Los Angeles might be considered a burger and taco town, but there are plenty of classic American hot dogs suped-up with a dose of local flavor all over the city. Here in the Southland, franks might be topped with dried Japanese seaweed or Korean kimchi, then placed inside a duo of split Hawaiian rolls for good measure. Whatever one’s personal hot dog vice may be, there’s a beef and bun combination that is sure to satisfy. From corndogs at a Santa Monica icon to saucy Guatemalan pan shucos, here now are the 19 essential hot dogs in Los Angeles.Read More
The 19 Essential Hot Dogs in Los Angeles
American classics with an Angeleno twist available for takeout, delivery, and dine-in
Cupid's Hot Dogs
Cupid’s was originally established in 1946 as Walsh’s Hot Dogs by Richard and Bernice Walsh. Today, it’s overseen by third-generation sisters Kelly and Morgan Walsh; diners still flock here for a dose of nostalgia and the beloved chili dogs. Chicago-style, Reuben, and plant-based dogs are some of the sisters’ newer additions to the menu.
Fab Hot Dogs
Fab Hot Dogs takes east coast-style hot dogs seriously. They specialize in Rippers, natural casing beef and pork dogs from New Jersey that are deep-fried and customized with a ton of toppings. Most of the specialty dogs can be upgraded to foot-longs, should one be extra-hungry.
Vivi's Gourmet Cuisine
This Colombian street food trailer by Viviana “Vivi” Henriquez is one of the few places in LA to get fresh arepas, loaded hamburguesas, and sauced-up hot dogs. The maximalist street treat piles on onions, lettuce, tomato, crispy bacon, and broken ripio de papa (stick fries), and then receives a righteous lacing of five different sauces. Be sure to ask for napkins.
The North Hollywood hot dog mecca, Vicious Dogs, is about as zany as it gets. Sure, there are standard options such as a chili-cheese dog and a kraut dog, but Vicious Dogs sets a new standard with options such as hot dogs topped with jalapeño cheddar poppers, pastrami, mozzarella sticks, and chopped chicken tenders.
Merging old-school menu items with a new school vibe, the Stand is a Valley classic with outlets in Woodland Hills, Encino, Northridge and beyond. After picking a dog, don’t skip those awesome fries either.
Dog Haus Biergarten
Craft hot dog concept Dog Haus offers creative spins on the classic by using elevated ingredients. The Sooo Cali features Dog Haus’ all-beef skinless dog with wild arugula, spicy basil aioli, crispy onions, avocado, and tomato. All of its unique creations can be made a gourmet sausage, too.
This Eagle Rock hot dog staple traffics in dogs of all sorts, from regional specifics to chili and mustard basics. It earns bonus points for making a vegan dog in-house as well.
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There’s nothing quite like the experience of enjoying an old-fashioned chili dog on a Pacific Railroad passenger train right on Sunset Boulevard. Carney’s offers guests just that, slinging hot dogs out of a bright-yellow rail car since 1975.
Tail O' the Pup
After closing nearly a decade ago, the legendary Tail o’ the Pup is back at a prime new West Hollywood location smack-dab on Santa Monica Boulevard, complete with a hot dog-shaped stand, red and white streamers, and mustard yellow accents. The dogs range from the split and grilled 1946 (topped with grilled onions and house mustard) to chili-slathered to the footlong Baseball dog adorned with house mustard and sweet relish.
This stand made a name for itself with punk rockers in the '70s. The eponymous hot dog was inspired by a snack from Okinawa, Japan. Okidog makes its cross-cultural hot dog hybrid by stuffing two franks, chili, pastrami, mustard, and American cheese into a burrito-style tortilla, creating a hot dog that’s sure to challenge anyone’s metabolism.
El Churrasco Chapin
Guatemalan hot dogs, also called pan shucos, are popular street food items everywhere from the Sixth and Bonnie Brae night market to neighborhoods across LA. Melrose Hill’s El Churrasco Chapin, a homestyle destination from Monica Ramos, offers a loaded pan shuco with griddled sliced wieners, guacamol (avocado spread), pickled cabbage, onions, and a mesmerizing striping of mustard, mayo, and ketchup.
Pink's Hot Dogs
Folks with mixed feelings about the wild hot dog combinations at Pink’s on La Brea may well be missing the point entirely. The place is an icon, beloved by tourists and a certain sect of nostalgic Angelenos alike. Just be sure to go in the late afternoon, when the ever-present lines have briefly died down.
Oh My Pan Bakery & Tea
Some of the best things about Chinese bakeries are the savory offerings that are often filled with sausage. The folks at Oh My Pan have a soft and fluffy bun shaped like a flower, with each petal stuffed with a hot dog slice. This tear-apart bread is showered with corn, herbs, and a creamy sauce. The store also carries versions with green onions and cheese.
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Myungrang Hot Dog
For a taste of Korean-style hotdogs, look no further than Myungrang, tucked inside the California Market in Koreatown. The chewy exterior is sweet, thanks to a generous coating of sugar, while the interior can range from cheese to sausages to traditional franks.
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Pastrami’s the thing at this venerable Southern California mini-chain, so why not load the shaved stuff on top of a simple hot dog for maximum effect? It’s basically required.
Bacon-wrapped hotdogs are an LA staple, but at Dirt Dog they’re done up with class. A variety of toppings make each one uniquely delicious, as just about anyone within a two-mile radius of the restaurant’s address near USC can attest.
Earle's on Crenshaw
A family-owned business for more than 30 years, locals gather ‘round for Earle’s famous dogs. There is the usual all-beef version with an accompanying all-beef chili, of course, but don’t overlook the vegan dogs, links, and chili. Both omnivores and herbivores will leave full and happy.
Hot Dog on a Stick
Santa Monica’s iconic, 75-year-old Hot Dog on a Stick stand has revived, reopening after being demolished in March 2022 as an even brighter red beacon to hungry beachgoers craving something filling and nostalgic. New and longtime customers will find that though the building has been refurbished, the quality and recipes remain the same: from the puckery neon limeade to the fluffy cornbread exterior surrounding its original turkey dog. Other options, like vegetarian hot dogs, beef hot dogs, and melty pepper jack cheese sticks, are available, but the OG turkey stick is the one to get for a taste of classic Californi-cana with an ocean and pier view.
This nearly 100-year-old Long Beach legend is known for its quirky menu, especially the Joe’s special, a split Polish dog wrapped in rye bread that’s also been clogged with Swiss cheese, mustard, and a pickle.