Shop Around

Where to get the area’s hottest dogs on National Hot Dog Day this week

Hot dogs topped with chili, cheese, mustard, ketchup, pickle relish, onions and mayo are the order of the day.
Hot dogs topped with chili, cheese, mustard, ketchup, pickle relish, onions and mayo are the order of the day. Facebook screenshot

Well it’s July and that means celebrating one of the most beloved holidays of the year: National Hot Dog Day.

While the entire month of July is designated as National Hot Dog Month, Wednesday has the honor of being named National Hot Dog Day this year. In honor of the day, here are some Midlands-area restaurants where you can get your dog fix:

Top Dogs

Lexington native Jason Frye and his wife, Milana, serve up more than your traditional beef dog at their Top Dogs restaurant on West Main Street in Lexington. Here, depending on the season, you can get an item such as the Wild Game dog that includes a wild boar topping cooked with cranberries and shiraz wine. Alligator sausage dogs and bison dogs are also occasionally on the menu. But don’t worry — traditionalists can still get an all-beef dog with chili, relish or slaw.

Visit Top Dogs’ Facebook page at; 115 W. Main St., Lexington; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Sandy’s Famous Hot Dogs

Founded in 1979 by Bud Sanderson, Sandy’s Famous Hot Dogs is a Columbia institution. Sandy’s serves certified black angus hot dogs made to the eatery’s secret recipe in both regular- and jumbo-sized dogs. Toppings — chili, coleslaw and pimento cheese — are made in house from local ingredients. Locations: In Columbia: 1935 Broad River Road, 640 St. Andrews Road; in Lexington: 5175 Sunset Blvd.; hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Jimmy’s Mart Hot Dogs

Don’t be turned away by Jimmy’s Hot Dogs’ location inside a convenience store (Jimmy’s Mart) on Two Notch Road. For many loyal customers, the small restaurant — also widely known for its catfish stew — boasts the best dogs in Columbia. For 34 years, owner Jimmy Koon has perfected his hot dogs and, according to the staff, has been known to sell upward of 1,000 in a day. Order it “all the way” for a dog topped with mustard, onion and Jimmy’s chili.

Visit Jimmy’s on Facebook at; 9900 Two Notch Road; (803) 736-3440. Hours: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m-6 p.m. Saturday, closed Sundays

The Haute Dog Lady

If a “fashionably elegant” hot dog is what you’re looking for, keep an eye out for The Haute Dog Lady food truck. Gissela Kloess’ 100 percent beef Sabrett dogs are topped with 100 percent homemade toppings such as pineapple relish, curry ketchup, red pepper relish, spicy “Haute Sauce” and FireKraut (a spicy sauerkraut). Order the Carolina Twist for a dog topped with coleslaw and barbecue sauce or the Hawaiian for one topped with chili, pineapple relish, raw onions and ketchup.

Visit to find the Haute Dog Lady food truck near you.

Zesto of West Columbia

While the standard hot dog at Zesto of West Columbia is a regular dog topped with chili, mustard and onions (unless otherwise specified), the iconic restaurant also has a slaw dog and even a corn dog on the menu.

Visit Zesto of West Columbia on Facebook at; 504 12th St., West Columbia; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Other places to get a good dog:

Rush’s — 10 Midlands-area locations;

Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries — 1180 Dutch Fork Road, Irmo; 1792 S. Lake Drive, Lexington;

Five Guys Burgers and Fries — Five Midlands locations;