Top 6 Hot Dog Chain Restaurants in the US

New York City residents are the biggest fans of hot dogs in the country. In the US, the term hot dog refers to the combination of a sausage and a bun. Many people have come to terms with terms such as frankfurter, weenie, and red hot.

I compared the hot dogs from Wienerschnitzel, Sonic, Five Guys, Dairy Queen, and Checkers to see which one was the best. I ordered a beef hot dog and had it topped with mustard and ketchup. I wasn’t a fan of Wienerschnitzel hot dogs, and surprisingly Sonic Drive-in’s All American 100% beef was the best.

Below are some of the biggest hot dog chains in the USA:

NameLocationsOriginal locationYear
Wienerschnitzel358Los Angeles, California1961
Hot Dog on a Stick80Santa Monica, California1946
Portillo’s Restaurants60Villa Park, Illinois1963
Sneaky Pete’s39Birmingham, Alabama1966
James Coney Island21Houston, Texas1923
Nathan’s FamousBrooklyn, New York1916


  • Starting Year: 1961
  • Founder: John N. Galardi
  • Founded: Los Angeles, California
  • Locations: 358

The Wienerschnitzel is a fast food chain founded in 1961 in the US. It is known for serving hot dogs and other hot food. This dish is made from a thin cutlet of meat such as chicken, pork, or veal. It is often made with breadcrumbs and then breaded. John Galardi founded Wienerschnitzel in 1961 in Southern California. Since then, the chain has grown to become the world’s largest hot dog restaurant.

A Wienerschnitzel is a type of pan-fried veal cutlet that is usually made up of a thin, breaded, and pan-fried veal cutlet. All-Beef or Polish? These dogs are made with USDA-approved cuts of meat and seasoned with a zesty mix of spices to ensure that every bite is good and juicy.

Hot Dog on a Stick

  • Starting Year: 1946
  • Founder: Dave Barham
  • Founded: Santa Monica, California
  • Locations: 80

Hot dog on a stick was originally founded by Dave Barham in 1946 in Santa Monica, California. It later expanded to other cities and eventually became a mall and shopping center chain.

Hot Dog on a Stick’s corn dog is a meat-shaped dish that is usually deep-fried. It originated in the US and is commonly eaten with a stick of corn. This corn dog got its name due to its simple yet clever design. It’s a hot dog that’s been fried on a wooden stick and then covered in a thick layer of cornmeal batter.

Portillo’s Restaurants

  • Starting Year: 1963
  • Founder: Richard J. Portillo
  • Founded: Villa Park, Illinois
  • Locations: 60

Portillo’s Restaurant Group is a fast-casual restaurant chain that specializes in Chicago-style food, such as hot dogs and Italian Beef. Portillo’s Restaurant was founded by Richard Portillo back in 1963, and they have over 60 locations today.

A Portillo’s hot dog is served in a steamed bun with a natural skin that’s been seasoned with the company’s own salt and mustard. The unique color of the relish is created by adding blue dye to a regular pickle relish.

A Portillo’s hot dog is a skin-on all-beef hot dog that is served in a steamed mustard seed bun with relish, onions, tomatoes, and a variety of sports peppers. Slow-roasted Italian beef is served on French bread for four hours. It’s then topped with their homemade blend of spices.

Sneaky Pete’s

  • Starting Year: 1966
  • Founder: Pete Graphos
  • Founded: Birmingham, Alabama
  • Locations: 39

Pete Graphos founded and owns the restaurant chain, which is known for its hot dog restaurants located in Birmingham, Alabama.

If you are a Portillos fan then you already know what they are. If you are not a Portillos fan then you should probably avoid them. There are some go to’s that I love that are not limited by any particular food or flavor.

James Coney Island

  • Starting Year: 1923
  • Founder: James Papadakis
  • Founded: Houston, Texas
  • Locations: 21

James Coney Island is a fast food restaurant chain that specializes in hot dogs. James and Tom Papadakis founded the company in 1923. The original location of the restaurant was in Houston’s East End.

In 2010, the restaurant chain announced that it would be closing its location in Downtown Houston due to a disagreement with the landlord of the building that housed the restaurant. The location that housed the chain’s number one location was also known as 1011 Walker.

Family-owned and operated since its inception, the business was sold to private investors in 1990.

Nathan’s Famous

  • Starting Year: 1916
  • Founder: Nathan Handwerker
  • Founded: Brooklyn, New York

Nathan’s Famous has been serving up all-beef franks since 1916 on Coney Island. From gangsters to dead whales, the restaurant has plenty of secrets. Only 100% Australian beef. Their ground beef is made with a secret spice recipe and has a smoky flavor.

Nathan’s Famous Beef Hot Dogs are made from the same recipe as Nathan himself used to create his famous creations. They’re also made with the same quality ingredients. MrConsumer knows that Nathan’s Famous frankfurters are all beef, and they contain no pork.

This was a bit of a sweet potato hot dog, but it still had a lot of flavors. It was also incredibly easy to eat without being overly oily. Since many hot dogs contain saturated fat, this product is considered more toxic than other hot dogs. All-Natural Beef Hot Dogs are made with no added nitrates and nitrites, no artificial ingredients, and no corn syrup.

Brian A.

Brian has always loved the dining experience, a talent he inherited from his family, who already succeeded in the restaurant business. Throughout his years of managing various cultural restaurants, Brian has extensive knowledge in restaurant industry.

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