Pink’s Hot Dogs is a Los Angeles institution. It has been here in the City of Angeles for more than 70 years – and in the exact same location all that time. It started out as a simple hot dog cart and gradually built up into its current counter-service design. The place is open late and it is almost always packed, with a line running down the sidewalk of hungry fans looking for a hot dog fix. They have all kinds of toppings for their hot dogs, from simple chili dogs to double dogs (two in a bun) piled with a ridiculous amount of toppings and named after celebrities who are loyal fans. The thing that makes their hot dogs special is not the long line or the toppings, but the dogs themselves. They are custom made for Pink’s, so you won’t find them anywhere else, and are exceptionally tasty as-is.
I stopped in the other night when the line was not too long for a hot dog fix and snapped a few shots of the delicious dogs I tried. There are a couple of sizes of dogs available at Pink’s, but all are pretty large. These four hot dogs filled up an entire standard lunch tray!
First up was the Martha Stewart Dog. I couldn’t resist ordering this one because of the name, but I couldn’t help but wonder if Martha would actually be able to eat one, given that it was so messy to eat (and too large to fit in my mouth!). It was topped with relish, onions, chopped tomatoes, bacon, sauerkraut and sour cream. Wow. It was tasty, even if it had to be eaten in pieces.
Next was the classic Bacon Chili Cheese Dog, which also comes with onions, tomatoes and mustard on it. This one was a definite winner. The chili there is not bad (not my favorite), but tastes really great with the bacon and everything in combination. This one was actually much easier to eat than the Martha Dog.
The Pastrami Reuben Dog is good for someone who really wants a pastrami sandwich but finds themselves at a hot dog stand. It has pastrami, mustard, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut all layered on top of a hot dog. It’s good, but you might want to order an Orange Crush – the most popular soda at Pink’s – to wash down all that meat!
The last dog on this tray was the Lord of the Rings Dog. It was a super-sized 10-inch hot dog topped with Pink’s onion rings and barbecue sauce. Their onion rings are huge, crispy and delicious. I really liked this dog because it was simple and I was able to taste the flavor of the hot dog, as well as all the toppings. It’s not too difficult to squish down the onion rings to make the hot dog easier to eat, but I like picking them off and eating them separately, too.
Way too many hot dogs, but it was so tasty that the trip was well worth it. The lines can be long, especially in the summer when the nights are warm. I’d recommend going with at least one friend or family member so that you can get two or three dogs to try them all (it makes the experience of waiting in line with lots of other hungry hot dog lovers for 40+ minutes worth it). And yes, of course you can get a hot dog anywhere without waiting in line. But it won’t be a Pink’s Hot Dog.