Founded in 1939, Art’s Famous Chili Dog Stand is a South L.A. staple and a mecca for those wanting one of owner Art Elkind’s decadent dogs. Elkind claims to have invented the chili dog; in its original iteration, the stand sold separate hot dogs, chili, tamales and more, until one fateful day when Elkind decided to spoon some leftover chili onto a hot dog. The rest is history—today, people flock to the simple stand on Florence for its namesake, no-frills dish. Art’s maintains its old-school vibes in every way—remember to bring cash, since they don’t accept cards here.
What is a backyard barbecue without a hot dog? Alongside burgers, watermelon slices and beer, hot dogs are as necessary during the summer as fireworks and trips to the beach. So what if you don’t have a backyard? L.A. is, thankfully, rife with restaurants, stands and food carts offering excellent versions of this national dish, however you like it—topped with a pickle spear, slathered in chili, fried in pastry dough. Check out our guide to the best hot dogs in L.A.—it’s basically your civic duty.