The Albany area has Gus’s Hot Dogs and Famous Lunch. The Glens Falls region has New Way Lunch and Zack’s Drive In.
Where do you go for the best hot dogs in the Clifton Park area?
Kelly’s Mini Hot Dogs, photo credit: Alan Nudi
Capital Region residents love the mini hot dog with a savory meat sauce, yellow mustard, and diced onions. Even where the hot dogs are full-sized, the meat sauce, mustard, and onion toppings seem to be the default combination to smother the dogs with.
Hot Dog Charlie’s is a clear staple in the area, with four locations in Latham, Cohoes, Rensselaer, and Clifton Park. Mentioned in the Albany roundup of hot dog stands, Hot Dog Charlie’s is a family-owned business that has been around since 1922, and the owner keeps the recipe in a vault. The Clifton Park restaurant is located right in the mall, Clifton Park Center.
Another huge favorite of locals, the Country Drive-In in Halfmoon has a long line of customers every year when it opens for the season. They’re not only known for hot dogs, but also for burgers and ice cream.
The Country Drive-In was established in 1969 and has continued to be a staple in the area, even as the surrounding Clifton Park community flourished, with countless businesses added over the years.
Neighboring Ballston Spa is home to Kelly’s Mini Hot Dogs, another hot spot for area residents. The establishment is mini as well, with seating for just 10 to 15 people.
A Facebook reviewer from 2015 says, “Great dogs, great decor, great service. Get ’em with the homemade sauce! No stop in Ballston Spa is complete without a visit to Kelly’s!”
A Yelp reviewer from January describes the business as, “A fantastic treasure that makes mini dogs on a well seasoned flat top that adds additional flavor and snap to every bite.”
A somewhat newer addition to the area is Bully Dogs Hot Dogs, established in 2013, which is an actual, literal hot dog stand in Ballston Spa.
Owner Joe M. says on Yelp, “I have always wanted to be my own boss and finally found something that I love to do. . .I figured a lot of people like hot dogs and usually are in a good mood when they eat them, so I can make somebody’s day better just by serving up a couple dogs with a smile!”
Bully’s serves all beef hot dogs, which is a bit of a change from the rest of the hot dog spots in the Capital Region, the majority of which appear to sell combination pork and beef hot dogs.
What is the first place you go to get hot dogs in Southern Saratoga County? If we missed your favorite, let us know!