New Orleans Street Eats: Lucky Dogs

New Orleans’ Lucky Dogs steams up Southern comfort food

Lucky Dogs has been on a roll since 1947.

Sometimes the best food is not found in a restaurant or café but just outside — on the sidewalk, to be exact. The Daily Meal walks the streets to find the best street eats from food trucks, curbside stands, food markets, and, in this case, the hot dog-shaped carts of Lucky Dogs so you can have a carefully curated culinary experience.

What’s on the menu: Since rolling into the French Quarter in 1947, Lucky Dogs has sold more than 21 million hot dogs. Choices include a regular hot dog, a jumbo hot dog, and a Cajun smoked sausage. The most popular wiener is the jumbo, which is a steamed hot dog and bun topped with chili, onion, mustard, and ketchup for $5.75.

Who makes it: The story of Lucky Dogs is so legendary that there’s even a book about the business, Managing Ignatius: The Lunacy of Lucky Dogs and Life in New Orleans by Lucky Dogs manager Jerry Strahan. The Ignatius in the title refers to Ignatius Reilly, a hot dog vendor for Paradise Vendors, Inc. in John Kennedy Toole’s Pulitzer Prize-winning tome A Confederacy of Dunce, who was inspired by the real-life Lucky Dogs vendors, who are known for being characters in their own right.

Where you can get it: The 22 hot dog carts are all over New Orleans, from Harrah’s New Orleans to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, but street locations include Jackson Square from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Bourbon Street, where the dogs are sold until 4:30 a.m.