Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Top Dogs

The staple of summer BBQs and baseball games is getting more plentiful—and more creative—each passing year.


Published:

Photography by Nico Oved

Saucy Sausages

Hog’s Apothecary / Oakland

Creative

Style
Among the restaurant’s house-butchered “porcine delights” are a classic American hot dog and corn dog, as well as creative sausage sandwiches.

Winning Wiener
The menu rotates too frequently to name a best-seller. So we’ll give a shout-out to the “Infidel”—a curry-spiced pork, turmeric, and cardamom sausage topped with charred wild nettles and cucumber-mint raita.

Top This
Made-in-house ingredients and seasonal toppings shine in dogs like the “Let It Burn”: a hot link topped with house-pickled summer pepper relish and chile aioli.

On the Side
Order house-rendered lard–fried Kennebec potato chips, spicy pork cracklins, or flights of craft beer.

While You’re There
Read and reflect. The chalkboard sign outside includes a daily featured poem or quote.

375 40th St., Oakland, (510) 338-3847, hogsapothecary.com.


 

Photography by Nico Oved

Windy City Winners

Street Dogs / Contra Costa + Alameda Counties

Classic

Style
This food truck serving Chicago-style franks can be found regularly at mobile food gatherings in Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, San Ramon, and other East Bay locations.

Winning Wiener
The Chicago dog is the go-to: an all-beef hot dog with the snap of a natural casing ona steamed poppy seed bun.

Top This
Keep it classic with mustard, diced onion, sweet pickle relish, sport peppers, tomato slices, dill pickles, and celery salt.

On the Side
Choose regular or sweet potato fries—topped with chili, if you’d like.

While You’re There
If it’s available, grab a WünderBar, a slice of cheesecake covered in chocolate on a stick.

Various locations, (925) 726-3311, streetdogtruck.com.


 

Photography by Nico Oved

Indian Influenced

Juhu Beach Club (summer lunch window) / Oakland

Fusion

Style
For summer only, quirky Indian restaurant Juhu Beach Club has added a take-out lunch window serving locally made heritage pork dogs.

Winning Wiener
Rep the city with the Oakland dog, topped with Linden Street beer mustard, house-made pickles, seasonal fruit relish, pepperoncini, and onions.

Top This
The “Feral Heart Farm Dog” features farm-to-frank produce from Sunol, including spring onions and pickled purple torpedo radish.

On the Side
Go for fancy fries, such as garlic with ghost pepper sauce or masala with tamarind ketchup.

While You’re There
Spike your strawberry lemonade with rum, vodka, or gin for an extra $4.

5179 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, (510) 652-7350, juhubeachclub.com.


 

Photography by Nico Oved

Foreign Inspiration

Doggy-Style / Alameda

Fusion

Style
The world-traveling menu takes inspiration from Japan to Mexico to the American South.

Winning Wiener
The “Doggyzilla” is the restaurant’s claim to fame, with bratwurst, Asian slaw, teriyaki sauce, wasabi mayo, and seaweed strips.

Top This
Try the banh mi dog, piled high with cilantro, jalapeños, mayo, pickled carrots and daikon, and Sriracha.

On the Side
There’s not much to see beyond chips. It’s all about the dogs.

While You’re There
For a sweet ending, try the waffle dog with syrup for dipping, or the “Nut-n-Jelly” crunch, with peanut butter, jelly, granola, and Chex cereal.

1234 Park St., Alameda, (510) 521-5555, doggy-stylehotdogs.com.


 

Photography by Nico Oved

Bavarian Brats

Rosamunde Sausage Grill / Oakland

Classic

Style
This growing Bay Area–based chain serving German-style sausages has two Oakland locations: one in Swan’s Market, and another that just opened in Temescal.

Winning Wiener
For a fun surprise, get the “Cheddar Brat”—smoked pork sausage with white cheddar hidden inside.

Top This
Rosamunde keeps it straightforward, with a choice of sauerkraut, grilled onions, sweet or hot peppers, and spicy beef chili.

On the Side
Choose from German baked beans or potato salad, and roughly 15 craft beers on tap, including pours from several local brewers.

While You’re There
Hit the Swan’s location on Friday, and get some shopping done at the adjacent Old Oakland farmers market.

911 Washington St., Oakland, (510) 338-3108; 4659 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, (510) 350-8446, rosamundesausagegrill.com.


 

Photography by Nico Oved

Far East Flavors

Dojo Dog / Berkeley

Fusion

Style
This martial arts–themed food truck based in Berkeley pairs all-beef frankfurters with a kick of Asian sauces and toppings.

Winning Wiener
Adventurous eaters love the “Ninjitsu,” with shredded nori seaweed and flash-grilled cabbage, drizzled with smokehouse teriyaki sauce and Japanese mayo.

Top This
The carb-conscious should try the “Shaolin Monk,” which comes wrapped in seaweed instead of a bun.

On the Side
Get an iced mango jasmine or winter melon jasmine green tea—or grab “The Buddha,” an Arnold Palmer–like blend of both, off the secret menu.

While You’re There
The off-menu “Triple Threat” lets you sample three flavors on one dog; “Nunchuk-style” means two hot dogs in one bun.

College Avenue and Bancroft Way, Berkeley, (510) 859-3814, eatdojodog.com.


 

Photography by Nico Oved

Old School Eats

Spanky’s Dog House / Livermore

Creative

Style
Expect old-fashioned franks made with Spanky’s nitrate- and filler-free recipe.

Winning Wiener
The “Mac Attack”—topped with macaroni and cheese and then shredded cheese—is a favorite.

Top This
The “Picnic Dog” lives up to its name, with potato salad, bacon, and BBQ sauce.

On the Side
Don’t miss the frito pie, with chili cheese and onions.

While You’re There
Take the “Atomic Chili Cheese Dog” challenge. Make it through the hot chili, jalapeño, and nacho cheese–covered foot long in 10 minutes, and you’ll be immortalized in the Hall of Flame.

174 S. K St., Livermore, (925) 292-7398, spankysdoghouse.com.

 

(Web Extra) The Original

Top Dog / Berkeley

Classic

Style: Opened in 1966 by the son of German immigrants, Top Dog is beloved by Cal students and alumni, as its original location near campus is open ’til at least 2 a.m.

Winning Wiener: The eponymous top dog is the bestseller, a griddled kosher-style frankfurter on a soft French roll.

Top This: The self-serve toppings bar includes traditional condiments such as ketchup, onions, and relish, plus three varieties of mustard.

On the Side: Chips, potato salad, or vegetarian chili.

While You’re There: Pick up a six-pack of dogs and buns—and a gallon of sauerkraut—to go.

2160 Center St., Berkeley, (510) 849-0176; 2534 Durant Ave., Berkeley, (510) 843-5967; 3272 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, (510) 419-0333, topdoghotdogs.com.

Sign up to get our e-newsletter and receive exclusive invites to special events, parties, and happenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Faces

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Find us on Facebook