A lot of people enjoy hot dogs at a ball game or backyard barbecue, but there are a handful of local hot dog joints that are worth specifically seeking out. These are Phantom’s top dogs.
Windy City Dogs & More
Kicking off the Great 8 is Windy City Dogs & More in Norwell. This hot dog haven brings a taste of the Midwest to the Northeast with Italian beef sandwiches, overloaded cheese fries, big ol’ burgers, and Vienna Beef hot dogs that range from traditional and tasty, to over-the-top outrageous. There are dogs topped with pastrami, bacon, and fried eggs. But at Windy City, there’s no beating that classic Chicago Dog.
“We import our dogs, our relish, and our sport peppers all directly from Chicago. Vienna Beef is the only manufacturer of this dog. They only manufacture it in Chicago, so we bring it in by the truckload.”
Spike’s Junkyard Dogs
Another Great 8 winner is Spike’s Junkyard Dogs. With locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Spike’s serves all-beef hot dogs on oversized French rolls baked in-house. The top dog is Spike’s original Junkyard Dog wearing sliced tomato, pickles, mustard, scallions and pepperoncini. The Texas Ranger is loaded with barbecue sauce, cheddar and bacon. And no dog would be complete without a side of Spike’s crispy curly Poodle fries.
Castle Island, South Boston
Set on historic Castle Island in South Boston, Sullivan’s is the quintessential all-American hot dog stand. They serve thousands of Kayem old time hot dogs every day, seared perfectly on the grill and placed on a buttered, toasted buns. If you’re looking for something on the side, Sullivan’s onion rings are hand battered and dipped, so the thick, crunchy coating encapsulates every sweet slice.
Cape Neddick, Maine
Another Great 8 winner is the legendary Flo’s on Route One in Cape Neddick, Maine. This no frills roadside shack is truly a classic: serving up snappy, steamed dogs topped with Flo’s famous house made signature barbecue sauce on a squishy steamed bun. The place isn’t much to look at, and the service might not come with a smile, but the dogs are tasty and you can enjoy them outside at their picnic tables.
WATCH: Great 8 Hot Dogs, Part 2
Super Duper Weenie
With a name like Super Duper Weenie, you better be super, and the dogs at this Fairfield, Connecticut fast food legend definitely are. Each one is split open and grilled, so they can hold as many toppings as humanly possible, like The Californian hot dog packed with meaty chili, hot housemade relish, cheese, and onion. Not only are the dogs super duper, the hand-cut fries are too.
Olneyville New York System
Another Great 8 winner is Olneyville New York System in Providence. This retro style spot serves Rhode Island style hot wieners – or gaggers – served with a hearty meat sauce topping. Those in the know typically order these franks, “all the way”, with layers of yellow mustard, meat sauce, raw onion, and celery salt on a steamed bun. And while in little Rhody, Phantom always washes his wiener down with some authentic Ocean State style coffee milk.
Coney Island Hot Dogs
Coney Island Hot Dogs in Worcester is a timeless throw back with a towering, mustard-dripping neon hot dog sign that’s become a culinary landmark. The crowds continue to line up at this wiener-wonder that’s been run by the same family since 1927. Their famous chili sauce uses the same exact recipe that Grandpa George created over seventy years ago, and they brew over 300 pounds of the secret ground beef and spices every week. The dogs themselves are small and tasty, with the perfect snap of sweet and spicy. And for under two bucks, the price is certainly right.
Rounding off the Great 8 is Top Dog in Rockport, Mass. This cozy little hot dog shack has chalkboard menus, a wrap-around counter, and hordes of hot dog fanatics. The menu lists more than a dozen creations that come either grilled or steamed, always loaded with crazy toppings. The Golden Retriever Dog is covered with indulgent Mac & Cheese, and the so-called Bad Dog tastes really good, topped with bacon, cheese and grilled onions
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