Davis, California Hotdogger is the Hotdog cafe for some of the finest
dogs in the West!
Note: this article by Barbara Steinberg was written several years ago and some of the recommendations on this list of hot dog stands and venues may have changed.
How Much is that Doggie? Pretty darn cheap at Hotdogger in downtown Davis. I've always said, A good hot dog is a thing of joy!” For more than 20 years, Hotdogger has walked many a joyful diner down ‘the dog' path. This wiener-sized café provides limited counter-seating for about five. The dogs, on the other hand, are not your tea-cup variety.
These dogs may not be AKC line-up, but they are pure-bred delicious! Your classic all-beef Chicago Dog with German mustard, tomatoes, diced onion and relish will set you back $3.50. From across the border, the spicy Ortega Dog with green chilies and pepper jack cheese will light your fire for $4.00. The Gut Bomb ($5), The Bandito ($4.25)...Louisiana hot links, chili, salsa, onion…where's the Tums and Scope? Of course they also serve the PC Veggie Dog breed. Well-groomed with mustard, ketchup, relish, onion and a sprouted wheat bun, it's just like the real thing. Well, maybe.
The owners, the Franks – no, I'm not kidding – have been Davis' tube steak mavens for the past 12 years. And counterperson, Zoe, has been adorning dogs in buns for three years. Woof, that's dedication! I never get tired of them,” she said. Her favorite is a personal creation: Portuguese wine sausage (chicken with white wine and garlic), tomatoes, celery salt, ketchup, pickles, and Hawaiian mustard. Would the name Zoe Dog describe that pedigree?
Oh, and about the buns! An often overlooked, but integral part of the whole doggone dog experience. Hotdoggers' buns are locally made at the Village Bakery – another closet-sized establishment. Davis may just be a breeding ground for this kind of thing.
Going to the California Hot Doggeries:
Weiner Works, Carmichael – Foot-long, beer-steamed dogs are the cat's meow. The large order of fresh-cut fries weighs in at…well, how does 2 pounds sound to you?
The Wienery, Sacramento – Steamy pups and kid friendly.
Dogzilla Café, San Francisco – Gourmet dogs in the heart of SF financial district
Pink's, Los Angeles – Since 1939, hot dog to the stars!
Don's Dogs, Monte Rio – Housed inside the Quonset hut Rio Theater on the shores of the Russian River.
Tail o' the Pup, Los Angeles – A landmark since 1945, this LA fave closed in 2006. Hot dog-o-philes have heart! A new location is in the works according to reports.