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London's best hot dogs

Forget leathery sausages on soggy buns – find the best hot dogs in town

Poshed-up US-style fast food has never been more popular in London. From retro-styled diners to swanky restaurants, everywhere you look it seems someone's slapping a length of meat into an elongated bun. And while some are no better than your average cinema snack, there are hot dogs of true majesty to be found in London, if you know where to look.

Prefer a more circular treat? Check out our guide to London's best burgers.                                               

The best hot dogs in London

Big Apple Hot Dogs

The ‘cool’ dog, from a street food cart – and complete with cult following. Great bun-to-sausage ratio. Our squidgy bun was dwarfed by a whopping NY style sausage: a pork dog with a springy middle and delicately smokey casing.

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Pentonville

Dirty Bones

This ‘dive and dog bar’ – hot dogs, that is – is housed in a highly styled retro cool Kensington basement. The hostess table is a vintage pinball machine, the lighting is flatteringly set to drinking-den low, and the music is at ‘party loud’. Expect impeccable hot dogs in pillowy buns and all manner of other pimped dude-food.

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Kensington

Hackney Picturehouse Bar & Kitchen

Okay, not a ‘destination dog’, but still the best cinema sanger in town. Our finger bun had a non-speaking part: the star was the sausage. Dense yet bouncy, it was beautifully seasoned, with just the right level of spice kick.

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Hackney

Hawksmoor Spitalfields (bar)

The top dog, without doubt. Deliciously juicy, our top-notch sausage was distinctly smokey and had a huge, ahem, girth. Served in a buttery brioche bun, the standard dog would provide satisfaction aplenty, but the chilli cheese upgrade (add £1.50) rocked our world.

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Spitalfields

Herman ze German

Herman ze German’s Villiers Street outlet has long been cherished by sausage fanciers and the late-night commuters of Charing Cross, but it’s no place to linger. This second branch in Soho is still a fast-food joint, but is a more inviting space, with more seating. Wherever you choose to eat, the sausages are sehr gut. Imported from the Schwarzwald (Black Forest), they use high-quality pork; have juicy, springy middles; and a proper ‘knack’ when you bite. What’s more, they’re served, traditional-style, in ‘proper bread’ – here using chewy baguettes. Our ‘ze Wilde Bock’ had a bouncy bockwurst (smoked pork sausage) layered with ‘curry’ sauce (spicy ketchup), squidgy fries and crisp onion shards: a sort of Teutonic chip-and-sausage butty.

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Charing Cross

J-Dog

The Berkshire breed of pig is so highly prized in Japan for its flavour and juiciness that they've done wonders in breeding it and have given it a Japanese name: kurobuta. J-Dog uses Berkshire/kurobuta to make some of its hot dogs. It has regular pork and beef versions too, but kurobuta gets top billing. And this is the reason to come here: the pork is just so good, even on its own. Five-star, gold-plated, ass-kicking dogs. The Kimchi Dog (most expensive one at £6) is a good place to start. And the dogs are of a good size, too. 

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Shoreditch

Top Dog

The hot dogs at this new Soho eatery are about as pretty as hot dogs get. Artful lattices of sauce from a squeezy bottle announce that Top Dog wants to give the humble tube steak the Best in Show award in the Crufts of gastronomy. The proprietors put a ‘healthy’ spin on their offering, and the pups are produced in London.  The results, we found, were mixed: the 'Kinchi' and 'Chicago' dogs scored higher on our cards than the "Sloppy' and 'Soho'. But the fries are an addictive treat every time. 

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Soho

Comments

12 comments
Shelley H
Shelley H

Everyone knows Germans have the best weiners - firm but succulent, smothered in sauce, with a smokey finish. I'd gobble up Herman any day of the week. In fact, I normally have two. 

Crispin Z
Crispin Z

LOVE Dirty Bones! They do one with pulled pork, bacon and jalapenos on top that I could seriously eat for every meal. And their burger with macaroni cheese is incredible!  

Esmerelda P
Esmerelda P

Herman Ze German is sehr gut! Keep sending food like this our way and all that business with the war will be water under the bridge :) 

Jane B
Jane B

Dirty Bones sounds amazing, but I'm a Hawksmoor purist. I'd happily bathe in their chilli if they'd let me. God knows what they put in the wieners (best not to ask) but it's tasty as bacon cake. Hmmmmmmmm.

Prince B
Prince B

I'm a big fan of Herman but I think Big Apple wins it for me - amazingly smokey and I love that you can buy them raw to cook at home. Don't BubbleDogs deserve a mention?

Gunther G
Gunther G

Whenever I'm in Soho, I like to have curry sauce on Bockwurst. Then to recover I go to Herman Ze German.

Frank F
Frank F

Hands down the best dog in town is Hawksmoor's chilli cheese number. Hot diggety dog!  

mermayden
mermayden

I actually buy packet smoked bratwurst from the basement of the Kensington Whole Foods and make my own.  A tenth of the price and I can customise to my hearts content.  I like a combo of mustard and ketchup with fried onions.

Mantao
Mantao

About the Herman ze German review. Yes it is great, but the black forest is not in Bavaria ;) And the sausages are not from Bavaria either!

1teenytomta
1teenytomta

Stamford Bridge Deathdog is a worthy contender