When I saw that the website First We Feast rated Gilley’s as the best hot dog joint in NH, it got me to thinking. I’d definitely call Gilley’s a “must-visit” spot in Portsmouth, though more for the experience than the actual food itself. They do (finally!) take credit cards, after being one of the last remaining cash-only spots in town (including Savario’s, now closed, the parking garage, now card-friendly, and Ceres Bakery, possibly the last cash-only holdout downtown). They also used to be known for their slightly gruff Yankee hospitality, meaning fairly terse service, especially if you didn’t know how to to order “the Gilley’s way.” And forget not having your order at-the-ready as soon as you squeezed into line between the hours of 11pm and 2am on a weekend night! While they’ve mellowed somewhat from these legendary quirks, they’re still a historic food institution in Portsmouth. And I won’t lie, I enjoy an occasional greasy Gilley’s burger, loaded, no onions. As for hot dog quality…
I recently had a great pair of hot dogs at Fezziwig’s. Stopping in last week to take a break from simply sitting in traffic right in front of their shop (hey Sarah Long bridge, when will you be open again?), I finally ordered the “Two Hot Dogs” menu item I’d been daydreaming about since the last time I stopped by. It did NOT disappoint. Two great hot dogs that were so flavorful, they made me question why hot dogs aren’t a regular staple in my diet. Warm buttered rolls and my choice of condiments (some relish and mustard), plus a side salad for bonus nutrients.
And we can’t mention hot dogs without giving a shoutout to Flo’s. Located in Cape Neddick, Maine, they’re less immediately local, but still close enough for a visit.
Where else would you say you can get an amazing hot dog in Portsmouth or the surrounding area?
Photo from: Gilley’s on Yelp