August 10, 2018

Five No-Frills Cincinnati Hot Dog Stands Serving Classic Street Meat in a Bun

Hot dogs and summertime go hand in hand. The classic bite — smothered in ketchup and mustard and snug in a bun — is perfect for those on-the-go taking in what the summer season has to offer: sports games, pool parties and backyard barbecues. Eating a hot dog is (usually) a one-handed operation; use that other hand to pet an actual dog nearby or lift a drink to your mouth. 

Cincinnati has plenty of hot dogs to choose from, some traditional and others more extravagant. We sent our CityBeat editorial interns out to test out some of the Queen City's most classic spots to grab a hot dog and and report back with their recommendations. These aren't fancy gourmet sausages delicately topped with fried egg or kimchi — these are real wieners: no-frills torpedoes of meat, hugged by a white-bread bun and smothered with a hot dog's best companions: chili, cheese, ketchup and/or sport peppers. OK. There may be some coleslaw in there, too.

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Five No-Frills Cincinnati Hot Dog Stands Serving Classic Street Meat in a Bun
Photo: Sami Stewart

Avril-Bleh & Sons (33 E Court St., Downtown): The meat market's summertime sausage and hot dog stand is located on the sidewalk outside of their downtown storefront. The grill is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday through the end of summer.
Photo: Sami Stewart

Avril-Bleh & Sons (33 E Court St., Downtown): The meat market's summertime sausage and hot dog stand is located on the sidewalk outside of their downtown storefront. The grill is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday through the end of summer.

A classic Avril dog with mustard and ketchup. Restaurants ranging from Senate to Zip's to Izzy's use Avril-Bleh meats.
Photo: Sami Stewart

A classic Avril dog with mustard and ketchup. Restaurants ranging from Senate to Zip's to Izzy's use Avril-Bleh meats.

Hot dogs and sausages steaming in Avril-Bleh's steam room.
Photo: Sami Stewart

Hot dogs and sausages steaming in Avril-Bleh's steam room.

List of homemade sausages, dogs and burgers you can order at Avril-Bleh.
Photo: Sami Stewart

List of homemade sausages, dogs and burgers you can order at Avril-Bleh.

Avril-Bleh's very cute tip jar.
Photo: Sami Stewart

Avril-Bleh's very cute tip jar.

Harley Dogs (220 Madison Ave., Covington): A humble hot dog hut that holds its ground, Harley Dogs has been peddling dogs for five years and has built up quite the fan base.
Photo: Sami Stewart

Harley Dogs (220 Madison Ave., Covington): A humble hot dog hut that holds its ground, Harley Dogs has been peddling dogs for five years and has built up quite the fan base.

Harley Illes, owner of Harley Dogs, recommends the Glier's bratwurst smothered in nacho cheese.
Photo: Sami Stewart

Harley Illes, owner of Harley Dogs, recommends the Glier's bratwurst smothered in nacho cheese.

Mr. Gene's Dog House (3703 Beekman St., South Cumminsville): This hot dog house has been serving up coneys for 52 years, keeping things simple with only a handful of dog variations — and some ice cream to wash it all down.
Photo: Sami Stewart

Mr. Gene's Dog House (3703 Beekman St., South Cumminsville): This hot dog house has been serving up coneys for 52 years, keeping things simple with only a handful of dog variations — and some ice cream to wash it all down.

(From left to right) Mr. Gene's Italian Sausage Sandwich, Chicago Dog and Slaw Dog
Photo: Sami Stewart

(From left to right) Mr. Gene's Italian Sausage Sandwich, Chicago Dog and Slaw Dog