If you’re reading this during the dog days of summer, then you’ve probably had your share of hot dogs at picnics, carnivals and “downashore,” plus your fill from hometown favorites. For those popping in during other times of the year, rest assured that you still can get that summertime feeling from any of these Delco hot dog purveyors. Some have “hot dog” in the name, others are local staples that turn out a delicious dog.
And about the Texas Tommy, which appears on many of these menus: Did you know that, despite its name, it was invented in Pottstown, PA in the 1950s? It’s a hot dog with bacon and cheese; it was originally split and grilled, with cheese piled in the middle and finally wrapped in bacon, which was popular in women’s magazines at that time. In Delco, you’ll see variations on the theme — of course! — and there’s nothing stopping you from adding extras. The origin of the name? It’s pretty unclear, but local lore has it that it may have something to do with the general conception back then of hot dogs as a “Texas thing” on the East Coast.
Spots that are All About the Dogs
Get your small town, family vibe on here, whether you pull up to a counter, sit outdoors or do takeout. The menu’s short-and-sweet with your hot-off-the-grill basics: hot dog, cheese dog, chili cheese dog and the Texas Tommy — plus a few other Delco faves (hot roast pork!) to keep everyone happy. Bonus: Extra toppings are free! Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
401 W. MacDade Boulevard & Virginia Ave., Folsom, (610) 915-3777.
Yes, this local favorite opens at 6 a.m., because they “don’t trust people who don’t eat breakfast”! Still, the name says it all, and despite a hefty menu, the hot dogs get the glory at this no-frills joint. Grab a seat at the indoor counters or outdoor tables, or call for takeout and try a regular old hot dog, slaw dog, chili dog, cheese dog, chili cheese dog, jalapeno dog or the Texas Tommy (bacon and cheese!). Open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m; closed Saturday and Sunday.
41 Wyandotte St, Lester, (610) 521-5511.
Photo courtesy of Darrah’s Hot Dog Bus
This mustard-colored bus has been serving up hot dogs (and, breakfast!) in various locations in Chester since 2019, and the bus is now parked at its current location. Owner Darrah Everett uses her big-family cooking experience to make a changing variety of hot dogs. They’re split open, grilled up and plated on a fresh bun with anything from melted cheese to onions and more. Pro tip: Get the fries! Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Edgemont Avenue and 9th Street, Chester, (267) 245-1454.
Photo courtesy of Darrah’s Hot Dog Bus
Restaurants with Darn Good Dogs on the Menu
This one makes our list because you can request your hot dog well done, and for the sheer number of toppings you can pile on a hot dog. We like some of the non-traditional hot dogs, like spinach, but you can’t go wrong with fried hot peppers, mustard and sauerkraut. You can customize your Texas Tommy with any number of cheeses; we love that the default is Cheez Whiz! Open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
650 E. Chester Pike, Ridley Park, (610) 532-9679.
Photo by LP’s Burgers and More
Mourn not for Wimpy’s — you’ll still get great eats and great service as this circa October 2021 mom-and-pop shop that’s still turning out 1/4 pound all-beef dogs with your favorite fixin’s. In addition to a next-level Texas Tommy — Cheez Whiz, bacon, fried onions and chipotle barbecue sauce — you can dig into the New York Dog (sauerkraut, fried onions and spicy mustard) or the Padella Dog (sauteed peppers and onions). Open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
1015 N. Providence Rd., Media; (610) 565-3910.
It’s billed as “a hometown family restaurant,” and that’s how it feels, whether you stay in or do takeout. Among items on its family-friendly menu is a hot dog that you can top with cheese and a Texas Tommy: Simple, filling and delicious — a staple since 1975. Pro tip: Save room for a signature sundae; it is, after all, called the Dairy Cottage! Open Sunday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
328 W. Woodland Ave., Springfield, (610) 328-4875.
Want to know more about everything Delco? We’re more than just your source for good eats — we’re your source for where to stay, what to do and more in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We’re Visit Delco, PA, and we’ve got you covered from Philly to the Brandywine. Contact us at (610) 565-3679, by email, or online.
— Nina Malone
Featured photo courtesy of The Hot Dog Stand