Hot Dog Heaven is an Orlando institution, very popular for their Chicago style hot dogs. Yes, it may seem strange that one of the longest standing Orlando restaurants is known for something out of the windy city, but remember, Orlando is a city of transplants and who wouldn’t want to move here from Chiberia after the long winters they’ve had recently?
Since 1987, Hot Dog Heaven has been specializing in Chicago Hot Dogs – prepared with 100% Vienna Beef products on poppy seed buns and topped with mustard, relish, onion, tomato, pickle, and hot peppers.
Inside, the decor is minimal, a few bar stools and outside, some seating to enjoy the nice Central Florida weather and some street views of Colonial Drive.
Service needs some work – during my visit, the teenaged cashier attendant seemed like she’d rather be some where else that day and the other employees had the same sort of annoyed attitude. Maybe it’s Chicago style hospitality to go with the Chicago style hot dog?
My hot dog was good, toppings were fresh and nice – but I couldn’t help wonder what all the fuss is about, especially given the price. Maybe it is nostalgia, a yearning for a simpler time when Orlando had a lot less culinary options to choose from.
The location is right off of busy State Road 50, just west of the new SR 436 / Semoran Blvd flyover, and can be a bit difficult to get to if you don’t know when to turn. Look for the giant Hot Dog Heaven forked weiner sign.