By Hannah Henthorne
Posted On: Sep 6, 2020
Hot dogs. A food that conjures up memories of youth, a food essential to American culture; a food that can be simple or stuffed, dressed up with toppings or dressed down with a single condiment. The hot dog has also become a staple at baseball games all across the nation, thanks to a man named Harry Stevens. The inventor of the baseball scorecard, Stevens decided to sell hot dogs as an alternative to ice cream on cold baseball game nights. That decision may have created one of the most quintessential American pairings: baseball and hotdogs.
While we may not be able to enjoy some classic hotdogs in a stadium, you can still cook up your own or order some in from a restaurant while watching America’s favorite pastime on the TV. Here's a list of hot dog destinations around the state. From Cincinnati’s Skyline Chili, to Toledo’s Tony Packo’s, there's a hot dog joint to satisfy all corners of Ohio.
Tony Packo's in Toledo
Tony Packo’s Eastern European Kitchen is a historic restaurant that presents authentic Hungarian hot dogs with simplicity. Try one with the iconic Pickles & Peppers that pack a Packo’s punch with every bite. I highly recommend the paprika dumplings with gravy as a side. The little pillows of dough stand their ground as both comforting and colorfully zesty.
Doginator, Chicago and Chili hot dogs
Dirty Frank's in Columbus
What I Like about Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace is that my vegetarian palate can be pleased with the choice of a veggie dog (made from soy) instead of a beef one. From there, the customer has the difficult decision of deciding just how to name their dog, from the simple Old Faithful (relish, onion, mustard) to the Ohioana (spicy corn relish and celery salt), and everything in between. If you don’t like any of their options, feel free to customize your own.
Happy Dog in Cleveland
Like Dirty Franks, the vegetarian option at Happy Dog is available, but the menu is far simpler. With over 50 toppings to choose from, each customer picks as many that can fit on their dog of choice (beef or vegetarian) for only $5!
Gypsy and Tempest hot dogs
O'Betty's in Athens
First opened in 2003, O’Betty’s Red Hot has become an Athens staple. While the restaurant may be small (it’s the smallest building in Uptown Athens), the dogs are big and packed with flavor. With names just as fun as the decor inside the restaurant, like the Va-Va-Voom and Hubba-Hubba, O’Betty’s is a must-visit for hotdog aficionados.
Buns & Brews in Columbus
What’s arguably better than hotdogs and baseball? Hot dogs and a cold glass of beer. Buns & Brews offers a wide variety of unique and delicious dogs, like the Jamaican Me Crazy, a link topped with jerk chicken and coleslaw.
Skyline in Cincinnati
Skyline Chili is the chain Midwesterns have come to know so well. After all, it started right here in our own backyard. The unique cinnamon flavor chili atop a coney dog has become an iconic staple.
Links-N-Lemonade in Columbus
If you want your hotdog to be a little more upscale, check out the gourmet hot dogs at Links-N-Lemonade. Try their Crowd Pleaser, a ¼ pound beed link covered in coney sauce and your choice of toppings, or The Clevelander, a dog topped with french fries, coleslaw and barbeque sauce. Bring your vegan and vegetarian friends, as they offer both of these hotdogs in vegan form. Wash it all down with their delicious lemonade.
This list is just a glimpse into Ohio's hot dog culture. What are your favorite hot dog hot spots?