The hot dog has a long history. It is thought that the cook of the Greek emperor Nero invented the first sausage. From there, the new food traveled through Europe until it got to Germany and underwent a bit of a transformation. Germans began to add different spices and flavorings to the meats. As a result, Frankfort, Germany is thought to be the birthplace of the modern hot dog.
From there, German immigrants made their way to New York City in around 1860 and began selling a food called "dachshund sausages" out of a food cart. It is thought that a vendor in St. Louis added the bun to give the food the composition it has today.
Since that time, sausage with a bun - or the hot dog - has made its way around the United States, with each part of the country adding a different spin on the original. Although states like New York and Illinois are probably best for their hot dogs, you can arguably get a decent dog in Florida.
The Best Hot Dogs in Florida: Travel websites like Authentic Florida, Scoutology, and Best Things Florida have posted their take on which joints have the best hot dogs in Florida. And although these sites don't always pick the same establishments, their picks often overlap, as follows.
Arbetter’s Hot Dogs, Miami: One thing that makes this joint appealing is that it is a family business that's been serving the community for over 50 years. Their chili dog recipe uses a family Italian chili recipe. You'll mostly find traditional dogs done right here.
Hazel's Hot Dogs, St. Augustine: Southern Living magazine has called the hot dogs at Hazel's among the south's best. The dogs are grilled on a flat top and are known for their quality and reasonable price. The joint's "datil dog" features a popular pepper relish, and their spicy hot dog is also a fan favorite.
Hot Dog Heaven, Orlando: Travel + Leisure has called the dogs at this joint among America's best. They serve classic, Chicago-style dogs using Vienna beef. Only authentic Chicago ingredients are used, and this combination must be a success because expansion was necessary when the food became so popular. They also serve ice cream.
Mel's Hot Dogs, Tampa: This restaurant is a Tampa landmark. The restaurant serves many different varieties of dogs, but the Mel's special features an all-beef dog served on a steamed poppy seed bun with mustard, onions, sauerkraut, relish, and a pickle.
Super Perros, Tallahassee: Although this is a Columbian restaurant, it serves up a very different take on the hot dog with a sandwich that has two dogs topped with grilled chicken breast and then served on one bun.
Mad Dogs Hot Dogs, Venice: This joint has an extensive menu and even has vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. They also serve many state-inspired hot dogs like the Memphis frank or the New Jersey ripper that might hit the spot for people who've moved to Florida from somewhere else.
All American Hot Dogs and Sandwiches, Jacksonville: This joint has been around since 1972 and was founded by the Salameh family. Not only do they serve great hot dogs, but they're also known for their steak pitas and cherry limeade. They also serve breakfast.