Thursday, April 7, 2011

Best Hot Dogs in Utah / Top 10 Hog Dogs in Utah

Best Hot Dogs in Utah

- Revised 1 April 2015

Check out "Best Burgers in Utah," "Best Sandwiches in Utah," "Best Cheesesteaks in Utah," "Best Fish and Chips in Utah," and our OTHER FOOD REVIEWS at 

First, TOP 10 HOT DOG PLACES in Utah:

We've tried close to two dozen places that sell hot dogs, including gas stations, and these were the top ones by far, with the top 6 even eclipsing J Dogs,the iconic dog place in Utah. (J dogs has wonderful sauce and buns, but . . . well . .. read the review below.)

Note: We learned Gandolphos now uses Nathan's Dogs - the best - in 4 different dogs they prepare. We will grade and report them here - they will likely end up among the Top 4.  

1. Sportzdog food truck. Check out their website to find their schedule. They make a killer mustard garlic sauce, and wrap their all beef dogs in a fresh scone! Check out their website for locations they sell - usually ball games and farmers' markets..

2. Coney's, in Orem and American Fork and elsewhere perhaps. (In Orem it's west of Barnes and Noble.) Get it with no sauce. Their secret is - they butter and toast the bun, with using butter! Try it simply prepared - like that - the butter makes it come alive. (Don't mess it up with condiments. They now use Nathan's dogs - the best!

3. Mooya Burgers, chain. The all beef dog alone rates onlly a B- like most places, but the fresh baked bun and condiments we got made it sing: sauteed mushrooms, fresh onions, tomato, cheddar - that's it. They split the dog in half and make it like a sandwich, which works best when getting a good sized portion of these condiments.

The above, Top 3 are all A's.

4. Salt Lake Bee's baseball park, SLC.  don't get the house dogs, get the ones from the privately owned stands.  They were there in 2009, and the Chicago Dog was amazing.

5. Anyplace selling Nathans, such as BYU stadiums. The closest actual Nathans hot dog stand to Utah we know of is at Sky Harbor Airport, Las Vegas.

6. Der Wienerstchnel, national chain. Only the new Chicago Big City angus all beef dog garners a B+ there. The other two Big City Dogs get decent grades: L.A. gets a B and N.Y. a B-, while the beef dogs themselves get a B-/B. Their other dogs all get Cs and lower. Their regular dog gets a D. All the non-beef dogs rate a D. The polish sandwich gets a B- and the meat itself a B-.

7. J Dawgs, at 9th North and 7th East, Provo; in Orem across from Barnes & Noble, and other locations in Utah now.  It's an institution that got its birth at a small hut a few yards north of its new Provo location, with lines winding outside. (See the Review for Best Chessesteaks in Utah for a fascinating story on the guy behind the location at the current (and original) J Dawgs site in Provo.) The quality of the meat doesn't hold up (they really should use Nathans to have an A+ dog in our opinion), but the sauce is amazing, and it's becoming an iconic dog joint because of it. Their buns are tops also, specially made by a local bakery just to their specifications. PS: their polish dog is better than their reg. dog.

8. O'Shucks, Park City (only the location at Gorgozia Pines Rd.) for hot dog with peanut butter. 

9. Maverick stations, state-wide (also among better polish dogs, as well as BYU Stadium and Marriott Center, Mavericks and J. Dogs.

10. Rocco's, at Center and University in Provo. In 2013 the sauce rivaled J Dogs. Not sure of now - we haven't tested it in a year, and some of these places change their sauces.. The home-made buns were much better the first time we tested it in the spring of 2012.

The lower grade ones:

11. Crest stations C

12. Walkers stations C-

13. Sonic Drive-In. C+. Not bad in 2012. In 2013 they had gone down hill.

14. Chevron stations, reg. dog C

Polish Dogs
1. BYU Stadium / Marriott Center / Miller Baselball Field B+
2. J Dawgs B
3. der Wienerschnitzel B-
4. Chevron spicy Polish C
5. 7-11 Bahama Mama (polish) C

Best hot dog sauces
1. J Dawgs
2. Coney
3. Rocco's


a. Historical note about Der Wienerschnitzel: It was first on 1230 North (now called Bulldog Blvd) in Provo, across from the old Fox Theatre way back in the 60's, for old-timers who would remember it.

b. None of the gas stations we tried had great dogs; a couple were OK, a couple were horrible. We tried all we could find.


We've tested all 60 brands and varieties we've found in Utah stores since our dog tests began in 1995.  We've had parties of up to 18 people testing them, and these are the winners:
In our 30 Sep 2014 test, the order changed from Nathan'as as number one for over two decades to the following (these companies keep changing their spices apparently) as the top 2 have improved!

1. Oscar Mayer Select PREMIUM (free of nitrates!). Taste-wise, #1 easily with the added benefit it's the only one free of nitrates! (cancer-causing in many studies)

2.  Oscar Mayer Classic. all beef. Unfortunately, as with Nathans, it has nitrates (which are carcinogenic).

3.  Nathans.  The word has spread - so they're now everywhere.  Very pricey.  Retails for 6 bucks a pack but sometimes on sale for far less.  

4. Ball Park Angus.


1. Hillshire Farms Polska Kielbasa
2. Hillshire Farms Knockworst

These were the top two in the mid-90's when we first tested. But Nathans, Hebrew National, and certain Johnsonville's are great now too.

We've tried EVERY BRAND and EVERY TYPE we've ever seen sold in Utah grocery stores - about 60 in all, counting polish, knockworst, brats, and smoked sausages.

Top 3 Dog places now out of business; plus others:
The top 3 in Utah are gone as of fall 2014:

Curbside Chile Dogs, Provo
a. #1 chile dogs in state
b. #1 chile. (this one is really subjective, but this chile sings to us, and is very mild)
c. chile with corn chips
d. kraut dog with best kraut ever (homemade, very mild) (A -)
Note: Best chile dogs we've ever tried, and best kraut dogs ever - they make their own chile and kraut!. Their dogs are made to order for them out of state - the pork ones and the beef ones. Their pork ones are the best pork dogs we've ever had. Their beef dogs are not as good as the top 4 store-bought dogs listed below.

Their buns are steamed and are our favorites. While you're there, check out their chile-covered nacho chips! NOTE: Chile is subjective, and it happens to be the best for dogs we've ever had.

Kranky Franks, Springville
a. hot dogs, using Nathans A
b. polish dogs B

Hot Dog King, Provo
a. hot dogs B+
b. polish dog B

Also very very good, now gone:
The Joe Dog at Joe's Gourmet Burgers, Provo, 500 N. Freedom Blvd. Only $4. Comes with bacon, high quality cheese, and their secret caramel apple mustard sauce with all-beef frank. (Don't bother with their Hawaii Dog.) Their Chicago Dog is better than most. Their dog would rate an A+ if they used Nathan's commercial size dogs, the best of 60 brands we've tested in large parties, or Oscar Mayer premium or classic, which is a virtual tie with Nathans.

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