6 Essential Hot Dog Joints in Columbus

This summer, the humble hot dog is back in a big way in Columbus. Behold some of the city’s most wonderful weenies.

Jill Moorhead and Erin Edwards
Left to right: A vegetarian CBJ Dog from Dirty Frank’s, a Chicago dog from Ritzy’s, a frank smothered in cheese and onions from Tony’s Coneys

Bowzers

Located in a charming red, yellow and white concrete igloo on Brice Road, Bowzers serves up frankfurters of all kinds (from all-beef to venison to gator) and soft serve ice cream. Open since 2016, the stand has recently added covered outdoor seating and delivery through third-party apps. Bowzers fans can enjoy creative concoctions, with toppings such as Fritos, Slim Jims, ghost pepper cheese and house-made pickled carrots. 2936 Brice Road, Brice, 614-398-0364

Dad’s Coneys and Wraps

A spinoff of the local Tex-Mex eatery Talita’s, Dad’s opened last August in Graceland Shopping Center. While this unassuming spot may be new, it has an old soul—the polar opposite of more ostentatious hot dog joints like Dirty Frank’s. The go-to order here is tater tots and a couple of traditional Coneys with yellow mustard, diced onions and Dad’s flavorful Coney meat sauce. Don’t fancy a Coney? Dad’s also offers loose beef sandwiches (a Midwestern delicacy akin to a sloppy Joe—minus the sloppy) topped with mustard and pickles. 128 Graceland Blvd., Clintonville, 614-396-7141

Meet the New Dogs in Town:Weenie Wonder and Tasty Dawg

Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace

One of Columbus’ most iconic hot dog restaurants, Dirty Frank’s features a wide variety of Vienna beef and vegetarian hot dogs at its South Fourth Street and Hollywood Casino locations. Open since 2009, the original location is a visual feast, filled wall-to-wall with the pop culture art of Thom Lessner. The busy eatery (which also has a food truck) hosts a full cocktail bar with Ohio beers and a weekly $5 wiener Wednesday deal. 248 S. Fourth St., Downtown, 614-824-4673; 200 Georgesville Road (inside Hollywood Casino), West Side, 614-308-3333

Ritzy’s

You know the Ritzy’s story: Founded in Columbus in the 1980s, G.D. Ritzy’s grew to around 100 locations before crashing back to earth. In 2018, the founder’s sons revived the 1950s-style eatery in Clintonville, offering a nostalgic spot for burgers, shoestring fries, shakes and, yes, a handful of all-beef hot dogs. Simplicity reigns at Ritzy’s, with options like a chili dog, Chicago dog or just good old ketchup and mustard. 4615 N. High St., Clintonville, 614-754-8960

Tony’s Coneys

Around since 1951, this mom-and-pop Coney shop is the place to go for incredibly cheap (think: $1.75) traditional Coney dogs, sandwiches and fried appetizers. (They also sell Coney sauce by the pound.) Tony’s is equally known for its cool treats, including shakes, malts, soft serve and hand-dipped ice cream. 9901 U.S.-62, Orient, 614-877-9187; 5266 W. Broad St., West Side, 614-878-7353

More:Two Great Hot Dog Spots Outside the I-270 Loop

Village Coney

Every neighborhood needs a Village Coney—a tiny, dirt-cheap spot celebrating Americana like Coney dogs, homemade chili and fried bologna sandwiches. Don’t miss the Monday special when Coneys are just $2. And remember: Orders come with a complimentary Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pie. 418 E. Whittier St., Schumacher Place, 614-445-9633

Essential Bar Dogs

Law Bird's corn dog and Fire on the Mountain hot dog with the Pepe Silvia cocktail

Law Bird

Known for its cocktails, bar snacks and charcuterie, Law Bird on South High serves up highbrow hot dog specials on Wednesdays. These dogs boast the same level of detail as Law Bird’s cocktails, with accoutrements like a recent hot dog served with asparagus, roasted tomato mayo, fried garlic and a lime wedge. 740 S. High St., Brewery District

Eight & Sand Tavern and Refuge

One-third-pound all-beef franks grace the menu of this Hungarian Village neighborhood destination with late-night food service. The bar is known for its traditional Coney dogs and build-your-own dogs (with bacon, ’kraut or slaw as offerings). And the tavern’s ’Douille Dog features smoked andouille sausage, jalapeño corn batter and honey-curry mustard. 76 E. Innis Ave., South Side, 614-914-8601

This story is from the June 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.