March 28, 2014

Hot Dogs in Miami

cheese fries

You cannot have a conversation about Hot Dogs in Miami without mentioning Arbetter’s. As a matter of fact, this place should be the first restaurant you mention. By this I mean that this is as close to an institution when it comes to hot dogs in Miami as we can get. I’m not necessarily claiming that they make the best dog in the city, because they don’t, but Arbetter’s was a pioneer in serving encased meats to the people of Miami before places like Los Perros, Sweet Dogs, or Dogma were even thought of. Over here, you won’t find hot dogs with Latin inspired toppings or millions of sauces. Instead, they focus on serving what I like to think of quintessentially American hot dogs to the people that frequent them. You see, Arbetter’s has been open for over 50 years and specializes in serving your standards, like hot dogs with relish, chili, onion, sauerkraut, cheese, slaw, or any combination of the mentioned toppings.

The hot dogs are always fresh and the buns are always hot, making any choice you make the right one. Personally, I usually go for the chili and onion as their chili is meaty, beanless, and has a bit of a kick. In essence, it is what a hot dog chili should be. I would be remiss not to mention the fries here, in particular the cheese fries. I can say without a doubt that they are serving some of the best in the city. French fries here are always fried to order and more on the well-done side, giving them a crisp outer coating with a fluffy and steaming hot center. The cheese that is used on them is your standard industrial cheese sauce, but there is something about the combination with the fresh-out-of-the-fryer fries that elevates such a simple dish to the next level. Also, you absolutely cannot leave without trying the corndogs here. Just like the fries, they are fried to order, and this is what makes them so good. They use the same sausages as they do for their hot dogs, but dipped in a cornmeal batter. By combining this corndog with a bit of mustard, you will get the best (and maybe only) corndog in the city.

The service here is quite approachable. Don’t expect to be treated like royalty or like you are in a fine dining establishment, because you are eating in a hotdog joint. The counter-service, though, is extremely friendly and ran by the same family that opened the original Arbetter’s more than 50 years ago. In my eyes, these are the type of things that define an institution. This restaurant is cash only, so be prepared for that, but don’t expect to be paying too much either. The prices seem like they have not gone up due to inflation in many years, as you can get hot dogs for around $2.00. It is a budget-friendly place to eat, and one that will satisfy the urge for quintessential Americana fare. I will always continue to love Arbetter’s, because even if the hot dogs are not the best in the city, I can come here and feel like I am truly dining in something belonging to history.


8747 SW 40th St

Miami, FL 33165

(305) 207-0555


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