In Search of Hot Dogs

So where do you go when you’re in the mood for a good hot dog? We put that question to our readers. We received so many responses that we blew out our contest page on our website!

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City Dogs

1309 W. Main St.  |  1316 E. Cary St. 

With two locations, one in the Slip and one in the Fan, City Dogs has been serving up some of the city’s best dogs for a decade. One thing for sure, many of our readers love City Dogs dogs. Elizabeth L. wrote, “Their wide selection of dogs and styles makes it really special! Of course, the TASTE of them is top notch as well!”

With 13 different dogs, there’s certainly something for every taste. Pictured here is the popular Philly Dog, topped with provolone cheese, green peppers, onions and mayo.

This family-run operation is committed to giving each guest “the ultimate hot dog experience.” Our readers will testify that they’ve succeeded in that endeavor.

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The Dog House at The Diamond

3001 N. Boulevard  |  804-359-3866 

The hot dogs at the Diamond are so good that you just might hear folks singing, “Take me out to the Dog house.” That’s the name of the specialty hot dog cart just behind home plate where you’ll find a tempting variety of gourmet hot dogs. The Diamond Dog, smothered in chili and coleslaw, is a crowd favorite. But when The Travel Channel’s Food Paradise TV crew came to town, they seemed to take a special liking to the Squirrel’s Bacon Me Crazy dog. The bacon jam, which tops the dog, along with bacon and bacon bits, adds a unique and flavorfully sweet taste to your dog dining delight.

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The Dog Wagon Plus

2930-C W Broad St.  |  804-977-9198

“Born” as a food cart, the Dog Wagon Plus has been operating as a full-fledged restaurant (located behind Three Notch’d Brewing) since February of this year. One happy guest wrote of their hot dogs, “They’re the best in the world.”

No doubt, David Silversmith, who owns the restaurant would agree. He says, “Our hotdogs are amazing, because of the quality ingredients and ingenuity we use to make each and every dog. We use custom-crafted buns, all-beef hotdogs and have made some fabulous combinations. The Dog House Plus is open seven days a week and on the weekends, it’s dogs and more dogs  24- hours a day.

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Perly’s Delicatessen Restaurant

111 E. Grace St.  |  804-912-1560

Perly’s, so they say, “Is Yiddish for Delicious.” If that’s true, then everything is perly at Perly’s, Downtown Richmond’s legendary Jewish deli. The Chazerai (we wont’ tell you what that’s Yiddish for) Hot Dog is their all-beef dog topped with a rye crusted fried pickle, egg salad, lettuce, red onion, and fresno chili hot sauce.

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Pop’s Dogs & Ma’s Burgers

7301 Brook Road  |  804-266-5781

Nostalgia runs rampant at this cozy little hot dog and hamburger stand in North Richmond. With just seven chrome stools at the counter, plus picnic tables out back, you may want to take out.

Dragon M. wrote us and recommended Pop’s red onion sauce as the secret to their dogs. Richard B. points to another secret, telling us that it’s “The love that’s put into it.”

When we first told you about the place back in 2014, we wrote, “Everyday, you can get two plump Sabrett dogs (The hot dog of New Yorkers) with all the fixin’s, and that includes chili, slaw, cheese, relish, up to five choices of mustards, even sauerkraut, plus fries and a drink for five bucks.” That was nearly five years ago. Thankfully, some things never change. They still offer the same deal today.

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Sam’s Hot Dog Stand

9502 Chamberlayne Rd. (Hanover CommonsShopping Center)  |  Mechanicsville; 804-559-7267

We have to tell you about Sam’s. We heard from so many of you who love the place. For instance, Dave W. wrote, “The dogs are the type that you used to get 30 years ago at the baseball parks. The chilis are amazing. And the people who operate the business are the greatest.”

We heard that type of praise over and over for both the food and the folks at Sam’s Hot Dog Stand. The folks are Judy Williams and her husband Scott, who own the local franchise.

Everyone raved about the chili, including Judy, who said that the main reason they chose to be a part of Sam’s was the chili. “It’s all meat, no beans,” she added.

Sam’s all-beef hot dogs come with your choice of nearly 15 toppings. The chili dog with mustard, onion and coleslaw is one of the most popular. If you choose to top your dog with their delicious sauerkraut, why not order a side of Judy’s own homemade potato salad? You’re gonna love it.

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Wildwood Bar-B-Que

2740 Anderson Hwy., Powhatan  |  804-372-9574

There are lots of wonderful reasons to head across the river and into beautiful Powhatan County, not the least of which is Philip Foster’s Wildwood Bar-B-Que. This cozy little country restaurant offers North Carolina-style barbecue, including ribs, chicken, brisket and pork. What you might not know is that Wildwood also offers a variety of tempting, tasty hot dogs. Try their Jumbo All-Beef Hot Dog with relish, mustard, ketchup and onions. Add some chili and cheese, or if you want to experience what Philip calls a “flavor explosion,” give the Bar-B-Que Slaw Dog a try.

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Sonic Drive-In 

5805 W. Broad St.  |  11250 W. Broad St., Glen Allen

For over 65 years, SONIC, the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant has been delighting guests with their signature menu items, which today, include their cheeseburgers, slingers and hot dogs. They serve over three million customers a day? That’s a lot of dogs. Their Foot long Chili Cheese Coney is a grilled hot dog topped with warm chili and melty cheddar cheese and served in a soft, warm bakery bun.

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Melito’s Restaurant

8815 Three Chopt Rd.  |  804-285-1899

For over 35 years, Melito’s has been known for its “World Famous” hot dogs. In fact, the dogs are so famous, you might not know that they also offer a wide variety of fare such as meatloaf, rib eye, baked spaghetti and crab cakes.

All of Melito’s dogs come with homemade chili, mustard and onions, but if you really feel like putting on the dog, try the Junkyard Dog with chili, bacon, coleslaw, sweet relish, cheddar, mustard and onions.

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Joey’s Hot Dogs

4028 Cox Rd., Glen Allen  |  804-651-4108

Lots of readers wrote and told us how much they love Joey’s Hot Dogs. Our contest winner, Johnny Wade, raved, “They are the best in Richmond area and consistently good!”

“They have the best taste,” said Faye A. and Joe L. summed it up this way, “It feels like a hot dog joint.”

Owner Joey Mirable’s family has been recognized as the oldest living family of hot dog purveyors in the state of Virginia by The Virginia Folklife Program. Joey’s father had his own “hot dog joint” long before most of us were born, in fact, since 1939. Today, Joey’s son Joey, Jr. has joined the business as an apprentice and is preparing to one day become the “Joey” of Joey’s Hot Dogs.

In addition to the Joey Dog (pictured here), served all the way with mustard, onion and homemade chili, Joey also offers the New York Hot Sausage, a veggie dog and a turkey frank. As his menu says, you can “Order ‘em all the way with mustard, onions, and home made chili or mess ‘em up with cheese, ketchup, and sauerkraut.”

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TD’S Smokehouse Barbecue

8919 Patterson Ave.  |  804-741-9804

Scott Bond has made TD’s one of the West End’s favorite go-to spots for great barbecue pork, chicken, ribs and beef brisket. But did you know that he offers one of the best hot dogs in town, as well? Scott starts with Nathan’s Famous all-beef hot dogs, which is a great place to start. Add TD’s thick, rich chili and you got yourself a dog. Or go all the way with chili, cheese and slaw.

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Q Barbecue

13800 Fribble Way, Midlothian  |  2077 Walmart Way, Midlothian

You probably know all about award-winning chef and pitmaster Tuffy Stone and his incredible Q Barbecue, famous for their BBQ pork, brisket, chicken, ribs and wings. But when you have a hankering for a hot dog, Q Barbecue can satisfy that desire, as well. Their ¼ pound all-beef Nathan’s Famous dogs are topped with Q’s own beef brisket chili. Other toppings include freshly made Cole slaw, diced onions and cheddar cheese. The BBQ Slaw Dog features mustard, BBQ sauce and slaw.

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Midlothian Apothecary

13502 Midlothian Tnpk., Midlothian  |  804-794-5592 

Remember the good ol’ days when your friendly neighborhood pharmacy had its very own soda fountain? You could sit on a stool at the counter or in a booth and enjoy real ice cream sodas, milk shakes or an egg cream. Remember that? Well, you can relive those days at Midlothian Apothecary. Enjoy a good ol’ fashioned hot dog with chili, relish, mustard and onions. They have corn dogs, too. But that’s just the beginning. The soda fountain serves hamburgers, French fries, onion rings,   BLTs, homemade pimento cheese, as well as homemade chicken, egg and tuna salads.  They also serve breakfast all day (from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.).

Steve Cook
Author: Steve Cook