All hot dogs are not created equal. I know because I’ve devoured thousands (a slight exaggeration) in my life. I’ve tried hot dogs everywhere: the Viktualienmarkt in Munich, New York City, and at numerous baseball games. I’ve even waited in line for an hour (not an exaggeration) to try the best dogs in Chicago. Some dogs are just better than others. Luckily, I’ve found a local spot that’s on par with some of the best hot dogs around — The Red Hot in Tacoma.
Tacoma isn’t really known for hot dogs, but The Red Hot should at least put the city on the map. It’s a bar dedicated to hot dogs and beer. How can you beat that?!
It’s a small place with several tables and one large television in the back. UPDATE: The Red Hot is in the same location, but it has expanded into a larger space now. In other words, there’s nothing to distract you from what’s important to them. Their slogan is “Craft Beer. Hot Dogs. No Jerks.” It won’t give you a nightclub atmosphere, but it’s an awesome spot to chill, drink and eat some dogs.
The Red Hot in Tacoma goes well beyond your typical hot dogs. On my first visit, I tried ‘The Hound Dog’, which is an all beef hot dog with peanut butter (yes, peanut butter) and two strips of crispy bacon. The menu says “Trust us on this one…”, so I did. ‘The Hound Dog’ sounds ridiculous, but it’s delicious. I also had ‘The Tacoma’, which is The Red Hot’s version of a Chicago-style hot dog (mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, peppers and a pickle spear). The other hot dog options range from very simple (‘The Red Hot’ — mustard, onions, and relish) to really complex (‘Tideflats’ — two hot dogs with peppers, sauerkraut, chili, coleslaw, nacho cheese and much more).
If you’re not into hot dogs, The Red Hot offers other menu items. There are sausages, sandwiches and even several choices for vegetarians and vegans. The appetizers and sides include ‘Beer-B-Q Baked Beans’, ‘Filthy Nachos’ (piled with onions, jalapenos, chili and coleslaw) and ‘Frito Pie’ (Fritos covered in chili and cheese).
The Red Hot boasts itself as “Tacoma’s best spot for constantly rotating craft beer selections.” There are 32 beers on tap and a large selection of bottled beers as well. It serves a lot of Washington brews, but there are several selections from outside the area as well. You can order anything from Old Tacoma Lager to IPAs, ciders, stouts, and much more. The Red Hot also serves wine, but there’s no hard alcohol. Keep in mind, The Red Hot is a bar, so it’s only for folks 21 and older.
I don’t make it to Tacoma very often, but I try to swing by The Red Hot every time I visit. Yes, it’s that good. The Red Hot offers a fun atmosphere, with cold beer and hot dogs. I’m pretty sure there’s no better trifecta on the planet. You should definitely give it a shot if you’re ever in the Tacoma area.
Have you ever been to The Red Hot in Tacoma? What did you think of their hot dogs, beer selection, etc.? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more great places to eat and play around the sound.