There are few dishes that demonstration our country's regional differences as well as the hot dog. This All-American dish has been personalized and adapted by nearly every major city coast to coast with regionally specific toppings ranging from mayonnaise and beans (Sonoran Dog, anyone?) to ham cooked in pure butter (yeah we see you, Pittsburgh).
But no matter what style dog you prefer the good news is you can probably find it somewhere in the Valley. We've got restaurants that specialize in everything from the Southwest's bacon-wrapped creation to the veggie-laden dogs popular in the Second City.
See also: 10 Really Weird Hot Dogs
Carolina Dog Joe's Farm Grill
Sure, you probably came to Joe's Farm Grill looking for something healthy to eat. Something that features the bounty of produce raised on the nearby farm, maybe? Well, forget that beause you're making a mistake if you overlook the restaurant's Carolina Dog. The dish features a grilled all-beef hot dog topped with moist, smokey pulled pork and cole slaw. It might sound weird but the tangy vinegar and crunch of the slaw make a perfect complement to all that meat. Plus, it comes wrapped in a piece of buttered Texas toast rather than a boring old bun.
The Boston Dog Dave's Dog House
Consider Dave's a diamond in the rough. It's located on ASU's Tempe campus, a cut above typical college fare. Dave's secret weapon? The custom-made buns that look more like a thick piece of toast instead of the standard bun. The Boston Dog is the classic hot dog with relish, onion and mustard, and an all-beef hot dog. The dog is classic, but not understated. Biting into a freshly toasted bun puts the Boston Dog on another level compared to its competitors.
New Yorker Dog The Hot Dog Stop
This restaurant is located off the beaten path in the Scottsdale Promenade shopping center, but don't let the strange location fool you. It's legit. In fact, it's one of the only actual restaurants where you'll find Sabretts -- as in the all-beef natural casing hot dogs common at hot dog carts in New York City and beyond. Those who've eaten them off a sidewalk cart will recognize the smokey flavor and distinctive "snap" anywhere. For a full Big Apple experience go for the New Yorker Dog, which comes with Sabrett red onion sauce, sauerkraut, and mustard.
The Footlong Ted's Hot Dogs
What would we do without Ted's? It's the only place around here we can walk into knowing we're about to indulge in an American favorite, the charcoal broiled hot dog. Talk about freshness, where the customer is involved in the cooking process, watching their dog transform from pink to perfectly grilled, and able to layer on whatever they desire: mayo, mustard, ketchup, pickles, relish, onion...the list goes on. Footlong hot dogs are more common at ballparks, but savor those extra few inches by ordering a 12 inch dog.
Chili Cheese Dog Rocket Burger and Sub
The chili cheese dog from Rocket Burger is slathered with homemade chili and cheddar cheese and makes you feel so good you won't care about the chili all over your face. The hot dog creation sits inside a poppy seed bun and the chili is spicy enough to leave a little burning sensation on your lips. Pair the chili cheese dog with one of the many old school soda pops in Rocket's extensive selection.
Hot Dog Portillo's
When you pull up to the counter and order the hot dog at Portillo's, what you're really asking for is a famous Chicago-style hot dog. You see, this Windy City-based chain does everything the Chicago way whether you ask for it or not. When it comes hot dogs that means you'll get yours "dragged through the garden," or loaded with mustard, relish, chopped onions, sliced tomatoes, pickle and, sport peppers. We've never seen so many veggies on one hot dog before! The finishing touch is the necessary poppy seed bun. And for $2.65 the price can hardly be beat.
Sonoran Dog Nogales Hot Dogs
Wrapped in bacon, topped with pinto beans, tomato, onion and mayo, the Sonoran dog is the hot dog to fill your late-night cravings. The Nogales Hot Dogs stand, located on 20th Street and Indian School Road, sets up shop from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. nightly. Other topping choices include hot salsa, guacamole sauce, Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, mushrooms and chili. For only $3 each, don't be timid to order up another one before you've even finished the first.
The Lady Short Leash Dogs
If you think you don't like hot dogs that's probably because you've never tried the unique creations they make over at Short Leash Dogs. Nothing about their food is ordinary -- from the locally-made sausages to the na'an bread "buns." Of all the classic menu items, our tried and true favorite has to be the Lady, which comes topped with chipotle cream cheese, sauteed onions, and fried pickles. You get to choose whatever dog you like but we suggest the spicy beer hot. The heat from the dog and the chipotle cream cheese work wonderfully together and still don't overpower the tangy pickles. You can also find this dish at the food truck's brick and mortar restaurant, Short Leash Sit...Stay.
Detroit Coney Detroit Coney Grill
With a dog this good, we were okay putting two chili cheese dogs on our list. The Detroit Coney is the pride and joy of Detroit Coney Grill. The chili is house-made and the hot dogs are all beef and hand cased. Cheese sauce and fresh onion and mustard join the chili on the dog, adding a more wholesome taste. The chili is filling, with the right amount of heat. And if you don't hear the "snap" when you bite into your dog, let the cooks know and they'll be glad to get you another one.
The Wild Willy Wimpy's Paradise
For years, ex-Pittsburgher Randy Walters provided the southeast Valley with a taste of the Steele City at Pittsburgh Willy's. He closed the restaurant earlier this year but has plans to open a new hot dog-centric spot in the future. In the meantime, you can still get your hot dog fix at Walters' other restaurant, Wimpy's Paradise. The burger and ice cream spot continues the P-Willy's tradition with The Wild Willy, a classic combination of chipped ham cooked in butter and whole heaping of cheddar cheese. It's a gut bomb for sure, but well worth the calories.