Dining

Dog Days of Summer

The guide to the city's best hot dogs.

By
August 2007

The hot dog is an icon of American cuisine, but it takes more than slapping a wiener on a bun to construct the perfect frank. Opinions on what makes the ideal dog are as jumbled as a jar of pickle relish, but here in the metro area we can sample the best of all worlds—as well as a few outstanding innovations that elevate the great dog debate at least a mile high.

The Spot Steve's Snappin' Dogs, 3525 E. Colfax Ave., 303-333-7627
The Signature Dog The Jersey Dog: A Thumann's beef-pork frank, served with spicy mustard, green relish, sauerkraut, red onions, and bacon.
Unique Appeal Steve's hallmark is the classic East Coast smoky beef-and-pork combo that "snaps" when you bite into it. Also try the Denver "Burrito" dog, wrapped in a flour tortilla with chile, peppers, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and bacon.
On the Side Don't miss the deep-fried, no-batter, low-carb green beans or carrot sticks, and wash everything down with fresh-squeezed lemonade or limeade.

The Spot Brasserie Ten Ten, 1011 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-998-1010
The Signature Dog The Brasserie Hot Dog: A foot-long, all-beef version topped with Mornay sauce, field greens, Gruyère, cornichon relish, two Dijons, and balsalmic vinegar.
Unique Appeal This isn't your average pick-it-up-by-the-bun-and-chow-down snack—use a knife and fork.
On the Side If you're really hungry order the shoestring fries, and select a nice French red from the wine list.

The Spot Mustard's Last Stand, 1719 Broadway, Boulder, 303-444-5841; 2081 S. University Blvd., 303-722-7936
The Signature Dog The Chicago Dog: From the Vienna beef frank right down to the poppy-seed bun, yellow mustard, and pickles, this is a classic.
Unique Appeal Close your eyes when you chomp down on this dog and you'll swear you're at Portillo's in the Windy City.
On the Side The fries alone are worth a visit to Mustard's Last Stand. And, if you're smart, you'll snag a jar of the horseradish mustard for home use on burgers and sandwiches.

The Spot Coors Field, 2001 Blake St.
The Signature Dog The Rocky Dog: A foot-long dressed up with grilled peppers and 'kraut—this is a Denver favorite.
Unique Appeal Truth is, hot dogs just taste better at the ballpark—even when the Rockies are losing.
On the Side Beer. For the under-age crowd, an icy Coke. Be sure to snag a bag of salty peanuts to round things out.

The Spot Coney Island, 10 Old Stagecoach Road, Bailey, 303-838-4210
The Signature Dog The Foot-Long Coney Dog: An all-beef wiener on a soft bun, smothered in beanless chili. Though mandatory for purists, diced onions and a ribbon of mustard are optional here.
Unique Appeal There's something to be said about buying a hot dog from a 42-foot-long, 14-ton, stucco-sided, um...hot dog. This national wiener landmark first appeared on West Colfax Avenue, spent 36 years in Aspen Park, and has now found a home in Bailey.
On the Side Real Coney dogs almost demand a deep-fried side—here the onion rings are the best bet. And while a tall Sprite from the soda fountain works fine, you should splurge on the old-fashioned chocolate malt.