Move over, haute cuisine hamburgers — fancy forcemeat is finally getting its day in the sun. Far from being the dirty water dogs and shriveled ballpark fare that many of us have come to know, these eateries are packing some of the most winning wieners in Brooklyn. And yes, we just said that.
Bark Hot Dogs: The Bark Dog
Go for the titular tube steak at this frank-centric Park Slope shop. The lard-basted, private label dogs are topped with housemade, sweet pepper relish, diced red onion, and that decidedly less highbrow favorite, French’s yellow mustard.
474 Bergen St, (718) 789-1939
Crif Dogs: Spicy Redneck
These dirty Jersey-style dogs make a welcome addition to the Driggs Avenue drunk-food scene. You can pay your respects to the Garden State by getting your naturally smoked beef and pork franks topped with melted cheese and Taylor Ham, but we prefer ours bacon wrapped, loaded with chili, coleslaw, and jalapenos.
555 Driggs Ave, (718) 302-3200
61 Local: Brooklyn Brat
This cozy Cobble Hill spot takes local sourcing seriously, so it’s no surprise that they get their meaty goods from the indomitable Brooklyn Cured. More like a hotdog panini, the juicy brat is stuffed into toasted pugliese bread, and accompanied by a swirl of golden mustard and a plate of purple cabbage kraut.
61 Bergen St, (347) 763-6624
The Landing: Chicago dog
This husband-and-wife team hunkered at the bottom of the slope from the Hillside dog run have a penchant for all things, well, you know. Let your pup run freely in the surprisingly spacious lot while you chow down on a dog of another kind — our Windy City fave is faithfully topped with onion, tomato, pickles, peppers and celery salt on a poppy-seed bun.
20 Old Fulton Street, (718) 875-5377
The Vanderbilt: Smoked Kielbasa
Super-chef Saul Bolton is the mastermind behind Brooklyn Bangers, so you’re wise to peruse the sausage section of his menu at The Vanderbilt. The smoked kielbasa doesn’t technically qualify as a hot dog per se (it sits on a mustard seed and dill laced potato salad instead of a bun), but it’s still meat and carbs. And it’s delicious. So eat it now.
570 Vanderbilt Ave, (718) 623-0570
Asia Dog: VINH
Asian fusion is all the rage — bulgogi and kimchee on everything! — so it was only a matter of time before the wave hit America’s greatest trash food guilty pleasure. Visit Smorgasburg for a taste of our favorite banh-mi inspired dog, with pork pate, cukes, cilantro, jalapenos, pickled carrots, daikon, and aoli.
Multiple locations, for more info visit asiadognyc.com
Five Guys Burgers and Fries: Bacon cheese dog
Yes it’s an omni-present chain and yes, it’s better known for the aforementioned burgers and fries, but the kosher-style hot dogs are worth a second glance. We’re also not above being grossly heavy-handed in the face of free toppings, and there are 15 — from grilled mushrooms and onions to fresh jalapenos, pickles, and tomatoes — to choose from.
Multiple locations, for more info visit fiveguys.com
basik: Summer Dog
The menu at this relaxed Williamsburg pub is padded with plenty of no muss no fuss items — but hot dogs are definitely the house favorite. The Wisconsin version is definitely a good year round pick, but take advantage of the season and go for the Summer Dog — topped with pickled watermelon rind relish, sambal, and chili paste.
323 Graham Ave, (347) 889-7597
Der Kommissar: The Kasekrainer
Go straight for the authentically Austrian, cheese filled sausage called kasekrainer, a specialty of the house at Der Kommissar, a tiny Wurstelstand in Park Slope. Side it with some sauerkraut, a cucumber salad, and a kostritzer schwartz beer, and you’ll be rolling your umlauts in no time.
559 5th Ave, (718) 788-0789
Nathans Famous: Classic, with mustard and saurkraut
We don’t care how many high-falutin’ franks invade the scene, this 1916-era contender will always be top dog to us. It goes without saying that you MUST make the pilgrimage to the original Coney Island location — the dried up dogs at the boardwalk outpost taste like they came from a seedy strip mall, or an abandoned rest station off of I-86.
1310 Surf Ave, (718) 946-2202