Last year, you might have chosen to spend National Hot Dog Month grilling in your backyard with a few people sitting as far away from each other as possible. Now that it’s safer to go out, you can choose to celebrate National Hot Dog Day July 21 in a bigger way this year… and maybe at the beach!
You might remember New Jersey as the epicenter of the hot dog universe, so you’re sure to find a great spot on the Jersey Shore to celebrate the day without looking too hard. Here are five of my favorites that are going a little under the radar. Have a nice hot dog day!
Midway Steak House, Seaside Heights
I start each summer by heading to the dead end of the Seaside Heights boardwalk and enjoying a traditional sausage sandwich at the Steak House halfway. I served it “to the end”, topped with onions, peppers and marinara sauce. You’ll be able to smell the aromas exuding from this long-standing sausage stand before you even see the giant sign rotating on top. You may have to stand side by side, two or three people before you are served, but the service is super fast. People-watch as you eat along one of New Jersey’s best boardwalks!
Steak House halfway
Seaside Heights, NJ
Relish Hot Dog & Sausage Company, Belmar
Hot Dog Relish & Sausages, in Belmar, is back this season. After a hiatus last year, they have great options again. Avoiding a traditional hot dog bun, Relish stuffs their hot dogs and sausages into delicious hollow out buns with a chewy texture that’s more akin to a bagel than bread.
Start with the Classic, a quarter-pound beef hot dog that includes both Jersey Tomato Relish and House Pickle Relish, plus Dijon mustard. It is topped with a pepperoncini spear. If you’re still hungry, you can’t go wrong with The Roman, a hot Italian sausage topped with grilled pepper relish, caramelized onion relish, herb aioli and pepperoncini. Mangia!
Hot Dog Relish & Sausages
1303 Main Street
Belmar, New Jersey
Olde Heidelberg, Keansburg
the Olde Heidelberg Inn has done one thing very well since it opened in 1934 – throwing giant hot dogs at hungry patrons along the Keansburg boardwalk. After the joint was destroyed by the Superstorm Sandy in 2012, it reopened with new owners who kept the same old bar atmosphere but doubled the size of the menu by adding the option of crumpled cut fries in the mixed. Not much has changed, and the people who run it run the rest of the walk as well. Family-friendly rides, a free beach, and great people make Keansburg the hidden gem of the Jersey Shore!
Keansburg Amusement Park
275 Beachway Avenue
Keansburg, New Jersey
Hot Dog Tommy’s, Cape May
Cape May is a lot for a lot of people. It is New Jersey’s southernmost point, the nation’s oldest resort and home to the Hot Dog Tommy’s, a must-see hot dog stand, ideal when you are at the end of the promenade.
Serving a wide range of toppings combinations with all kinds of smart names. (This is the first place I saw the word sumptuous on her menu, and if you don’t know what it is, that’s okay, just ask a teenager.)
While the menu can be creative, this is a classic restaurant where you can have your hot dog served fully dressed or completely naked. Either way, you’ll have a great meal prepared by the always friendly Tommy, who is known to wear his distinctive hot dog hat.
Hot Dog Tommy’s
319 Beach Avenue Back Jackson, at the beach
Cap May, New Jersey
Tower Dogs, Asbury Park
One of the few places that honestly advertises a specially designed hot dog, Lap dogs finally found his forever home along the Asbury Park promenade after traveling the state for a few years.
Serving up a beef hot dog that has managed to maintain a satisfying crunch despite being skinless, Tower Dogs has something for everyone. From ‘high’ dogs covered in decadent and creative toppings to vegan options, it’s worth taking the time to sit and enjoy the view from the spacious tables set right on the boardwalk facing the ocean.
800 Ocean Avenue
Asbury Park, New Jersey