Hot dogs are a blank canvas. A blank, delicious, high-sodium canvas. Like burgers and pizza, they’re perfectly tasty with no ornamentation at all, but just like burgers cry out for ketchup, hot dogs cry out for mustard. Why just stop there, though? Across America, you’ll find some truly over-the-top hot dog creations.
When we make hot dogs at home, we tend to stick with the usual array of toppings: mustard, ketchup (if you must), sauerkraut, relish. Maybe a little chili and cheese if we're feeling sassy. But if you expand your horizons a little, you’ll realize that few foods are as ripe for experimentation as hot dogs. Their relatively mild, savory flavor makes them an ideal partner for just about any accompanying flavor profile, as long as it’s not too sweet (but if you want to douse your hot dogs in chocolate sauce and whipped cream, be our guest). Hopefully the hot dogs we’ve tracked down can provide you with some inspiration.
America’s most over-the-top hot dogs are all obviously outrageous in one way or another, but they all have a couple things in common. One, some real creative thought went into them; and two, all of their flavors work well together. Sure, some are what you may call “excessive,” to say the least, but it’s clear that there's some creative ingenuity going on here. Eating a hot dog is supposed to be fun, after all, and eating these is definitely what you’d call a fun and novel culinary experience.
From restaurants to state fairs, from shanty-like hot dog shacks to Major League ballparks, click here to learn about 20 of the most outrageous hot dogs in America as well as the venues that serve them. And hopefully the next time you throw a barbecue, you’re inspired to think outside the mustard-and-sauerkraut box .