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Bronwyn
Photograph: Courtesy Bronwyn Bronwyn

The best hot dogs in Boston

From chili-loaded sausages and classic franks to inventive concoctions, here are the best hot dogs in Boston

By Eric Grossman and Time Out Boston Staff
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Hot dogs are no longer thought of as boring meat tubes best enjoyed during outdoor picnics and at Sox games. The humble hot dog has been elevated to new and delicious heights, with specialty meats and outrageous toppings. Even vegetarians are getting in on the game as some of the best vegan restaurants and best vegetarian restaurants in Boston offer tasty, meat-free hot dogs. When you need a hand-held snack to fill your belly after a night of drinking at the best bars in Boston, here are the best hot dogs for satisfying your cravings. And if you haven’t jumped on the hot dog bandwagon yet, check out our guide to the best burgers in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Best hot dogs in Boston

1
Bronwyn
Photograph: Courtesy Bronwyn

Bronwyn

Restaurants Contemporary European Somerville

You can expect a special sausage at a German restaurant, and Bronwyn's Brondog impresses. The pork and beef blend frankfurter is served on a homemade potato bread roll. Chili, melted comte cheese, and gourmet ketchup and mustard take things to the next level. Don’t miss Brondog Tuesdays, when special footlong variations include the likes of a Pizza Dog, Sloppy Joe Dog, Breakfast Dog and Green Goddess dog.

2
Hojoko
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Momo Y.

Hojoko

Restaurants Japanese Fenway/Kenmore

This hip izakaya from Tim and Nancy Cushman offers up cheeky takes on Japanese small plates. After a few rounds of tiki drinks or four-person scorpion bowls, the Dogzilla” is just what you need. This dog is stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, deep fried, then topped with kabayaki sauce and bonito flakes. Even Godzilla is no match for this flavor bomb.

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3
Trina's Starlite Lounge, Bars, Boston
Photograph: Sara Skolnick

Trina’s Starlite Lounge

Bars Cocktail bars

Fans of Trina’s love the comfort food, and the griddled hot dog options are no exception. There are six options on the menu, including a tofu pup and a corn dog. The chili cheese dog is the way to go, as is the dog of the day; mind-bending versions include a pancake-battered dog rolled in Frosted Flakes, then fried and finished with sriracha sea salt and maple dijon dipping sauce.

4
The Automatic
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/BostonBestEats X.

The Automatic

Restaurants Eclectic Kendall Sq

This hip Kendall Square bar specializes in classic cocktails and creative bar bites, but don’t miss the frankfurter. Enjoy an all-beef Pearl frank on a New England-style bun, or upgrade to a Green Dog (dragged through the garden, Chicago style), a Messy Dog (with onions, cheese, and chili), or the intimidating Atomic Dog—chili, cheese, onions, and the fiery Inner Beauty” sauce.

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5
Deep Ellum, Restaurants and cafes, Boston
Photograph: Sara Skolnick

Deep Ellum

Bars Beer bars Allston/Brighton

Amidst all the college bars in Allston, Deep Ellum is an oasis for craft beer aficionados. Pair your craft brews with a Pearl hot dog, perfectly griddled and placed in a buttered New England bun, topped with house pickles. Add house kimchi and hot mustard for a next-level treat.

6
The Bacon Truck
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Julie R.

The Bacon Truck

Restaurants Trucks Downtown

Bacon lovers eagerly track this pink truck on Twitter to find out where it will stop. Those who have experienced the special hot dog follow even closer, as this rare delicacy is usually announced mere hours before its appearance. Wrapped in bacon and deep-fried, this is a dog worth waiting for, so keep your eyes peeled.

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7
El Pelon
Photograph: Courtesy El Pelon

El Pelón Taqueria

Restaurants Mexican Fenway/Kenmore

Move over giant burrito, when El Pelón Taqueria offers a Sonoran hot dog special, that's the menu item to try. The bacon-wrapped hot dog is topped with a thin, spicy guacamilillo, spicy mayo, yellow mustard, and even more bacon.

8
Bukowski Tavern
Photograph: Courtesy Bukowski Tavern

Bukowski Tavern

Bars Beer bars Back Bay

With some of the best beer on the planet available, you’ll need a dog or two for sustenance, and Bukowski’s has several options. Go for the standard dog on a toasted bun—single or twin—or opt for a veggie version. The Chicago-style dog is topped with relish, sport peppers, mustard, tomato, and pickle. For something more exotic, try the Bison dog, with sriracha ketchup, jalapeno dijon, and beer cheese. All dogs come with tots, salad, or veggies, and you can add chili or “all the bacons.”

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9
Lone Star
Photograph: Courtesy Lone Star/Jennifer Trebino

Lone Star Taco Bar

Restaurants Mexican Allston/Brighton

Lone Star attracts hordes of students for cheap tacos and sides like grilled street corn, refried bean tostadas and huevos rancheros. But don't miss the Sonoran hot dog, a bacon-wrapped Pearl hot dog topped with refried beans, Longhorn cheese, roasted salsa, chipotle mustard and crema.

10
Sullivan’s
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Voravut R.

Sullivan’s

Restaurants Fast food spots South Boston

For a cheap, satisfying hot dog, head to Southie where Sullivan’s has been dishing them out for more than 60 years. The simple steamed weiner is served on a toasted bun for a mere $2.10. Enjoy it “all around,” with mustard, relish, and onion. For a few more coins, get one with chili and cheese.

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11
Saus
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Idy T.

Saus

Restaurants Fast food spots Government Center

Saus is all about the fries and sauces, but their friks”—beef and pork sausages—are also worth a try. Served on Iggy's brioche, they come in a few different varieties, incorporating the famous sauces of course. Try the spicy option, with pickled jalapenos and smoky chipotle sauce, or the Burger...Kinda” option, with dill pickles, sharp cheddar, and secret sauce.

12
Tasty Burger
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Byung Chul K.

Tasty Burger

Restaurants Hamburgers Fenway/Kenmore

Alongside the roster of delicious burgers at this homegrown burger joint is a classic and worthy hot dog. The all-beef dog is served on a toasted bun. Add toppings like chili, cheese and sauerkraut.

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13
Boston Hot Dog Company
Photograp: Courtesy Boston Hot Dog Company

Boston Hot Dog Company

Restaurants Hot dogs

Go big at this tiny Salem joint where there are plenty of options. (Natural casing or Kosher? Steamed or grilled?) Go for a black angus dog, chicken dog, or veggie dog. For the gluten-free crowd there’s a dog on a stick. For all others, the buttered and grilled roll provides a sturdy base for all the available specialty toppings, from bacon bits and pastrami to spicy peanut sauce. With all dogs under $10, this spot will satisfy everyone cheaply.

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