Los Angeles is a city bursting with culture, vibrancy, and a delightful variety of food scenes. In this lively melting pot, food trucks have carved out a unique gastronomic niche, and the city’s hot dog trucks are particularly beloved.
These food havens on wheels offer more than just a quick bite; they provide a taste of the city’s culinary diversity and innovation.
With that in mind, in this blog post, we celebrate LA’s top 10 hot dog trucks so you know exactly where to go for a tasty hot dog when visiting the City of Angels.
When ranking these trucks, we focused not only on taste and quality but also on the uniqueness of their offerings, their contributions to the local food culture, customer service, and public opinion.
So, let’s get right to it.
The food truck revolution in LA
Los Angeles has played a pivotal role in the food truck revolution. With the city’s vast geography and diverse communities, food trucks became a practical and popular choice for food entrepreneurs.
Kogi BBQ, which combined Korean BBQ and Mexican flavors, put LA on the food truck map in 2008.
Since then, the city’s food truck scene has exploded with creativity and innovation, from humble hot dog trucks to trucks offering international cuisines and gourmet options.
The Influence of LA’s cultural diversity
Los Angeles is a melting pot of cultures, and this diversity is profoundly reflected in its food scene.
This amalgamation of cultures has brought a plethora of flavors and cuisines to the city, transforming traditional dishes into innovative culinary experiences.
You can see this in the Japanese-Mexican fusion of sushi burritos, the Jewish deli-Korean BBQ fusion of pastrami-filled dumplings, and the diverse hot dog offerings of the food trucks we will take you through below.
Impact of celebrity culture and health trends
Given that LA is home to Hollywood, the impact of celebrity culture on its food trends is significant.
The rise of pop-up restaurants
The LA food scene is seeing a surge of pop-up restaurants, where chefs experiment with their menus in temporary locations, often collaborating with food trucks for these events.
This trend allows chefs to push their culinary boundaries and offer unique dining experiences to their customers.
Food festivals and events
LA is home to numerous food festivals and events, like Smorgasburg LA and LA Street Food Fest, where hot dog trucks and other food vendors get a chance to showcase their creations to a larger audience.
These events are a testament to the city’s love for food and provide a platform for new culinary talents to shine.
Sustainability in LA’s food scene
Los Angeles is at the forefront of the sustainable food movement, with many food trucks sourcing local ingredients and opting for eco-friendly practices.
This commitment to sustainability makes the food healthier and fresher, supports local farmers, and reduces environmental impact.
The top 10 hot dog trucks in LA
Now that we’ve set the scene regarding food trucks and trends in LA, let’s look at the top 10 food trucks in Los Angeles, CA.
1. Let’s Be Frank
Located near the scenic shores of Venice Beach, Let’s Be Frank is a beacon for hot dog connoisseurs.
This isn’t your typical hot dog truck; they’re spearheading the “dogs-gone-wild” movement, committed to offering hot dogs made from sustainably sourced, grass-fed beef.
Born from the shared vision of two food industry veterans, Sue Moore and Larry Bain, Let’s Be Frank started in 2005 to revolutionize the hot dog scene. They’ve been successful, contributing fantastic flavors and an ethos of sustainability and quality.
As you approach the bright red and white truck near Venice Beach, you’ll be greeted with a welcoming atmosphere and the delicious smell of grilling dogs.
Regulars often speak of their quick and friendly service and rave about the Truffle Dog, a juicy dog topped with truffle garlic mustard. You’ll often see beachgoers enjoying their hot dogs, basking in the California sun.
The signature dog, aptly named the “Brat,” is an intoxicating blend of grass-fed beef and spices wrapped in a soft, toasted bun. Every bite has a burst of flavor, from the juicy, rich meat to the tangy kick of their homemade mustard.
For vegetarians, they provide a meatless masterpiece, the “Not Dog,” which is just as flavorful as its meaty counterpart.
As a bonus, their fiery Devil Sauce is a must-add for those who enjoy a bit of spice.
2. Dogtown Dogs
Venture to Santa Monica, and you’ll find Dogtown Dogs, an epitome of innovation and culinary creativity.
Their mission is to redefine the traditional hot dog, which they accomplish brilliantly.
Dogtown Dogs began its journey in 2010. Brainchild of chefs Michael Mikhail and Ryan Lieberman, they were determined to make hot dogs a culinary force to reckon with.
Often parked in Santa Monica, the truck is a beacon of innovation. Their menu changes seasonally, ensuring they offer fresh and exciting flavors.
Dogtown Dogs’ signature, the “Trailer Trash” dog, is a delectable ensemble of chili, crispy Fritos, and molten cheddar cheese, all nestled atop a soft, slightly sweet bun. The flavor combination is unexpectedly harmonious, with the savory chili and cheese perfectly cut by the corny crunch of Fritos.
They also have gluten-free and vegetarian options, ensuring every customer is catered for.
Customer favorites include the Morning Commute, a breakfast hot dog topped with a fried egg and bacon, and Fido, a dog wrapped in bacon and smothered in peanut butter and honey.
It’s impossible to leave without a smile, thanks to their friendly service and the innovative twist they bring to this classic dish.
3. The Greasy Wiener
This hot dog truck, a staple of downtown LA, combines the charm of the East Coast with LA’s culinary innovation. The Greasy Wiener serves up hot dogs that are downright addictive.
It brings together East Coast nostalgia and California flavor innovation in a delightful gastronomic marriage.
Adam Dragotta, a New Jersey native, started the truck after noticing the lack of East Coast-style hot dogs in LA.
Their stand-out creation is the “Bomb Mi” dog, a delightful fusion of a classic hot dog and a Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich. It’s a vibrant mix of savory, tangy, sweet, and spicy flavors that encapsulates the diversity of LA’s food scene.
Adventurous eaters can take on their spicy hot dog challenge to feature on their Wall of Fame.
The truck’s playful name and vibrant decor reflect its energetic atmosphere.
Besides the Bomb Mi, their Jersey-style Italian Dog, a dog smothered with bell peppers, onions, and potatoes, garners rave reviews from customers who appreciate the taste of home in LA.
The Greasy Wiener truly embodies the essence of the city’s food culture.
4. Tacos La Güera
Yes, you read that right. This East LA food truck, known primarily for its tacos, has a Mexican-style hot dog that competes fiercely with its eponymous offering.
The brainchild of Carlos Rodriguez, this East LA-based food truck has become a beloved local eatery.
Their signature hot dog, wrapped snugly in bacon and generously topped with pico de gallo, mayo, and fiery jalapeños, is a robust fusion of LA and Mexican street food flavors. The freshness of the pico de gallo and the mayo’s creaminess beautifully balance the bacon-wrapped dog’s richness.
A perfect companion to this hearty hot dog is their freshly made, slightly sweet, and incredibly refreshing horchata.
Customers appreciate the authentic Mexican flavors that the truck brings to their food. Along with their signature hot dog, their carne asada fries and street corn are not to be missed.
Rodriguez’s commitment to authenticity and quality has built Tacos La Güera a dedicated following.
5. Lupita’s Hot Dogs
Nestled amidst the bustling city of Los Angeles, Lupita’s Hot Dogs truck has become a prominent culinary landmark. It’s a haven for hot dog enthusiasts seeking a unique gastronomic experience, uniting traditional favorites with innovative tweaks.
This mobile eatery was brought to life by culinary entrepreneur Lupita, who was driven by her passion for transforming simple hot dogs into creative and palatable feasts.
With her rich culinary background, Lupita envisioned a place where the humble hot dog could take center stage, draped in a tapestry of vibrant flavors.
Lupita’s Hot Dogs’ charm lies in its mouth-watering offerings and its ability to cater to a diverse clientele, embracing classic and avant-garde food lovers.
The truck roves the city, making appearances at food festivals, street corners, and catering events, bringing its distinctive charm to the people of LA.
The signature hot dog is “The Lupita Dog,” a decadent concoction that goes beyond your average hot dog. It features a juicy, grilled all-beef hot dog nestled in a soft, lightly toasted bun, layered with caramelized onions, crispy bacon, diced tomatoes, jalapeños for a spicy kick, and a generous drizzle of Lupita’s secret sauce. The result is a delicious harmony of textures and flavors that will leave you craving more.
But Lupita’s doesn’t stop at hot dogs. The menu offers a variety of other treats, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Patrons can enjoy mouth-watering burgers, hearty sandwiches, and a selection of Mexican-inspired dishes.
Lupita’s also offers a range of salads and low-carb options for the health-conscious clientele. And let’s not forget the sides—fresh-cut fries, tangy coleslaw, and Lupita’s special chili are the perfect accompaniments to any meal.
Whether you’re a hot dog purist or an adventurous foodie, Lupita’s Hot Dogs truck is an LA treasure that promises a memorable dining experience.
6. Dog Haus Biergarten
Not just a hot dog truck, Dog Haus Biergarten in Old Pasadena offers an enticing combination of craft beers and premium sausages, creating an epicurean haven on wheels.
Established in 2010 by friends Hagop Giragossian, Quasim Riaz, and André Vener, Dog Haus Biergarten has become an LA icon. Located in Old Pasadena, the truck’s offerings are an indulgent treat.
Their “Reservoir Hog,” an Alaskan smoked pork sausage topped with tangy haus slaw, is a must-try. The smoky, rich sausage pairs wonderfully with the cool, crunchy slaw, offering a sensory delight.
Choose one of their craft beers to wash down your hot dog for the perfect street dining experience.
Their menu is an exciting array of quality sausages and dogs, like the Thai Fighter, a spicy Thai currywurst that offers a delightful kick.
The vibrant atmosphere, extensive craft beer selection, and eclectic music make this truck a culinary and cultural hotspot.
7. Aguilar’s Hot Dog
Aguilar’s Hot Dog is another gem in Los Angeles’s food scene, a thriving food truck that has been serving up hot dog creations that are as delightful as they are unique.
The brainchild of the creative culinary enthusiast Aguilar, this mobile food haven has been whipping up delectable hot dogs that have become the talk of the town.
Born out of Aguilar’s passion for reinventing classic dishes, Aguilar’s Hot Dog truck is a testament to his love for food and community. The food truck traverses the vibrant city of LA, bringing Aguilar’s signature creations to various neighborhoods, food festivals, and events. It has quickly become a must-visit spot for locals and visitors eager to taste the inventive hot dog renditions.
The standout item on Aguilar’s menu is the iconic “Aguilar Dog.” This one-of-a-kind hot dog is a feast featuring a perfectly grilled sausage snuggled in a warm, toasted bun and topped with a mix of traditional and unexpected ingredients.
The toppings include classic caramelized onions, a fresh pico de gallo for a Mexican touch, a sprinkle of shredded cheese, a splash of tangy BBQ sauce, and, to top it off, a dollop of house-made guacamole. The Aguilar Dog offers an explosion of flavors that harmonize to create a truly memorable hot dog experience.
Beyond hot dogs, Aguilar’s food truck also serves a variety of other tasty items. On the side, they serve crowd favorites like nachos, crispy onion rings, and their special chili cheese fries.
Whether you’re a hot dog enthusiast or a foodie looking for your next delicious discovery, Aguilar’s Hot Dog is a culinary hotspot that delivers on taste and creativity.
8. Wild Dogs Grill
Wild Dogs Grill is a shining star in Los Angeles’ vibrant food truck scene, renowned for its gourmet hot dogs that elevate the classic American staple to new culinary heights.
The mastermind behind this delicious venture is none other than the innovative chef duo Josh and Sarah Wild.
The concept of Wild Dogs Grill was conceived from Josh and Sarah’s shared passion for culinary creativity and their love for Los Angeles’ diverse food culture.
With its vibrant design and welcoming atmosphere, the Wild Dogs Grill truck has become a popular fixture in the city’s food landscape.
The star of Wild Dogs Grill’s menu is undoubtedly “The Wild Dog,” a signature creation that epitomizes Josh and Sarah’s culinary creativity. This specialty hot dog is a premium, all-beef frankfurter encased in a fresh, artisanal bun. The dog is topped with gourmet ingredients like caramelized onions, crumbled goat cheese, peppery arugula, and a unique sweet and spicy sauce. The Wild Dog delivers a mouth-watering medley of flavors and textures, setting it apart from any ordinary hot dog.
In addition to their gourmet hot dogs, Wild Dogs Grill serves up a host of other scrumptious dishes. The menu includes juicy burgers made from locally sourced beef, hearty sandwiches packed with fresh ingredients, and an array of vegetarian and vegan options catering to various dietary preferences.
The hand-cut sweet potato fries and homemade coleslaw are fan favorites for sides.
No matter your food preference, Wild Dogs Grill offers an exciting culinary journey that promises to redefine how you see hot dogs.
9. Smile Hot Dog
Smile Hot Dog is an exceptional food truck in Los Angeles that serves hot dogs with a unique twist.
This beloved mobile kitchen is the creation of chef-owner, Benjamin “Benji” Smile, who has skillfully transformed his passion for hot dogs and people’s happiness into a thriving food business. His joy in seeing people smile while savoring his hot dogs gave the truck its cheerful name.
Benji’s vision for Smile Hot Dog was to create a space where people could enjoy a beloved classic in new, exciting ways. The truck, adorned with its vibrant, smile-inducing decor, has become a roving ambassador of joy across LA’s neighborhoods, parks, and local events, serving hot dogs as creative as they are delicious.
The crown jewel of Smile Hot Dog’s menu is “The Smile Dog,” a concoction that embodies Benji’s creative culinary ethos. This signature hot dog consists of a succulent, grilled sausage in a freshly baked artisanal bun, topped with a harmonious blend of sweet and tangy caramelized onions, melted sharp cheddar cheese, crisp, smoky bacon, and a dollop of Benji’s secret smile sauce, known for its ability to surprise and delight with each bite.
Yet, Smile Hot Dog doesn’t limit its offerings to hot dogs. The truck’s menu also includes a variety of other palatable delights, ranging from grilled cheese sandwiches to garlic-parmesan fries.
Smile Hot Dog aims to serve happiness on a plate, one hot dog at a time.
10. Tokyo Doggie Style
For a taste of Asia in an all-American classic, head to Tokyo Doggie Style. This food truck blends Japanese flavors with the traditional hot dog, creating an unusual but irresistible fusion.
With his love for Japanese flavors and American street food, Chef Kazu started the truck.
Their standout creation, the “Okonomi Dog,” is a classic hot dog topped with okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake) toppings – sweet sauce, mayo, seaweed, and bonito flakes. The result is an umami-rich, complexly flavored hot dog that tantalizes the taste buds.
Regulars love the Teriyaki Chicken Dog, a succulent chicken sausage glazed with sweet and savory teriyaki sauce.
Chef Kazu’s commitment to bringing authentic Japanese flavors to the LA street food scene makes Tokyo Doggie Style a must-visit.
LA is home to some incredible hot dog trucks
LA’s hot dog truck scene is a reflection of the city’s rich, diverse culinary landscape. Each truck offers its unique take on the classic hot dog, whether it’s through sustainable sourcing, fusion flavors, or imaginative toppings.
These top 10 hot dog trucks are a testament to the gastronomic delights that can be found on LA’s streets.
So why wait? Embark on your culinary journey and explore these local gems!