Top Dogs: Best Hot Dog Spots in Santa Cruz County

Summer is in the air, and what more iconic summer culinary creation is there than the hot dog? If you’re hunting for the most mouthwatering hot dogs and sausages in Santa Cruz County, you’ve come to the right place. Read along as we explore Santa Cruz’s Top Dogs! In this gastronomic journey, we’ll embark on a quest to uncover the hidden gems, the sizzling sensations, and the savory delights that make our taste buds tingle with delight. From classic American favorites to creative flavor combinations, join us as we explore the top contenders vying for the title of the best hot dog and sausage spots in this vibrant coastal community. Each of these spots represents some of the best of our small businesses that make up the heart and soul of the culinary scene in Santa Cruz County. These top dog spots, listed in no particular order, are must-tries for those on the quest for the best sausages and hot dogs in town!

Left Coast Connection and the Chicago Dog from Left Coast Sausage Worx

Left Coast Sausage Worx

Located just steps from the beach in Capitola Village, Left Coast Sausage Worx is a one-man operation serving delicious dogs that pack serious flavor in the perfect portable package. Owner and operator Josh makes every visit to the sausage shack an unforgettable experience with customers constantly returning for more! Left Coast Sausage Worx serves traditional beef dogs, turkey dogs, specialty local sausages from Corralitos Market, and vegan/vegetarian dogs. There is something for everyone at this small but mighty shop. They also have a not-so-secret secret menu that offers up classic combos like the Chicago Dog – a Polish sausage topped with spicy sport peppers, pickles, relish, onions, and tomatoes – and the mind-blowing Left Coast Connection, which tops a Cheesy Bavarian sausage with guacamole, sour cream, bacon bits, and Doritos. Every creation is served up from their steam table on fresh Aldo’s bakery bread and topped with high-quality ingredients that will leave your taste buds begging for more. Don’t forget to pair your dogs with local brews like Discretion and SCM Brewing for the perfect experience!


The Hangar in Watsonville is filled with businesses serving up culinary delights and ScoopDog is one of those shining stars that offers a huge selection of classic and unique hot dog creations. Among their standout offerings are the top three dogs that have captured the hearts and palates of locals and visitors alike. The LA Dog boasts a tantalizing medley of flavors, loaded with bacon, pico de gallo, Tapatio ketchup, fresh jalapeños, cilantro, mayo, and cotija cheese, delivering a spicy kick with every bite. For those craving a taste of tradition, the classic Chicago Dog reigns supreme, featuring mustard, onions, neon relish, a dill spear, tomato, sport peppers, celery salt, and poppy seed buns shipped directly from Rotello’s in Chicago twice a week, ensuring authenticity in every bite. And for a taste of California sunshine, the Cali Dog delights with arugula, tomato, avocado, crispy onions, and pesto aioli, epitomizing West Coast freshness. Don’t miss out on their grilled peppers and onions that really elevate their already excellent dogs to the next level! Pair your hot dogs with a delicious (and massive) side of fries that come in a variety of flavors, like cheesy bacon or garlic parmesan. ScoopDog proudly offers Nathan’s Quality Hotdogs, chicken sausage, Beyond Bratwurst sausage, and gluten-free buns to accommodate diverse dietary needs. And for those with a sweet tooth, the cherry on top of this culinary experience is the inclusion of local Marianne’s Ice Cream, with 27 flavors available in sundaes, floats, cones, and more.

Polish Dog from Happy Dog

Happy Dog Hot Dogs

Happy Dog Hot Dogs serves up happiness in a bun! The welcoming and friendly service at this walk-up hot dog stand elevates these dogs to another level. Happy Dogs offers customers over 25 condiments and toppings available for individual customization to ensure everyone gets their dog their way. From their “dash of love” special seasoning to house pickled peppers, every choice at Happy Dogs is all about having fun, trying new flavor combinations, and filling yourself up on the stuff you love! They even make their own sauerkraut that has rotating flavors and adds something special to your dog. Don’t miss out on their ¼ pound Polish sausages and jumbo beef hot dogs made special just for them that you can only get at Happy Dogs. They also serve up Corralitos sausages, meaning locals don’t have to leave Santa Cruz to get their favorite dogs!

River Dog

Amidst the scenic beauty of Boulder Creek, River Dogs is serving up some delicious hot dogs and sausages that have locals always coming back for more! Inspired by the legacy of Fifi’s in downtown Boulder Creek, River Dogs continues to uphold a tradition of excellence, making it a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts seeking a taste of Santa Cruz County’s finest sausages and hot dogs. From their authentic Chicago Dogs, featuring Vienna Beef Hot Dogs straight from the Windy City, to their locally sourced Italian sausages from Ronnie’s Meat Market, River Dogs offers a delectable array of flavors to tantalize the taste buds. Among their standout offerings is the “MegaShred,” a specialty dog made with pork sausage infused with the bold flavors of MegaShred hot sauce by Hella Hot Hot Sauce, available exclusively at River Dogs. River Dogs is a community hub that brings visitors and locals together over great food and entertainment. With an intimate stage for performers and a welcoming atmosphere, River Dogs invites acoustic and family-friendly acts of all kinds to share their talents with patrons. And for those chilly days, guests can gather around the fire pit, adding warmth and camaraderie to the dining experience.

Kimchi Dog from Steamer Lane Supply

Steamer Lane Supply

Located right on the coast off the famous wave break on Santa Cruz’s Westside, Steamer Lane Supply has been fueling locals, surfers, and visitors for years. They offer a culinary adventure that combines the laid-back coastal style of California Cuisine with the ease of delicious comfort food. Among their standout offerings is the Kimchi Dog, a tantalizing masterpiece that showcases their housemade kimchi. This fusion of flavors takes the classic hot dog to new heights, combining the bold and spicy tang of kimchi with the smoky richness of their premium dogs. The butterflied hot dog is perfectly crisped and rests atop a skirt of crispy cheese that elevates the entire experience to the next level! Enjoy your Kimchi Dog sitting in their outdoor seating area and listen to the crashing waves and barking sea lions from the distant Santa Cruz Wharf.

Corralitos Market & Sausage Company

Corralito’s Market and Sausage Co. stands as a beacon of artisanal sausage excellence. With a knack for crafting flavors that ignite the senses, this hidden gem churns out approximately 2500 pounds of sausage each week, earning them a well-deserved reputation for culinary prowess. Stepping into their welcoming space, tantalizing aromas of freshly grilled meats and the promise of savory delights greet every customer. But what truly sets Corralito’s apart is their dedication to quality and variety. Corralitos Market boasts of creating over 30 mouthwatering varieties of in-house sausages, from traditional classics to innovative creations. There is truly something to satisfy every craving here! Among their signature offerings, the Cheesy Bavarian sausage holds a special place in the hearts of locals, garnering a devoted cult following. The Corralitos Market is a haven for hungry patrons, offering ready-to-eat orders of fresh hot dogs and sausage sandwiches all day. Whether you savor your selection in the lively plaza park just across from the store or opt for a picturesque picnic elsewhere, Corralitos Market ensures that every bite is a testament to the artistry of authentic butcher craftsmanship. With its humble beginnings as a convenience store, this beloved establishment has become a destination that attracts meat lovers from three counties, showcasing the best of Santa Cruz County’s culinary landscape.