TORONTO--(Marketwired - Jul 16, 2013) - Hot dogs, wieners, frankfurters ... whatever you call them, they are the ultimate in summer time fare. Nowadays, just like its counterpart, the hamburger, the hot dog is no longer simply fast food. While the traditional dressings -- ketchup, mustard and relish -- are still fan favourites, the onslaught of new toppings are practically catapulting this simple meal to haute cuisine. So the travel experts at Cheapflights.ca, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, decided to honour this all-time fan favourite fare with its Top 10 Hot Dog Hot Spots around the world.
While the hot dog has been a staple of backyard BBQs for generations, it has now found its way on to menus around the world including South Korea, New Zealand and across Europe. Creativity abounds in the hot dog world. See for yourself at these four hot dog hot spots to make our list from Canada, the US and South America:
- Nathan's Famous, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York - We have to kick this one off with the mother of all American hot dog locales: Coney Island. While some may pledge their allegiance to Walter's, Crif Dogs, Gray's Papaya or a favourite New York City street side stand, credit must be given to Nathan's for taking the humble hot dog and transforming it into a competitive eating centrepiece. Each year, on the Fourth of July, Nathan's hosts a hot dog-eating contest to see which brave soul can stomach the most dogs and buns in 10 minutes. (A record was set this year when seven-time winner Joey "Jaws" Chestnut consumed 69 franks and buns.) Competitions aside, this Coney Island standby started as a hot dog stand run by Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker and has now been serving up good ol' American-style beef dogs for 97 years. Rumour has it employees must keep mum about the joint's secret spice recipe that reportedly gives Nathan's hot dogs their taste. Don't forget a side of crinkle-cut fries.
- Japadog, Vancouver, Canada - After skyrocketing to foodie fame during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, hot dog franchise Japadog became an institution in this Canadian city. Now, with four stands and a store in Vancouver, as well as a store in New York City, Japadog has staked its claim on Vancouver's hot dog market. But these aren't your ordinary franks. In what may seem like an odd intersection of culinary culture, Vancouver's famous hot dogs are topped with Japanese-inspired garnishes like seaweed, teriyaki sauce, plum sauce and soba noodles. The stands were started by a Japanese couple who pushed through language barriers and limited funding to become a household hot dog name.
- Hot dog stands and Pink's, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California - L.A. loves its dogs. After all, there's nothing quite like a greasy snack following a night on the town. In fact, Los Angeles residents consume more than 95 million hot dogs per year, more than any other U.S. city. Hot dog-loving partiers can pick from a slew of carts that set up shop outside the clubs and often wrap the standard hot dog in none other than (drum roll, please) bacon. Or, for something a little more mainstream, Pink's on La Brea Avenue serves up classic dogs as well as an array of chili dogs (regular hot dogs topped with chili con carne and sometimes cheese, onions and mustard). Come hungry -- Pink's is known for its huge portions. A bonus? You may get to have your dog with a celebrity sighting on the side; Bill Cosby, Betty White and Steve Martin have all been Pink's patrons.
- Sporting venues and hot dog stands, Buenos Aires, Argentina - Argentinian-style hot dogs -- also known as choripanes -- are beef or pork sausages, butterflied and served with toppings like chimichurri slathered on the bread roll. Choripanes often show up as appetizers at barbecues (asados), snacks at sporting events or as street food in major cities like Buenos Aires, where they are a popular midday meal for cabbies. For a more traditional American-style dog (pancho), hot dog stands like Peter's Hot Dogs in a Buenos Aires neighbourhood called Palermo Soho should hit the spot.
To take your hot dog adventures overseas, check out these hot spots that round out our list: Myeong-dong food stalls, Seoul, South Korea; Mobile vendors, Frankfurt, Germany; Hot dog stand (near the Hotel Hellsten), Stockholm, Sweden; Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, Reykjavik, Iceland; Food stands and the Food Truck Garage, Auckland, New Zealand; and Bubbledogs, London, England. To read all the tasty details on Cheapflights.ca's Top 10 Hot Dog Hot Spots, visit www.cheapflights.ca/travel/top-10-hot-dog-hot-spots.
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