There are plenty of good reasons why hot dogs are such a popular summertime staple: They’re tasty, they’re cheap and they’re incredibly easy to prepare. But there’s a big difference between a boiled store-bought hot dog on a nondescript bun and the ones that leave a lasting impression. So, where can you find a truly exceptional hot dog?
When determining America’s best hot dog, the criteria included local and national renown, the quality of the ingredients and the overall hot dog-eating experience. Based on those parameters, the cream of the crop is the Ripper from Rutt’s Hut in Clifton, New Jersey.
Right now, you might be asking yourself, “What is a Ripper?” This iconic wiener starts as a normal hot dog that is then deep-fried, causing the crispy casing to split. But the key to this dish's success is in the sauce — or relish, to be exact. Rutt’s Hut has a secret recipe for the garnish, which includes a mixture of mustard and spices.
Whether you order an In-And-Outer (just a quick dunk in the oil), a Ripper, a well-done Weller or the crunchy, almost-overcooked Cremator, a trip to Rutt’s Hut not only guarantees you legendary dogs, but also a trip down memory lane — it's just one of the greatest old-school restaurants in America.