Top Dog: Put This Wiener In Your Mouth

“I heard these hot dogs are made out of chupacabra meat and unicorn tears.”

I’ve been going to Top Dog (the one on Durant Avenue in Berkeley) for years and I still get treated like shit god dammit! Not treated like shit in a bad way, but in the fun, semi-asshole, sarcastic kind of way. When you walk in and it’s busy, you’ll usually get the guy working the counter who will yell over everyone “WHAT ARE YOU HAVIN’?!”, and if your next words aren’t your order, you’ll usually hear “NEXT!” and be promptly skipped, regardless if you want to argue that they’re being rude or have bad customer service. You’ll almost feel guilty, like you fucked up and somehow wronged these people. I think that’s what makes their hot dogs and sausages taste so good.

Put it in your mouth...

When it’s slow, the employees are definitely cool but still have that familiar sarcastic attitude. For example, I recently took fellow Wrecked Reviewer Ivan Torres to experience the delicious glory that is Top Dog. Immediately upon entering, we were greeted with: “Gentlemen, I may look lazy, I may look like I’m not paying attention, but I am, so scream out what you want…” then, as we were giving him our order, continued a conversation with another customer saying “…The only man that should ever be allowed to use the term ‘level up’ is an elevator operator.” He still got our order correct.

To go along with the awesome employees, Top Dog is open late, till 2AM on weekdays and 3AM on weekends, so you can get your food fix on something other than McDonalds and Denny’s (barf). Seriously, my friends and I have made late night, 40 minute pilgrimages just to have Top Dog touch our tongues.

So many choices, so little stomach space...

The quality of their hot dogs is top-notch, which is pretty much why everyone is willing to deal with a tiny shop crammed with people. First of all, they don’t use a normal hot dog bun, they basically use a sandwich roll that they toast on the grill with dogs, nice and crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside that really compliments the dogs well. All of your standard hot dog dressings are made available to you: ketchup, a couple types of mustard, onions, relish, and sauerkraut. Definitely start with the Top Dog which is the closest thing to your standard all beef hot dog that most people are familiar with. As good as the Top Dog is, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not trying anything else on the menu; I highly recommend you try the Lemon Chicken or Smoked Chicken Apple next. Having tried all the dogs on the menu, every single one is worth getting. It’s even worth the drive to Berkeley at 2 in the morning with your drunk-ass friends.

Find Top Dog locations and hours here.

Sean Moore

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About Sean Moore
Senior Editor, Photographer at Wrecked Reviews

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