Pink’s the Best Hot Dog Stand in Los Angeles

Feb 16, 2010 by Lindsay Pullin

Since 1939, people have been queuing outside to wait for Pink’s Hot Dogs, and finding the wait well worth it. Located on the corner of Melrose and La Brea, many drivers miss the sign, but notice the line of waiting people wrapping around the restaurant building.

Sadly, I fell into the category of people who knew about the world famous Pink’s, but had never been there, and worse, I found out that my dad, who grew up in the Valley, had never even heard of Pink’s.

That being said, on a recent lazy Sunday, my parents and I packed up the car with the Sunday Times, and headed out to Hollywood for some dogs.

Parking is limited (there’s a parking lot attendant for a tiny lot at Pink’s, but it was full), so we found street parking and got in line, which was wrapped behind Pink’s, all the way to its restrooms.  The line stayed approximately the same length the entire time we waited. During our wait, a constant stream of people would get served, and more and more people would show up,  so during the wait, we read the paper, and debated what dog to order from the menu.

As time dragged on, we changed our order at least 3 times, switching back and forth, and finally starting asking the opinions of those around us:

"Have you ever had a Martha Stewart dog?" and "What are your top picks?" Pink’s has expanded far from the original chili dog (with the famous Pink’s secret chili recipe), to hot dogs with a myriad of toppings, hamburgers, sides, and deserts. Many of the hot dogs are named after the celebrities who ordered them special, like the Ozzy Spicy Dog (A spicy Polish dog, Nacho Cheese, American Cheese, grilled onions, guacamole and chopped tomatoes) or the Martha Stewart dog (10" stretch dog, relish, onions, bacon, chopped tomatoes, sauerkraut and sour cream…although I can’t picture Ms. Stewart eating this).


After some time, camaraderie also began with the other troopers waiting in line so long for their hot dogs.  The man in front of us worked on La Brea, and had been waiting since the line was shorter. Finally, he realized there was no time of the day when the line is shorter, so he took his son for their first Pink’s. The women in front of him were “out of towner’s,” ticking off major Los Angeles landmarks on their to-do and go list–and Pink’s was one of them.  They took to waving at cars that drove by inspecting the line.

All in all, we stood in line for about 45 minutes.  The real pressure, however, came when we reached the front counter to place our order, and that’s when we began to see other people’s dog orders.  I didn’t know what I was going to order until it popped out of my mouth to the attendant, which happened to be a Coleslaw dog; while my dad went with a spicy Polish dog, and my mom had a Guadalajara dog–which contains relish, onions and tomatoes with a topping of sour cream. We finished it up with 2 orders of onion rings, and an order of fries, and some old time Dr. Brown’s colas, all for a little over $20. 

Wow, that tastes good.

Sitting out back under Pink’s umbrella shaded tables, we enjoyed our first bite of Pink’s hot dogs, and the Hoffy’s all beef dogs in their natural encasing snap back, which is a novelty in of itself. I couldn’t finish the entire dog, as it was quite large, but no one else seemed to be having the same problem, although I did manage to finish all of my onion rings.

The prices listed on the menu include tax, and Pink’s is cash only. Check out all the framed and autographed pictures of celebrities as stated earlier. Bottom line, to enjoy the Pink’s experience, prepare to stand in line, but it’s part of the fun and the wait builds an excitement that can only be cured by a world famous hot dog. Perfect for a mid day meal, or a late night post bar munchies stop, Pink’s is open from 9:30 am to 2am every day. On Friday’s and Saturday’s, it’s open until 3am.

Los Angeles is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year, but Pink’s recently celebrated their 70th last year, so enjoy a nostalgic piece of LA and Hollywood history, served on a bun with a crisp snap; it’s one of the oldest (and tasty) icons of Tinseltown and Los Angeles combined.  Now, I and my family get to finally claim “bragging rights” that we’re now a part of a huge number of people who can proudly say that their favorite dogs and future culinary adventures lies in the land of Pink’s creations.

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3 Responses to “Pink’s the Best Hot Dog Stand in Los Angeles”

  1. Lisa Rothstein says:

    Can’t buh-LEEEVE you never wen’t to Pink’s before. It was my first stop when I arrived in LA, and I try to go every time I’m there. you sometimes CAN find a shorter line, around 11:30 in the AM before the lunch crowd starts. I like a spicy polish chili dog washed down with Yoo-Hoo. Heaven on a bun!!


  2. Lindsay Pullin says:

    Thanks for the tip!
    I was definitely ashamed that I had never been to Pink’s but I’m gradually feeling better about myself, mostly by eating lots of hot dogs.


  3. Nikki | Hire Writer says:

    Pinks hot dogs are simply the best.

    My partner and I were in LA for a vacation – and someone suggested that we try Pink’s hot dogs.

    We are glad we did! We ent there several times later during our 2 months stay in LA!

    Yummy hot dogs!


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