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slides: Rhode Island’s 5 Best Hot Dog Joints

Thursday, March 06, 2014


The Olneyville New York System is a go-to for hot weiners, but where are some other local bests?

With the recent recognition by the venerable James Beard Foundation, It's time to re-visit our state classic. 

The Beard House recognized the Olneyville New York System Hot Wiener location as an “American Classic.” But we knew that already, right?

We set out to find our 5 favorites hot dogs and came back with these...


Related Slideshow: The Best Weiners in RI

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Olneyville NY System


The quote from the James Beard Foundation says it all: "Olneyville New York System, despite its name, serves food that is distinctive to Rhode Island. Slathered with mustard, topped with meat sauce, sprinkled with celery salt and onions, and served in a steamed bun, the hot wiener is signature as are the salt and vinegar French fries. The preferred drink is coffee milk, made in Rhode Island by flavoring milk with a sweetened coffee concentrate called coffee syrup." Enough said!

18 Plainfield St. 401-621-9500.


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Original New York System


For decades, this “weenie joint” has been a staple of lunch and late-night crowds. One of the oldest and best in the state, it now has a new owner for the first time in generations. David Giardino is the new—the first generation—owner of Original New York System Hot Wieners. A born-and-raised Rhode Islander, he is a successful entrepreneur who, as he says, he “grew up with wieners and coffee milk and wanted to help preserve the tradition.” And preserve it he has. It’s spiffed-up but still serving the best hot wieners around. They’ve added a few burgers and whatnot to the menu, too.

424 Smith St. 331-5349.

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Cosmic Steak and Pizza


We have been eating the wieners at Cosmic since we were in, ahem, high school. And a visit to this Warwick institution (which has been proudly serving great grub since 1976) on a recent Saturday night shows that not much has changed. Teens and families wait patiently at the counter for the plethora of tasty treats on the menu—everything from fresh salads, to baked pastas, to steak sandwiches, to pepperoni pies, to hot wieners. And, oh, the wieners are top-notch. The buns are always properly steamed, never a tough or waterlogged bun to be had here. The meat sauce is terrific and we always end up with some crispy fries to go along with the tasty wieners. These babies have that “snap” that you look for in a good wiener.

1141 Post Rd. 401-781-5410


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Sam's New York System

North Providence

We discovered this spot on our way to one of our favorite Italian take-out joints. We figured...why not some wieners to tide us over? The staff was very friendly and helped guide us through what they do well. That turned out to be just about everything we tried. The wieners were fantastic. The meat sauce, in particular, was one of the best we tried. It had a little spice to it and it accented the celery salt nicely. We also enjoyed the shoestring fries. They were crisp and not at all greasy.

1031 Mineral Spring Ave. 401-722-7922

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Rod's Grill


The Rodriguez family has been building hot wieners here using the same recipe for more than 50 years. The grandkids run it now using the same recipes Grandma Rodriguez used. Rod’s is a townie kind of place, a greasy spoon that serves up cheap eats and everybody knows everybody else’s name. We’re talking traditional comfort food here. Large portions to fill the fishermen and other blue-collar workers bellies are the norm. The family takes great care to make you feel like you are a long lost relative. We like our wieners here with a little extra mustard and extra meat sauce. Don’t forget to add some fries on the side and a coffee milk never hurt anyone!

6 Washington St. 401-245-9405


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