From the Dodger devoted who joyously pound their foot-long Farmer Johns to the hip and touristy who wrap the block corners lined up for Pinks, Los Angelenos love their hot dogs. Despite such hot dog passion, there is one often-overlooked area in Los Angeles: the downtown Garment District, where one can find almost two solid blocks of street hot dog vendors.
The majority of the vendors line the way down Santee St. or Maple Ave., between E. 9th and E. 11th. The hot dog carts, with their rainbow umbrellas and mini-motorhome frames, crowd both sides of the street, so close together that the vendors could wage ketchup wars without even leaving their posts.
The hot dogs are mostly bacon-wrapped and sheet-pan-fried, then slammed with the usual ketchup, mustard, and mayo. For the Latino twist, some carts offer a tasty charred jalapeno while other street vendors serve up a slightly spicy pico de gallo.
Prices average $3 for a bacon wrapped hot dog. Beverages are usually$2. Bring and extra dollar and visit one of the wandering ice cream carts for dessert. Make sure you hit the hot dog vendors during workingman's hours, 6 am-5 pm.
Todd Porter also co-writes White On Rice Couple with his partner.