In a city that’s obsessed with roast pork, cheesesteaks, and Italian sausages, the humble hot dog often gets forgotten. But as the summer season slowly fades, opportunities to indulge in one of life’s greatest pleasures — a perfectly cooked hot dog on a perfectly fluffy bun — feel ever-more-precious and, frankly, necessary. Take on Labor Day weekend with one of Philly’s great hot dogs and come back to your cheesesteak routine this fall.Read More
13 Places in Philly to Get a Super Classic (or Delightfully New-Fangled) Hot Dog
Topped with salsa verde and scallion oil, or with simple relish and mustard, these top dogs will hit the spot
1. The Pierogie Kitchen
It may be called the Pierogie Kitchen but this Roxborough hangout has more than just potato-stuffed dumplings. In fact, Pierogie Kitchen is known for its so-called Stackers, where pierogies are added to sandwiches of immense proportions. The PK Dog comes with sauerkraut pierogies, cooper sharp American cheese, bacon, and a dog, all served on a toasted roll.
2. Lucky's Last Chance- Manayunk
Lucky’s Last Chance on Manayunk’s famous Main Street has supreme bar food, and luckily, its hot dogs are the standout. Looking for more than a ketchup-and-mustard option? Try the Sergeant Pepper, topped with house-made 5-pepper relish, or the Scorpion Dog, where mac and cheese is thrown on top. Not in the Northwest? There’s another Lucky’s in Queen Village.
3. Spot Gourmet Burgers
Any truly good burger joint should also have a hot dog option, and at Spot Burger, all-beef hot dogs are under $5. The dogs come plain, but Spot has so many topping add-ons that you can customize your hot dog to your heart’s desire.
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4. Johnny's Hots
Philadelphia, PA 19125
A hot dog with a side of fish cake? At Johnny’s Hots, an old school spot at the edge of Fishtown, that rich and savory combo is the go-to order. Spot Johnny’s by the blazing fire sign on the roof: you can’t miss it.
5. Coney Shack
Philadelphia, PA 19104
The newest addition to the hot dog scene in Philly is Coney Shack, which comes to town by way of New York. Coney Shack is for the lover of a deluxe dog: the variety of offerings include Vietnamese caramelized pork dogs with crispy onion strings to garlic lemongrass chicken dogs with pickled daikon carrots. Bonus: There are burritos, tacos, and an array of sides for a group meal.
6. A. P. J. Texas Weiner
An old standby, A.P.J. Texas Weiner is a small diner near Center City that serves hot dogs Texas style with spicy sauce and sauteed onions. It’s a great lunch option if you happen to have jury duty at nearby City Hall.
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7. Miller's Twist
Miller’s Twist in Reading Terminal Market may be known for its Amish-style soft pretzels — in traditional German shapes and brushed with butter — but the jumbo pretzel cheese dog is a more filling (and slightly more portable) option to dig into while you browse the rest of the market. Pretzels and hot dogs: What’s not to love?
8. Hershel's East Side Deli
In the same vein as Miller’s in the market, Hershel’s doesn’t specialize in hot dogs — in fact, it’s the mile-high pastrami sandwiches on rye that bring in the crowds — but the hot dog with potato knish is a simple favorite worth getting on the side or by itself if you’re too stuffed for the full Hershel’s experience.
9. Sonny's Cocktail Joint
Philadelphia, PA 19146
The new South Street cocktail bar Sonny’s is already known for its seemingly endless drink options, and the food menu — from chef D. DeMarco — offers delightful pairings to go with the draft cocktails. Try the upscale hot dog, topped with Snake River wagyu and sweet heat mustard.
10. Primal Supply Meats
Sometimes all that will do is a hot dog grilled at home, and Primal Supply wants to help. At the three Primal locations, grillers can preorder for pickup or delivery house-made beef and pork hot dogs that provide a stiff competition to plain ballpark dogs from the Acme. Primal Supply isn’t offering walk-ins at the moment, so plan and order ahead.
11. Second District Brewing Company
There are few better experiences than enjoying a hot dog with a cold beer, and at Second District Brewing Co., you’ll be satisfied with both. Second District’s special dog is a Hebrew National all-beef frank with beef pastrami, Swiss cheese, thousand island dressing, and kraut, served on a Liscio’s hot dog bun.
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Brunic’s in South Philly is an old-school spot where the lunch and breakfast is simple and the coffee is hot. There’s no better place to post up for a plain hot dog, a specialty pizza dog, or a Texas Tommy, wrapped in bacon.
13. John's Roast Pork
We know, we know. John’s is world-famous for its juicy roast pork sandwiches. But let’s say you made it all the way down to Snyder Avenue and you get a hankering for a hot dog. Among its cheesesteaks, chicken cutlet, and meatball sandwiches, for under $5, John’s humble hot dogs still have their place.