clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

The Essential Guide to Maine Hot Dogs, June 2015

Classic summer eats.

View as Map

Concerns about mystery meat come and go, but steamed or grilled, there's nothing like a hot dog in a split top bun. Thankfully, most of Maine's greatest hot dog purveyors utilize high quality product, often from local sources. Find them below. Note: map points are ordered roughly north to south.

For the home cook in search of summer provisions, check out neighborhood butchers like Maine Meat in Kittery or Otherside Delicatessen in Portland. These places are breaking down whole local animals and turning high-end scraps into the best damn hot dogs you can toss on your backyard grill.

Read More
Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Blue Rooster Food Co.

Copy Link
With a recent expansion, house-made everything (except the yellow mustard, which the owners say is simply too good to bother replicating), an ever-changing menu, and the promise of draft beer to come, Blue Rooster remains Portland's freshest hot dog haunt. Try one of the local beef dogs masquerading as an Italian sub with the Vinnie Dogarino or dressed up with kimchi, garlic mayo, and crushed peanuts in the Seoul Dog.

[Photo: Adam H. Callaghan]

With stands in Rockland, Belfast, Thomaston, and now a new location in Damariscotta putting the pressure on a neighboring McDonald's, 43 year old Wasses remains one of the state's most iconic eateries. Peanut oil as cooking fat is one secret to the lasting popularity of these dogs.

[Photo: Courtesy of Wasses]

The Family Dog

Copy Link
A restaurant that offers something for the whole family, from meat lovers to vegetarians to those just after a cocktail or a board game, The Family Dog prides itself on its Vienna Beef dogs from Chicago. They're done up to mimic classic regional styles like a Detriot's Coney Island Dog with meat sauce or a West Virginia Dog with coleslaw. For dogs on the go, chase down the restaurant's food truck, The Stray Dog.

[Photo: Courtesy of The Family Dog]

Ruski's Tavern

Copy Link
A gourmet dive bar? Ruski's is known for its food as much as its atmosphere and hours. One reader recommends The Real Dog "4 EVA," which comes with barbecue sauce, red onions, and cheddar.

[Photo: Courtesy of Stephen O'Grady/Flickr]

El Corazon

Copy Link
One of the few veterans of Portland's young food truck scene, El Corazon slings some of the tastiest tacos in town. As a bonus, at $3.50 a pop, the truck's Sonoran Hot Dog is a cheap, highly satisfying meal: a bacon-wrapped hot dog in a fluffy bun topped with hearty pinto beans, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, guacamole, mustard, and aioli.

[Photo: Courtesy of El Corazon]

Bolley's Famous Franks

Copy Link
A reader insists a simple dog here ("straight up mustard and ketchup") is a "game changer." This Hallowell outpost has stood the test of time, even outlasting its former sister restaurant in Waterville, which closed and reopened under new ownership in 2014. Don't worry, though, as other fans say the Waterville locale is still worth your time, too.

[Photo: Courtesy of Bolley's Famous Franks]

Rapid Ray's

Copy Link
With its steamed dogs, low prices, classic menu, and late hours, family-run Rapid Ray's has been keeping Saco residents happy since the 1950s.

[Photo: Courtesy of Rapid Ray's]

Simones' World Famous Hot Dogs

Copy Link
A tipster notes that this piece of hot dog history "has crushed it for well over 100 years." The family business serves red snappers, surprisingly rare on this list despite its place in the New England pantheon of iconic foods. You might even find yourself bumping up against politicians seeking votes in this classic stand.

[Photo: Courtesy of Simones']

Danny's On The Mall

Copy Link
Whether you call it Danny's on the Mall, Danny's Dogs, or just plain Danny's, this food truck keeps things simple and delicious with hot dogs steamed or grilled as you please, same as it's done for over 30 years. Load up with toppings for the best experience.

[Photo: Courtesy of Malcolm Bedell/From Away]

Flo's Hot Dogs

Copy Link
With an unusual ordering system and a line rivaling that of Red's Eats, Flo's little shack provides the kind of Maine experience that you'll love or you'll hate. But enough people love it (and the steamed dogs with Flo's Relish that cap off the adventure) that this family-run favorite has been going strong since 1959.

[Photo: Courtesy of Pat M/Flickr]

Bresca and the Honey Bee

Copy Link
A modern spin on a classic snack shack. Go for a jazzed up option like the Hot Dog Indochine, which features pickled carrot, radish, ciliantro, basil, fresno chili, cucumber, citrus chili, mayo, and hoisin, all atop a local beef dog. Can't beat that view, either.

[Photo: Courtesy of SOURCE]

Blue Rooster Food Co.

With a recent expansion, house-made everything (except the yellow mustard, which the owners say is simply too good to bother replicating), an ever-changing menu, and the promise of draft beer to come, Blue Rooster remains Portland's freshest hot dog haunt. Try one of the local beef dogs masquerading as an Italian sub with the Vinnie Dogarino or dressed up with kimchi, garlic mayo, and crushed peanuts in the Seoul Dog.

[Photo: Adam H. Callaghan]

Wasses

With stands in Rockland, Belfast, Thomaston, and now a new location in Damariscotta putting the pressure on a neighboring McDonald's, 43 year old Wasses remains one of the state's most iconic eateries. Peanut oil as cooking fat is one secret to the lasting popularity of these dogs.

[Photo: Courtesy of Wasses]

The Family Dog

A restaurant that offers something for the whole family, from meat lovers to vegetarians to those just after a cocktail or a board game, The Family Dog prides itself on its Vienna Beef dogs from Chicago. They're done up to mimic classic regional styles like a Detriot's Coney Island Dog with meat sauce or a West Virginia Dog with coleslaw. For dogs on the go, chase down the restaurant's food truck, The Stray Dog.

[Photo: Courtesy of The Family Dog]

Ruski's Tavern

A gourmet dive bar? Ruski's is known for its food as much as its atmosphere and hours. One reader recommends The Real Dog "4 EVA," which comes with barbecue sauce, red onions, and cheddar.

[Photo: Courtesy of Stephen O'Grady/Flickr]

El Corazon

One of the few veterans of Portland's young food truck scene, El Corazon slings some of the tastiest tacos in town. As a bonus, at $3.50 a pop, the truck's Sonoran Hot Dog is a cheap, highly satisfying meal: a bacon-wrapped hot dog in a fluffy bun topped with hearty pinto beans, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, guacamole, mustard, and aioli.

[Photo: Courtesy of El Corazon]

Bolley's Famous Franks

A reader insists a simple dog here ("straight up mustard and ketchup") is a "game changer." This Hallowell outpost has stood the test of time, even outlasting its former sister restaurant in Waterville, which closed and reopened under new ownership in 2014. Don't worry, though, as other fans say the Waterville locale is still worth your time, too.

[Photo: Courtesy of Bolley's Famous Franks]

Rapid Ray's

With its steamed dogs, low prices, classic menu, and late hours, family-run Rapid Ray's has been keeping Saco residents happy since the 1950s.

[Photo: Courtesy of Rapid Ray's]

Simones' World Famous Hot Dogs

A tipster notes that this piece of hot dog history "has crushed it for well over 100 years." The family business serves red snappers, surprisingly rare on this list despite its place in the New England pantheon of iconic foods. You might even find yourself bumping up against politicians seeking votes in this classic stand.

[Photo: Courtesy of Simones']

Danny's On The Mall

Whether you call it Danny's on the Mall, Danny's Dogs, or just plain Danny's, this food truck keeps things simple and delicious with hot dogs steamed or grilled as you please, same as it's done for over 30 years. Load up with toppings for the best experience.

[Photo: Courtesy of Malcolm Bedell/From Away]

Flo's Hot Dogs

With an unusual ordering system and a line rivaling that of Red's Eats, Flo's little shack provides the kind of Maine experience that you'll love or you'll hate. But enough people love it (and the steamed dogs with Flo's Relish that cap off the adventure) that this family-run favorite has been going strong since 1959.

[Photo: Courtesy of Pat M/Flickr]

Bresca and the Honey Bee

A modern spin on a classic snack shack. Go for a jazzed up option like the Hot Dog Indochine, which features pickled carrot, radish, ciliantro, basil, fresno chili, cucumber, citrus chili, mayo, and hoisin, all atop a local beef dog. Can't beat that view, either.

[Photo: Courtesy of SOURCE]