Sydney’s gone hot dog mad, but not all dogs are created equal. First thre's the sausage to consider. Is it a cheese-stuffed kransky? A gourmet sausage? a classic frank? And the bread should never be overlooked – you want soft and yielding to absorb the sauces and pin the cheese and onions in place. Condiments are the final piece of the puzzle. Perhaps you want a classic ketchup and mustard combo, or do you prefer to go off piste with relishes, aiolis and hot sauces. There are so many elements that make a great hot dog, and these ones are our favourites.
Best for: Tequila-fuelled fun in a bun
Hot diggidy – the hot dogs here come covered in a layer of finely grated haloumi cheese. Plus these hunger-busting dawgs boast a fresh salsa that is so fine it’s more of a sauce, along with big chunks of crunchy, pickled jalapeños for heat, mild mustard and mayonnaise. And there’s so much of that cheese that they resemble a snow-capped mesa. It’s not so small you need a second one and not so big you feel ill after eating – just right.
Best for: Adventurous fried-sausage fansThe menu here is hot dogs and green tea a thousand ways. The Chanoma dog comes in at just under a fiver and lets you choose one of three sausages – Slovenian kransky, German bratwurst or Spanish chorizo. The kransky is slightly longer than the soft white bun, which means no empty bread, but the sweet curry cabbage isn’t quite an equal substitute for pickles. You can add your own sauce, but fair warning: it’s hot English, not American mustard – so go a little easy.
When a hot dog and a craft brew is all your heart desires then it’s time to cannonball down the slopes of Surry Hills to the Royal Albert Hotel. Our bartender admits that the kitchen won’t even tell him where they source their amazing cheese kranskies. The sausage is super-juicy with the cheese incorporated inside to rich up the meat, rather than the stuffed-crust situation you’re imagining. Approach with caution if you don’t want to spray your date with the first bite. The chilli ‘Fat Albert’ dog comes dressed in spiced tomato sauce and mustard with slices of pickled onion across the ridge and a serve of crinkle-cut fries on the side for only $10.
Best for: Lining your belly before ordering more cocktailsThe CBD basement bar is a go-to for fun-times party cocktails, but even without those killer drinks the hot dogs would be enough reason to get subterranean. They’ve got four on offer from the outrageous duck, truffle and foie gras number to the French Poodle (with brie!) to the more straight-shooting spicy pork with avocado and tomato salsa. The best bit? They all come with curly fries. That’s plenty of cause to stick around Wynyard on a Friday night.
Best for: Business lunching, street-food-style
Best for: A quick CBD fix
Best for: A 3am fixer upper