By Daniel Clarke, 17, Hamilton HS (Los Angeles)
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Ever wonder where to grab the best hot dogs in Los Angeles? I did some sampling around town of hot dog hot spots and then rated them 1-5, with 1 as the lowest and 5 as the highest score. Here’s what I discovered:

Tail O’The Pup

Tail O' the Pup

329 N. San Vicente, West Hollywood
(310) 652-4517.

I never knew this place existed, because the small hot dog stand sits behind huge buildings like the Beverly Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The stand can’t be taller than eight feet, and it was funny how the stand was shaped like a hot dog. It’s not much to look at, but if you want to eat in a hurry and be in a calm, relaxed setting, then Tail O’The Pup is the place to go.

Tail O’The Pup’s menu offers six varieties of hot dogs that range in price from $2.50 – $3.30. Hamburgers are also on the menu for $2.75-$3.30. I ordered the Extreme Dog, which wasn’t all that extreme. It was sort of small, but tasted good and came smothered in chili, onions and tomatoes.

You can only sit outside at picnic tables. It got a little hot after a while, and I was happy to get back in my air-conditioned car.

The best thing about this place is the service. Man, it’s quick! It took me less than 30 seconds to walk half way around the stand to get my food, before it was ready. Forget McDonald’s and Taco Bell, Tail O’The Pup is faster than any of them.

If you’re looking for other teens—they’re not here. Customers are mainly hospital and mall employees and business men grabbing a quick bite for lunch.
Finding parking gets hairy around this place. You may score a spot in their tiny lot or end up parking on the busy street.

Service: 5
Food: 3
Price: The grand total was $4.50 for an Extreme Dog and a drink.



860 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles
(323) 655-4166.

Oki-Dog’s weathered orange stand sits as an eyesore on Fairfax and it’s definitely the worst place I visited. It looks broken down and a weird guy from inside came out and yelled creepy things at me before I went in. I wanted to run away screaming.

Instead I ignored the weirdo, went up to the counter and ordered an Oki Dog. I didn’t know what was in it, but I just wanted to get in and get out of that place. Their menu is small. They offer five hot dogs from $1.77-$2.55. A shirtless man in leather pants rode around the place on his bicycle and no one said a word about it. When my food was ready, I looked around for a place to eat. You can only eat inside, but it was too uncomfortable for me in there. So I took my food to go.

Later, when I opened my bag of food, what I saw took me by total surprise. An Oki Dog is two hot dogs, chili and pastrami all wrapped in a tortilla. It must have weighed a pound. It was the weirdest thing I’d ever seen. It didn’t taste bad, but I would have never thought of putting so much meat around a hot dog. Those ingredients didn’t belong together. It was my least favorite hot dog. But this place gives you the most amount of food for the cheapest price of all the hot dog stands around.

The place is tiny, has crackled concrete floors and a strange wet smell. A few noisy video games sit in the corner. Parking is OK, since it sits on the corner of Willoughby Avenue, a residential street, so spots are available.

If you want to try something off the wall, Oki-Dog is the right place for you. No moms with babies or hot ladies hang out there. Just a few weird men. Something is definitely up with that place. So don’t expect to ever see me there again.

Service: 2
Food: 2
Price: I ran out of there so quickly that I forgot the receipt.



709 N. La Brea, corner of Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
(323) 931-4223,

Who hasn’t been here? Everyone and their mother goes there at all hours and stands in lines that wrap around the place just for a hot dog. But the experience of waiting in line is half the fun. I stood in line for 20 minutes, under a tent that shielded me from the sun, and had fun talking with everyone else.

Pink’s definitely has the biggest menu of all the hot dog places around. They have 16 different types of hot dogs that cost $2.35-$3.50, plus 13 varieties of hamburgers from $2.50-$4.65. I ordered a chili cheese dog for $2.55. They have the best chili anywhere. Pink’s caters to all kinds of appetites, even to vegetarians. They offer a veggie dog, for $1.95, which my editor wolfed down after watching me eat hot dogs at all these places. She liked it.

Since Pink’s is off of Melrose, a hip crowd naturally gathers there. No moms with screaming babies or mini-vans were anywhere in sight. You eat outside at tables with umbrellas to shade the sun. It felt comfortable and fun.

Parking gets tricky, since their lot is so small. We managed to get a spot in their lot, otherwise we’d have to circle the traffic- choked streets of La Brea and Melrose and feed a meter.

Service: 5
Food: 5
Price: It cost $6.65 for two dogs and two drinks.



12601 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
(818) 761-8300.

This place sits tucked away from Ventura Boulevard and you’d nearly miss it, aside from its appearance—a blaring yellow retired Amtrak train. Pictures hang inside the joint explaining the history of the train cars. Carneys is the most attractive of all the hot dog stands that I visited. You can eat inside in the air conditioning or outside at their picnic tables. Either way, the place looks spotless.

The menu at Carneys offers hot dogs from $2.05-$3.50, hamburgers from $2.70-$4.65, plus salads, wraps and tacos. There’s a lot to choose from.

I ordered Carneys’s chili dog, and it came with two juicy tomato slices. The portions were hefty, and the chili was great. Service was quick, but a lot of patrons swarmed around the counter waiting for their food. I waited about two minutes for my food and then lingered around for a few more until a table became free. Bummer.

This place also has bathrooms where you can clean up after pigging out. Watch out though—there are little kids running around and exploring the train. This is a family place and lots of moms met other moms for lunch when I was there.

Don’t worry about parking. They have a big lot with lots of room, and you can park there for free.

Service: 4
Food: 4
Price: I paid $4.48 for a chili dog and a drink.