Best Hot Dogs
Between baseball games, backyard grilling and stops at QuikTrip, our affinity for hot dogs, cheese coneys, artisan wieners, sausages, and wursts has us relishing summertime.
Look up the month of June in the dictionary, and you’ll be reminded that it’s the sixth month of the year on the Gregorian and Julian calendars. What it won’t tell you is that in Tulsa, we break out the jeans and the blue-blocker sunglasses, crack open a couple of our buddy’s latest home brews, find a spot on the porch or a tailgate somewhere, and enjoy watching the sun go down.
It doesn’t matter what age you are; in northeast Oklahoma, it’s still pretty much impossible to separate summertime from a bunch of other things too, like lemonade, berries, watermelon, fireworks, lightning bugs, and, of course, hot dogs. Some of the best hot dogs (and their link cousins) are found right here in Green Country.
More than a time warp to past good times, despite the bad rap that basic hot dogs used to get, today’s versions are made from better ingredients with fewer additives and more snap, texture, seasoning and all-around beefiness.
If you’re visiting Tulsa or even if you’ve been here your whole life, we suspect you have no idea the tremendous number of excellent places there are to get a quality hot dog, brat, wiener, link, coney or sausage. Here are just a few places to get you started this summer.
2101 E . 71st St. | Tulsa
Boudin is basically the cool, southern Louisianan version of the hot dog. Well, not really, but it is a sausage, and if we didn’t talk about some of the best boudin this side of the Louisiana border, we’d be remiss. Cajun Ed’s at Hebert’s Specialty Meats is awesome Cajun food, made by awesome Cajuns. The boudin links and boudin balls are spicy, but not so much you can’t enjoy them. So full of flavor, they will completely satisfy any hankering you have for all things Cajun cuisine.
Carl's Coney Island
4285 Southwest Blvd. | Tulsa
A classic coney spot with a retro feel, a lot of Tulsans make it a point to chow down on the coneys at Carl’s in west Tulsa. Carl’s has been in existence since 1971, and it’s been serving the same quality hot dogs that locals love — cheese coneys, kraut dogs with mild sauerkraut, and more — as well as treats like the three-way chili, made with ground beef, beans and thin spaghetti. There’s even a dessert coney, The Elvis — a Twinkie and banana with peanut butter drizzle, powdered sugar and nuts on top.
107 N . Boulder Ave. | Tulsa
Over nine decades of serving Tulsans, Coney Island in downtown Tulsa is a legend, basically the bee-oh-em-bee when it comes to making the coney. The Economou family has been spreading the love of the hot dog all this time and they don’t plan on stopping any time soon. Delicious and hot, their wieners are perfect for the summer days ahead. Stop by there and then stroll the Guthrie Green to people watch.
Dave & Buster's
6812 S. 105th E. Ave. | Tulsa
You probably hit up Dave & Buster’s for the more obvious go-to meals when you’re having a fun time — the burgers, the wings, they’re all great. But when you’re hankering for a hot dog, don’t forget to give the D&B pretzel dog appetizer a test drive. The app comes with five meaty, all-beef franks wrapped in sweet pretzel dough, freshly baked and served with spicy habanero dipping sauce. Kids love them, of course, but so do adults. And since it’s an appetizer, it’s great for sharing.
325 E. M.B. Brady St. | Tulsa
Elgin Park is so close to ONEOK Field, you can almost watch the Drillers games from there. Where else can you get a specialty dog and walk to a professional baseball game in Tulsa? When we say specialty dog, we mean the Sonoran Dog, made with sausage from Fassler Hall. This tasty sausage with cheddar, pickled peppers, bacon and mayo is the perfect pregame warm-up before a game or any other game on the big screens.
304 S. Elgin Ave. | Tulsa
Housemade sausage, imported beer, the world-famous duck fat fries and an expansive biergarten that rivals any in the area makes Fassler Hall a very special place. Try their Chicago dog, the chili cheese dog or the bratwurst and you’ll see why they’re in this issue. The lamb sausage, falafel dog, hot Italian or the jalapeno cheddar are also spectacular with a couple cold ones. Anything you try here will exceed expectations.
600 RiverWalk Terrace | Jenks
Naturally, you can hit golf balls with the next generation of technology at FlyingTee’s multi-level marvel. But you can also watch sports on their large-screen TVs while enjoying some local craft beers with your buddies. And while you’re perusing the menu, don’t overlook their dogs. Whether you go for the basic deep-fried dog, the housemade chili cheese dog, the kraut dog with spicy mustard, the foot-long coney, or the bangers and mash, you can’t go wrong.
6011 S. Mingo Road | Tulsa
This spot takes great pride in serving up lunch and dinner fast and furious as well as delicious. What you’ll also get, beyond the swift service, are some dang tasty beef franks, gourmet bratwursts, Polish sausages and hot links. If you like ‘em spicy, you can get hot links like the Inferno (fire sauce, nacho cheese, grilled onions, jalapeno). Want a dog with interesting toppings? There’s plenty — egg salad, coleslaw, and mac n’ cheese are just a few options the hot dawgs come with.
Hot Diggity Dogs
Mobile food trailer | Check website for locations
Gourmet dogs and excellent service are what you get from Hot Diggity Dogs, the spotted mobile food trailer that’s often close to Third Street and Sheridan Road. Quality, grilled dogs of all kinds make the mouth water and the stomach satisfied. The Bird Dog and the Poodle are some of the tastiest turkey dogs you’ll ever woof down. The Great Dang, a six-pound dog, the largest of its kind that we know of, is so large you might have to back up the pickup truck to haul it off.
1503 E. 11th St. | Tulsa
Ike’s has been serving up chili since 1908. It was Will Rogers’ go-to chili spot — he was once late to a speaking gig because he had to enjoy a bowl of Ike’s first. Martha Stewart called it the best chili in the U.S. And since chili and hot dogs go hand in hand, you can bet Ike’s will deliver on that chili dog craving you’ve got going on right now as you read this list. Get the chili coney with cheese and onions. You’ll probably want seconds.
8314 E. 71st St. | Tulsa
All you can eat hot dogs, plus go-karts, mini-golf, trampolines and arcade games — try finding this kind of family fun anywhere else other than Incredible Pizza. There’s really something for everyone at this incredible venue on 71st Street between Memorial Drive and Mingo Road. Pile your hot dogs high with every condiment you can imagine and enjoy the fun. Of course, we couldn’t stop you from enjoying all the pizza and desserts you can eat while you’re at it.
Jim's Coney Island
1923 S. Harvard Ave. | Tulsa
Including Jim’s Coney Island on this list was a no-brainer. If you’ve never visited one of Tulsa’s most beloved hole-in-the-walls, please do, and eat a couple Coney Island Hot Dogs for us, will you? Billy Pagonis and his crew treat you right. Chopped onions, perfectly spiced chili and nearly any other topping you can think of are available to make your coney just right. Since you’re there, try some of the best Greek food in Green Country, and you’ll be grateful we tipped you off.
Margaret's German Restaurant & Deli
5107 S. Sheridan Road | Tulsa
One of the area’s favorite spots to enjoy fresh, authentic, flavorful German food, Margaret’s is a true delight. The Margaret that the restaurant is named after came to America from Germany in 1982, and she knows her German dishes. The restaurant has a die-hard following. Their Wurst Plate appetizer give you a sampling of the links they offer. And there’s a host of other dinner options to choose from.
201 N. Elgin Ave. | Tulsa
Thinking back on Tulsa’s summers of the past, we’re sure Drillers baseball and hot dogs fit in there somewhere. Bats cracking, crowds roaring and ballpark vendors yelling, “Get your hot dogs, here!” Can’t you hear it? Hot dogs, ONEOK Field baseball and summertime just go together. Tulsa’s blessed with an awesome baseball team, and what better way to celebrate summer than to catch a game, while grabbing a steaming hot dog and a cold beer?
Yes, we know what you’re thinking: QT is for gassing up, not for eating. But au contraire friends. The QT Kitchen is actually pretty darn tasty. Their pizzas, pretzels and breakfast burritos are impressive and, at a great price. Ditto for their hot dogs, which are always ready on their hot rollers, taste great and are super affordable. They’re a perfect choice for when you need a meal quick.
8211 S. Regal Blvd. | Tulsa
Known for serving up satisfying Chicago-style meals, Savastano’s offers a bar area to kick back with the grownups and watch the game, as well as a family area where you can take the kids for a night out. Branch out beyond the pizzas and get one of their authentic Chicago-style dogs — Vienna beef franks served piping hot in a steamed poppy seed bun, topped with yellow mustard, relish, chopped onions, tomatoes, a pickle spear, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt.
Siegi's Sausage Factory
8104 S. Sheridan Road | Tulsa
Seriously, Siegi’s is a pork-lover’s paradise. There’s so much flavor flying around at this place, you nearly get full from the aroma. It’s a cherished meat market. It’s a fantastic deli. It’s a Tulsa gem if ever there was one. Brilliant bratwurst, knackwurst that will knock your socks off and killer käsewurst. Family owned and operated since the early ‘80s, this German/Austrian restaurant is the appropriate place to appease an appetite for sausage.
Serious About Sausages
Don't know the difference between a coney, frank, hot link or brat? You're not alone. Hot dogs vary in so many way in various states, regions and countries and they have been called many different names. So, what's the dead with these different names? Let's take a closer look at the most popular terms that are often used interchangeably.
A Cajun-style pork sausage, often including pork liver, mixed with rice and stuffed in a casing.
Also referred to as “brat,” the German sausage is generally made with pork and veal, but beef can also be used. It’s seasoned with a variety of subtle flavors like caraway seeds, coriander, ginger or nutmeg. It is often paired with sauerkraut or potato salad and is usually sautéed, broiled or grilled.
This Mexican version of a typically Spanish pork sausage is seasoned with ground chilies and complemented with additional herbs and spices, like oregano, cinnamon and cumin. The heavy seasoning translates to a wildly delicious sausage that can be stuffed into casings and grilled or used loose.
A hot dog variation (named for Coney Island, New York) developed by Greek and Macedonian immigrants in the early 1900s. Oklahoma-style coneys are typically small hot dogs on steamed buns with chili, onions, cheese and sometimes hot sauce.
Frankfurters, or franks, can either be all beef or a beef and pork combination. The term may mean the same thing as hot dog or wiener. Franks are usually seasoned with garlic, pepper, salt, sugar, ground mustard and nutmeg. They are cured, smoked and then cooked. Their size can vary from small cocktail size to big dinner size.
This sausage is usually all beef and in a natural casing. The natural casing provides a “snap” or slight resistance when you bite into it, which brings out the taste and juicy flavors of the meat. Depending on the city you’re in, the hot dog can be paired with many condiments and toppings including mustard, ketchup, mayo, cheese, pickles and other veggies. The hot dog is usually steamed, boiled or grilled.
A type of sausage characteristic of Southern cooking, made with pork or beef (or a combo of both) with red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and other spices and then smoked before serving.
This meat is made with coarsely ground fresh pork, and it’s flavored with garlic and fennel seed. There’s a hot version of this sausage that includes red pepper flakes. It is often served with grilled onions and fried peppers on sub sandwich rolls, and it’s usually grilled or sautéed.
A sausage made of pork or a combo of pork and beef, spiced with garlic, pimentos, cloves and marjoram, and smoked (aka kielbasa).
Originally called wienerwurst, the wiener was brought by German Americans. The term is German for Vienna sausage which was eventually shortened to wiener. It is usually used interchangeably with hot dog or frankfurter. Just like Vienna sausage, wieners got their name from Vienna, a city in Austria. They have a texture and taste that are very similar to North American hot dogs; however, they are typically thinner and longer with an edible casing.
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