Eater.com recently published an article, 27 Snappy, Standout Hot Dogs Around NYC, where three of those entries were from New Jersey. Huh? Since when are we part of NYC? Normally, we are happy to hear someone else recognize that New Jersey is the best around but this was a little mystifying. Not even a mention of Hiram’s, Rutt’s Hut, and Boulevard Drinks being in a completely different state in the write up? Eh, I guess we’re used to being second string, right? We think they’re just jealous.
OK, so anyway, we’re not saying Hiram’s, Rutt’s, and Boulevard Drinks aren’t great. Those three are easily in our top ten hot dogs of all time. But, it made us think about all the other great dogs around the great state of New Jersey.
NOTE: These are just our favorites. We know there are famous places missing from the list. We don’t have to like every hot dog joint. But we’re trying.
J&G Texas Weiners in Dunellen
We just went to J&G and it’s constantly on our minds. The dogs are grilled on a flat top and extra long and meaty. We’re big fans of the Plainfield-style chili–maybe because it reminds us of coffee grounds and our favorite hot beverage. The place feels like you’re stepping back in time; the interior has changed little over the years. The staff is also very friendly and parking is surprisingly easy right on a main road in town.
German Butcher Shop in Forked River
We stopped by on a YDKJ Hot Dog Tour just last year and the German Butcher Shop immediately sky-rocketed to a spot in our top hot dogs in the state. They have several different pork/beef blends of frankfurters and they’re all incredible. Ed just about fainted when he had their sauerkraut for the first time. The pictured quarter pound dogs were so good that shortly after we first visited we stopped again on our way down to our shore house to have some with the whole family.
New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville
A full quarter pound of beef from Berk’s eaten at a race event where $500 cars are trying to race for a whole weekend. It was heavenly. We ended up getting these hot dogs a couple of times over the weekend. The food stand around the corner from the general store is great!
Lover Dogs in Passaic
Air-fried hot dogs with all the traditional deep-fried dog toppings? Yes! Amazing toppings and sides? Double yes!! Right next to the post office where Ed’s dad worked for around 40 years? Triple yes!!!
Mochinut in Norwood (and several other NJ locations)
Korean corn dogs aren’t really made with corn. But, they are very delicious and fun! Mochinut has regular hot dogs dipped in a crispy rice batter and they also do a cheese stick and half-dog/half-cheese all dipped in that crispy batter. Or you can get a dog dipped in batter and then studded with potatoes! Combine that with delicious doughnuts and that’s a winning meal.
Windmill in Red Bank (and several other locations)
Looking at this list has made me realize how much we like the really big hot dogs topped with chili. Windmill has a few locations up and down the Jersey Shore. It’s an especially good stop before a show in Red Bank or Asbury Park.
Hot Grill in Clifton
Clifton really has the lock on good hot dogs. The Hot Grill have been part of the Magdziak family life for nearly a half century. The cinnamon-y chili is unusual and delicious. And their gravy fries are crazy good. When Ed’s Uncle Nick was teaching him photography way back in the day, he always took him here for lunch. 3 all the way and a frenchie one!
Chris’ Red Hots in Branch Brook Park, Newark
Hot dogs after playing tennis in Branch Brook Park might be my favorite after-work activity in the summer. Chris’ Red Hots are spicy dirty-water dogs that make a really tough match worth the sweat.
Hudock’s Custard Stand in Salem
A custard stand with a food menu might be the best meal in South Jersey. Footlong hot dogs split down the middle and served on a toasted roll topped with mustard and kraut. Don’t forget the corn nuggets, either.
OK, probably not the best meal in South Jersey… but really really good!
Jim’s Lunch in Millville
That special Jim’s sauce is good on literally everything. Hot dogs (split and grilled on a flat top), burgers, cheesesteaks, etc. All made better with special sauce.
Karl Ehmer’s in Hillsdale
A butcher with a hot dog cart outside. Two words–Dolores Santucci.
She’s an icon and her wide selection of different tube steaks is mind-melting. Eaten in the park across the street, this could be our favorite food cart ever.
River View East in Elmwood Park
One of Ed’s favorite lunch stops when he was working in Paterson. Very cool, retro place.
Tropical Bowls in North Arlington
Colombian hot dogs! We first had this type of topping selection in NYC (something good does come from there, I guess) but Tropical Bowls really took it to the next level. Potato sticks, slaw, and pickles are great on beefy hot dogs.
Goodman’s Deli in Berkeley Heights
Vienna Beef franks and a knish for the win! My years at DePaul were mostly spent as a vegetarian (it was a bet that went on for too many years) so I didn’t enjoy Vienna Beef dogs while I was there. Now, I have to order them direct from the factory or drive to Goodman’s. Their very well-spiced hot dogs and served on a nice potato roll. We also got a brat with grilled onions and a knish in the above picture. Everything went down great with a Dr Browns.
Butler & The Board in Montclair
Jeff Butler makes amazing sausages, hot dogs, bangers, brats… just everything. Watch their Instagram account for their weekend specials which is what the above pork roll sausages and corned beef bangers came from. When you go, make sure you ask for scrapple. It’s the best.
Pilsen Gourmet Food Truck at Allaire Village
Normally, some old food truck in a historical village wouldn’t be too exciting. Until we saw the dog and brat from Pilsen Gourmet, that is. They’re spiral cut, delicious, and gorgeous.
The After in Chester
Special shout out to corn dogs. We just happened to come across this place late one night after we had enjoyed some Halloween festivities at Alstede Farms. We had no idea the corn dog platter would come with a whole corn dog and corn dog nuggets. Wow!
If you know us, you know we love hot dogs. Stay tuned for our annual YDKJ Hot Dog later this year to see what new places we will discover!
New Jersey has so many great hot dog places that it feels like we’ll never run out of options. So, don’t listen to Eater and get out there!
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