Is a hot dog a sandwich? The eternal debate rages on, but in Portland, a hot dog can be almost anything it wants to be, whether it’s topped with simple yellow mustard or daikon and wasabi. In a city known for its fancy butcher shops and bespoke charcuterie, many of these dogs and brats use a foundation of Oregon-made — or even house-made — sausages. To keep this list manageable, we’re defining a hot dog as some manner of sausage (whether meat or vegan) housed in a bun. For another grilling season staple, check out our burger map.Read More
Portland's Snappiest, Juiciest Hot Dogs
Explore the city’s best franks, brats, glizzies, and more
Urban German Wursthaus
While frankfurter may be an increasingly dusty term for the hot dog, it reminds us of the dog’s origin in Germany’s Frankfurt — along with its cousins, the Bavarian bratwurst and Austrian wiener. St. Johns’s Urban German Wursthaus grounds its franks in their Mitteleuropean roots. The interior decor is just on the right side of Bavarian hunting lodge kitsch, but the eye-popping views of the St. Johns Bridge are are a feast for the eyes. Urban German Wursthaus offers a range of German and more local brews, as well as vegan options of some of their favorite dishes. Dine inside or on the spacious patio.
Beez Neez Gourmet Sausages
Beez Neez may not serve actual bees’ knees, but this Slabtown cart does offer grass-fed reindeer, adding a dose of subtle gaminess in a lightly toasted bun piled high with caramelized onions and jalapenos. Other options include hot links, Polish sausages, vegan seitan sausage, and a classic beef hot dog. Expert doggers are free to customize their toppings, which include house-made curry ketchup, spicy brown mustard, and both garlic aioli and fried garlic aioli. Optional fries are relatively unexciting, but the sausages are large enough that few will leave hungry.
One of the oldest continually operating food carts in the region, the Wiener Wagon has been a downtown Vancouver institution since 1976 and continues to grill juicy beef franks for hungry workers on their lunch breaks. On a cold day, opt for a loaded chili dog, or if the weather’s warmer, try the Skip’s favorite, a hot link with mustard, onions, kraut, and tomatoes, named in honor of beloved founder Skip Ballweber, who died in 2020. There is no onsite seating at this small, lunchtime-only cart.
One of Portland's most beloved beer halls, Loyal Legion also features an under-sung menu of Olympia Provisions-made sausages, as well as a foot-long frankfurter soaked in a beer bath for two full minutes before grilling. Servers will be happy to offer recommended beer pairings from the bar’s 99-tap list, and both the frank and corndog are available with vegan Field Roast sausage. Loyal Legion is open and serving food until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, until midnight on all other days.
Sellwood may not be an actual island, but the walkable, riverside neighborhood is one of Portland’s most self-contained. Gibbon Grubb is one of the newest arrivals in Sellwood, whose dog-lovers have heretofore had to venture elsewhere. The dogs here are loaded — expect buns and appetites to be put to the test — from the packed Chicago dog overflowing with pepperoncini and jalapenos, to the kettle chip-topped chili cheese dog. Every dog comes with choice of fries, making even the simple classic dog a solid meal, and each dog can be subbed for a Polish or vegan brat.
A roadside hot dog shack with a long-and-storied history extending back to the 1930s — under various names — Roake's grills a timeless, high-value hot dog menu with a 12-inch long Coney Island dog with house special Coney sauce for just $5, a swamped “chiliboat,” and a quick bite short hot dog for under $3. Rub elbows with regulars in the cramped-but-charming vintage interior or snag a picnic-style seat outside under permanent covering. For sausage skeptics, the classic burgers and shakes are equally beloved.
Franks A Lot
Housed in a cute, faux-Bavarian A-frame at the back of the Whole Foods parking lot, just steps from the culinary powerhouse of Northeast 28th Avenue, Franks has been delivering jumbo-sized dogs and hand-made milkshakes to Portlanders for nearly 30 years. Be warned: the one-third pound German beer frank is not for the faint-hearted, and the chili topping is hearty and loaded with beans. Onsite seating is limited to just one covered table, and six uncovered ones, so be prepared to grab and go on rainy days.
Also featured in:
Bless Your Heart Burgers 33rd Avenue
Burgers might steal the limelight, but arrive late enough on a summer afternoon at Bless Your Heart and find it’s the hot dogs that have sold out for the day. 100 percent beef franks are grilled to juicy tautness and layered with fresh toppings. The Coney-esque Bless Your Heart dog ups the ante with Carolina chili and beer cheese sauce. Beverages include nitro cold brew, draft beers, and rotating wines. Bless Your Heart shares a busy parking lot with New Seasons and offers ample covered outdoor seating.
Also featured in:
Olympia Provisions Public House
Considering how many Portland restaurants, bars, and carts use Olympia Provisions sausages for their hot dogs, it’s smart to go straight to the source for a wide selection of Portland-made franks and brats. Sitting out on picnic tables on a Division Street corner, Olympia Provisions Public House visitors bite into massive frankfurters or bratwurst, topped with dijon and onions or whole-grain mustard and house-made sauerkraut. Cheese-lovers may prefer the kasekrainer, a cheesy sausage with red cabbage kraut and dijon. For full-on Americana, finish a frank and walk over to the nearby Lauretta Jean’s for cherry pie.
Nick's Famous Coney Island
When Nick’s Famous Coney Island opened in 1935, long before cross-continental flights and the interstate highway system, travel between the real Coney Island and Portland would take the better part of a week. While travel times — and prices — have changed a bit, Nick’s Famous continues to serve its classic, nearly 90-year-old Coney dog with bean-less chili sauce and cheese. The leather, steel, and neon decor is pre-retro, and the clientele is heavy on longtime Portlanders. Nick’s Famous features a full bar with happy hour specials for any budget. Hawthorne may have trendier bars, but none as deeply rooted in the soul of Portland.
Also featured in:
Otto's Sausage Kitchen
Though primarily a meat market, the quality, speed, and value of Otto’s midday-grilled hot dogs and sausages are enough to draw meat-lovers from all over the city. Otto’s staff will grill each dog to order in front of patrons. The menu is limited to old fashioned frank, pork link, beer-simmered pork link, and chicken sausage, but the quality of the house-made links and tasteful toasting of the buns will leave few wishing for more options. The deli inside does feature veggie options, but no dogs, alas. The grill typically runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the summer, with shorter hours when the rain returns.
A few blocks east of storied Nick’s Famous Coney Island, Zach’s cedes the tradition lane to its elder and embraces a spirit of rock `n` roll in its hot dogs. In addition to safe favorites like the New York and Chicago dogs, Zach electrifies its patrons with a black olives and jalapeños Los Lobos dog, a cream cheese and tomato Dylan dog, and the herbacious onion, cucumber, tomato, and celery salt Grateful (Dead) dog. Hot dog options include beef, spicy sausage, Portuguese pork sausage, or vegan field roast. The full bar offers one of Portland’s absolute best happy hours — with unbeatable prices in the 3 p.m. window. Trade concert stories in the funky interior, or hold onto your dog as you play a game of one-handed ping pong on the cozy patio.
Also featured in:
Kim Jong Grillin
Those who visit this Southeast Division Korean cart may stick to the tried-and-true “bibim-boxes,” but the KJG Hotdog has developed its own cult following. Here, a Portland-made frank lies snug in a baguette as opposed to a softer bun, which supports a pile of sesame sprouts, spicy daikon, kimchi mayo, and pickled mango — a balance of sweetness, saltiness, and funk that’s not unlike the combination of kraut, relish, and mustard.
The Dog House PDX
Tucked in the back corner of Southeast Division’s busy Lot food pod, the Dog House is a perennial favorite, specializing in tender, beer-braised hot dogs with generously loaded, spicy condiments and equally generous and spicy attitude. The wide-ranging menu — including burgers, burritos, and tater tot bowls — is longer than most carts, but nothing is given short shrift, so expect a bit of a wait as your order is prepared. The extensive vegan menu includes field roast versions of their main dogs as well as a handful of vegan specials. The Lot has limited seating for a large number of carts, so on busier days prepare to opt for takeout. The Dog Hose is open until 3 p.m. on Sunday, until 7:30 p.m. the rest of the week.
5 and Dime
Originally offered as a temporary pop-up from Street Disco, hot dogs were such a sensation at Foster-Powell’s 5 and Dime that they became a permanent fixture on the food menu. The dog offerings have streamlined a bit since Street Disco opened their own brick and mortar spot in the neighborhood (R.I.P. PB&J dog) , but the remaining dogs satisfy all styles of dog lovers, each available with a beef or vegan frank. Pair a smoky, citrusy Paloma cocktail with a hearty Coney dog or match a fish sauce-slathered banh mi dog with the basil, lime, and apple flavored Life of the Party mocktail. Wolf down glizzies in the cool dark barroom or outside on one of more than a dozen covered picnic tables.
Off The Leash Chicago
East Portland’s birria-to-frankfurter ratio may be high, but the Eastport Food Carts pod on Southeast 82nd features one of Portland’s best dogs. Plus, with 25 carts and tons of outdoor and indoor seating, hot dog lovers can bring friends and family who prefer less meaty fare. Off The Leash Chicago commits faithfully to the Chicago style, for both topping-laden dogs and juicy Italian beef sandwiches. Onion lovers will wade through a mountain of caramelized onions to find the third-pound Polish dog underneath — those seeking a wider harmony of flavors need look no further than the 12” Chicago dog, topped with pickle, tomatoes, eye-popping green relish, onions, peppers, and sesame salt. All dogs are customizable with classic or garlic-and-fennel field roast vegan dogs.
For whatever reason, hot dog lovers are less unwavering than their pizza brethren, with plenty enjoying New York, Chicago, Seattle, Dodger, and dozens of other styles without hostility. Less well represented in Portland — but no less vital to the hot dog family — are dogs pulling flavor cues from the East Asian canon, best represented at Mojo Crepes, just east of 82nd on Southeast Division. The counter service Mojo grills up five different all-beef hot dogs each hitting the palate in exciting ways. The Mojo dog is loaded with fried shallots and nori, while the Seoul dog is a fiesta of kimchi, red onions, and sweet, tangy gochujang. There are no veggie dog options, but all the sweet crepes are either vegan or vegetarian. A back room offers billiards and arcade games, though the main dining area is a bit sparse. Mojo is open until 10 p.m. seven days a week.
The dachshund-shaped wooden door handles at Annie’s are the first indication hot dogs take a place of pride at this unpretentious roadside joint in Gresham. Unlike many burger-first such mom and pop spots, Annie’s proudly claims Coney dogs as the main attraction, offering both conventional and near-foot-long versions in both beef franks and Polish sausage, each coated in meaty coney sauce, mustard, and onions. Other frank standouts include a kraut dog on a French roll (call it an edible Schuman Plan) and a bacon-wrapped Annie dog. Annie’s serves no alcohol, but is the rare spot keeping the lost art of the malt alive.