You can find food trucks of all types pretty much anywhere nowadays, but the OG street food is a classic hotdog. America's favorite savory treats can be eaten lots of ways and the more toppings, the better. The best hotdogs in Charlotte (and even in America) are found in a tiny mobile cart, but don't let that fool you because the overload of flavor is huge.
Chili Man hotdogs are definitely not your everyday Ballpark franks. The independently-owned street cart was voted "Best hotdog in America" by Money Magazine in 2018 and named one of the best restaurants in Charlotte by Thrillist.
The cart is owned by "Vic The Chili Man" who is just as well-known in the community as his delicious dogs. His charisma and spunk draw a crowd in downtown Charlotte and the food has them all coming back for more.
The famous "Naco" dog, highlighted in Money Magazine's profile, is a mix between a hot dog, a taco and nachos piled with with grilled cheddar cheese, chili and taco sauce.
Specialty dogs change but you can expect to find quirky concoctions like "Corn in the USA," a street-corn inspired dog with roasted corn, lime-chili aioli, cojita cheese and chili powder, plus a chili mac and cheese dog with panko bread crumbs.
You can also create your own masterpiece with unlimited toppings at no extra cost - and there are lots of them. Choose from over 13 options to pile up your frankfurter including "reaper madness" mustard, "taco juice," jalapeños, BBQ sauce and classics like red onion, cheddar cheese, sauerkraut and cole slaw.
If you're vegan or vegetarian, you don't have to miss out on all the hearty goodness. Aside from the beef and bratwurst options, you can also choose a tofu dog. Prices range from $2.50 to $4.50.
Not only is Vic known for his amazing dogs, he's also known for his commitment to charity and community involvement. As expressed in a recent Facebook post, Chili Man is temporarily closed.
"I am in my winter guise right now, running my non-profit, SHRED, raising money to help families whose kids are born with childhood Illnesses," states Vic in his post.
Yelp indicates that the cart is expected to open back up in March, so look for the yellow cart and to kick-start your spring with some one-of-a-kind street franks in DT Charlotte.
Address: 139 S Tryon St., Charlotte, NC
Why You Need To Go: Because it's the best hotdog in America. Enough said.