German in origin and an American trademark, these tubular treats are the original carryout. From your basic ballpark to your fancy frankfurter, they’re served a gazillion different ways. Good luck finding a favorite.—Jenée Libby, with additional reporting by Megan Headley
Measure twice, chomp once: Jak-N-Jil’s Jonathan Clark makes sure the dogs at the E. High Street staple are a full 12 inches.
Beer Run (1)
Locally sourced bratwurst or an all-beef dog with homemade mustard and spicy vinegar slaw on a luxurious pretzel roll. Wiener heaven! Organic beef or veggie dogs are $3.85.
Blue Mountain Brewery
The Nitro Dog is the bomb. Angus beef topped with cheese and spicy chili created with the brewery’s signature ale. $9 gets you the Nitro, or try a lager-boiled Double H Farm bratwurst for $9.50.
Boylan Heights (2)
Choose the Ray-dog (yellow mustard, banana peppers, diced romaine, tomato salsa, pepperjack and sriracha-sour cream) or the Coney-dog (housemade chili, cheese sauce and diced onions). Two Hebrew Nationals on potato buns cost $6.99.
Downtown Hotdog Company
Charlottesville’s first gourmet hotdog eatery. Dogs served every which way, from Chicago to New York to Southern (cheese grits anyone?). Not a carnivore? Try the veggie dog instead. Gourmet toppings from peanut butter and banana to grits cost $4.50. Or customize your own dog—a regular beef dog starts at $3.75.
Five Guys Burgers & Fries
Go “all the way” with your toppings—ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, grilled onions, and grilled mushrooms —at no extra cost. Dogs start at $3.14.
Order a foot-long at this perennial favorite. Ordering it without mustard, onions and chili? That’s just sacrilege. The famous foot-long is $2.95. Downsize the dog but keep the toppings for a buck less.
Last Call Dogs
You can find this wiener truck wherever partygoers congregate. All-beef dogs, sausage and even a vegan frank. Craving one now? Find the truck on Twitter @lastcalldogs. Two all-beef (or vegan) hot dogs are $5 with your choice of ketchup, mustard, slaw and onions or cheese and chili.
All-natural casing surrounds this gorgeous and snappy all-beef dog. Pile it with hot chili, melty cheese or ’kraut. Dogs start at $4.50. Add extras to your plate for $2 each.
Wright’s Dairy Rite
This Staunton mainstay has provided curb service to diners since 1952. Get a corn dog for a double dose of nostalgia. Or go whole hog with the 1/3 lb. Dogzilla. Dogs start at $1.49.
Bratwurst made in-house, served alongside creamy rutabaga purée, turnip greens, crispy mushrooms and blackberry. Seasonally spectacular. $19.
There’s more to that wiener than ketchup and mustard. Try one of these favored fixins’ from cities around the country.
Boston: Baked beans
Chicago: Onions, tomatoes, a dill pickle spear, neon sweet relish, mustard, pickled peppers and celery salt on a poppyseed bun
Kansas City: Sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese
New York City: Mustard and sauerkraut, plus optional sweet onions in tomato sauce
Seattle: Cream cheese and grilled onions
You’ll have to eat more than 54 HDBs (hot dogs and buns) in 10 minutes if you want to beat Joey “Jaws” Chestnut (right), currently ranked No. 1 in the International Federation of Competitive Eating. He’s nabbed four consecutive wins in Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Competition.