Updated July 1, 2022. If the Fourth of July has an official holiday food, it has to be hot dogs. Though burgers, steaks, and pretty much anything grilled are contenders, there’s nothing else we’d rather eat at a ball game (or, for that matter, when cooling down at Costco) than a tube steak on a bun. These are some of our favorite places to sink our teeth into a snappy casing.
Eugene’s Sausage & Fries
What to ask for: L.A. Street Dog
A bacon-wrapped beef-and-pork dog is the centerpiece for this relatively simple concoction that’s typically sold by unlicensed vendors on the streets of Los Angeles. Some say to never put ketchup on your hot dog, but this one’s got it, along with mayo, mustard, sautéed peppers and onions, and spicy jalapeños. Multiple locations
What to ask for: Frankfurter
This deli and market is stacked with tempting sausages, but get back to the origins of America’s favorite with an authentically German frankfurter. Visitors can choose their own toppings, so besides the obvious sauerkraut, we take advantage of hard-to-find curry ketchup on our frank, served on a Portuguese roll. 5838 Columbia Pike, Falls Church
Haute Dogs & Fries
What to ask for: Bánh mì
OK, it’s not on a baguette, so it lacks the crunch of a traditional bánh mì, but the all-beef dog adorned with crisp cucumber, pickled carrots, and refreshing cilantro makes us happy nonetheless. A squiggle of Sriracha mayo, plus fresh jalapeños, lends this combo a spicy punch. 610 Montgomery St., Alexandria
What to ask for: Chili dog
For more than 60 years, locals have been loyal to the mustard-topped chili dogs at this diner. An excess of ground beef is bound to tumble out while you sink your teeth into the meat that’s covered in roughly chopped onions. No worries—just get a fork to scoop every bit into your waiting maw. 120 Maple Ave. East, Vienna
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