Hot Dogs

Sonoran Dog - Lone Star Taco Bar (Cambridge)

It’s no wonder that a proud baseball town places the humble hot dog on a pedestal. Whether you’re craving an ultra-old-school frank at Fenway or an adventurous version wrapped in bacon and buried under bonito flakes, here’s where to find Boston hot dogs worth every bite.

The Automatic’s New England Frankfurter seems innocent enough at first blush:  nothing more than an all-beef frankfurter from Massachusetts purveyor Pearl on a New England-style bun. But ask for a “Messy Dog,” and it’ll be smothered in chili, onions, and cheese for just $1.50 more. The truly daring can also request “Drop It Like It’s Hot”—that’s code for a squeeze of ultra-spicy Inner Beauty Hot Sauce made with Scotch bonnet peppers.

Trina’s Starlite Lounge dedicates an entire portion of its menu to hot dogs, but our favorite—no offense to the Corn Dog or the Tofu Pup—remains the Starlite-Style. In this iteration, a griddled hot dog is dressed with French fries, coleslaw, and creamy “Starlite sauce.” But should you ever tire of this standby, pay attention to the Dog of the Day special, which has formerly featured hot dogs topped with everything from crispy wontons to cheese curds.

Fenway Park

Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox

There’s something to be said about enjoying an iconic food in its native habitat, and there’s nothing quite like biting into a Fenway Frank at Fenway Park itself. Sure, you could pick up a pack of the Fenway Franks made by Chelsea’s Kayem Foods at any old Stop & Shop, but it doesn’t compare to holding one of those boiled-then-grilled
beauties in one hand—and a beer in the other—just before the 8thinning swell of “Sweet Caroline.”

Tim and Nancy Cushman’s Fenway izakaya Hojoko embraces its gonzo side via the aptly named Doggzilla, covering a bacon-wrapped hot dog with pickled jalapenos, American cheese, savory eel sauce, and fishy bonito flakes for a creation that’s everything but traditional. Hungry night owls, take note: Hojoko includes the Doggzilla on its late-night menu, served until 1:30 a.m.

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