Must Love Dogs: 12 of the Best Hot Dog Joints in Virginia

Must Love Dogs: 12 of the Best Hot Dog Joints in Virginia

Photo courtesy of Canva

By Aila Boyd

October 12, 2023

If you love dogs—hot dogs that is—stop by one of these 12 joints that are scattered throughout Virginia

Summer may have come to a close, but the fun part about everyone’s favorite summer snack, hot dogs, is that they are actually a top-notch meal option all year round. Some of the joints we’ve compiled in this list are vintage hot dog stands that ooze 20th-century authenticity whereas others are a bit more modern and trendy.

No matter which one (or ones) you choose, you’re sure to get a dog that is as delicious as it is messy.

Weenie Beenie

Location: Arlington

Weenie Beenie is a favorite among Arlington locals, having served hot dogs since 1954. The all-beef Sabrett hot dogs come served on a potato bun. A dog with all the fixings includes mustard, onions, relish, and chili.

Haute Dogs

Locations: Alexandria, Arlington

Haute Dogs isn’t your average hot dog joint, as its hot dogs are gourmet and come in a variety of signature styles. A standout menu item is the DC Dog, which comes with yellow mustard, barbecue sauce, blue cheese, chopped onions, and dill pickles. It pairs well with a side of rosemary parmesan fries made from hand-cut Idaho potatoes.

Vegetarians will likely be pleased to hear that Haute Dogs offers veggie dogs.

Dave’s Dogs

Location: Prince William County

Must Love Dogs: 12 of the Best Hot Dog Joints in Virginia

Photo courtesy of Dave’s Dogs

Dave’s Dogs, a hot dog cart, was started by David Gray, a mechanic by training who traded in his tools for hot dogs in 2014. “Dave prides himself on making the highest quality ‘fast food’ in Woodbridge,” the cart’s website reads. “He makes everything to order using no heat lamps or microwaves—because his customers deserve it.”

Give the Po’ Boy a try. It comes with an all-beef hot dog topped with coleslaw, tartar sauce, and fried popcorn shrimp. Be sure to enjoy it with a big deli dill pickle on the side.

Joey’s Hot Dogs

Location: Glen Allen

At Joey’s Hot Dogs, tradition and modern culture collide. “Our hot dogs are made the old-fashioned way using the very same techniques and recipes which have been passed down through generations of the Mirabile family since the 1930s,” the joint’s website states. “We understand that dietary needs have changed over the years and we have developed a delightful menu with a variety of healthy alternatives to ensure we are able to please a wide variety of our customers’ needs.”

The wieners are handcrafted exclusively for Joey’s by Usinger’s, which bills its franks as “America’s Finest Sausage.” You can’t go wrong with The Joey Dog, a Norfolk snap wiener made using Joey’s signature natural casing from the 1939 recipe. Order it “all the way” to get mustard, onions, and homemade chili.

Joey’s also offers up veggie dogs and gluten-free buns.

HogsHead Café

Location: Henrico

Must Love Dogs: 12 of the Best Hot Dog Joints in Virginia

Photo courtesy of Hogshead Cafe

HogsHead Café describes itself as a “lively restaurant in the heart of Richmond” that uses “the best ingredients.” While it doesn’t have the most extensive hot dog menu, the options it does have are well worth a visit.

The Big Boner is a half-pound bacon-wrapped beef hot dog that is deep-fried and topped with hand-pulled pork, Hog Sauce, coleslaw, and baby back ribs. You can also build your own hot dog using all the traditional fixings or add unique ones like fried egg, bacon, or hand-pulled pork.

City Dogs

Location: Richmond

Must Love Dogs: 12 of the Best Hot Dog Joints in Virginia

Photo of City Dogs

City Dogs is a family-owned-and-operated restaurant that opened in 2008. “Our family promises to give you and your family the unique hot dog experience,” the restaurant’s site reads. “Our menu boasts 13 different style hot dogs that were created by different cities around the country.”

Give the Honolulu Dog a try. It comes with barbeque sauce, provolone cheese, and pineapple chunks. The Louisville Stag Dog is served with mustard and sauteed onions caramelized in Jim Beam Red Stag. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available.

Gus’s Hot Dog King

Location: Newport News

Gus’s Hot Dog King was started in 1972 when a Greek immigrant named Gus opened a hot dog stand that later grew into a full diner. After Gus passed in 1994, his wife Stavroula took over the business, and their son George joined on to help run the place after graduating college in 2003.

“Throughout the years people from all over have traveled miles to have a dog ‘all the way,’ mouth-watering chili cheese fries, and our Southern style barbeque,” the diner states on its website.

It’s hard to go wrong with the footlong dog or a beer bratwurst, both of which come with cheese.

Fertitta’s Diner

Location: Hampton

While Fertitta’s Diner, established in 1975, has an extensive menu, it’s the hot dogs—Nathan’s all-beef franks served on steamed buns—that truly stand out.

Be sure to ask for the Fertitta’s Hot Dog Special, which comes with two hot dogs served with mustard, onions, and chili, plus French fries or chips and a drink for $8.99.

Doug’s Hot Dogs

Location: Norfolk

Continuing in the tradition of Joey, Gus, and Fertitta, here’s a joint with nothing but a first name behind it—plus great hot dogs. Doug’s Hot Dogs has been in business since 1973. It takes hot dogs to the next level with a wide assortment of traditional and specialty options.

Traditional hot dog options, which come either as a Norfolk snap dog or all-beef, include the kraut dog and footlong dog. Those who are more adventurous may like something from the specialty menu, like the OV Dog, which comes with North Carolina barbecue, cheese, and barbecue sauce.

Be sure to check out the After 2 p.m. Special, which comes with two chili dogs for $4 and is only served after—well, you get the picture. Don’t forget to request a whole pickle as your side.

Perfectly Frank ODU

Location: Norfolk

Perfectly Frank ODU—started in 2005 by Tarah Morris and known by regulars as “PFRANK”—bills itself as “an original hot dog joint” that is relaxed and knows its customers by name. It serves Boar’s Head hot dogs and sausages.

Give the Hot n Sloppy a try. It comes with New York hot sausage, grilled onions, chili, cheese, and slaw.

Seaside Dogs & Grill

Location: Virginia Beach

Seaside Dogs & Grill has nine hot dog and sausage options. For something a bit unique, order the veal bratwurst. The vegetarian option is a Beyond Meat Italian sausage that’s made from pea protein. They all come with your choice of mustard, onions, chili, relish, and sauerkraut.

Pair your dog with a side of Death By Fries, a basket of crinkle-cut fries served with chili, cheese, bacon, and jalapenos.

Famous Uncle Al’s

Location: Virginia Beach

Famous Uncle Al’s was started in 1985 by Al Stein, inspired by his time working in his family’s deli in Rockaway, Queens. “We’ve served generations over the years, watching families grow and providing a sense of community, while serving some of the yummiest food around,” the restaurant said. “Our services come with a smile and maybe a joke or two.”

If you go on a Monday, order the hot dog, French fries, and medium drink special for $7. You can then load it up with fixings like ketchup, mustard, onions, chili, relish, sauerkraut, or coleslaw.

  • Aila Boyd

    Aila Boyd is a Virginia-based educator and journalist. She received her MFA in writing from Lindenwood University.



Local News

Related Stories
Share This