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Like your hot dog with super spicy chili? Or just mustard, relish, some onion? Hot diggity, you’re in the right place.
The Washington, D.C. area has a delicious hot dog history and is rumored to have created its own hot dog, the half smoke. No one knows exactly who invented it – Ben’s Chili Bowl or Weenie Beenie -- so you will have to try them both!
Hold on to your buns because two of Arlington’s hot dog purveyors are ranked among the top dogs nationally by The Daily Meal.
• Ben’s Chili Bowl ranks on top of the list for its legendary half smoke, a hot dog that’s half beef and half pork sausage, rumored to be invented in D.C. by Ben himself, and is a favorite of celebrities and presidents whose photos adorn the restaurant’s walls. With two locations in Arlington, this family-owned, local restaurant chain’s chili-cheese dogs are so adored that travelers like to take some home. You can even mail order four-packs of the 4 oz. half smokes with enough Ben’s Chili Sauce to smother each of ‘em.
• Shake Shack made the list too with its “split and griddled crisp” flat-top dogs. Known for its burgers, Shake Shack actually began as a New York City hot dog cart and expanded widely, including to our own Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. This eatery has stayed true to its roots with the Shack-cago Dog (covered with house relish, onion, cucumber, pickles and other veggies) and Chicken Dog (with chicken, apple and sage sausage).
And we’re only getting started on a hot dog tour of Arlington:
These restaurants have been serving up delicious hot dogs in Arlington for decades.
• Have a half smoke the way Arlington residents have enjoyed since 1954 at Weenie Beenie. This popular neighborhood drive-in has been a fixture in the Shirlington neighborhood for decades. Try it “all the way” with chili, mustard, relish and onion, or enjoy a beef hot dog “all the way, you know.”
• Hot dogs with craft beer are what you will find at Galaxy Hut, a fixture in the Clarendon neighborhood since 1990. Try their vegan version with soy bacon and a basket of their famous tater tots on the side.
These Arlington foodie spots are serving up hot dogs with a gourmet flair.
Need even more ideas for culinary exploration in Arlington? Try an Arlington foodie itinerary.
Author: Kathleen Murphy