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Top Dogs

Move over ho-hum hot dogs—fancy franks are popping up on menus all over town, and they’re nothing like the ones of yesteryear. Local eateries are revamping the comfort food classic with elevated ingredients and funky flavor pairings. Jump on the haute dog cart and sample these 10 versions with unique, mouthwatering twists. And the wiener is…

Sun’s out, buns out! Hot dog buns, that is. The Barrel House Dog from Moksa Barrel House is not your run-of-the-mill ballpark frank. It’s the childhood classic all grown up, thanks to top-tier ingredients and a put-together presentation. The familiar favorite begins with a gourmet American wagyu beef hot dog from Snake River Farms, followed by dill pickles, diced red onions, sliced tomatoes, yellow mustard, and pepperoncini on a pillowy soft potato bun. Pair it with a pint of beer or a scoop of Straus Family Creamery soft serve, and you have a home run. 10007 Foothills Boulevard, Suite 180, Roseville, 916-783-1444,

Moksa Barrel House


The Crispy Ramen K-Dog from Mochinut is anything but the lackluster corndog you enjoyed in elementary school. Instead of dense (and sometimes soggy) breading, Mochinut uses rice flour-based batter to create a crispy outer shell that gives way to light, fluffy breading. The satisfying texture and fun flavors are likely why Korean corn dogs have become all the craze. The crispy ramen offering is one of Mochinut’s most popular and features a 100% beef hot dog coated in batter, rolled in dry ramen noodles, and deep-fried. It’s then drizzled with your choice of sauces (keep it classic with ketchup and mustard or go crazy with garlic aioli) and toppings. Did we mention you can also order your K-dog “half and half”—half hot dog, half mozzarella cheese center? 4191 Thrive Drive, Suite 120, Roseville, 916-771-2776,



If you’re vegetarian, there’s no reason you can’t also jump aboard the hot dog bandwagon. Dog Haus Biergarten has not one, but two delicious veggie dog options, including the Sooo Veggie Dog that’s “sooo” good and “sooo” very Californian (hello, creamy avocado and wild arugula!). Served in a grilled Kings Hawaiian roll, the plant-based hot Italian “sausage” is also topped with fresh tomatoes, crispy onions, and a drizzle of spicy basil aioli. 1501 Blue Oaks Boulevard, Roseville, 916-846-7699,

Dog Haus Biergarten


Is there anything more decadent than the sweet, salty, and cheesy combination of a Monte Cristo? Well, yes, there is: the Montecristdog from C. Knight's Steakhouse! It’s a fun re-creation of the much-loved sub that you won’t soon forget. The hot dog version of the classic sammie starts with a beer-battered, high-quality beef frank in a toasty, freshly baked bun. To create the flavor-layering a Monte Cristo is known for, C. Knight’s tops their dog with salty bacon, piquant white cheddar cheese, blackberry jam, and a dusting of powdered sugar, and serves it with your choice of house-cut fries or a green salad. 2085 Vine Street, Suite 101, El Dorado Hills, 916-235-1730,

C. Knight's Steakhouse


If a hot dog and a Reuben sandwich were to have a love child, it would be the Reuben Dog from Shoestring. The Placerville mainstay since 1959 grills an eight-inch all-beef hot dog, tops it with melty Swiss cheese, tucks it into a soft bun with signature Rueben toppings—pastrami and sauerkraut—and drizzles it with Thousand Island dressing. Talk about a loaded dog! Just be sure to wash it down with one of Shoestring’s famous milkshakes. 1320 Broadway, Placerville, 530-622-7125,

Reuben Dog


The Sing Sing Dawg from That Dam Place is so tasty it should be a felony. Good thing it’s not though, because you’ll be singing its praises for all to hear. The all-beef hot dog in a toasted split-top bun is dressed to impress with pickled red onions, tangy relish, and sweet-spicy mustard (plus your pick of side: fries, salad, or onion rings) for a flavor explosion that’ll make your mouth water. Speaking of dogs, their patio is dog-friendly (and if your pooch is polite, they’ll likely give them a biscuit, too!). 1013 Riley Street, Folsom, 916-790-8182,

That Dam Place


Parker’s Hot Dogs of Santa Cruz has been slinging dogs since the late 1940s, so they know a thing or two about a good one. Their Chicago Dog lives up to the motto that defines a memorable Chicago-style hot dog: “dragged through the garden.” Stacked on top of Parker’s 100% all-beef hot dog are the foundational mustard, relish, and fresh diced onions. Next, it gets loaded with fresh tomatoes and cucumber slices, crunchy pickle spears, and tangy pepperoncini. Now that’s a Chicago dog any Chi-town native would be proud to endorse! 1605 Douglas Boulevard, Suite A, Roseville, 916-786-2202,

Parker’s Hot Dogs


Round up the gang and head to Nubbin’s Drive-In for a fun experience and a dawg-gone good Chili Dog. Nubbin’s is a throwback to another era when drive-ins and poodle skirts were all the rage. The retro dive serves all your diner favorites, from malts and milkshakes to double-bacon burgers, but it’s the chili-topped dog that reigns supreme—thanks to a fresh hot dog, soft bun, and hefty helping of steaming hot, hearty chili. Order crinkle-cut fries on the side and a blue raspberry slush to complete your order! 308 Washington Boulevard, Roseville, 916-782-2084,

Nubbin’s Drive-In


“What’s in a name?” Not to contradict Shakespeare, but it’s all in the name when it comes to the Atomic Dog from Roseville-based food truck Arlington Brothers. Be warned: This dog comes with a fiery kick. A smoked hot link sits nestled within a fluffy bun that’s loaded with fun, house-made toppings, like beer beans (organic pinto beans pressure-infused with a local pilsner and house-made veggie stock). Other toppings include fresh red onions, pickled jalapeños, “Killer Kim-chee” (traditional kimchi with hot chilis), and hickory-smoked bacon crumbles. Taking the heat (and flavor) up a notch is Arlington Brothers’ own Stinging Scorpion Mustard—yellow mustard infused with Trinidad Scorpion Peppers—and the hottest condiment they make: Haunted Ketchup (caramelized tomato ketchup with ghost peppers). Now that’s a flavor bomb for your taste buds! Roseville, 916-790-9055,


It’s been said that the secret is in the pudding, but at Big Boss Café, it’s in the sauce. The house-made remy sauce that’s generously drizzled on their Denmark Dog is a mayonnaise-based condiment with fresh herbs, garlic, and black pepper that you’ll want to bottle up and take home. Sauce aside, you’ll also bite into an all-beef Polish dog and locally baked bun, plus Big Boss’ house-made pickles, stone-ground mustard, and crispy fried onions. Do yourself a favor and try the peach sweet tea made with real peaches to accompany your order. 2756 Sunrise Boulevard, Rancho Cordova, 916-917-7574, 

Big Boss Café


by Nelly Kislyanka  |  photos by TAYLOR GILLESPIE
Photos by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group—please don’t steal our copyrighted photos. For more information about our editorial photos, please click here to contact us