Toronto mastered the street meat scene awhile ago, but now they've taken the hot dog to the next level. Gone are the days of a simple wiener with ketchup and mustard, now there are places popping up all over. Serving up gourmet dogs sporting toppings like hickory sticks, mac n' cheese, or peanut butter and jelly, Toronto has really taken dogs to the next level.
1. Fancy Franks // 326 College Street or 940 Bloor Street West
One of the better known gourmet hot dog vendors in the city, with their multiple locations popping up throughout Toronto and their unique take on the hot dog, Fancy Franks SHOULD be at the top of your must-eat-hot-dogs list (if you have one). Serving up fancy concoctions from their Franks Got Seoul which is a dog topped with Korean beef ribs, kimchi, sesame seeds and scallions, to their decadent PB & J, which is exactly like it sounds.
2. Let's Be Frank // 460 Spadina Avenue
Let's Be Frank originated as a food truck, which then expanded to a pop-up shop last summer on King West, and now has a permanent location on Spadina. This place not only serves up a mean dog, they also have super cool themed nights like BYOW (bring your own wine) where you can actually bring your own bottle of wine with you to enjoy with your tasty less-classier dogs. Don't miss their Pulled Pork Po'Boy or their Mac Daddy mac n' cheese dog.
3. The Little Dog // 566 College Street
Get your hot dog steamed instead of grilled or boiled. The Little Dog delivers steamies to the city of Toronto, offering simple yet delicious dogs. They only offer four types, the Montreal's Lester, NYC's Nathan's Famous, Chicago's 58's and a veggie option. Topped with your choice of toppings from the regular ketchup and mustard to delicious homemade slaw.
Photo cred - WVRST
4. WVRST // 609 King Street West
Offering 100% Berkshire and Tamworth sausages... which actually means nothing to most people, so lets translate that into; they are friggin' delicious! Pick your weiner from a variety of options from the game list, consisting of exotic options like wild boar or kangaroo, or from the traditional list consisting of your favs. Then choose how you want it, aka what kind of toppings you think would go best with your kangaroo or traditional weiney. WVRST makes the typical hot dog look silly with their unique combinations of toppings and meats.
5. The Dog House // The Air Canada Centre
Not as easily accessible as the others, due to the fact that you actually have to visit this place when at the ACC, but that doesn't take away from the fact that these dogs are good. The Dog House delivers unreal hot dogs with all the toppings you could ever dream of. From a Canadian favourites, the poutine dog, the maple dog, or the pizza pizza dog, to the more exotic combos (exotic for us meat-lovers) of a lettuce veggie dog.
6. Basa's Hot Dog World // 115A St. Clair Avenue West
You can't find much information on this small hot dog shop, other then some tasty photos and reviews about how hands down delicious their weiners are. Serving up hot dogs themed around travel destinations like Mexico or Brazil. These dogs offer a unique combination of flavours through their unconventional toppings.
7. Barton Snack Bar // 1120 Queen Street West
An inexpensive place to grab a unconventional dog in the city. Barton Snack Bar lists dogs on their menu like the Cobb Dog, White Trash Dog and the Hawaiian Dog, with names like these aren't you a bit intrigued. Plus did we mention they're CHEAP!
8. DonDon Izakaya // 130 Dundas Street West
DonDon Izakaya goes completely out of the box with their unexpectedly delicious hot dog, the Tokyo-style hot dogs. Not a place you'd expect to find an out-of-this-world hot dog but with their teriyaki or pork kimchi dog will knock your socks off.