The Truth About Five Guys' Hot Dogs

Five Guys is famous first and foremost for its burgers. Since opening in the D.C. Metro Area in 1986, Five Guys has transformed into a 1.7 billion dollar company with over 1,500 locations worldwide (as of 2017). The restaurant was originally opened by Jerry Murrell, Janie Murrell, and their four sons, hence the name "Five Guys" (perhaps Five Guys and Janie was a bit too long). In 2002, the Murrell family started franchising the restaurant, making Five Guys the billion-dollar establishment it is today.

But Five Guys is not just a hamburger restaurant. The fast food chain boasts an extensive menu, including milkshakes, veggie sandwiches, and a variety of hot dogs featuring different toppings and flavors. While these hot dogs are not as famous as Five Guys' burgers or the famous peanuts that litter the tables and sometimes the floors of every Five Guys restaurant, they're still worth ordering from time to time. Read on to find out more.

Five Guys' hot dogs are not good with cheese

If you're planning on ordering any Five Guys hot dog, the first thing you should know is that you should probably skip the cheese. A lot of cities boast their own trademark hot dogs. Chicago has the Chicago dog with relish, onion, pickles, and tomatoes. New York-style hot dogs include spicy mustard and onions or sauerkraut. But no famous hot dog of any region has one single slice of American cheese slapped on top the way Five Guys offers.

American cheese is one of the least tasty types of cheese. Kraft Singles are the cheese of quick afternoon snacks, not restaurant meal toppings. The highly artificial orange rectangles can hardly be classified as real cheese. At one point, over 40 percent of all cheese consumed in America was Kraft American cheese. But those days are gone, and frankly, now more than ever is the time to simply order your hot dog with a squiggle of mustard and not a layer of fake cheese.

Five Guys' hot dogs are better than other fast food chain's dogs

When compared with the hot dogs from other fast food chains, Five Guys has the hot dog to beat. One writer tried fully loaded hot dogs from Dairy Queen, Checkers, Five Guys, and Shake Shack. The results? Five Guys had the best hot dog hands down, with an "exceptionally flavorful hot dog base" and a delicious crispy bacon topping. And fully loaded goes a lot further at Five Guys than at other restaurants, as Five Guys' menu offers more than a dozen tasty toppings to choose from. When Costco was added to the mix, Five Guys just missed the top spot, as Costco's had the best taste-to-price value.

It's not just Business Insider that has recognized the tastiness of Five Guys' hot dogs. The restaurant has won numerous awards, including the title of UK's most popular fast food chain.

That Five Guys kosher hot dog isn't actually kosher

Five Guys' menu boasts a kosher hot dog, but what that actually means is a little more complicated. The hot dogs are all beef, and that meat is indeed premium kosher beef from Hebrew National, a delicious supplier of kosher dogs. This absolutely qualifies the meat in and of itself as kosher. While kosher can mean different things to different observant Jewish people, one key definition across the board is that the hot dogs are made of beef and not pork, which is universally recognized as not kosher.

That said, Five Guys' kosher-style hot dogs are prepared on the same grill and using the same utensils as Five Guys pork products, including bacon. Sometimes the supposedly kosher-style hot dogs are even topped with bacon, which is definitely not kosher. Kosher beef also cannot be served with milk, due to a religious law that prevents the consumption of meat and milk, yet Five Guys does just that with its cheese slices (and milkshakes, obviously).

One writer has gone as far as to suggest Five Guys is literally breaking the law in Washington State for advertising their hot dogs as kosher. While Five Guys probably won't be getting in trouble for this any time soon, the company may want to reconsider this advertising strategy.

You can absolutely hack the Five Guys menu to order almost any hot dog you can dream up

Did you know Five Guys has a secret menu? Honestly, you probably did, because it seems like every franchise has a secret menu these days, but Five Guys' secret menu goes above and beyond. The restaurant offers so many topping choices that you can create essentially any hot dog you can dream up.

Food Network celebrity chef Justin Warner invented the Five Guys Breaking Windy City Dog. This hot dog starts off like a typical Chicago-style dog and shakes it up to a cajun extreme. The Breaking Windy City Dog starts out with one of Five Guys' all-beef Hebrew National hot dogs. Order this hot dog with pickles, tomatoes, relish, green peppers, and mustard. Then Chef Warner suggests a shake of hot sauce and a sprinkle of cajun seasoning. We don't know about you, but this may be our order the next time we visit this chain.

Five Guys' hot dogs aren't healthy — not even close

If you'd been assuming these fast food hot dogs were unhealthy, you'd be right! The classic Five Guys kosher hot dog has 520 calories and 35 grams of fat, not to mention 1,130 mg of sodium. That's a lot of salt! And it only goes up from there, with Five Guys' bacon cheese dog topping off with 670 calories, 48 grams of fat, and 1,700 mg of sodium.

If you're looking for a healthy option but still insist on getting a Five Guys hot dog, try looking outside the bun, literally. The Food Network suggests ordering a bunless hot dog to trim the whole meal down to 285 calories, 26 grams of fat, and 800 mg of sodium. If you're still not satisfied with a simple bunless, toppingless hot dog, we can't blame you. Try adding several veggie toppings to bulk up the hot dog a bit while keeping the whole thing relatively healthy.

Five Guys' hot dogs are not as good as true Chicago dogs, but they're close

Five Guys' hot dogs definitely aren't quite on the elite caliber of Chicago hot dogs. In fact, no fast food hot dog can compare to the real thing: a hot dog with peppers and onions from the street corner in Chicago. But Five Guys does serve hot dogs in the greater Chicago area, and they're still pretty popular there. And even though you can order a Chicago-style dog from Five Guys, the unfortunate truth is it is still only Chicago-style, and not an actual Chicago dog.

The Chicago Tribune wrote that so long as you're eating a hot dog in suburban Oak Park, where "hot dog scofflaws [are] outside prosecutorial jurisdiction," the Five Guys hot dogs are categorically "fantastic." The outlet suggests ordering "an all-beef Hebrew National dog, split in half and seared to a crispy exterior, [which] is topped with brittle-crunchy bacon and sliced Kraft American singles."

Five Guys' hot dogs are more expensive than the competitors'

While Five Guys' hot dogs are reportedly very tasty and very popular, the Five Guys' hot dog is definitely not the greatest deal around. In 2016, a basic Five Guys hot dog would've costed you around $5, which is actually pretty pricey for fast food. In comparison, Burger King's hot dogs cost less than $3, and Shake Shack's cost just a few cents more than that. Checkers' hot dogs were significantly cheaper, but in our opinion, they're also significantly worse. Of all of these options, Five Guys may have the most expensive hot dogs, but they're also the tastiest.

One comparable hot dog available for way cheaper comes from Costco. Costco's hot dog combos come in at just $1.50, and they're actually pretty tasty. With a good hot dog at that low of price, Costco truly offers a steal of a deal.

Five Guys observes National Hot Dog Day

As it turns out, Five Guys loves hot dogs so much, they are devout followers of the humble hot dog's only holiday: National Hot Dog Day. Observed in July each year, National Hot Dog Day is full of deals on grilled meats every year. In 2018, Five Guys tweeted in celebration of National Hot Dog Day, mentioning "we serve hot dogs" for any fans of the popular burger joint who may have forgotten.

While you might be planning your trip to Five Guys on this special day next year, don't go so fast. There are other hot dog restaurants that actually offer free hot dogs on National Hot Dog Day. You might find a free hot dog at QuikTrip, or you could get a hot dog deal at Sonic. One thing is for sure, though: You probably won't be able to get all those toppings you'll find at Five Guys.