National Hot Dog Day 2022: Where To Get The Best Food Freebies And Deals

Few foods are as universally loved — and simultaneously polarizing — as the hot dog. Debates over whether it's a sandwich and which toppings are and are not appropriate can divide the best of friends. Then, there's the age-old quandary of why hot dogs and buns are sold in different quantities. All of those hot topics get special recognition on one day every year: National Hot Dog Day. On Wednesday, July 20, Americans will celebrate the handheld, iconic food (per National Today).

National Today explains that similar to the many opinions surrounding hot dogs, the exact history of National Hot Dog Day is uncertain. The first documented observation of the holiday occurred in 1971 in Alfred, New York, when students celebrated hot dogs for their affordability. If you're celebrating Wednesday and unsure of what toppings to choose, here are 13 things you should be putting on your hot dog. You don't necessarily need to have buns and hot dogs in your kitchen to participate, though. Many restaurants are marking the occasion with special offers.

Dog Haus in the house

Dog Haus is offering customers a way to stay out of the dog house on National Hot Dog Day. According to Today, members of the restaurant chain's Haus Hookup rewards program can get a free Haus Dog on July 20. The restaurant's mobile app will feature a coupon for the deal. Dog Haus' namesake Haus Dogs feature seven different combinations. Diners can choose from the cheesy Chili Idol, the avocado and aioli topped Sooo Cali, a Downtown with smoked bacon and pickled peppers, or several others. Of course, these dogs aren't just any hot dogs. They're set inside King's Hawaiian rolls. Yes, please!

With nearly 70 locations across the country and more coming (per Dog Haus), joining Haus Hookup for the free dog could be worth it if you're not already a member. If you have a bit more time to spare on Wednesday, another offer comes complete with some festivities.

Visit the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

Pilot and Flying J travel centers might not immediately be what you think of when you think hot dogs, but the company is actually going to lengths to commemorate National Hot Dog Day on Wednesday. Pilot Flying J is partnering with Kraft Heinz to give away 10 custom cornhole prize packages (per company press release). Interested fans can visit the Pilot Flying J's Facebook page on July 20 and look for the special contest post. All those who comment with their favorite hot dog toppings are eligible to win. 

Additionally, if you've ever wondered whether you have what it takes to drive the Wienermobile, you may be able to get some idea on Wednesday. Select Pilot Flying J travel centers will also host an appearance by the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile for National Hot Dog Day (via Pilot Flying J). Plus, users of the myRewards Plus app will have access to a coupon for one free hot dog at any Pilot Flying J travel center to celebrate. While it might be hard to compete with the Wienermobile, one restaurant chain is coming in hot with an icon of its own.

A big deal from the Big Boy

Similar to how the inspiration for Frisch's Big Boy restaurants surprises some people, the National Hot Dog Day deal that Frisch's is offering may cause some sticker shock — in a good way. According to the Frisch's Big Boy Facebook page, customers who buy a burger on July 20 can get a hot dog for just a nickel. That's five cents for a hot dog, without signing up for any rewards programs or downloading any apps to get in on the deal.

Just in time for National Hot Dog Day, Frisch's Big Boy started selling Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs on July 13, according to Chew Boom. Topping choices include bacon, cheese, chili, diced onions, and sauerkraut. Getting all that for just a nickel might sound like a great deal, but if you're willing to wait a couple of days, you might be able to find an even better offer.

Celebrate with a freebie, just a couple days late

There are many falsehoods people believe about hot dogs, but if you're doubting whether you can really get a completely free hot dog for National Hot Dog Day, you'd be wrong. While a couple of days late, on July 22, you can grab a free dog at The Original Hot Dog Factory (via Instagram). There's no purchase necessary or program to sign up for. All you have to do is show up at one of the locations between noon and 4 p.m. on Friday.

The Original Hot Dog Factory has nearly 30 locations across the country and all of them are taking part in the promotion. If you're looking for sides for your free dog, the menu includes baked beans, fries, onion rings, and slaw. But if you're feeling adventurous, you could put those sides on your dog and eat everything all at once. If you'd rather stick an American classic, though, another offer for Wednesday is about as original as it gets.

Nathan's Famous with a classic offer

Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs has celebrated the classic hot dog since 1916, when the business debuted on New York City's Coney Island (per Smithsonian Magazine). When Nathan Handwerker first opened the business, the price of a hot dog was a nickel — yeah, five cents. Well, as an ode to its early days, participating Nathan's Famous locations are offering customers a hot dog for just a nickel with the purchase of a regularly priced hot dog on July 20 (per Today). The offer is limited to two hot dogs per order. Now that's a hot deal! 

Whether you like to stick with classic toppings on your hot dog or put a modern twist on it, there's no better time to get a hot dog than on National Hot Dog Day. It's absolutely true that every hot dog has its day, and this year, it's this Wednesday.