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R. Lopez

Fancy and Festive Hot Dogs to Try in Washington D.C.

Beat the cold with this ballpark favorite, gone upscale.

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City Burger
| R. Lopez

The humble hot dog has come quite a long way since its birth in 15th century Germany. After European immigrants introduced the frankfurter to the United States in the 19th century, baseball parks soon served these sausages as standard fare.

According to the National Sausage and Hot Dog Council (yes, it exists), Americans today consume about 20 billion hot dogs annually, or around 70 per person each year. No doubt Americans love their dogs.

Now links get a new look, with a growing trend of artisanal hot dog joints in DC giving a gourmet makeover. Think beyond the city standard half smoke with chili, to consider fresh toppings like blue cheese or kimchi.

Hardly dirty water dogs, here are several places that reinvent the classic with new twists. This list has been updated from February thanks to the arrival of the ideal hot dog season: summer.

—additional reporting by Missy Frederick

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Haute Dogs & Fries Restaurant

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610 Montgomery St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 548-3891
Visit Website
Let’s be honest, practically anything tastes good in a buttered New England toasted roll. This Old Town Alexandria shop tops quality all-beef with eclectic choices from pineapple-mango salsa to rainbow sprinkles, but show some local pride with the District "DC" Dog’s strange blue cheese and BBQ sauce combo. Plus, they also randomly serve trendy bone broth.

[Photo: Facebook]

2. DC-3

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423 8th St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 546-1935
Visit Website
Fly high surrounded by vintage aviation decor in this Barracks Row stand owned by the Matchbox pizza people, with hot dogs definitely not old-school. Bacon wraps and corn coatings make appearances, but the menu’s top dog is the Korean, boasting marinated beef bulgogi with kimchi. Veggie dogs are available for substitution.

[Photo: Facebook]

3. Ivy and Coney

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1523 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 670-9489
Visit Website
Nothing beats a hot dog washed down with a cold beer, especially when it comes with Midwestern hospitality, like this Shaw dive nodding to both Detroit and Chicago. The choice stays simple with either Coney-style, perhaps the oldest in America, or the Chicago dog in a poppy bun.

[Photo: Facebook]

4. Swizzler Gourmet Hotdogs

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Recent college graduates turned hot dogs into works of art, like the Leonardo dog Vinci masterpiece with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, arugula, drizzled with balsamic and pesto sauces. Follow their whereabouts on Twitter for local grass-fed meats and farm-to-table fresh toppings.

[Photo: Facebook]

5. Johnny's Half Shell

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400 N Capitol St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 737-0400
Visit Website
There’s no need to feel embarrassed ordering a hot dog at this premium seafood restaurant near Union Station with view of the Hill. After all, the Baltimore Dog comes with a choice of fine-dining approved toppings like blue cheese and onion, or garden vegetables, but only graces the lunch menu.

[Photo: Facebook]

6. Galaxy Hut

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2711 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 525-8646
Visit Website
Dogs at this small Arlington eatery may look familiar, but one bite reveals something extraordinary, not found at any ballpark. The vegan or all-beef sausages soak in IPA and cook on different grills, washed down by a strong selection of drafts and indie music.

[Photo: Facebook]

7. Shake Shack

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800 F St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 800-9930
Visit Website
Shake Shack may be fast food-esque, but they take their hot dogs to another level. They top the all-natural beef dogs with interesting toppings like ale-marinated onions. Sometimes they even collaborate with local vendors like Gordy's Pickles (they had a limited edition fried pickled jalapeno-topped dog at one point). Multiple locations.

[Photo: Official]

8. Baby Wale

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1124 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 450-3311
Visit Website
Baby Wale's New Jersey Hot Dog is made with pork and beef on an olio bun, and served with french fries for $10.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

9. Red Apron Butchery

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709 D St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 524-5244
Visit Website
Red Apron's Haute Dog is made in-house and topped with spicy mustard, ketchup and onion. Diners can also customize them with additional toppings like whiz.

[Photo: Facebook]

10. City Burger

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City Burger's all-beef dogs (they also have a half smoke option) are topped with everything from caramelized poblano to sauerkraut, depending on which specialty dog a customer chooses.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

11. BURGERFI

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8504 Fenton St
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 565-2100
Visit Website
Burgerfi has both kobe and chicken apple hot dogs (plus traditional) ones that can be served New York-style, Chicago-style or Texas-style.

[Photo: Official]

12. Greatest American Hot Dogs

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7206 Muncaster Mill Rd
Derwood, MD 20855
(800) 570-4243
Visit Website
Find everything from a West Virginia slaw dog to an Annandale-inspired Korean dog at this restaurant, now with two area locations in Maryland.

[Photo: Official]

13. Loeb's New York Deli

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1712 I St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 965-5632
"Artisan" isn't the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Loeb's traditional kosher dogs. But they can be topped with some festive ingredients, including the hard-to-find fried bologna.

[Photo: Facebook]

1. Haute Dogs & Fries Restaurant

610 Montgomery St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Let’s be honest, practically anything tastes good in a buttered New England toasted roll. This Old Town Alexandria shop tops quality all-beef with eclectic choices from pineapple-mango salsa to rainbow sprinkles, but show some local pride with the District "DC" Dog’s strange blue cheese and BBQ sauce combo. Plus, they also randomly serve trendy bone broth.

[Photo: Facebook]

610 Montgomery St
Alexandria, VA 22314

2. DC-3

423 8th St SE, Washington, D.C. 20003
Fly high surrounded by vintage aviation decor in this Barracks Row stand owned by the Matchbox pizza people, with hot dogs definitely not old-school. Bacon wraps and corn coatings make appearances, but the menu’s top dog is the Korean, boasting marinated beef bulgogi with kimchi. Veggie dogs are available for substitution.

[Photo: Facebook]

423 8th St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

3. Ivy and Coney

1523 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Nothing beats a hot dog washed down with a cold beer, especially when it comes with Midwestern hospitality, like this Shaw dive nodding to both Detroit and Chicago. The choice stays simple with either Coney-style, perhaps the oldest in America, or the Chicago dog in a poppy bun.

[Photo: Facebook]

1523 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

4. Swizzler Gourmet Hotdogs

Washington, D.C.
Recent college graduates turned hot dogs into works of art, like the Leonardo dog Vinci masterpiece with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, arugula, drizzled with balsamic and pesto sauces. Follow their whereabouts on Twitter for local grass-fed meats and farm-to-table fresh toppings.

[Photo: Facebook]

5. Johnny's Half Shell

400 N Capitol St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
There’s no need to feel embarrassed ordering a hot dog at this premium seafood restaurant near Union Station with view of the Hill. After all, the Baltimore Dog comes with a choice of fine-dining approved toppings like blue cheese and onion, or garden vegetables, but only graces the lunch menu.

[Photo: Facebook]

400 N Capitol St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

6. Galaxy Hut

2711 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201
Dogs at this small Arlington eatery may look familiar, but one bite reveals something extraordinary, not found at any ballpark. The vegan or all-beef sausages soak in IPA and cook on different grills, washed down by a strong selection of drafts and indie music.

[Photo: Facebook]

2711 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

7. Shake Shack

800 F St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
Shake Shack may be fast food-esque, but they take their hot dogs to another level. They top the all-natural beef dogs with interesting toppings like ale-marinated onions. Sometimes they even collaborate with local vendors like Gordy's Pickles (they had a limited edition fried pickled jalapeno-topped dog at one point). Multiple locations.

[Photo: Official]

800 F St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

8. Baby Wale

1124 9th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Baby Wale's New Jersey Hot Dog is made with pork and beef on an olio bun, and served with french fries for $10.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

1124 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

9. Red Apron Butchery

709 D St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
Red Apron's Haute Dog is made in-house and topped with spicy mustard, ketchup and onion. Diners can also customize them with additional toppings like whiz.

[Photo: Facebook]

709 D St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

10. City Burger

7015 Wisconsin Ave., Maryland 20815
City Burger's all-beef dogs (they also have a half smoke option) are topped with everything from caramelized poblano to sauerkraut, depending on which specialty dog a customer chooses.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

11. BURGERFI

8504 Fenton St, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Burgerfi has both kobe and chicken apple hot dogs (plus traditional) ones that can be served New York-style, Chicago-style or Texas-style.

[Photo: Official]

8504 Fenton St
Silver Spring, MD 20910

12. Greatest American Hot Dogs

7206 Muncaster Mill Rd, Derwood, MD 20855
Find everything from a West Virginia slaw dog to an Annandale-inspired Korean dog at this restaurant, now with two area locations in Maryland.

[Photo: Official]

7206 Muncaster Mill Rd
Derwood, MD 20855

13. Loeb's New York Deli

1712 I St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005
"Artisan" isn't the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Loeb's traditional kosher dogs. But they can be topped with some festive ingredients, including the hard-to-find fried bologna.

[Photo: Facebook]

1712 I St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

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