New York City — Tropical Fruit Drinks
For years Papaya King was mainly a juice and fruit stand, until adding frankfurter sandwiches for their German customers. Legend or not, washing down a awesomely garlicky snappy beef dog with a foamy cup of mango-papaya beverage is just one of those timeless, iconic New York food experiences and hits the spot every time I'm in the city.
Gray's Papaya: 2090 Broadway # 1, New York, NY (map) (212) 799-0243
Birmingham, Alabama — Grapico
Gus's Hot Dogs: 1915 4th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203 (map) (205) 251-4540
Macon, Georgia — Flaky Ice
Cape Neddick, Maine — Moxie
Flo's Hot Dogs: 1359 Route 1, Cape Neddick, ME(map)
Philadelphia — Levis' Champ Cherry
Champ Cherry disappeared along with Levis' in the mid-90s but has recently been revived (and is available all over the city) by Elliot Hirsh who opened the first new Levis' Hot Dog stand in almost 20 years. Other places to wash down a "Combo" with Champ Cherry are Moe's and Hot Diggity (pictured).
Moe's Hot Dogs: 2601 Washington Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19146 (map) (215) 465-6637
North Carolina — Cheerwine
Pulliams Toasted Hot Dogs: 4400 Old Walkertown Road, Winston-Salem, NC (map) (336) 767-2211
Hap's Grill: 116 1/2 N Main St, Salisbury, NC 28144 (map) (704) 633-5872
Tuscon — Jarritos
Aqui Con El Nene: W Wetmore Rd & Flowing Wells Rd Tucson, AZ 85707 (map)
Detroit — Vernor's Ginger Ale and the Boston Cooler
Here the beverage of choice is Vernor's Ginger Ale, invented in a Detroit Pharmacy in 1866 and stronger, sweeter, and more carbonated than your average ginger ale. For something really unique, most Coney Islands also offer the "Boston Cooler," a float made with Vernors and vanilla ice cream. The drink has absolutely no connection to the city of Boston, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone familiar with the bizarre world of regionally incorrect hot dog marketing.
New Jersey and Virginia — Buttermilk
Hot Dog Johnny's in New Jersey is another place where you can wash a dog down with a tall glass of ice cold buttermilk. Personally I thought it tasted god-awful, but at the same time appreciated it as one of my most hot dog unique experiences to date.
Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Massachusetts — Chocolate Milk
At Yann's in Fairmont, West Virginia, where you'll be banned for asking for ketchup or even slaw, the chocolate milk's real purpose is much needed relief from the mouth-searingly hot chili.
Yann's Hot Dog Stand 300 Washington Street, Fairmont, WV 26554 (map) (304) 366-8660
Rhode Island — Coffee Milk
Original New York System: 424 Smith St Providence, RI 02908 (map) (401) 331-5349
Johnstown, Pennsylvania — Black Coffee
New Jersey — Beer
It's not always easy to find hot dog places that serve beer but it's always a bonus. Southern joints that double as pool halls or video poker parlors normally serve dirt cheap ice cold beer. And all those newer gourmet hot doggeries are usually good for a selection of local craft brews.
Rutt's Hut: 417 River Road, Clifton, NJ (map) (973) 779-8615
Hiram's: 1345 Palisade Avenue, Fort Lee, NJ (map) (201) 592-9602
Rough House Hot Dogs: 116 Court Square, Abbeville, SC (map) (864) 366-1932