Hot Dogs…An American Love Story
Encased in history, the hot dog is an American institution. Since the early 1900s, hot dogs have been a prized street food and belong alongside the burger in the All-American food pantheon. Beachside eaters have long enjoyed the hot dog in all of its portable variations, especially on sunny days by the pier. Learn where Newport Beach showcases the hot dog (and corn dog).
Chicago dogs have been a hit since the late 1920’s. The Chicago Style is an all beef dog with tomato, green relish, onions, dill pickle, and mustard in a poppy seed bun. Many people refer to the dog as being “dragged through the garden” because of all the fresh ingredients. This famed dog has made it across the country to Balboa Island’s romantic streets. In a space big enough for just a few seats, Crocker’s brings a little piece of the Windy City to the Golden State.
Hula Dog resides just one block off the Balboa Boardwalk and has a grass skirt, Tiki lamp, and island surfer feel. The Hula Dog itself is a “build your own,” island style, pigs in a blanket. You choose from three types of sweet and savory breads, polish or veggie, the level of heat you can handle, and a fruit topping. This is such an incredible balance of flavor and unique in Orange County.
If you are looking for a dog off the beaten path, The Beach Barrel is grilling up some fun Frankfurters. This trendy eatery near Cannery Village is small and mighty. The walls have rustic wood paneling and the tables are covered in pennies, bringing a fun vibe from a nearby boat ride. The Street Dog rivals any of street dog from around the country! This quarter-pound dog is served in a toasted sesame seed bun with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, cheddar, mozzarella, bacon, caramelized onions and grilled jalapenos. Better yet, The Beach Barrel delivers locally until 3 am on Friday and Saturday nights!
Jane’s Corndogs has some of your deep-fried favorites, especially as a cure to those late nights. These “World Famous” Corndogs now have two prime pier locations to fill your gluttonous needs. Alongside your corndog favorites in this ma’ and pa’ shop, you will find deep-fried Oreos, Twinkies, and cheese sticks. All the treats served here pair perfectly with the view of the ocean just a stone’s throw away.
If you are near Fashion Island and crave what some say is “the best dogs this side of Manhattan,” there is only place to go. Gourmet street food carts are few and far between in Orange County and just outside Macy’s in the outdoor shopping Mecca is definitely the most recognized. Gourmet Hot Dog Cart has pretty simple presentation, but their wide selection of sodas, chips, and condiments will make you feel right at home, wherever you’re from.
This casual restaurant has been a Balboa Village mainstay for 75 years. Balboa Barbie Q is best known for its daily smoked brisket, but for the kid inside you, grab yourself a hot dog, corn dog and French fries and run around the arcade. This landmark Newport Beach dining option has little hints of an old school diner with a beachside feel.
This deli counter turned retro eatery is a prime hangout for Newport Beach’s laid back surf culture. The clean and minimalist interior is broken up by vintage photography of the area. The open kitchen is inviting and showcases the made to order menu. Stop in different hot dogs or a Spicy Chile Mango Sausage with sweet and spicy chipotle catsup, and pickled mustard seed.
The Newport Pier is a huge draw for thousands of visitors every summer, and eateries have lasted decades feeding those hungry people. Blackie’s by the Sea is a long time bar favorite for twentysomethings that call Newport Beach home. Their decor is an eclectic collection of surfboard and boating memorabilia hanging overhead and their view of summer happenings is incredible. Grab a hot dog to go, walk a few feet, and dig your toes in the sand.
Fashion Island is one of the most respected shopping destinations in the country. Many of the best restaurateurs and retailers plant a seed here knowing that such an incredible outdoor attraction brings something magical. Among the many restaurants in the center, The Cheesecake Factory still provides one of the mall’s most eclectic and diverse menus. Here you will not only find the famed Louisiana chicken pasta and an endless dessert selection, but appetizers like mini corn dogs have a special place on the menu.
This family-owned business started over 50 years ago in nearby Wilmington and is now a national chain. Wienerschnitzel has made the mark in the hot dog market in a big way, and still maintains its homely roots with a stable business structure that allows them to activate in unique ways. Their chili dog is a popular favorite among kids and adults alike, and Newport Beach is no stranger to the brand’s encased integrity.