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Birmingham Alabama has a wealth of sources for hot dogs, a food I have never tired of. A couple of years ago I had the thought that I would like to take some new Birmingham residents and visitors to visit all of my favorite hot dog stands. When I thought through a list of favorites other choices kept coming to mind. I also realized that I was developing my list from limited information. There were many hot dog stands that I had never been to. That was when I first thought of visiting all the hot dog restaurants in Birmingham (or as many as possible). I started trying to generate a list of hot dog stands to visit by using online resources and the current phone book (The real one).

I started pondering the development of a list and some less likely names started coming to mind. For example, Klingler’s is a German restaurant in Vestavia Hills. Mrs. Klingler probably would not like having her restaurant included in a list of hot dog stands or restaurants. Hot dogs by that name do not appear on the menu, but they serve what in my opinion is an outstanding hot dog platter. This is a real gourmet hot dog if there ever was one. Another name I wanted to include is Full Moon Bar B Q, certainly not a hot dog stand; but their “moondog” was a great discovery a few years ago. I also became aware of some other restaurants that are not hot dog stands but are reported to serve very good hot dogs. I quickly concluded that I couldn’t limit myself to traditional hot dog stands; but needed to include some of the other restaurants where an effort has been made to regularly serve a hot dog they are proud of.

My initial list included 39 unique restaurants and 5 restaurant chains. I didn’t include service stations and convenience stores that sell hot dogs, nor did I include concession stands or street vendors. Each of these were left off of the initial list for specific reasons but I started this project with the intention to sample even some of these. During the first couple of weeks when making first visits to some of these places I discovered that the list is going to change. Some restaurants that were on the original list had closed. Lag’s Eatery in Homewood closed after many years of lunchtime sandwiches, as had Jimmy’s Hot Dogs on 4th Avenue North and Tony’s Terrific Hot Dogs on 2nd Avenue North. Interestingly there are now other locations bearing the names Jimmy’s and Tony’s so I suspected they had moved to greener pastures. I made a mental note to ask when I made it to them. I later found out that both of these were different businesses and were not transplanted as I suspected.  Of course there are also some hot dog stands that remain today right where they have been for decades. One of those was my first place to visit.

Pete’s Famous Hot Dogs seemed to be the logical first stop on any hot dog tour of Birmingham. My brother Robert joined me and we started visiting the hot dog restaurants of Birmingham. He and I have a great relationship and find that we have a very similar view on many things, not just hot dogs.

Finally, please don't miss the two video links also located on the left side of our home page.

A must see video about hot dogs in Birmingham:

A good video about Gus Koutroulakis who ran Pete's Famous Hot Dogs for decades.
In memory of Gus Koutroulakis