Where to Eat This Weekend: Seasonal Hot Dog Stands

There are a lot of places to eat in WNY and sometimes deciding where to head for a meal is overwhelming. Where to Eat This Weekend is a weekly feature that I (Alli) have been thinking about for a while. I’m incredibly indecisive and while having 100′s of detailed reviews of restaurants to pick from is wonderful, sometimes having someone narrow down your choices makes your life a bit easier. A new Where to Eat This Weekend will be posted every Friday with the sole purpose of helping you decide where to eat and hopefully introduce you to a few new places that are worth checking out. The posts will have a new ‘theme’ each week. I will pick a town (i.e. East Aurora, Orchard Park), cuisine (Thai, Mexican) or street (Hertel, Kenmore Ave) and give you a list of all of the notable places to eat/drink within that theme along with links to websites and our reviews as well as a few quick descriptions (price, type of food, etc).

Past posts focused on East Aurora,  Vietnamese cuisine , “unique” Chicken Wings and Kenmore Ave. This week I decided to focus on Seasonal Hot Dog Stands. Summer is almost over but the weather is still awesome and it’s a perfect time to get in those last minute meals at your favorite seasonal establishments. Like most people, I love a good hot dog with a side of curly fries (‘Merica) and come next April I know I will be starting to crave my fix. While I am a big fan of Louie’s, and Donnie love Teds, there is just something about seasonal stands that makes the food taste just a little bit better. That first trip to Taffy’s for me each year not only brings back awesome memories but really indicates that spring/summer has arrived. So, while the weather is still nice and these places are still open, take a trip out and enjoy what’s left of summer.

So..where should you eat this weekend?  Seasonal Hot Dog Stands!

Notable Restaurants

Growing up in Orchard Park, the opening of Taffy’s was a sign that summer was coming. Over time their small road side stand has seen a growth in outdoor seating options and their infamous milkshake menu is better than ever. While they serve a good hot dog, hamburger and salt potato, they are really known for their milkshakes. Taffy’s tends to stay open as late into the year as possible (usually closing for the season in October/November), but I recommend stopping by (with cash) before it gets too cold.

It took us 3 years before we finally visited George’s for a Buffalo Eats post (though we grew up going there frequently), but that doesn’t mean this Boston, NY hot dog stand is worth ignoring. During the peak summer time, this hot dog joint will have a line that extends far out their door. They’ve expanded the menu over time but I recommend keeping it simple, order a hot dog (or hamburger) with a curly fry. If the weather is still nice outside, sit at a picnic table and enjoy some the scenery. Again, cash only.

In Tonawanda you have two great summer time choices in Old Man River and Mississippi Mudds. It’s almost impossible to talk about one without mentioning the other, not to mention they are right down the street from each other. The Chicago style hot dog (above) at Old Man River is pretty fantastic and their seafood shack offers deep fried options and clams. Mississippi Mudds has a very similar menu, but you can dine on their roof and enjoy the scenery of the Niagara River. You really can’t go wrong either way and we grab a hot dog at Old Man River and finish the day with ice cream on the roof of Mississippi Mudds.

We haven’t visited Red Top yet, but we’ve been told by several of our friends that it’s one of the best places for a charbroiled hot dog. It was one of those restaurants that if we didn’t include it on the list, we probably would have gotten a lot of comments from our readers. From looking at the pictures of the outside of the restaurant, it looks like the divey restaurant that we would love, we may even make it out there this weekend. EDIT: You can also add Lockport’s Reid’s and Angola’s Connors (see comment below) to the list of places we haven’t been but should put on this list.

If you spend a lot of time in the city of Buffalo, nothing says summer more then a stroll down the waterfront after getting some ice cream or food at the Hatch. The food is probably the worst out of all of these locations, but the location is worth the trip alone. You can check out the new observation deck/tower, walk along the stone wall or walk down to Canalside to check out the ships in town for Navy Week.

5 thoughts on “Where to Eat This Weekend: Seasonal Hot Dog Stands

  1. Nick

    Connors Hot Dog Stand in Angola has their final weekend of the season upon them. Tomorrow is their annual Weiner Run to benefit the Lake Shore Boys and Girls Club.

  2. Sarah

    Louies in Tonawanda on Sheridan is a great one too. This is making me miss summer already….

  3. If you do get to Reid’s, you will be asked if you want “the sauce”. Get it on the side if you don’t want to ruin an otherwise fine dog. As I wrote in Buffalo Rising: “To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi: You will never find a more wretched taste of scum and villainy. Stick to mustard, onions and relish.”

  4. Wait… Old Man River has a Chicago style dog? Looks legit too, sport peppers, poppy seeds and all?

  5. Cliff

    Louie’s on Grand Island Blvd (off Sheridan) is the bomb, the ideal Louie’s. The hot dogs and hamburgers are great, the sandwich list is great from to bottom, especially the steak and chicken club (endorsed by Lance Diamond), and the curly q fries and sweet potato fries are awesome. Drown those curly q’s in salt and malt vinegar and I could eat them all day. It’s a sad day when that closes.

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