The hot dog has many connotations: an American classic with a squiggle of yellow mustard, a "dirty water dog" at an NYC street stand and the savior and bane of parents with picky eaters. Nowadays, it also rivals the hamburger as a canvas for chef-driven experiments in comfort food. And the results are delicious.

Toppings range from light and tropical garlicky lemon sauce and banana relish, to heartier meat-on-meat versions covered in brisket, corn relish and Sriracha -cream cheese. Hot dogs are even keeping up with pop culture; you can find ones named after Lindsay Lohan, Martha Stewart and Gustavo Dudamel, the L.A. Philharmonic’s current music director and conductor.

Check out the slideshow above for the most outrageously delicious versions in the country.

America’s Best Hot Dogs
Best Burgers in the U.S.
Over-the-Top Burgers
America’s Best BBQ Cities
Spectacular Lobster Rolls

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Tags: KD 101, Lunch, Dinner, Barbecue & Grilling, Summer, Fourth of July, Labor Day

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