Pink’s Dogs – the ultimate LA hot dog stand

There are some food places that are legends. For hotdog lovers these include three icons: Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island opened in 1916, Katz’s Delicatessen on NYC’s Houston Street since 1917 and Pink’s Dogs, the ultimate LA hot dog stand. I’d been to the first two countless times while growing up in New York. I’ve wanted to taste a Pink’s dog for years. We weren’t headed for Pink’s. LA traffic was just too nuts to veer from our mission of following Route 66, but when we crossed La Brea, the street it’s on, I just had to go.

A short history of Pink’s

the ultimate LA hot dog stand pure Hollywood- the Pink's sign with a film billboard behind it photo Billie Frank

Pure Hollywood- the Pink’s sign with a film billboard behind it photo/Billie Frank

In 1939 Paul and Betty Pink started selling hot dogs from a pushcart parked at the intersection of La Brea and Melrose, LA countryside at the time. Times were tough, the Depression was still on; the business was started with a 50 dollar loan.  In those days a chile dog cost a dime. In 1946, with prosperity finally returning to the nation, the Pinks built the small building that is still home; it hasn’t changed much since. The unpretentious stand, still owned and run by the Pink family, has developed a following. Over the years many famous people have dined at the ultimate LA hotdog stand. Want to know what celebrities have eaten Pink’s Dogs? Click here,

Ordering at the ultimate LA hot dog stand

the untimate LA hot dog stand - Pink's hot dog stand hasn't changed much since 1946 photo Billie Frank

Pink’s hot dog stand hasn’t changed much since 1946 photo/Billie Frank

There was a long line waiting at the order window. We took our places and patiently waited our turn. We were starving! Thankfully, the line moved quickly. They have it down to a science. The person who takes your order fixes your dog and gets your sides. Drinks are ordered inside just before you pay. The women behind the counter were fast and efficient. Pink’s website says that they get the dog made and delivered in about 30 seconds. Ours took a bit longer. To move the process along, newbies like us can read the sign with detailed ordering instructions. It was a big help.

While we waited for the line to move we perused the LONG menu board on the back wall behind the servers. There are 30 different dogs on offer. Also read placards all over the front of the stand announcing dogs named for celebrities. That’s where I found the Carl Reiner. It was the dog I was searching for. It’s pure NYC- a hot dog (this one a nine-inch stretch) with mustard and sauerkraut. Steve went for the stretch chile dog. We added an order of onion rings and one of fries. The portions were HUGE! Maybe we should have been a bit more adventurous with our dog picks but we went with our traditional favorites. The menu was a bit overwhelming.

Some of the more over-the-top offerings at Pink’s Dogs

the ultimate LA hot dog stand - An array of Pink's hot dogs photo/Valerie Mitchell Valerie Was Here

An array of Pink’s hot dogs photo/Valerie Mitchell Valerie Was Here

THE PHILLY CHEESESTEAK DOG – with grilled steak, grilled peppers & onions, American & Swiss cheese
THE OZZY SPICY DOG – spicy Polish dog, nacho cheese, American cheese, grilled onions, guacamole & chopped tomatoes
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL DOG – 12″ jalapeno dog, pastrami, bacon, lettuce & chopped tomatoes
PLANET HOLLYWOOD DOG – Polish Sausage, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, bacon & nacho cheese add jalapenos
THREE DOG NIGHT 3 hot dogs, wrapped in a giant tortilla, 3 slices of cheese, 3 slices of bacon, chili & onions
EMERIL LEGASSE BAM DOG 9″ stretch dog, mustard, onions, cheese, jalapenos, bacon & coleslaw
LORD OF THE RINGS DOG 9″ stretch dog, yummy BBQ sauce, topped w/onion rings
JAWS – The BIG one – POLI-BACON CHILI CHEESEBURGER, one grilled Polish dog and a hamburger with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes & mayo

There’s also a Martha Stewart, a Brando, a Giada de Lautentis and an Emeril Lagasse Bam Dog.

Eating our Pink’s dogs

the ultimate LA hot dog stand - der the shade of Pink's pink umbrella photo Billie Frank

We ate our dogs under the shade of Pink’s pink umbrella photo/Billie Frank

Hot dogs in hand, we headed for a shaded outdoor table to enjoy our bounty and enjoy it we did. The Carl Reiner was perfect- lots of juicy sauerkraut and spicy mustard just as it should be and Steve thoroughly enjoyed his chili dog. Pink’s, the ultimate LA hot dog stand was worth the traffic we had to endure to get there. And, I got to tick off another food bucket list item. We headed back into traffic sated and smiling. Pink’s was a hit!

If you go to Pink’s the ultimate LA hot dog stand: they’re open seven days a week, is located at 709 N. La Brea Avenue, phone number: (323) 931-4223. Hours are Sunday through Thursday from 9:30am until 2am and Friday and Saturdays from 9:30am until 3am.

When we were in Tucson last year s friend told us we had to try a Sonoran hot dogs at El Guero Canelo  — so we did.

 A bit thanks to Valerie Mitchell of Valerie Was Here for the hot dog photo. The ones we took of our meals didn’t turn out well.


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22 Responses to “Pink’s Dogs – the ultimate LA hot dog stand”

  1. Ruth Johnston
    November 13, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

    My son says this place is a winner! So glad you wrote bout it. This is Hot Dog paradise!!! An American institution.
    Ruth Johnston recently posted..Perfectly Relaxing. Dusit Thani Hua Hin ThailandMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      November 15, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

      You must have eaten that bad NYC dog at a Sabrett’s cart. They’re awful. Go to Katz’s Deli or Nathan’s Famous. They make great dogs!

  2. Marcelle
    November 14, 2016 at 12:20 am #

    I love such stories of how a business idea took off from scratch. In Europe unfortunately I’ve never found such delicious hotdogs like in the US. But the worst hotdog I ate in New York.

    • Billie Frank
      June 17, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

      I love these kind of stories, too. Too bad about NYC- they have some great hot dogs. Hit up a Kosher deli next time.

  3. Sue Reddel
    November 14, 2016 at 6:34 am #

    Pinks!! We visit LA every holiday to visit family and have eaten at Pink’s many times. The only down side is the lines. Be sure to leave plenty of time for a visit.
    Sue Reddel recently posted..Culinary Roots in Mazatlán, MexicoMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      November 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

      The line was a bit overwhelming but it moved quickly- but we were there after 2pm and missed the lunch rush.

  4. Donna Janke
    November 14, 2016 at 7:52 am #

    I love the look of Pink’s Hot Dog Stand. I am not a big hot dog fan, but every so often really enjoy eating one. The selection here looks wonderful.
    Donna Janke recently posted..Abkhazi Garden: The Garden That Love BuiltMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      November 15, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

      The selection was amazing! Check it out if you get to LA.

  5. The GypsyNesters
    November 14, 2016 at 11:11 am #

    Love a good hot dog! Somehow we have missed Pink’s in our visits to LA though. I can tell you that won’t happen again.
    The GypsyNesters recently posted..Get a Gettysburg GetawayMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      November 15, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

      If you’re a fan of hot dogs or retro kitsch- go! I wish we had Pink’s here.

  6. Doreen Pendgracs
    November 15, 2016 at 7:09 am #

    Looks like there4 are quite a few options for those hot dogs at Pink’s. But I think I’d skip the jalapeños! Thx for sharing, Billie.

    • Billie Frank
      November 15, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

      I’m a hot dog and sauerkraut woman- so I’d definitely skip the peppers- but some love them. I’m hungry and I have hot dogs and Kraut in the fridge and I’m heading thee now!

  7. Janice Chung
    November 15, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    I am so glad I already ate lunch because those hot dogs look delish! I had never heard of Pink’s Dogs but a whole lot of celebreties certainly have! (Yes, I clicked the link to see who). When I am in LA next I’ll definitely be checking this place out.
    Janice Chung recently posted..A Reader Asks For Trip Advice: What Should We Do In Paris?My Profile

    • Billie Frank
      November 15, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

      If you’re a hot dog fan- definitely go!

  8. Carole Terwilliger Meyers
    November 15, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    I’ve know about Pink’s for years and seen it many times but have never eaten there! Loved your description. Perhaps I missed it, but do they have a vegan dog?

  9. Catherine Sweeney
    November 15, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

    Every once in a while, particularly when at a ballpark, I am tempted to have a hot dog. But when it comes time to order, I get something else. Pink’s might get me to go through with it. Part of the attraction is the bit of history you told and the whole hot dog stand atmosphere. Of course, the pic of the hot dogs is totally mouth-watering.
    Catherine Sweeney recently posted..Palazzo Te: Inside the Pleasure Palace of MantuaMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      November 16, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

      I don’t like ball park dogs- I’d get something else, too. Pink’s dogs are in a totally different category and are worth eating. Definitely go through it!

  10. Nathalie
    November 16, 2016 at 9:53 am #

    I love a good dog once in a while and this sounds like a great one. I do miss Nathan’s in NYC. Thanks for sharing.
    Nathalie recently posted..Visiting the Colosseum & Ancient Rome with LivItaly ToursMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      November 16, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

      I remember summer Saturday nights when I was young. It was too hot to stay in our unair-conditioned apartment so my dad packed us into the car and drove to Coney Island for Nathan’s hot dogs and clams on the half shell and fish and chips served in newspaper. Those were the days! Pink’s definitely has a great version of the basic NY dog with mustard and sauerkraut.

  11. Irene Levine
    November 17, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

    Looks like such a fun place to chow-down! Now you have me lusting for one of these Pink dogs.
    Irene Levine recently posted..Travel as a family affair: An interview with Andy StevesMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      November 17, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

      Next time you’re in LA take that hot dog lust over to Pink’s and slake it!

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