New Jersey and Hot Dogs: Perfect Together

Maui meal
Maui’s Dog House, Wildwood

As we wrap up National Hot Dog Month it’s important to remember that every day is a hot dog day in the Garden State. Check out our list of hot dog places to try, as recommended by our team and several of our readers. Know of a good one we missed? Add it to the comments!

Beach Haven
Bada Buns: Located on Long Beach Island and just a block from the beach, Bada Buns is a new restaurant with some great sandwiches and specialty dogs. Its signature dog is a take on an Italian hot dog with two dogs, grilled onions, peppers, potato and olive oil. Bada Buns, 210 Centre Street, Beach Haven, 201-433-6705. 

Bada Buns
Bada Buns’ Signature Real Italian hot dog

Cape May
Hot Dog Tommy’s: Cape May’s hole-in-the-wall hot dog joint has a dog for anybody’s craving with close to 20 unique toppings for a “create your own” dog. Options include crushed potato chips, buffalo sauce, and even baked beans. Hot Dog Tommy’s, Jackson Street and Beach Avenue, Cape May, 609-884-8388.

Rutt’s Hut: Consistently ranked as one of the top hot dog stops in the country (including by outlets like USA Today and Travel Channel), Rutt’s is famous for its Ripper—a dog deep fried until it starts to rip apart. Rutt’s Hut, 417 River Road, Clifton, 973-779-8615.

The Hot Grill: The Hot Grill’s All the Way dog is deep fried and topped with mustard, chopped onion, and chili sauce that is available for purchase by the pint or quart. The Hot Grill, 669 Lexington Avenue, Clifton, 973-772-6000.

The Hot Grill
The Hot Grill’s All The Way (Photo courtesy of

East Hanover
Sorrento Bakery: You might not usually consider going to a bakery for an Italian hot dog, but marone! These things are amazing: incredible pockets of thick, crusty bread stuffed with meat, potatoes, peppers, and onions. Come for the dog. Stay for the tiramisu. Open 365 days a year. Sorrento Bakery, 36 Eagle Rock Avenue, East Hanover, 973-887-4442. 

Kenilworth and West Orange
Jimmy Buff’s: 
Jim Racioppi is the owner of Jimmy Buff’s and his family was the first to serve the Italian hot dog over 80 years ago in Newark. Now in West Orange and Kenilworth, Jimmy Buff’s is still serving up its specialty: an Italian dog with sliced potatoes, peppers and onions. Jimmy Buff’s, 60 Washington Street, West Orange, 973-352-9897. 506 Boulevard, Kenilworth, 908-276-2833.

Jimmy Buffs
Jimmy Buff’s Italian dog

Little Falls
Big Daddy’s: Big Daddy’s of Little Falls is notorious for its wide selection of toppings and specialty dogs, including the Loaded Potato Skin dog with cheese, potato, bacon and sour cream. Big Daddy’s, 62A Main Street, Little Falls, 973-785-0206.

Long Branch
Max’s Famous Hot Dogs: Long Branch is a popular destination for hot dog lovers with both Max’s and The WindMill. Max’s part beef/part park hot dogs are a secret family recipe. The almost foot-long dogs are slow cooked on a griddle to make them both crispy and juicy. Max’s Famous Hot Dogs, 25 Matilda Terrace, Long Branch, 732-571-0248.

Max’s Almost-Foot-Long hot dog

The WindMill: With locations now spread out all over the Jersey Shore, the WindMill is a landmark in Long Branch for its giant windmill. Chili dogs. Cheese dogs. Cheese fries. Need we say more? The WindMill, 200 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch, 732-870-8282. NOTE: The WindMill is an active participant in The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties‘ 10,000 Hot Dogs initiative.

WindMill’s chili dog

Dickie Dee’s: Considering Italian style hot dogs are said to have originated in Newark, it is only fitting that there’s a joint focused on them. Dickie Dee’s has been serving the Newark community for almost 60 years and is known for its Italian hot dogs and sausage. Dickie Dee’s, 308 Bloomfield Avenue, Newark, 973-483-9396.

Curbside Cafe: A lunch truck that stays put and wins rave reviews from dog lovers for its Sabrett’s Premium franks and homemade hot onions. They also serve up Italian hot dogs, sausage and peppers, cheese steaks, and hot pretzels. Hours are limited, so plan a weekday lunch visit: Mon through Fri, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Curbside Cafe, 100 Rt. 46 West (just west of New Road), Parsippany, 973-510-6775.

Red Bank
That Hot Dog Place: A hidden gem of a restaurant in Red Bank, That Hot Dog Place is tiny, but don’t let that fool you. The owner, Gary Sable, has been serving hot dogs and freshly prepared soups daily since 1995. That Hot Dog Place, 30 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, 732-219-6999.

Maui’s Dog House: Featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Maui’s Dog House in Wildwood has more than 20 specialty dogs and plenty more toppings—all served in a dog bowl. The Sausage Soprano is topped with sautéed spinach, and freshly cut provolone. Woof. Maui’s Dog House, 806 New Jersey Ave, Wildwood, 609-846-0444.

Maui’s Dog House Sausage Soprano