Written by Leslie Gregory Haukoos   Photos by Michael Coons

 W e scoured the Conejo, searched Simi, careened through Camarillo and made our way around Moorpark searching for the best hot dogs in town.
Here are our favorites, in all of their juicy, hot, spicy perfection, along with more than you ever wanted to know about the ubiquitous dog.


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Chicago Dawg



Water-simmered or grilled and garlicky all-beef dog topped with yellow mustard, chopped sweet onions and tomato, dill pickle, bright green sweet relish, hot peppers and celery salt on a poppy-seed bun.

Corn Dog

A wiener coated in cornmeal batter, deep-fried and served on a stick.

Detroit/Coney Island Hot Dog

Natural-casing beef wiener, topped with beanless beef chili and chopped raw white onions, with one or two stripes of yellow mustard. May include shredded cheddar cheese.

Dodger Dog

Grilled or steamed 10-inch beef-pork blend frank with ketchup and mustard served on a steamed bun. Super Dodger Dogs are 100 percent beef. Mexican Dodger Dogs are topped with chili, salsa and jalapeños.

New Jersey

Italian-style all-beef dog, often deep-fried. Topped with peppers, sauteed onions and fried potatoes and served on an Italian roll.

San Francisco

Bacon-wrapped or bacon-topped dog with caraway seed, mayo, pickles, shallots, tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

The Sonoran

Bacon-wrapped dog topped with pinto beans, mustard, mayo, chopped tomatoes, onions and hot sauce, with a side of hot pepper for some Arizona heat.

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Plain hot dog topped with creamy coleslaw.

Beanie Weenies

Chopped wieners in baked beans.

Kansas City

Grilled all-beef wiener, corned beef, Swiss cheese, caraway seeds, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing.

The Milwaukee Anti-Hot Dog

Sausage on a toasted hard roll with butter, spicy mustard, sweet pickles and sauerkraut.

Pigs in a Blanket

Wiener wrapped in dough and baked.

West Virginia Dixie Dog

Frank topped with coleslaw and savory meat sauce.




Sooo Cali Dog

King’s Hawaiian dinner rolls 100% beef skinless dog
Wild arugula
Crispy fried onions
Aioli sauce

Break off a three-bun section of King’s Hawaiian dinner rolls. Butter two sides of the bun and place on the grill until lightly browned.
Slice open the side of the bun. Layer several wild arugula leaves and the hot dog. On one side of the dog, place two thin tomato slices. Layer two or three slices of avocado on the other side of the dog.
Top with crispy fried onions. Squirt a zigzag of spicy aioli sauce on top.

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The Sooo Cali dog is one of the favorites on the Dog Haus menu with fresh arugula, avocado, crispy onions and Dog Haus special aioli sauce, a delicate blend of basil and serrano with a real kick to it. Dog Haus makes its own crispy onions using lightly battered and seasoned onion slices, deep-fried until golden brown. Substitute store-bought crispy onions at home.
The latest Dog Haus will be opening in our own backyard next month, following close on the heels of the Canoga Park Dog Haus, which opened in June.


50 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Thousand Oaks

Picnic Dawg

100% beef hot dog
Baked beans
Dayne’s Creamy Kickin’ Coleslaw

Wrap hot dog in bacon slice and grill. Place in bun, top with baked beans and a generous scoop of Creamy Kickin’ Coleslaw.


½ cup distilled white vinegar
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. Kosher salt
2 cups mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
3 tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
1 tbsp. grated ginger

Mix vinegar, sugar and salt until dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and whisk well. Add to shredded cabbage of choice.

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Dayna Haupt waited a long time to open her own restuarant. The private chef, who worked at the Four Seasons Westlake and Tuscany, realized the area lacked an authentic Italian beef sandwich, so she created her own inspired by her childhood in Chicago. Soon after opening in 2013, Dayne’s was brimming with customers who came to the small eatery in search of the real thing. Be sure to try the shrimp dawg . . . yum.


2951 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Thousand Oaks
(805) 371-8889

Club Dog

Sesame seed Italian roll
100% beef hot dog
Cheddar cheese, grated
Bacon, cooked and chopped
Tomato, chopped
Avocado, sliced

Slice roll open and generously sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese. Melt cheese. Add hot dog, chopped bacon, chopped tomato, avocado slices. Top with mayonnaise to taste.

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Cronies Sports Grill, which operates restaurants in Simi Valley, Newbury Park, Camarillo and Ventura, is adding a new location in the Agoura Meadows Shopping Center in Agoura Hills. Hungry diners looking for a family restaurant with a sports theme—not a sports bar—will feel at home at Cronies. That translates into sports on large flat-screen TVs as well as video games for the kids so the whole family can enjoy good eats and entertainment. We like Cronies’ Club Dog, a new take on the classic club sandwich.


2752 Cochran St., Simi Valley
(805) 583-9999

1620 Newbury Rd., Newbury Park
(805) 498-7888

370 N. Lantana St.,
(805) 482-5900

5687 Kanan Rd., Agoura Hills

Ferrari Dog

100% beef Sabrett hot dog
Hot dog bun
Brown mustard or deli mustard
Squeezed cheddar cheese
Onions, chopped and seasoned

Assembly is simple. Place the dog in the bun, add a generous squirt of brown mustard, smother with squeezed cheddar cheese and top with seasoned onions. Chili is optional.

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Only loyal customers know to ask for the Ferrari dog from Smiley’s hot dog stand in Westlake Village but then just about everyone who tries a dog at Smiley’s becomes a loyal customer. The single hot dog cart has been a landmark in the area for the last 30 years. Smiley’s has changed hands at least two times. Joe Spina, owner of Bellini Westlake, took over earlier this year.
Smiley’s cart is available to cater parties and events, and Spina has plans to expand with another hot dog cart or two.


2649 Townsgate Road
Westlake Village

Sooo Cali Dog copy

Picnic Dawg

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Ferrari Dog copy