One of the most beloved rituals in this, the season of campfire nights, is hunting for a proper roasting stick, whittling it to perfection, then charring your own bun-sized dinner over the flames. But here in the birthplace of the American vacation, our love for the most All-American of eats goes well beyond the campground. Whether you’re looking for a homegrown favorite (like Glazier’s “red snappers,” made in Malone) or you’re in the mood for something a little more adventurous (Mac-n-Cheese Dog, anyone?), you won’t go away hungry. A note before we proceed: The following roundup of hot-dog hot spots mostly ignores our region’s famous frankfurter, the michigan. Blasphemy? Perhaps. But if you’re interested in the history and whereabouts of those meat-and-mustard-laden wonders, you can find that—and an authentic recipe—in “Michigans” (August 2012).

Tail o’ the Pup
Ray Brook
This beloved 86-year-old roadside joint is now run by the folks who own Blue Line Brewery in nearby Saranac Lake—and, yes, you can get their brews on tap “at the Pup.” Everything else you remember will be there as well: the colorful tents and picnic tables, the intoxicating smells from the smoke pit, the family-reunion picnic vibe. I’m not sure if it’s the magic of the atmosphere or the perfectly toasted bun, but their T.O.P. Dogs taste like a mouthful of summer. Pass the mustard.
1186 Route 86

Adirondack Dog House
Old Forge
This corner stop has been topping dogs for 15 years, with tidbits that range from classic (think Slaw Dog) to imaginative (try the French Onion, with caramelized onions and ooey gooey mozzarella) to just plain fun (Mac-n-Cheese Dog, please). Pro-tip: the tasty meat sauce on the All the Way Dog is a dead-ringer for michigan sauce. Owner Erin Schneeweiss and her Culinary Institute of America–trained husband, Fred, work to make their Dog House real-dog friendly: pups are welcome at the picnic tables outside and there are always bowls of fresh water. Erin, who’s an adoption coordinator for the Circle of Hope K9 Rescue, decorates a corner of the restaurant with snapshots of adoptable pooches and keeps doggy cookies at the counter. She says there are a number of regulars who bark for their favorite treat every time their owners drive past.
3169 Route 28

New Way Lunch
Though it’s been a Glens Falls institution since 1919—V-J Day, in 1945, is the one time the place ran out of hot dogs and beer—the Warrensburg location has only been a thing for a dozen years. But that doesn’t make it any less beloved. One key reason? The iconic “Dirt Dog,” which is served with onions, mustard and a homemade meat sauce. A cousin to the michigan, this southern Adirondack version has a Mediterranean flair—after all, the original owner emigrated from Greece via Brooklyn. The recipe is secret, but you can always buy a jar to take home.
3748 Main Street

The Dogfather Food Cart
Everything and then some: that’s what you’ll get if you order a Don Dog from the Dogfather. If you’re taking notes, that’s two hot dogs plus michigan sauce, sausage, onions, peppers, pineapple, jalapenos, bacon, cheese, lettuce, chips and french fries. I’ve tackled one—hold the pineapple, thank you—and I’m ashamed to say I couldn’t finish it, although I didn’t want to stop eating. Owner Jarrod Whisher, an Au Sable Forks native, has been dishing up the dogs since 2017, when he started selling to the after-hours crowd in downtown Plattsburgh from a tiny pushcart. From there the business has grown to two full-sized food trucks that make the rounds to businesses and festivals across Clinton County and beyond. Follow them on Facebook for times and locations, including regular appearances at 20 Main, in Au Sable Forks. And don’t worry, there are more manageable options if you don’t have the fortitude for the Don Dog.

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