1. The Polish Dog
The Diner, Strand
Proving it’s possible to give a hot dog a name you’re not embarrassed to say in front of your grandmother, The Polish Dog is a beef and pork wiener with caramelised onions and French’s mustard. Good job, The Diner, for not submitting to the childish temptation to call it “The Fat Rod” or “The Hot Buster” or “The Chunky Baron”. We appreciate your maturity.
2. The Huge Pole
The Ring, Southwark
You’ll find no greater concentration of penis euphemisms than in the naming of hot dogs, and the Huge Pole at The Ring pub in Southwark is perhaps one of the most blatantly phallic titles going. Its creators are, of course, referring to the Polish origin of the pork-and-beef blended sausage, as well as its massive girth and eight-inch length. Seasoned with mace, sage and cayenne, it often must be split in twain simply to fit inside the bun. You have to admit that it’s quite the erection.
From the “Burger and Lobster” and “Pot Noodle and Caviar” school of fun new restaurant concepts comes Bubbledogs, which serves hot dogs and champagne side by side. Rarely do the proletariat and the bourgeoise allow themselves to dine in such intimiate proximity, but the dogs here are so good that notions of class melt away into a delicious mess of sour cream and jalapeno dressing. Bubbledogs offers takeaway too if you want a hot dog but also really need to be somewhere else.
4. Dirty Dog
Dirty Bones, Soho
If you’re still digging the trend for “filthy food”, then you’ll be truly disgusted by the beef chilli dog at Dirty Bones, which comes flecked with pickled jalapeno, shallots and spring onions and wet with gorgonzola sauce. Mucky, nasty death food. Yum.
5. Pimp Steak
Big Apple, Euston Station
Garlic, paprika and black pepper is the jumping off point for the prime piece of bratwurst in this bun. After that you’ll be prompted by Big Apple’s sausage experts to thoroughly pimp out your dog with their selection of toppings. A New York inspired pop-up, there’s another at Cole and Sons Deli on Caledonian Road.
6. Chili Dog
Meat Mission, Old Street
The accomplished meat-fetishists at Meat Mission by Old Street serve up what most would agree is a near-perfect chili dog. A smoked beef sausage finds itself subsumed in a spicy beef chili, with cheddar cheese and mustard dripped all over. Its the hot dog favoured by such luminaries as Sonic the Hedgehog.