When you think of gourmet food, what comes to mind? We bet it isn’t hot dogs! Most of us think of Parisian cuisine, New York fusion, Japanese sushi and perhaps a high-end Italian. You might include a New Orleans gumbo if the right chef makes it, or even the old-fashioned Lobster Thermidor. For dessert perhaps some Crepes Suzette, creme brûlée, something-or-other flambé. If there’s a chef in a tall white hat or a sushi master in a black apron, you’ll likely be impressed. No? Then maybe this will tempt your palate: hot dogs with everything on them. And we don't just mean the classic dressings. We're talking truffle oil, lobster, hand-delivered cheese from Sweden and cognac-infused Kobe beef.
American fast food is seen by many as the lowest form of dining, though you can bet there are many around the world who wouldn't turn their noses up at the plentiful portions. It’s hard to deny the comfort of an all-dressed hot dog or grilled cheeseburger, a slice of pizza with a Coke. It may not be healthy, it may not be for the foodies, but the stuff is palatable.
Where in the world do you have to go to enjoy some of the most expensive frankfurters ever made? You might be surprised they're not all in the States, and some were so exclusive and limited edition that they're no longer on the market. It’s hard to convince that people spend the following amounts on a hot dog, no matter how it's made (or with what). Which wieners are the most expensive in history? Get ready to have your appetite whetted...
10 Rangers Ballpark, Arlington, TX: $26
Don’t they say, “Everything’s bigger in Texas?” Perhaps that’s what gave folks here the idea for the “boomstick." The two-foot long hot dog was, as of summer 2013, the MLB’s most expensive ball-park frank. This mammoth three-pounder is liberally topped with jalapeños, chili, nacho cheese, and deliciously caramelized onions. Anyone who loves hot dogs will enjoy this wiener, whether a Rangers fan or not. If it’s your first date, you might want to face away from each other while eating this sucker, as the toppings will likely end up all over you…unless you want your date all over you. In that case, share the one dog and face each other, while taking your first bite from opposite ends.
9 Dbacks-Dodgers Stadium, Sydney, Australia: $36
Not a nation to miss out on the action, Australia decided to add this item to their menus also. The Sydney ballpark sells the All-American Super Dog for $40 Aussie dollars, or $36 US. Topped with your choice of the usual suspects: mustard, ketchup, coleslaw,etc., this hot dog is 60 centimeters long, or 23.6 inches. The owner of the outback food stand was hoping American tourists would feel right at home for the first ever American Major League Baseball event played in Australia, where the series was opened by the Arizona Diamondbacks against the LA Dodgers.
8 Serendipity 3, New York, NY: $69
New York City’s Serendipity 3, a restaurant on the Upper East Side, decided to break a record for National Hot Dog Day on July 23rd, 2010. The Serendipity Foot-Long Haute Dog was certified as then holding the Guinness World Record for most expensive frank. The fancy all-beef dog is grilled in white truffle oil, topped with duck foie gras with black truffles, and served on a salted pretzel bun that has been toasted in white truffle butter. Caramelized Vidalia onions top this all off, along with heirloom tomato ketchup and Dijon mustard, the latter also containing black truffles. You’ll think ordering 24-hours in advance was well worth the wait when you bite into this yummy wiener!
7 Brockton Rox, Brockton, MA: $80
Campanelli Stadium, Brockton, MA, is home to the Brockton Rox of the Canadian-American Baseball Association. Just one year after Serendipity broke the record for most expensive hot dog, the people at the Rox decided to break that record, introducing the “McCullen Dog” for National Hot Dog Day, 2011. Food manager Sander Scotland described these franks as a redneck meeting the rich and famous. The World's Most Expensive Dog was "deep fried and rolled in truffle oil, then coated with porcini dust, sprinkled with white truffle shavings, and topped with dollops of creme fraiche, caviar and fresh roe.” It was available during the 2011 season and was served on a blini roll.
6 DougieDog Hot Dogs, Vancouver, Canada: $100
Dougie Luv of Vancouver decided to beat out Serendipity’s $69 hot dog with his creation, the Dragon Dog, which, for $100, is infused with 100-year-old cognac - Louis XIII to be precise. Each bottle of that stuff costs $2,000. The dog, made of Kobe beef, is then pan-seared in truffle-flavored olive oil and served topped with fresh lobster and a spicy picante sauce. Due to its particular ingredients, this dog has to be ordered at least 12 hours in advance. Why is it called a Dragon Dog? In honor of Dragon’s Den, Canada’s show featuring top entrepreneurs who invest in the little guy — in this case Dougie, who now has two locations that come to you, since hot dog trucks replaced a permanent restaurant.
5 U.N. Development Program, Stockholm, Sweden: $130
The United Nations wanted to make a point about world hunger, so in September 2005 they sold the most expensive hot dog ever at that time, but only for a few days. Part of an initiative to place a spotlight on global poverty, regular American hot dogs (i.e. nothing fancy whatsoever) were sold for $130 US in Stockholm. Why $130? The folks with the United Nations Development Program figured out that for the average family in the Western world, spending this much on a hot dog was roughly equivalent to the purchase of a regularly priced hotdog by one of the billion people living on less than $1 US per day. Among all the extravagance on this list, it puts things into harsh perspective.
4 California Capitol City Dawg, Sacramento, CA: $145
As with other fancy frankfurters on this list, this expensive dog is no longer available. It was not made for a limited time; the restaurant was forced to close. Previous owner Mike Brown blames rising food costs and a struggling economy, but was that it? The Guinness World Record “Most Expensive Hot Dog” (awarded in May, 2012 — notice a pattern?) was 3.5 lb. and included an all-beef frank (custom made) grilled with bacon, served on herb focaccia (custom made) and “smeared” with Italian white truffle butter. It was topped with maple-syrup bacon (New Hampshire), caramelized, sautéed shallots, ground peppercorns, balsamic vinaigrette, whole-grain mustard (France) and garlic aioli. Last, but not least, was a moose cheese from Sweden which Brown flew over in person to get. No wonder he went bankrupt!
3 Tokyo Dog, Seattle, WA: $169
This food stall at the Fremont Market introduced another Guinness-record-setting hopeful on Feb. 23 of this year. Tokyo Dog claimed to have sold the world’s most expensive hot dog for $169, or $24 more than the previous top dawg sold for in California. Hopefully co-owner Eugene Woo wasn't too disappointed when he sent in the paperwork; you’ll see why when you continue reading. A foot-long served on a brioche bun, this frank was a smoked-cheese bratwurst covered in wagyu beef, shaved black truffles, foie gras, maitake mushrooms, teriyaki grilled onions in butter, caviar, and Japanese mayo. Woo said he planned to donate the earnings to the American Red Cross.
2 Hot Dog Mike’s, Little Rock, AZ: $1,501
Mike and Mike should have gotten together to avoid some confusion. Mike and Mike?? Mike Brown, of Capitol City Dawg, and Mike Juliano of Hot Dog Mike’s had the same idea within months: To take back the record for most expensive wiener from Canada, returning the distinction to the U.S., where they felt it belonged. Only thing is, Mike Juliano didn’t take the record from Canada, he took it from Mike Brown! Juliano also achieved an official world record, beating Brown out by over a thousand dollars. What cost so much? There was lobster and even “gold flakes” on this hot dog. Worth it? We think so — Mike kept a dollar per dog for himself and sold four, giving a whopping $6,000 to feed the homeless.
1 230 Fifth, New York, NY: $2,300
Also in summer 2012, NYC’s exclusive 230 Fifth restaurant sold a hot dog for $2,300, claiming the record in a press release. As it was way more expensive than Juliano’s, it takes the prize. The thing is, it seems everyone’s claiming their hot dog is most expensive and most of the time, that they’re Guinness-certified. Does it matter who’s correct? Judge for yourself. You’ll likely wish one of these 230 fifth-ers was still available to nosh on but if we tried to describe it as they do, you’d be reading all day. Suffice it to say it’s got all the indulgences you’d expect: dry-aged wagyu beef, black truffles, white truffle butter, saffron, Vidalia onions caramelized in Dom Perignon, the finest caviar available, gold leaf, and more. Proceeds of the sale of this incredible hot dog went to NY’s homeless.