National Hot Dog Day: The Hot Dogs of Pittsburgh
It was quiet morning in the super secret iheartPGH headquarters until one intern abruptly cried out “It’s National Hot Dog Day!” The Yinzterns rejoiced and it was decided that they would take a crawl through the various hot dog vendors of Pittsburgh. Here, we share our ups, downs, and general stomach aches after consuming multiple dogs.
Steve’s New York Hot Dog
This place has great reviews on Urban Spoon. Unfortunately, Steve decided it was a good idea to go out of town during one of the most important hot dog related holidays on the year. We yelled out in agony as we drove by, vowing to return at a later date.
Unassumingly tucked into a basement right outside of Market Square, Yovi’s brings Chicago dogs to Pittsburgh. It’s simply decorated with both cities’ memorabilia and they also offer sandwiches and deep-fried pizza puffs. The token all-beef Chicago dog was topped with mustard, green relish, diced onions, tomato wedges, a pickle spear, sport peppers, and celery salt, on a poppy-seed bun. It’s a great, cheap, and friendly place to pop in for a quick lunch while downtown.
The new Franktuary location in Lawrenceville is charmingly rustic and beautiful, not to mention very spacious compared to the original downtown location. They have a variety of unique hot dog styles (including vegan tofu dogs), plus salads, poutine, pierogies, desserts, and more. We loved the Memphis dog (slaw, barbecue sauce, and crunchy potato sticks) and the Pittsburgh dog (smooshed pierogi and slaw). Their bar is fully stocked with tasty cocktails and craft beers, and you can sit at the open garage door windows when it’s nice out.
This hot dog joint has opened and closed a few times since it’s creation in 1915. The latest version is run by restauranteur Kevin Sousa. Bringing food science down to hot dog level, Sousa includes a couple crazy combinations on the menu. I went out on a limb and ordered the Kimchi Dog, topped with seaweed, kimchi, and tangy mayo. I was pleasantly surprised how delightful the tastes were together. The beef hot dog is delicious stand alone, but I’m anxious to try a few more combinations. Station Street also offers Vegan doggies for those less inclined to meat The only downside? It’s a bit pricey for your everyday hot dog–save this spot for special lunch occasions (like National Hot Dog day).
Packs & Dogs
The first thing you notice when you enter this shop in Mount Washington is its expansive beer collection. The bar is lined with bottles and two plasma screen tvs. You have to go to the far back to order your hot dogs. The varieties have canine-themed names, such as the German Shepard (sauerkraut and spicy mustard) or the Chihuahua (chili, cheddar cheese, and onions). Beer is definitely Packs and Dogs’ forte. There was not much outside seating, as there were only two tables outside, but there are a nice number of booths and bar seating.
Located in Regent Square, D’s is the perfect place to pop in for a dog. While you are there, make sure to check out the legendary Beer Cave, where you will find over 1,000 different brews. The Chicago Veggie dog was a classic that didn’t disappoint with relish, onions, pickles, tomatoes, sport peppers, and yellow mustard. D’s offered some interesting varieties, such as the Big Ben with fries, creamy cheddar and coleslaw and the Angry Tiki loaded with fries, creamy cheddar and coleslaw. We can’t forget to mention how great the poppy-seed buns were, which can also be substituted for whole wheat.
Dormont Dogs was one of our favorite stops of the day. Located a bit out of the city, it was worth the voyage. When you first walk in, you are taken back in time with the lovely decor. The hand written menu and little colorful tables added to the character at Dormont Dogs. The dogs were very good, as well as the buns. The menu featured hot dogs styled after different states (and streets in Dormont), from Louisiana in the south to Wisconsin in the west to Connecticut in the north. We also learned that in addition to being a hot dog shop, the area used to be a barber shop and a waffle/pottery shop.
Wiener World is located in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh on Smithfield St. and you can’t miss the giant neon sign. This place is a hot dog shop. This is a take out spot or stand-at-the-counter-and-eat-
We know there are a ton more hot dog spots in Pittsburgh, but we couldn’t stomach another after a full day of chowing down. Where do you think the best dogs are in Pittsburgh? Check out our Facebook album for more pictures of our day-long crawl.