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There are hot dogs, and then there are gourmet hot dogs! Then again, there are vegetarian hot dogs and sausages too, thank you very much, at distinctive hot dog joints around the Bay Area. No wonder these five spots are so popular.
The Organic Hot Dog Joint
1634 Irving St.
San Francisco, CA 94122
Eco-friendly and all organic, Underdog calls itself “the organic hot dog joint” and specializes in hot dogs, sausages, including vegan, and spices that are all organic. All sausages, meat and vegan, come on organic white or wheat buns or gluten free corn tortillas, ignited with a selection of organic condiments. Relish, raw onions and jalapenos to top off your dog are free, and a load of more substantial toppings, like cheese, mushrooms, homemade sauerkraut and more, will set you back an extra $1.35. Oh yeah, and everything is organic. Vegan Dog ($4.35) plus a slew of vegan sausages ($5) including Polish, bratwurst, Italian, apple sage, smoked chipotle, Spanish pesto, Andouille, and Chic “N” Apple, are all made from non-GMO soy and wheat or Yukon potatoes and vital gluten. With your chosen heap of toppings it’s a pretty satisfying light meal or snack. Still hungry? Underdog serves seasonal sides, desserts, beverages, snacks and candy too. Visit the website to view the complete nutritional information.
1020 Market St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Show Dogs, a self-proclaimed “emporium of sausages,” sits in the center of San Francisco’s theater district. The neighborhood fits well with the shop’s ambiance, meant to capture the style and tone of a bygone post-Victorian era. The white marble tables, antique pews, metal stools, ceiling tiles and light fixtures bring a sense of a lively old time Market Street ready to welcome a new age. Yet, the menu is completely different and fits the city’s modern take on urbane and artisanal food, consistent with the Bay Area’s focus on quality and sustainability, and in a clean and welcoming space. All sausages are locally made, many are organic and include vegetarian takes on local favs too, like the field roast vegetarian sausage, you choose the toppings ($7), and field roast veggie corn dog, hand-dipped in house made beer batter ($7). Complement your meal with requisite french fries and delicious sweet onion rings. It all tastes best on Jazz Fridays during happy hour, when the live music kicks in.
Rosamunde Sausage Grill
545 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
With four Bay Area locations and one in Brooklyn, New York, Rosamunde Sausage Grill seems to have the hot dog and sausage market pretty much covered. The steady line of patrons coming into the Haight St. location one sunny Saturday afternoon confirms that Rosamunde is a busy local favorite. With a slew of sausage options, all covered with your choice of two heaping toppings, everyone is satisfied. There are two vegan options at this location, ($8 each) — vegan Italian with red wine, garlic and fennel, and the vegan kielbasa, a Polish-style sausage. Other locations offer a third choice, a vegan apple sage, smoked with potato and ginger ($8). The meat sausage list is extensive, and includes variations on beef, chicken, lamb, pork and even duck and wild boar, ($8/$8.5). Additional Bay area locations include Mission, San Francisco, Downtown Oakland and Temescal, Oakland.
2160 Center St.
Berkeley, CA 94704
With three East Bay locations, Top Dog has got a great reputation. The Center Street location is especially popular as an affordable and yummy spot for UC Berkeley students passing through downtown Berkeley every day. This location is surprisingly larger than the Southside Top Dog with options to actually sit down and eat, which adds to anyone’s dining pleasure. While an array of various meat dogs and sausages fill the menu, Top Dog offers just one veggie dog, the Wienie ($3.25), and ordering is nice and easy, so no need to feel left out when your carnivore friends want to bite a dog. The preservative-free Wienie boasts bell peppers, eggplant, fennel and fresh garlic in a wheat protein base.
3442 ½ 22nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Los Shucos Latin Hot Dogs is definitely not an ordinary hot dog spot. The Latin Hot Dogs at Los Shucos combine the widespread love of the all-American hot dog with the appeal of Guatemala’s street food, dressed in spicy flavors and called the Shuco, or “dirty dogs,” from its humble beginnings in Guatemala City. While the standard beef hot dog or Spanish chorizo options are there, vegetarians can also indulge in the roster of Shuco’s Latin Hot Dogs ($5.95 -7.95) by substituting a soy base Veggie Dog ($1.25 extra) to any menu selection, each bursting with a “celebration of new and comforting flavors.” Each shuco is served on house-made, custom shuco bread, toasted on the grill and come jazzed up with flavorful ingredients of Guatemalan cuisine like avocado, mayo maya and other authentic flavor enhancers. Visit the website to view the Guatemalan and Latin-inspired menu.