurant and watch a handful of friendly employees man the grill and calmly navigate the whirlwind of customers without writing down a single order. Single, $2.95; double, $5.



Washington, DC

Want to reminisce about the hot dogs of your youth in New Jersey, Coney Island, Chicago or the state fairgrounds? DC-3 offers takes on regional dogs, including the veggie-draped Chicago 7, the Jersey bacon-wrapped Ripper, the no-frills NY Coney and the dough-encased Corn Dog.


Boundary Stone

Washington, DC

Another place to find the 13th Street Meats half-smoke, except this one's covered in house-made chili and Vermont cheddar.


Bold Bite

Bethesda, MD

You can get all the usual hot dog suspects here, and that's not even talking about the "Show Dogs" section of the menu. There you'll find a selection of sausages including merguez, spicy chorizo, chicken and a veggie option. Don't skip the fries, which come with your choice of dipping sauce.


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