Have the Most Fun This Weekend with a Hot Dog Bar! Plus, 7 of My Favorite Fancy Hot Dogs.
I’ve come to realize that my heaven might include a hot dog bar.
If I’m being REAL real, I may only have one or two hot dogs per summer. Like a really good one, you know?
I lived in such a hot dog bubble forever – it wasn’t until maybe ten years ago when I watched Lacy order a hot dog with all the toppings from Five Guys (which inspired this one on the blog) that I realized… I could put OTHER THINGS on my hot dog.
Really. I mean, How did I not know this?
Before that, I was strictly a mustard person. Yellow mustard, to be exact. Shocking, right?
And then, even before that, the fanciest we got in my family was a crescent wrapped hot dog. Nothing like a jalapeno pretzel dog with cheddar beer sauce. OMG.
Hot dogs have always had such a bad rap but I can’t pass one up at a cookout. And in the last ten years, we’ve been lucky to get a few “better for you” hot dogs, like turkey dogs or even vegetarian dogs or grass fed beef dogs and organic hot dogs and all that jazz. It’s made me feel slightly better about making a big old hot dog bar in the summer at our house!
Now here’s the thing. There are so many amazing ways you can make hot dogs be all fancy and wild and high maintenance. But if you’re going to set up a hot dog BAR, then you have to make sure the toppings are low maintenance on their own. Meaning, they can sit in a bowl and not get gross (I’m looking at you beer cheese sauce) and they don’t need hands on attention.
P.S. This is SO fun.
Load on all the toppings and live it up.
These hot dogs are the business. We spent weeks discussing our favorite hot dogs and toppings along with creating some new flavor combos and generally being obsessed with everything we could put on a hot dog. But also making sure they were things you could make and forget about for a bit.
Scroll down for the complete toppings list and here’s a run down of the top seven hot dogs that made my “obsessed” list!
My Favorite Fancy Hot Dogs for your Hot Dog Bar
Our Chicago Dog
dill pickle spear/sweet pickle relish/campari tomatoes/sport peppers/yellow mustard/poppy seed sprinkle
Lacy has loved Chicago dogs forever. As much as I love pickles, all of these things on my hot dog have never appealed to me! Am I alone here? Maybe I have to go to Chicago to actually EAT one. Then I’ll get it.
The Buffalo Dog
celery leaves/buffalo wing sauce/ranch drizzle/crumbled blue cheese/chives/scallions
Ooooh this one is so good. If you don’t loathe celery, you could also dice that up and sprinkle it on top. Lots of flavor here.
The BLT Dog
shredded lettuce/chopped tomatoes/crispy bacon/ranch drizzle
I love this one so much, maybe because of the bed of shredded lettuce? We actually sliced green cabbage into super tiny slices which creates the best crunchy lettuce!
Grilled Mexican Street Corn Dog
guacamole/quick mexican corn salad
I piped some guacamole onto this hot dog than sprinkled it with a quick makeshift elote that I mixed together. Grilled corn, lime juice, cilantro, chili powder and crumbled cotija cheese. So good!
Caramelized Onion and Cheddar Dog
white cheddar/caramelized onions/ketchup
This is a seemingly simple hot dog but it has SO much more flavor than you’d anticipate. It was a close favorite for everyone.
The BBQ Pineapple Dog
grilled pineapple/BBQ sauce/diced shallot
The caramely pineapple here is so sweet, the bbq sauce is tangy and the diced shallot is crunchy. This is so good too!
Jalapeño Apple Slaw Dog
jalapeño apple slaw/spicy brown mustard
This slaw is absolutely incredible!! It’s crunchy, sweet and spicy and would be excellent on other sandwiches too. Topped with mustard because I can’t get enough.
A Classic Dog
whatever you love!
What is YOUR classic dog? I threw some ketchup and mustard on this one and I do enjoy both. But everyone’s classic dog is different and I want to hear yours!
I hope this gives you a little inspiration for some fun summer cookouts! Even just serving one or two fancy hot dogs at a cookout can be such a fun twist. Grab all the rosé and the summer beer and you’re set.
How to Make a Hot Dog Bar
How to Make a Hot Dog Bar
- Grilled hot dogs
- Grilled brioche buns
- White cheddar cheese
- Caramelized onions
- Grilled corn or Mexican corn salad
- Pickled green beans
- Diced shallot
- Grilled pineapple
- Baked beans (try it!)
- Crumbled gorgonzola
- Pickle spears
- Shredded lettuce
- Jalapeno apple slaw
- Yellow mustard
- Spicy brown mustard
- Ranch dressing
- Buffalo wing sauce
- BBQ sauce
- To make the hot dog bar an easy process, make a list of all the toppings you'd like to have out. You can chop, cut and grate all of them the night before, place them in separate bowls or jars, then cover and store them in the fridge until it's go-time! For cookouts, I like to estimate about 1.5 hot dogs per person. For toppings, they will differ depending on what's popular in your family. I'd say as long as you have 1 cup of most toppings (for instance, you don't need an entire cup of bacon! But you do need a cup of cheese and tomatoes), you're good. Use your judgement! Don't be afraid to get crazy - baked beans and mac and cheese actually taste amazing on hot dogs. Make it a carb party.
- To make the grilled corn salad I mention above: stir together about 1 ½ cups corn kernels with 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, a pinch of salt and pepper, a 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, juice from ½ lime and 2 to 3 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese. This can be made the night before, but is probably best 2 to 3 hours before.
- To make the jalapeno apple slaw I mention above: toss together 2 cups shredded green cabbage with 1 grated apple, 1 thinly sliced jalapeno pepper, a pinch of salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and juice from ½ lime. This can be made the night before. Gets even more flavor in the fridge!
Did you make this recipe?
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I appreciate you so much!
Puhlease create a hot dog bar for all of your summer activities!
65 Comments on “Have the Most Fun This Weekend with a Hot Dog Bar! Plus, 7 of My Favorite Fancy Hot Dogs.”
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My classic dog is embarrassingly simple, with a squiggle of stoneground mustard; but I like your gourmet ideas much better!
love it! xo
I usually only eat hot dogs once or twice a year as well, and they have to be really good hot dogs – like 100% organic grass fed angus beef, fortunately, we have a great butcher shop in town.
And now I want one, because those look so yummy. And I’m on a detox. So no hot dogs for me this weekend. :(
totally get it! eddie and i are the same, haha!!
oh man, hang in there!! xoxo
omg i am DYING from all of these! i’m not even a hot dog person, but here we are, i’m starving for a hot dog at 8:30 am. jalapeno + apple slaw will be happening ASAP. xx
YESSSS it’s so good!
I will NEVER get tired of hot dogs! Totally making the jalapeno apple slaw one this weekend
so so good! :)
Now I’m craving hot dogs. I don’t eat them very often but once in awhile I get a hot dog and drink for $1.50 at Costco
haha i love it! i wish i had a costco.
Hot dog. Chopped tomatoes sauted with finely chopped garlic onon, & basil. A bit of yellow mustard mixed with lemon or lime. Very tasty.
Have you been to Franktuary in Lawrenceville? I’m a vegetarian so I got the veggie dog, but they have lots of over the top ones. They even have a pierogi hot dog that my friends said is ridiculous! :-P
yessss!! love franktuary! we haven’t been there in a few years but have to go back!
What a great idea! We’ll try this but with burgers since I’m not a huge hot dog fan. My favorite “hot dog” is weird. Baked beans, cheddar, onion, and bbq sauce on a hot dog bun. Don’t knock it til ya try it lol!
that sounds incredible!!
I am a hotdog fanatic! I can’t wait to try out all these flavors! Keep sharing more!
You forgot the classic grilled onions & bell peppers, with deep fried sliced potatoes, deep fried hot dog in a soft wedge of bread…a la Jimmy Buff’s in Orange, NJ. Sooooooo good!
um omg that sounds amazing!!
You are speaking my love language right here!! There’s nothing that screams of summer more than a great hot dog. We did a hot dog bar a few summers ago for 4th of July and it was such a hit and this gives me fresh inspiration! :) . Can’t wait to try some of these combinations!!!
love!! it’s so fun! xo
dying over regrettable (but hilarious) word choice of “hot dog bubble” over here.
When I was in Pop Warner (early 90s), we would all get a hot dog and “orange drink” or RC Cola after the game (yay health!). We acted grossed out by them, but years later we all admitted we ate those hot dogs in the car on the way home. Hahhahahahha….
hahaha this made me laugh!!
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If you are ever in the Youngstown area, you MUST visit Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts!! They have ALL the toppings for ALL the dogs (including a bacon wrapped one!), including apple bacon slaw, whisky sticks, homemade mustard and ketchup, sriracha cream cheese, and marshmallow cream! Plus they have tater tots as a side! Who doesn’t love a good tot?!
thanks for the rec!! this sounds crazy and amazing.
OMG – Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs! Wrap the dog in bacon, throw on the grill until nice and crispy, and voila! It’s summer! :) My mouth is so watering right now…
okay may be doing that this weekend!
Mustard and sauerkraut, my friend! But that BLT one intrigues me. There’s something about putting bacon on a hotdog that smacks of sticking it to the man. No, I don’t understand myself either.
I love this! Last fall I made an apple & arugula relish to go on a hot dog with cheddar on a pretzel bun. It was the best ever! http://thethreebiterule.com/fall-hot-dog-with-apple-slaw/ On the other hand, french onion dip makes a delightful hot dog topping too!
omg love that idea!!
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Honestly, my absolute favorite hot dog topping of all time is KFC Cole Slaw. That and a squiggle of yellow mustard on a perfect hot dog is my thang. But I also occasionally like a chili dog with meat chili (embarrassingly, Hormel Chili No Beans is our favorite trashy go-to), mustard, and cheddar. And sometimes cole slaw. YUM. I also love, love, love Slawsa (a jarred slaw-salsa mash-up – can get at most grocery stores, and OMG, delicious).
You inspired my son’s whole birthday theme with this post – Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with a “Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggety Dog Hot Dog Bar”! Your blog half plans my life!
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My favorite hot dog is a good beef hot dog grilled with reduced balsamic vinegar, pesto,fresh mozzarella. Tomatoes also go on it but I’m not a fan of them.
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i will most definitely try out the apple slaw toppings, Am intrigued by the recipe.
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Getting ready for the 4th of July and needed some food inspiration. This is such a fun idea and there’s something here for just about everyone!
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All time favorite hot dog – mustard, Cole slaw, chili sauce and lots of chopped raw onion. I must try your apple slaw.
I like it very much. Thanks for sharing this kind of information article
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I’ve only made the coleslaw a few times exactly as written and it’s amazing!!! Please make a page for it so I can pin that amazing recipe separately! Overall, LOVE the hot dog bar idea!
Can’t wait to try some of these. But our family favorite is sauerkraut and onions caramelized together in the pan with grilled hot dogs. Grilled buns topped with cheddar until melty, and a mustard/horseradish combo on the dogs. Even our little ones like it!
I like my classic hot dog with onion garlic, mustard, relish and ketchup
I love hotdogs! Thinking about doing a bar for NYE. Don’t forget the guac. I love to eat chili, guac, slaw dogs! I see someone mentioned sauerkraut in the comments. I say absolutely, that’s my classic hotdog- kraut, relish, spicy mustard and a dab of ketchup!
I made the hotdogs in my air fryer, I did 8 dogs following your instructions, they turned out perfect. Thanks for sharing and please visit us: https://www.beckandbulow.com
I’m having a Hot Dog Fiesta for Memorial Day using high-quality uncured dogs. I’m not building but will be offering unique toppings as well as the good ‘ol standbys. The hot dogs will be marinated overnight, cut lengthwise, and grilled to perfection. Some of my toppings (and I’m still thinking about what else I’ll provide) include housemade fresh-made pickled jalapenos, kimchi, pickled mustard seeds, fresh horseradish, salsa, salsa verde, hot sauce, chile beans, pickles, relish, etc. I’m thinking of making some Bloody Marys to go with all this. Should be fun! I’m also grilling some soft pretzels as a treat. I know I must present some type of veggie…possibly my non-mayo slaw, celery, carrot sticks with bleu cheese, grilled cauliflower steaks. So many possibilities! I’m planning on 3 dogs per person so they can experiment with the toppings. Then I thought of cutting the dogs and buns in half so there can be even more experimentation. It’ll all come together when it’s supposed to. Looking forward to elevating the lowly hot dog! Thanks!
I found your blog because of this particular post – searched “Hot Dog Bar”. Nice suggestions, but what stood out to me as my favorite is your well used sheet pan. It looks exactly like all of mine! :)
My family is always telling me to clean them better, but I consider them well seasoned. Why scrub them to the aluminum when you can develop a nice seasoning, like my cast iron pans? Anyway, I just thought I would let you know that and that I am happy to have found your blog. <3
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