Tampa Bay gets a mention, as does New Orleans, and Chicago, NY, and LA.
The article mentions Tony Packo's in Toledo, famed by references from M*A*S*H's corporal Klinger (sausage and chili on a roll), as well as hoary favorites like Nathan's. Hell, Nathan's doesn't even taste like Nathans...
OLD DOGS: The city's signature hot dog is wrapped in bacon—and its most famous purveyor is Pink's chili-and-cheese wiener stand, open since 1939. (709 N. La Brea Ave., pinkshollywood.com) Manhattan's famously cheap and skin-popping Papaya King Hollywood chain debuted its first local grilled hot dog and fruit-juice outpost in May with the slogan, "We're 100% natural. But we think we'll fit in L.A. just fine." They do. (1645 Wilcox Ave., papayaking.com)
NEW TRICKS: Let's Be Frank, owned by former Chez Panisse cook Sue Moore, ups the ante with organic, grass-fed, sustainably raised meat—from bratwurst to Berkshire pork. Don't miss the sauces Ms. Moore mixes up each week—or the organic sauerkraut. (Helmes Avenue, between Venice and Washington boulevards; Twitter @letsbefrank, for food-truck locations) But the hottest dog in town is the arty district's Wurstküche Restaurant, which serves up exotic sausages. There's buffalo, beef and pork with chipotle peppers; a juicy duck and bacon number with jalapeños; even a hickory-smoked gator. Regional specialties from spots like Austin and Santa Fe are also to be had, with surprising toppings and fillers like mangos, green chilies, apple chunks and cilantro. (800 E. Third St., wurstkucherestaurant.com)
OLD DOG: Since 1973, Mel's Hot Dogs(4136 E. Busch Blvd., melshotdogs.com)has owned the franks turf here. Mel's is famous for its naturally encased wieners on poppy-seed buns, and it's a North Tampa tradition for families and USF students to fight over the picnic tables. The corn dog—dipped in whole-grain, stone-ground meal—seems almost healthy.
NEW TRICKS:Hot Willy's(1604 N. 17th St., hotwillys.com), a vibrant butcher-market stand, opened this year in Tampa's Ybor City to instant lines. The patio-boasting spot serves Sabrett frankfurters ($3.50 a piece), as well as charbroiled Polish sausage, andouille links and Wisconsin brats. The owners haven't neglected the Cuban neighborhood's roots: The Ybor Dog is slathered with fresh black beans and chopped onions.
OLD DOG: Lucky Dogs carts—shaped like giant hot dogs on wheels—gained literary infamy when writer John Kennedy Toole made them colorful props in his comic romp, "A Confederacy of Dunces." Today, the French Quarter stands, which hawk standard-issue boiled frankfurters still draw tourists in droves. Go figure.
NEW TRICKS: Given the Crescent City's obsession with cochon, it's surprising it took so long for a spot like Dat Dog to come along. Opened in early spring on a gentrifying Uptown street by a former assistant U.S. attorney (whose family helms Galatoire's), and a veteran of wiener stands and Big Easy kitchens, Dat Dog is such a hit that it's already moving to a larger space across the street. The German wieners and sausages are cradled in open-faced, grill-marked rolls, and are a feat to finish. Indigenous flavors include Louisiana smoked sausage, and alligator- and crawfish-stuffed dogs, all made in various "parishes," "bayous" and "swamp" regions. (The veggie dog originates in the fictional town of "Oxymoron.") Homemade toppings include Creole tomatoes, roux-y chili, wasabi, guacamole and a rich, chunky andouille sauce. (5031 Freret St., datdognola.com)
The spanking new Tru Burger (8115 Oak St., 504-218-5416)—a no-frills grill near the Riverbend—had a full house as soon as it opened, thanks to the culinary rep of its chefs-owners (of Patois fame). Tru Burger grinds its own meats and serves Zweigle's franks from Rochester, N.Y. They've also concocted a secret "Tru" sauce already being raved about on foodie websites. You would be remiss to overlook Donald Link's Cochon Butcher, which grinds out some mean wieners, and everything else from scratch, including the buns (order the pimento cheese topping). (30 Tchoupitoulas St., cochonbutcher.com)
New York City
OLD DOG: The circa-1888 Katz's Delicatessen (205 E. Houston St., katzsdelicatessen.com) is a living testament to the immigrants who brought their wiener-and-franks savvy to Manhattan's Lower East Side at the turn of the 20th century.
The corner deli still serves its natural-casing, all-beef hot dogs for $3.35, alongside its more famous pastrami on rye. Then there's the original, neon-lit Nathan's Famous (1310 Surf Ave., nathansfamous.com) hot-dog stand, a block from Brooklyn's Coney Island boardwalk.
NEW TRICKS: The offerings at tiny Asiadog are far from traditional, but they blend with its North Little Italy-meets-Chinatown location
Organic chicken, beef and veggie dogs are topped with Japanese curry and homemade kimchi apples (the Ito) or kimchi and seaweed flakes (the Ginny). A Vietnamese-style dog is heaped with pâté, cucumbers and pickled carrots, and slathered in aioli. (66 Kenmare St. asiadognyc.com).
At the new Williamsburg, Brooklyn, outpost of the East Village's Crif Dogs, devotees can wrap their meat hooks around signature corn dogs and New Jersey-style deep-fried dogs. Crif also makes a popular bacon-wrapped wiener. The mouthwatering toppings include pineapple and avocado. (113 St. Marks Place; 555 Driggs Ave., crifdogs.com)
OLD DOG: It's been said that the Windy City has more hot-dog stands than BKs, KFCs and Mickey Ds combined, which goes some way toward explaining why frankfurter vendors around the country offer up "Chicago-style" dogs. A traditional Chi-Town frank is all-beef, served in a poppy-seed bun and topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, tomato wedges, kosher dill spears, celery salt and "neon relish." Classic stands include The Wiener's Circle (2622 N. Clark St. wienercircle.net), Portillo's(100 W. Ontario St., portillos.com), Hot Doug's (3324 N. California Ave., hotdougs.com) and the ex-con-hiring Felony Franks (229 S. Western Ave., felonyfranks.com).
NEW TRICKS: The Chicago-style defier Westminster Hot Dog opened last winter in a small storefront on the Loop and got big—fast. The luncheonette hand-grinds its gourmet sausages, the most unusual of them made of bison, elk, venison or boar. More populist hits include the Wisconsin cheddar-apple, the spicy Italian (with sun-dried tomato pesto) and the Polish sausage made from a four-generations-old recipe. (11 N. Wells, westminsterhotdog.com)