Hankering For Hot Dogs

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Restaurant recommendations from MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers.

Jason’s Picks

I grew up in Chicago, where Vienna Beef hot dog stands sit on just about every corner. Bright green relish and celery salt practically run through my veins. When it’s summer, it’s hot dog season.

  • Chris & Rob’s Chicago Taste Authority: This is as close as it gets to the Chicago dog of my youth. The St. Paul spot is in a cool old rail car; the Minneapolis location just expanded with more seats and a nice makeover. (West 7th and Nokomis)
  • Natedogs: Is it the charming orange cart? The delightful Nate Beck himself? Or is it the perfect, locally made, hormone-free dogs and brats? It’s all of those things, plus scratch-made condiments, including one featuring local beer. (See @Nate_Dogs on Twitter for locations)

nate beck of natedogs
Nate Beck of Natedogs. Photo by Eliesa Johnson

Joy’s Picks

When the temperatures creep up, it’s time to celebrate the sausage. If you aren’t crisping up those seasoned meaties on the backyard grill, these are my favorite haunts for a perfect hot dog.

  • Prairie Dogs: They have a Banh Mi Joy hot dog on the menu—that’s not just a name, it’s an attitude. This restaurant is devoted to the sausage arts and there’s quite likely a dog in here waiting with your name on it as well. (Lyn-Lake)
  • Nighthawks: I feel like this restaurant conversation is dominated by the pancakes and pastrami, but to ignore the hotdogs would be a big mistake. The eponymous dog is topped with giardiniera, dill mayo, and shoestring fries. It’s like putting crumbled up potato chips on the dog—genius! (38th & Nicollet)