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Hot dogs are as American as apple pie and fireworks on the Fourth of July, and since 1939, Angelenos have been standing in line for their bun wrapped dog at Pink’s. They have wandered into Carney’s train car on Sunset Boulevard late at night with a craving that can only be settled with a Carney’s dog generously dressed with chili. And recently, several other hot dog joints have popped up to offer hot dog connoisseurs more options.
The most recent addition to the hot dog landscape in Hollywood is Coney Dog at 8873 Sunset Blvd., serving the Detroit classic Coney dog, made from hot dogs shipped from Michigan on a weekly basis, topped with their own custom chili, onions and a stripe of mustard.
“It’s kind of like home to us,” Michael Spellman said, clad in a University of Michigan shirt at Coney Dog.
Spellman and his friend, Michael Ganztos, both Michigan transplants, lauded the arrival of Coney Dog in Los Angeles.
Another hot dog establishment that also caters to the same crowd is just a few blocks East, Carney’s.
After seeing Carney’s on the Food Network television show, “Best Thing I Ever Ate”, Anthony Soto had to get a chilidog at Carney’s located at 8351 Sunset Blvd.
“The chili and hot dogs are a really good quality and have a really nice snap and after finishing a Polish and a chilidog, I don’t feel overly greased,” Soto said.
But many hot dog purists still elect the Los Angeles institution, Pink’s, at La Brea and Melrose Avenues, as their top choice.
Ben Selk, 79, has been making regular trips to Pink’s since its opening in 1939.
“It’s just one of those places to come back to. Whenever we come into the area, we stop in,” Selk said.
For Ron Bagley, a South Bay resident, hot dogs bring up distinct childhood memories of his mom slicing spiral designs into casings to create shapes that appealed to him. Unfortunately, his two-year-old and three-year-old children haven’t become hot dog enthusiasts just yet, but they still have time, he said.
Bagley opts for a combination of chili and sauerkraut topped dogs he found to be excellent at Pink’s.
Heath Chenail prefers Papaya King at 1645 Wilcox Ave., just a block off the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where he makes a regular trip each week.
Originally from Chicago, Chenail came to L.A. with an affinity for hot dogs, but has developed a taste for the New York-based Papaya King.
“Chicago has its flavor, so does L.A. and so does New York,” Chenail said. “L.A.’s is good, not as amazing, but good.”
Also relishing in the flavor of the Papaya King’s chilidog, Julio Hernandez decided to try the chain after learning about its New York heritage.
“I was like ‘Oh my god, I have to try it’,” Hernandez said.
But there are even more restaurants out there to serve this particular audience, from Skooby’s Hot Dogs at 6654 Hollywood Blvd., to a new stand at the metro plaza in front of the W Hotel at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, operated by Hole in the Wall Catering.
But there is only one way to find out which one you prefer; you have to try them all.
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