Insider Tips From Local Experts

Scottsdale Stories

Scottsdale's Best Hot Dogs

In honor of National Hot Dog Month—shut up, it’s a real thing—I roamed the streets of Scottsdale looking for the best franks in town. While hot dogs are a favorite flavor from our childhood, we drift apart as we get older. Turns out, hot dogs have grown up, too. Here are the best hot dogs in Scottsdale.


Scottsdale Burger Bar

It takes incredible willpower to walk into Scottsdale Burger Bar and order a hot dog. A hamburger is always my go-to meal, especially when it’s in the name of the establishment. My choice becomes easier when I see a listing for a bacon dog.

They keep the menu simple. Order a burger or dog and customize it. Choose from a selection of cheeses, toppings and condiments. I start with the bacon dog, an oversize all-beef wiener nesting on a bed of bacon pieces. Then I add onions, jalapeños and mustard.

It’s a devastating combination if I do say so myself—one that should be on every menu. The smoky notes of bacon blend superbly with the onion sweetness and the light spice of the peppers. And like the Dude’s rug in The Big Lebowski, the mustard ties it all together. The lightly toasted bun provides sturdy architecture. Like astronomers allowed to name the heavenly bodies they discover, I dub this dog, Roger’s Rhapsody. Feel free to order it as such.   

Fries and onion rings are available. The most intricate dishes served at Scottsdale Burger Bar are the loaded fries ranging from buffalo chicken fries to bacon burger fries. They’re entrees unto themselves.



Designed to look like a diner from the outside, the spacious eatery seems to be always bustling. Walk into Portillo’s and you would never guess its humble beginnings. In 1963, Dick Portillo opened a small hot dog stand in Villa Park, Illinois. For running water, he stretched 250 feet of garden hose from a nearby building.

Portillo’s continued to expand, growing into a beloved Chicago institution. Exactly 50 years after that first hot dog stand opened, Portillo’s came to Scottsdale. By then the menu had expanded to include burgers, chicken, beef sandwiches, ribs, specialty pastas, and an array of salads. But this is still a business built on the slender backs of tube steaks.

While their default dog is Chicago-style, they also offer a chili cheese dog and a char-grilled Maxwell Street Polish Sausage. Made famous by hot dog stands at the corner of Maxwell and Halsted in Chicago, Portillo’s starts with a grilled Makowski’s Real Sausage topped with grilled onions and yellow mustard.

If possible, save room for a slice of cake. That’s something you don’t find at many Scottsdale hot dog joints.


Detroit Coney Grill

Motor City-style dogs in the heart of Scottsdale? You bet! Detroit Coney Grill serves up a variety of hot dogs (a.k.a. Coneys), including the regional Southwest Coney, which comes bathed in chili, cheddar cheese, hatch chiles, onions and mustard. There's also the traditional Detroit Coney, adorned with chili and onions atop a steamed bun, and the Detroit Coney Combo which boasts seasoned ground beef, chili, mustard and onions.

Having a crowd over? Opt for the Coney Kit - a build-your-own bonanza of 24 dogs and buns, a half-pan of chili, chopped onions and a bottle of mustard. Add in some sliders, wings and sides like Sun Devil Fries, Buffalo Tots and Beer-Battered Onion Rings, and you've got a feast of epic proportions.


Roger Naylor is an Arizona travel writer and author. His latest book is Arizona State Parks: A Guide to Amazing Places in the Grand Canyon State. He is a member of the Arizona Tourism Hall of Fame. For more info, visit