Philadelphia, PA - A traditional North Carolina-style hot dog is usually topped with mustard, onions, and chili. They’re served in a split bread roll and are usually accompanied by slaw. The slaw is sweet and crunchy, making it an ideal accompaniment to the savory condiments. Slaw also pairs well with the chili, which makes North Carolina-style hot dogs unique.
One of the most popular spots for NC Hot Dogs is Ashworth Drugs, a long-operating pharmacy and soda fountain that’s been around since 1957. The walls are nostalgic, including an old menu board from when hot dogs were 15 cents, and BLTs were 25 cents.
This old-school diner feels like a 1950s soda fountain and offers a variety of other staples on the menu. But hot dogs are their most popular item, and it’s no surprise: they’re cheap, fast, and sound.
So, what makes North Carolina hot dogs so good? The first thing to note about a North Carolina-style hot dog is that it’s often dyed a bright red that looks more like Cheerwine than cooked meat. Typically, these are beef and pork hot dogs dyed in the traditional eastern North Carolina pink-red shade.
You can also find a variety of other regionally-styled hot dogs that don’t include chili on top but coleslaw and/or mustard instead of the condiments traditionally is used with a Carolina dog.
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