The crack of the bat, the hum of Nancy Bea’s organ, giant plastic cups of beer—yes, baseball season is finally here! And, of course, that’s got me, and I’m sure a lot of other Angelenos, thinking about hot dogs. But not a Dodger Dog because, let’s be real, they’re not that good. What I want is a snappy dog with delicious toppings (or so good you can eat it plain) to feed my craving before I even get to the stadium. Here’s a list of some that will do the trick even if you’re not going to the game:
Chroni’s Famous Sandwich Shop
As a kid, all of my family’s Dodger Stadium visits started with a trip to Chroni’s. My dad would take us to the classic (it opened back in 1945) East L.A. stand on the way to the game to feast on chili cheese dogs and french fries. Now that I’m older, I just go for a plain dog with a bit of mustard to get that full salty-snap experience. Even if you don’t have fond childhood memories of this, you’ll probably still get a wave of nostalgia sitting at those orange tables overlooking Whittier Boulevard. After, just jump on the 5 to get to the game.
Chroni’s Famous Sandwich Shop, 5825 Whittier Blvd., 323-728-7806
If you’re coming from the east, this small Eagle Rock gem is the place. They have a satisfying menu of dogs, some of which are regionally inspired, like the Southland, a take on a L.A. bacon-wrapped “danger dog” with grilled onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos. If the Dodgers aren’t playing the Cubs, you should feel free to get the delicious Chicago Dog, which doesn’t include that fluorescent relish available at Wrigley Field, but does have tomato wedges, a pickle spear, sport peppers, and celery salt. Take the 2 all the way to the stadium.
Meea’s, 1734 Colorado Blvd., 323-285-4850
If North Hollywood is on your route, Vicious Dogs is the way to go. The dogs here can skew to the extremes if you’re into that, but you can opt for more basic fare too. There are chili dogs, bacon-wrapped dogs, and even the Krusty Krab topped with sweet-hot chili and a chopped-up crab patty. The great thing at this spot is that there are so many choices–you can pick from a wide variety of beef, chicken, pork or veggie dogs. Don’t miss the seasoned fries. Hop on the 134 to the 5.
Vicious Dogs, 5231 Lankershim Blvd., 818-985-3647
If you’re coming from West Hollywood or the Westside, the choice is obvious: Carney’s. For one thing, the people-watching here is fantastic, and the hot dog menu is big. Go for the Carney’s Original, a chili-smothered dog with yellow or spicy mustard, tomatoes, and chopped onions or order the Red Baron, which is buried under a pile of pickled red cabbage—you can add cheese, but it’s not at all necessary. All dogs are done regular or spicy and can be grilled, steamed, or split. Take Sunset to Franklin to Los Feliz to Riverside (or something like that) to get to Stadium Way.
Carney’s Restaurant, 8351 Sunset Boulevard, 323-654-8300
If all else fails, you can always grab one of those Extreme Loaded Dogs at the stadium. They’re on the loge level, and they’re kind of fun—we endorse the one with Fritos.