Hot dogs are a summer staple. And since we live in the land of everlasting summer, hot dogs, and shorts, are always appropriate. Tampa has some serious OGs and some new spots you must try.
Mel’s Hot Dogs
The granddaddy dog slinger in Tampa. Mel’s has been around before Tampa Bay had a football, baseball and hockey team. An ode to the Chicago-style hot dog, Mel’s has been serving up juicy franks since 1973 and the spot is a Tampa staple. The Rueben dog is truly special, but you can’t go wrong with anything from Mel’s.
4136 E Busch Blvd, Tampa, FL 33617
Open every day except Sunday from 11am to 8pm
Cass Street Deli
Wagyu beef dogs is poetry in a casing. Sure, $7 is pricey for a dog, but it is not very often you are getting premium beef in your hot dog (or even beef at all – sorry, had to say it). Cass will also top that primo dog with homemade sauerkraut, onion and relish for an additional $3. You are out ten bucks, but you had a hot dog you can feel good about. The New York-style deli just opened on June 26th, so show them some love, Tampa.
1331 W Cass St, Tampa, FL 33606
Open Wednesday through Friday 11am to 7pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 3pm.
Lucky’s Hot Dog Cart
Raise the red and yellow umbrella, baby. This roaming hot dog cart is serving up New York-style dogs with an all-beef, plump dog right off the grill. Lucky’s Chili cheese dog is straight banging and the accoutrements like jalapenos and sauces will put you over the top.
This is a roaming cart, but you can check the Facebook page here.
Chili dogs with a little piece of North Carolina.
Chicago Paulie’s is a legit Chicago-style hot dog spot that already has a well-established following. The shop is on the edge of a gas station parking lot right before the 275 entrance on N. Howard. During the lunch rush, parking lot space can be tight and it is a small operation where everything is made fresh, so the line can build quickly. However, don’t let that discourage you from checking out the dogs like the classic Chicago-style, Southern Slaw Dog, Chili Dog and the Italian Beef (obviously, not a hot dog, but we have to mention it). Prices are fantastic at Chicago Paulie’s so grab a couple dogs and bring a friend. Lastly, try the mango lemonade, you are welcome.
1301 N Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33607
Open Monday to Friday from 11am to 6pm and Saturday from 11am to 2pm.
This Orlando transplant housed at Armature Works just recently got recognized as one of the best Vegan dogs in the city. Now, for those who haven’t tried the food at Dixie Dharma, you are probably thinking of some funky, dry food imitating some other kind of food – no way, bruv. DD is serving up vegan comfort food anyone can enjoy and their hillbilly dog is bringing two vegan dogs in pretzel bun topped with Indian-spiced chili cheese sauce. Check ‘em out.
1910 N Ola Ave Suite 113, Tampa, FL 33602
Open from Monday to Thursday from 7am to 10pm, Saturday 8am to 11pm and Sunday 9am to 9pm.