When you think of the coastal city of Santa Cruz, CA you may think of fresh seafood, wines, art, surfing, but hot dogs probably aren’t necessarily the first thing to come to mind. Well it just so happens this small surf town and it’s county have some unexpected but excellent places to dine in or on the go offering the classic bite, the all American hot dog. With a place as unique as Santa Cruz though, you could only expect the most unique personalities and menu items for the age-old traditional fast food. I’ve decided to list some of my own favorite classic and original hot dog joints in our beautiful county. I will have to note, I have not eaten at each location, but if you visit Yelp listings, you can find plenty of additional reviews and information regarding these establishments.
You may be asking me, “why promote other vendors from your site?’ and I’ll tell you, I’m not getting into the business for competitive purposes. I am passionate about food, and have a healthy respect for this age-old tradition. The hot dog to me represents a bypassed era as well as to me a founding father of our great country. I cannot help but be passionate about the industry and those striving within it. Santa Cruz Hot Dogs are an extension to the time honored tradition with all the culinary flair Santa Cruz has to offer.
My #1 Pick! SNAPPY DOGS – Okay, so this hot dog vendor I would have to say was my founding inspiration to even ponder the thought of owning a hot dog cart. The location is on the Westside of Santa Cruz in front of the U-Save off of Mission St. in between Safeway and Burger King very close to the ocean. When you walk up you are greeted with a smile and immediately offered a great tasting dog with a large variety of condiments to accommodate your tastes.
While there isn’t necessarily a signature recipe associated with the hot dogs, you get a delicious juicy dog at a fair price that in my opinion, are the best dogs available while maintaining your budget. Snappy Dogs is my number one pick in the county and I advise you get on down to that location and grab yourself up a tasty bite ASAP. It’s just a real cool old school vibe you get when you buy your dog from here, and you cannot beat the friendliness of this vendor.
930 Almar Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Hours: Tuesday thru Thursday 11 AM – 5 PM Friday 5:30 PM – 9 PM Saturdays Noon – 9 PM
DAWGS – Now if you go for a small drive out of Santa Cruz up Highway 17, you’ll end up in the small community of Scotts Valley, CA where the hot dog has been given some style with a unique make-over. The small red shack next to a dog kennel (coincidence?) offers up some delicious bites and is well worth the drive out of town for something different, especially if you’re a hot dog fan. They offer something that caught my eye and was extremely delicious, this was the American Kobe Beef Dog. It’s a bit more than the other dogs, but only by a dollar at the most. I slab mine up with some spicy mustard and a few jalapenos and I have a smile on my face and a belly that loves me. They have many different speciality dishes and offer fresh fried potato chips which are fun to snack on if you are dining in. Everyone should eat here at least once.
5272 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066
Hours: Monday thru Saturday 11:30 AM – 7 PM Sunday 11:30 AM- 3 PM
There are plenty of other locations locally as well! If you want to see them all, just follow this link to get a good taste of what our county has to offer.