They say that every dog has its day, but with so many great hot dogs doing the rounds in London at that moment perhaps that should be: have a dog every day.
From street stalls to restaurants, meaty and meat-free and paired with chips or Champagne there’s certainly no shortage of choice.
Here is a run-down of the capital’s best, separating the top dogs from the doggy doo doo:
Big Apple Hot Dogs
Chunky: Big Apple Hot Dogs
These chunky, meaty, full-flavoured sausages couldn’t be much more different to the weedy frankfurters found in many a lame dog. The sausages are made especially for the Big Apple stall so you won’t find them anywhere else, but thankfully it gets about a bit. As well as at numerous festivals and events, find the dogs in two regular locations: the Cole and Sons deli on Caledonian Road and at Euston station’s piazza.
Find it: bigapplehotdogs.com
Indian twist: Trishna dog at Bubbledogs
The grandaddy of London’s new wave hot dog joints, this Fitzrovia trendsetter is still going strong more than three years after it pioneered the pairing of hot dogs and Champagne. The sausages themselves aren’t all that exciting but the toppings often are – a highlight comes in the form of the Trishna (named after the owner’s sister restaurant) topped with mango chutney, spicy coriander, mint sauce and sev (crunchy noodles).
Find it: 70 Charlotte Street, W1T 4QG; bubbledogs.co.uk
Asian invasion: The Asian by Dirty Bones
Soft brioche buns and meaty, juicy sausages ensure the dogs at Dirty Bones really stand out from the crowd. Try The Asian topped with kimchi ketchup, wasabi mayo, crispy seaweed, pickled sushi ginger and sesame seeds. A second branch is launching in Soho later this year, too.
Find it: 20 Kensington Church Street, W8 4EP; dirty-bones.com
Raising the steaks: Chili Dog at Hawksmoor
The Hawksmoor group might be all about steaks, but the bar at its Spitalfields branch also offers a mighty fine hot dog. It features a fat, smoky sausage in a buttery brioche bun, is topped with chilli con carne and comes literally slathered in melted cheese – it’s gloriously messy.
Find it: 157a Commercial Street, E1 6BJ; thehawksmoor.com
Sloppy: Chili dog at Meat Mission (on the left)
The church of flesh that is Hoxton’s Meat Mission offers divine salvation in the form of its oh-so sloppy chili dog. It features a chunky smoked pork frankfurter topped with chilli con carne, cheddar, onions, jalapenos and mustard. Not to try it would be highly sacrilegious.
Find it: 15 Hoxton Market, N1 6HG; meatmission.com
Cheeky: Camel Toe by Popdogs
Born out of Camden and now to be found at varying markets, festivals and events across London and beyond, Popdogs offers a range of cheekily named and tantalisingly topped dogs. Try the Camel Toe made with a lamb merguez sausage and topped with rocket and harissa mayonnaise. Or the Clinton’s Lovechild made with a traditional oak-smoked sausage infused with chorizo and served with caramelised onions, sauerkraut, ketchup and mustard – it would “have Monica coming back for seconds” assure the team.
Find it: popdogs.co.uk
Soho sausage: The Top Dog range
This Soho newcomer is a bit like a posher, dog-obsessed Subway – you can choose your bread (all homemade and fluffy), your sausage and your toppings. The dogs are pedigree, made from top ingredients and high-welfare meat, and are even relatively healthy as a result. Go for a Chicago which includes a gherkin, a pickled pepper, chilli sauce and celery salt or try one topped with pulled pork, apple slaw and chives.
Find it: 48 Frith Street, W1D 4SF; top-dog.com
Meaty but meatless: Not Dogs
A few of the aforementioned dog spots offer vegetarian alternatives, but none can compete with the wares of Not Dogs which make bratwurst-style sausages out of Quorn. Try the Nacho Dog topped with guacamole, cheese, jalapenos and crushed tortilla chips. Find the Not Dogs stall at various festivals, markets and events across London.