Best Hot Dogs in Upstate New York

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Gabriela S., Cohoes, NY
Cheap, fast and delicious. Not a beautiful place but quaint if you're used to small town upstate New York.

This may be the first time I've been to a restaurant dedicated to hotdogs. They serve regular sized and mini hotdogs all with meat chili. The works will get you sauerkraut, relish and mustard and ketchup. Served piping hot and really hits the spot.


Mike W
Hot Dog Charlies impressed the hell out of me. Maybe because I didn't expect much from this local chain. Or maybe because I didn't eat breakfast and was craving my first bite of food for the day. Yes, on the Tour de Hot Dog, these little suckers became my breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Hot Dog Charlies serves up a mini wiener with its casing, yellow mustard, meat sauce and onions all on a mini bun from Bella Napoli. HD Charlies gets a few things right here. The steamed bun had some excellent chew, almost akin to some artisan loaf of bread. I also really enjoyed the dog. A light snap to the casing complete with the necessary juiciness. The dog starts to stumble as you get to the meat sauce. Much like Gus's, but nowhere near to the same extent, HD Charlies meat sauce tends to have a raw spice grit. I think this grit tends to be a common pitfall when tasting these local dogs, and any place avoiding it tends to receive high marks.

If I was going for straight taste, I'd take Hot Dog Charlies over Gus's any day. Their fairly solid meat sauce and well prepared product are worth the extra mile or two needed to drive up rt 32.


Jennifer A.
If you are unfamiliar with the area, and depending on a GPS to get you to this place, you might just drive right past it if you aren't paying attention. It's small and old school.. just like a hotdog joint should be.

We are new to the area, and have been on the quest for the perfect dog since our arrival last winter. We have yet to be impressed until we came to HD Charlie's. We had been told about this place by a friend who has spent some time in the area, and had big expectations. We weren't let down.

I ordered the #1 combo: 4 mini dogs with the works, fries, and a drink. They were out of peps/diet pepsi, but no matter.. I came to eat, not drink! I ordered a Dr. P and got down to business with my dogs. As previous reviewers have stated, there is a definite "crisp" to the hotdog when you bite into it. I chalk this up to the natural casing. While this is a GOOD thing, it's a little annoying at times, because I had a hard time biting through said casing, and more than once, the entire hot dog came right off the bun when I was taking a bite. Again, not a complaint, just a testament to the crispness of the hotdog.

The meat sauce was actually very good! As opposed to a couple of the other places I've been to, it really had a good flavor, and wasn't runny at all. In fact, I managed to eat all 4 of my min dogs without a mess. The staff really places the meatsauce, mustard and onions just so, which reduces the mess :)

The fries were OK, I ended up eating about 5 as the main attraction were the hotdogs. Good stuff! It's the kind of place that we'll bring visiting friends and family members to when they are in town!



Quick, fun, affordable, nostalgic, & tasty!"
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2014
My mom grew up in Troy and Cohoes and raved about Hot Dog Charlies and Ted's Fish Fry and I had a few memorable occasions to try them when i was young. For this past year, I often would pick up my son at the SUNY Rensselaer campus, one day he asked to stop at Subway, and I saw the Hot Dog Charlies shop in the same plaza. With little coaxing we fell in love with chile cheese dogs and banana shakes. When we have the time, the bacon, cheesey fries are as awesome as they sound! I have had the fish fry there, and a burger once also, they were both good. But make no mistake about it, it is all about the mini hot dogs and the sauce! Nice friendly staff. Small place. We are often in and out under 15 minutes and for under $15, we always leave happy and satisfied. As the other guy said, "It's a Hot Dog shack,...not a restaurant". But it is a hot dog shack to judge all others by.


"Old time joy"!
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013
I grew up in the area and had a long-time love affair with Hot Dog Charlies. My Dad grew up near Troy and he introduced me to the century long battle for supremecy between Hpt Dog Charlies and Famous Lunch in Downtown Troy. He was a Famous Lunch fan and I was strong in the Hot Dog Charlie's camp. Hpt.


"It's a Hot Dog shack,...not a restaurant"!
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013
The story here is pretty simple,...are you looking for a fine dining experience, then go anywhere else. Are you looking fo a GREAT hot dog and shake,...don't move a damned inch!!