There’s something about Wyoming’s smaller culinary scene that makes finding gems truly special. Lucky for those who’re fans of the hot dog, the scarcity of eateries crates a concentration on quality. So when you do find a hot dog joint, it may be the best one you’ve ever been to. Check out our favorites.
The Barn may be new, but it’s no neophyte. For the past few years, this downtown-Laramie burger joint sports a great happy hour (4-6 p.m.), a kaleidoscope of hot wings, and a relatively renowned chili dog. In fact, at this restaurant, the chili dogs come in platter form. So prepare to sit down in this causal establishment with well-executed food and drink. This heavy-set dog is as savory as imagined, a sturdy package of cheese, bacon, chili and onion. One can only be so lucky to have been born in a barn.
The Stand’s a solid retro-burger chain sticking to the ribstickin’. The colors, vibe and menu all embrace the best of the mid-20th century burger-heyday. Fancy and farm-to-table are foreign here, but that’s the point. For the hungry, the “Junkyard Dog” is the way to go: It’s mounded-up with chili, cheese and, yes, French fries. Or for a nice Chicago-style replica, grab the “Deluxe.”
Rock Springs entrenched history of rail and coal attracted a cavalcade of European immigrants that brought with them a rich tradition of artisan sausage making. Whether this expertise guided Lew’s is beside the point: They have a great hot dog. Surprisingly for Wyoming, they sling a tasty Sonoran-style dog (as in Mexico), wrapped in bacon and topped with cheese.
It may be hard to admit, but, despite the name, the hot dogs at Little Philly are the real specialty. A full page is dedicated to the ‘dog and sausage menu, all of which are delicious and affordable. Not only is the menu varied, but these all-beef dogs are expertly-cooked and of high quality. Good luck deciding between the New York (mustard and sauerkraut), the Chicago (pickle, sport peppers, etc)., and the unique Bagel Dog (picture pigs in a bagel blanket).
Maybe it’s rose-colored nostalgia, but the disappearing drive-up food joints of the 20th (like A&W) grow more charming with age. Like its wonderfully-shabby brethren, the diners, this chain is straightforward Americana: Burgers, root beer and hot dogs. And though the latter is lesser known, the staff here make the classic chili dog a home run. A snappy dog, warm bun and comforting A&W chili, cut with diced onion: Retro never tasted so edgy.
Growing since the 90s, this place possesses the skill and moxie to feature a burger and milkshake-of-the-month. They’ve got the variety and product-line to renew interest 12 times a year, at least. And while the menu is deliciously heavy on the burger-and-shake (for good reason!), the hot dogs at Wayback as good as remembered. A classic dog is awesome with simple yellow mustard, or get the namesake version with bacon, onions, cheese and house special sauce.
DOG stands out as a beach-themed restaurant in the saw-toothed panorama of Jackson, known for skiing in the winter and, when the sun shines, a mecca for outdoorsmen and tourists of all stripes. The great breakfast burritos and burgers are obvious, but, somewhat hidden on the menu, is a solid kosher beef dog, the “Hot Diggity.” Add some Dijon and diced onions, or sauerkraut for the best hot-dog lunch this side of Chicago.
The brand synonymous with solid burgers and shakes, Five Guys sports a great hot dog, too. A Washington, DC staple, the chain is now found throughout the West, with notable Montana branches in Caper and Cheyenne. The simple wiener is split down the middle, flash grilled and rests on a golden-brown bun. Choose your toppings, and feel free to gild the lily with bacon and/or melted cheese.