Nothing says summer like the smell of hot dogs on the grill. But why not give the pit master in your troupe a break and head to one of these haunts for a weiner that wows. From traditional beef dogs to vegetarian, seafood and dessert options, we’ve got every dog covered. Bon appetit!


Haute Dog & Fries
The eclectic eaters in your clan will be ecstatic when they find out they can order sprinkles with their hot dogs! That’s right, sprinkles. (They also get fries and a drink). But sprinkles are not the only topping unique to this eatery. They’ve also got Weiner sauce, potato sticks, and mango pineapple relish. Let them choose the toppings by ordering the Bahn Mi dog, Duck Duck Dog, or the Loudoun County Lamb dog. And just in-time for the warmer days, their New England-Style Lobster Rolls Are back. Save room for the sweetest dog around, an Eskimo Dog—brown sugar cinnamon toasted bun topped with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with chocolate and caramel.

610 Montgomery St. (Alexandria, Va)

609 E Main St. (Purcellville, Va)

Ben’s Chili Bowl
Don’t be intimated by the long lines at this D.C. establishment. It’s well-worth it! Just ask Bill Cosby who’s eaten here so much that there’s a dog named after him, the Bill Cosby’s Original Chili Half-Smoke (a D.C.-sausage that’s part pork, part beef). Ask for it split and grilled (the dog, not Bill Cosby). Guess who else voted for this dog? Mr. President himself. With turkey and vegetarian dogs, this joint is sure to please every tummy in your brood. Check out both locations, DC and Arlington!

1213 U St., NW (U St. Corridor)

1725 Wilson Blvd. (Arlington, Va)

Bayou Bakery
What’s better than a hot dog and a Nat’s game? Enjoying both at the Bayou Bakery! Sit back, relax, and enjoy their Smoked ‘Douille Dog with Andouille Sausage, Marmalade and Creole Mustard. Too spicy for the tots? They’ve got them covered with an old-fashioned all-beef hot dog. There’s beer on-tap for the parental units, and root beer for the kiddos. And just for the summer (lunch on Fridays), try their seasonal Shrimp Roll!

1515 N Courthouse Rd. (Arlington, Va)

This self-proclaimed “vintage hot dog joint” might bring some of you back to your childhood days. All dogs are only $4.99 with unlimited toppings, from the traditional onions and yellow mustartd to Sriracha! Specialty dogs are also $4.99 and include Korean Q’s Seoul Bulgogi and Kimchi and the DC Hot Half-Smoke. Can’t decide on just one? Get a second one for only $3.50! There are also seasonal offerings like Seattle Pike Place Ultimate Fish Dog and Maine Red Snapper. Don’t leave without trying their Fried Oreos, Fried Pickles, and soft serve with unlimited toppings! 

423 Eight St., SE (Capitol Hill)

Lyon Hall
These dogs are only served at lunch, but the tykes won’t mind. Ma and Pop can order the Lyon Hall Frankfurter, which is actually made of short ribs, not ground beef. The little ones get the mini version, which comes with one side and ice cream. Who can argue with that!

3100 Washington Blvd. (Arlington, Va)


Windy City Red Hots
You’ll be hard-pressed to find Windy City dogs like these outside the Windy City. The owner prides herself on authenticity by buying only Vienna beef dogs and condiments from suppliers that serve Chicagoans! Now that’s commitment. Not in the mood for a traditional dog? Try their sausages, like the limited-time Ditka Monster Sausage that is 1/3 lb and 8″ long—a perfect size to split with kids. Visit their original truck in Ashburn or their Leesburg restaurant.

20052 Lexington Dr. (Ashburn, Va)

28 S King St. (Leesburg, Va)

Great American Hot Dogs
Warning: you will salivate at all the options at Great American Hot Dogs (GAHD). Take for instance the GAHD and GAHDess Complex dogs, which basically have everything on them except the kitchen sink. Or, how about a dog wrapped in a (really long) curly fry (the Whirly Dog). You can also order this one-of-a-kind potato concoction by itself (Whirly fries). The tots might ask for the Nevada Naked dog, but you can pay homage to D.C. suburbs by trying the Annadale’s Korea Town, Rockville Rachel, or the Potomac Pastrami dog. Any dog can be made with a half-smoke for extra. Round-out your visit with a WaffStick…that’s a waffle on a stick!

7206 Muncaster Mill Rd. (Derwood, Md)

Do you have a favorite hot dog spot? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

—Lisa Ng

 Photos courtesy of DC-3 via Facebook, Haute Dogs and Fries via Facebook, Windy City Red Hots via Facebook