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. Try these American restaurants, German sausage houses or fusion food mash-ups for starters.
The best hot dogs in London
The ‘cool’ dog, from a street food cart – and complete with cult following. Great bun-to-sausage ratio. The squidgy bun is dwarfed by a whopping NY style sausage: a pork dog with a springy middle and delicately smokey casing. You can currently find Big Apple's cart by Euston station.
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.
Okay, not a ‘destination dog’, but still the best cinema sanger in town. The finger bun has a non-speaking part: the star is the sausage. Dense yet bouncy, it's beautifully seasoned, with just the right level of spice kick. Served with sauerkraut and sweet mustard.
The second Herman branch in Soho is still a fast-food joint, but is a more inviting space, with extra seating. Wherever you choose to eat them though, 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.
Get even more meat in your life
Balans Soho Society Clapham
A Clapham branch of the late-night Soho brasserie. This branch opens until 2am (compared to the 24/7 original) and specialties include eggs benedict and American style pancakes, steaks, seafood, salads and the pièce de résistance, the chunky Balans Burger. Wash it down with a colourful variety of post-dinner (or brunch) cocktails.
Venue says: “Get 50% of all food at Balans Clapham! Available Sunday from 5pm until close on Thursday, up to tables of six. Booking essential for offer.”