Luckily for us, Pretoria is littered with hot dog outlets, and if you think no one would travel to taste a simple sausage in a roll, clearly you haven’t kept up with what has become of that original humble dish. Hot dogs can be awesome nowadays, and they’re always quick, easy to prepare and tasty in the extreme.
Kom ons begin with a venue widely known for scintillating culinary innovations; Afro-boer. Putting a decidedly boer spin on a hot dog, the version you’re most likely to encounter here is a pure beef stuk of boerewors with sauteed mushroom & pepper chakalaka, all topped with creamy horseradish puree and served on sourdough. If you’re still reading this and not running out the front door to Die Wilgers, you clearly haven’t tasted one before. It’s beyond good. It’s righteous, and deeply satisfying.
You might not want to hang out here, but don’t do yourself the disservice of never trying their hot dogs. Some Sausage Saloons can be a bit of a hole in the wall, but the Hatfield outlet makes consistently great hot dogs with a variety of toppings to choose from. Not shy to charge, they’re also not too shabby on size, and shopping punctuated with a dog or two can brighten anyone’s day.
That’s right, Fumo, in Groenkloof. More an Italian eatery than a hot dog palace, Fumo does do what they call a Summer Dog, a hot dog inspired by Italy. Using a pork salsiccia in pizza dough, this dog comes with smoked mozzarella and fennel seeds inside a panino, with pancetta, onion mayo and grilled zucchini. If that contains too many Italian terms, the taste is as convincing as the description is convoluted! We strongly recommend everyone eats one in their lifetime. It’s worth the trip.
If it seems like we punt the same venues at times, it’s not our fault that these venues get it right most of the time! Known more for its beer and geseligheid, Capital Craft also produces the Capital Dog, a hot dog replete with what many consider just the right trimmings. A tasty German sausage comes with pickles and/or onion rings, cocktail tomatoes, mayo and homemade sauerkraut. If you can imagine it… no more needs to be said. Now “beer for dad” can become “hot dogs for the kids, oh and dad” anytime you like.
Brooklyn’s Tribeca has a range of hot dogs to choose from. Known as Cowboy Hotdogs, options are the Chicago Dog, made with a frankfurter, onions, tomato, pickles and sweet mustard. It’s perfectly acceptable to knee people in the groin if there’s a delay in ordering – it’s absolutely divine.
Other options are the Bacon and Egg Dog, made with crispy bacon bits and a spicy cheese sauce – also worth fighting over – and the Standard Dog, a wonderfully simple trip down memory lane. This comes with a grilled frankfurter and mustard and tomato sauce – just like mom used to make on the weekend for the kids.
It’s not actually +27 Cafe that does great dogs, but the Harvest Thrift Fair that you can catch outside the store where you can find treasure. Possibly addictive, hot dogs at the fair are typically either accompanied by beetroot and red onion, or mustard mayo and homemade chakalaka. It might sound simplistic, but once you’ve eaten one, you’re likely to find an excuse to pop past Hatfield a lot more regularly.
Here, if it’s busy, you might want to eat quickly to ensure your hot dog goes in your mouth and doesn’t end up in your lap. Busy or not, four top-notch hot dog offers are to be found at Lucky Rodrigo. The Classic comes clean, with tomato sauce and mustard, just like a dog should!
The Pepperoni is just that – a pepperoni sausage plus mozzarella and pickled caponata trimmings. Lucky’s Dirty Dog has a foot-long sausage and bacon, lettuce, onion rings, prego sauce and cheddar – unlikely to inspire sharing with anyone. And finally, they also offer a cluster of six small corndogs, best dunked in sweet chili and mustard sauce.
Hot Dog Cafe
Situated in Lyttleton, Hot Dog Cafe is a no-nonsense hot dog venue. The Cafe started trading in 1998, and has become a consistent favourite based largely on their insistence on fresh ingredients and attention to detail. Yes, it’s just a simple hot dog, but theirs have all the right textures and tastes, and it’s well worth a visit sometime to see just how intense hot dog consumption can be. Calling themselves “The best traditional value on a roll,” we dare anyone to put them to the test and find otherwise!