Hot Dog of the Week: Swedish Dog from Hot Diggity in Philadelphia

Hot Dog of the Week

A unique hot dog feature each week from hot dog connoisseur and cartoonist Hawk Krall!

[Artwork and photographs: Keith Garabedian and Kelly Gartland]

I write about Hot Diggity often; and though I definitely try to prioritize new and exciting hot dogs from all over, it's really hard when Hot Diggity just keeps killing it with their monthly specials.

Last month it was a Detroit Coney with chili made from house-ground beef hearts that tasted shockingly close to the real thing—well, actually more like the dryer Flint Coney sauce, but damn good. This month it's a Swedish inspired Ikea Dog ($6). When I saw the hilarious pamphlet that comes free with every order, there was no way I wasn't going to tell you about this one.

The "Ikea Dog", officially known as the Swedish Meal Time Dog, starts with Diggity's standard base of a toasted Liscio's oversized hot dog bun, lined with two pieces of bibb lettuce tossed in lemon vinaigrette. Next is the grilled all-beef Sabrett's dog topped with rock shrimp salad made with mayo, sour cream and tarragon. Finished off with fresh dill, fried potato sticks, and a handful of salmon roe. CAVIAR. On a hot dog.

And it works. The crunch of the toasted bread, the snap of the dog cooled down by the creamy shrimp salad, accented with pops of salmon roe and crisp potato sticks? Amazing. The ingredients are balanced in a way that usually doesn't happen at a hot dog restaurant, and you really see chef Keith Garabedian's high-end cooking skills coming in to play here.

Apparently the Ikea Dog has gone semi-viral online and Swedish food nerd rage has been invoked, with many claiming this has nothing to do with any hot dog you would find in Sweden, and honestly I'm a bit surprised.

Swedish Korv Kiosks sell all sorts of hot dogs ("korv") and sausages with all kinds of crazy toppings, one of the more common being shrimp salad ("räksallad") with mustard and/or ketchup and those crunchy fried onions that are so popular on Denmark's pølser.

Another popular korv variation that Hot Diggity is definitely riffing on is the tunnbrodsrulle, which sounds like Sweden's answer to the Oki Dog: two hot dogs wrapped in flatbread and filled with lettuce, shrimp and/or potato salad, mustard, relish, ketchup, dill, mayonnaise, and more crispy onions.


Other than the potato sticks and caviar, Hot Diggity's Swedish-style dog really doesn't seem that far from the real thing. The larger roll and length of the hot dog is actually similar. But also, I've never eaten a hot dog myself in Sweden, and there's also that far-off possibility that food bloggers are exaggerating the popularity of wacky toppings like shrimp salad to make interesting posts. Either way, Hot Diggity's version is delicious.

Get there now; it'll be gone in a week.

Hot Diggity

630 South Street Philadelphia, PA 19147 (map); 810-233-4000