Spring is here again which means the beginning of baseball season, which also means the unofficial start of hot dog season. Last spring we featured Major League Baseball's best and craziest hot dogs, and while there was some interesting looking stuff—including local hot dog joints in a few stadiums—for the most part I was frustrated by the real lack of local flavor. The handful of giant food service companies that do most of the major league concessions made a big fuss about "regional dogs" last year, but many of them seemed to be the same four or five "crazy" bacon-wrapped chili and cheese dogs with different names, rather than anything even close to a real representation of the local hot dog culture.
The minor leagues fared a bit better, but this year I wanted to highlight some really cool spots outside the ballparks where you can grab a dog or sausage before or after the game, for a lot less money and a real taste of whatever city you're in.
A few cities have hardcore street food scenes going on outside the stadium, and some parks will even let you bring outside food into the game, while others have even tried to kick street vendors out to increase concession sales.
Let me know in the comments if we forgot that awesome hot dog truck that your Uncle Joe stops at before every game, and keep in mind there's a good chance we'll do one of these for the minor leagues, so keep those recommendations rolling in!
Hawk Krall is a Philadelphia-based illustrator who has a serious thing for hot dogs. Dig his dog drawings? Many of the illustrations he has created for Hot Dog of the Week are available for sale: hawkkrall.net/prints/.