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
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more