Better than a hot dog? The chilli dog!

Delicious crunchy bites at the Chilli Hot Dogg Company 

Who fancies a Chilli Dog? I can hear you think, “What is a chilli dog”? Let’s get to the bottom of this. No, it is not a hot dog topped with chilli beans. Actually, it is not a hot dog at all. It’s a lot better quality and much tastier. 

The Chilli Dog is made following the original NY Chilli Dog recipe. A crunchy smoked beef sausage topped with chilli beef ragu, American mustard and diced white onion. It was created after a client in New York wanted something different, and the owner of added beef ragu.

What are Chilli Dogs?

Chili dogs, as known in the States, were first sold over 100 years ago by the Greek immigrant Gust Keros from a cart and shining shoes near Lafayette and Michigan.

According to the story told by his grandchildren, one day, a customer asked Keros if he had any other toppings besides the usual to put on his dogs. Gust was also serving a chilli soup, a Greek recipe he brought from his native country, so he topped the dog with that, plus some mustard and onions. This sauce is often mistaken for a chilli from south of the border in Mexico, but the Keros Chilli was more Mediterranean in flavour.

La Fayette in NYC, the birthplace of the Chilli Dog

The hot dog cart became a small restaurant near the same corner in 1917. In the early 1920s, Keros brought his brother over from Greece to help him run the business he named American Coney Island after two things he loved: his new country and Coney Island in New York City, one of the first things he saw after arriving at Ellis Island.

After a dispute over the recipe, in 1924, Gust’s brother Bill opened Lafayette Coney Island next door, where it still operates today. But unlike American Coney Island, it is no longer run by the extended Keros family. 

In September 2023, the Chilli Dogg Company launched their version of Keros’ Dog in Cambridge. 

The Sonoran dog is topped with mayonnaise, Pinto beans, American mustard, Jalapeno salsa, diced tomato, diced white onions, sliced bacon

Why are chilli dogs much better than hot dogs?

Is there a difference between hot dogs and chilli dogs? There is, indeed! Hot dogs are made of pork, but good quality beef is used for chilli dogs, these are also known as beech-smoked Frankfurter. Then you have another variant of hot dogs, pre-cooked from jars, a mixture of turkey, chicken and pork. Junior Conway, the founder of the Chilli Dogg Company, only uses the beech-smoked Frankfurters for his dogs, which is very tasty and has a lovely bite. 

The Chicago dog is topped with American mustard, sliced tomato, atomic relish, dill pickle spears, diced white onions, pickled sport peppers, poppy seeds, celery salt

Where to get chilli dogs in Cambridge

The Chilli Dogg Company is not your average hot dog joint. It’s a haven for foodies, offering a diverse menu that goes beyond the traditional hot dog. From a variety of chilli and vegan dogs to hamburgers, chilli cheese fries, corn dogs, sides, American-style desserts, and a children’s menu, there’s something for everyone. The Chilli Dogg Company serves its mouthwatering creations from Wednesday to Sunday from 4 to 10 pm and Saturday and Sunday from midday. And if you can’t make it to the Castle Bar, they’re also available on Deliveroo.

Indeed, the Chilli Dogg Company at the Castle Bar is the only place in Cambridge which sells these delicious dogs.

The tasty Corndog is a Beef frankfurter dipped in a cornmeal batter and deep fried. Served with ketchup and mustard on the side.

Crunchy, tasty and morish

We were invited to try the tasty food of the Chilli Dogg Company last week. Junior treated us to chilli dogs, corn dogs, chill cheese fries and desserts. The chilli dogs were delicious and had a nice crunch. My favourite was the Chicago dog, as I like a bit of crunch and heat. The chilli cheese fries were excellent. To me, nothing is better than chips covered in a delicious sauce. I was amazed by the corn dog. It was tasty and crunchy, not anything I have had before. We finished the meal with a peach cobbler and sweet potato pie. The perfect end to an end of the week comfort meal. 

The perfect end to a meal. Peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream and Sweet potato pie.
Chilli cheese fries. The best chips you can get in Cambridge. Crunchy golden fries, topped with chilli beef ragu and cheese sauce. What is there not to like?

The home of the Chilli Dogg Company

So, if you are looking for something much better than a hot dog, head over to the Castle Bar on St. Andrews Street, the only place in Cambridge that sells beech-smoked Frankfurter from good quality beef. Also known as chilli dogs.

Not quite sure where the Castle Bar is? It’s close to the traffic lights at John Lewis. 

The Castle Bar on St. Andrews Street is the only place in Cambridge where you can get Chill Dogs.

Tasty food made with passion

So who said fast food can’t be tasty? It can be indeed. These delicious Chilli Dogs are the creation of an experienced chef. Junior has worked in many top-end Cambridge restaurants, so you can look forward to not only a tasty bite to eat but also food created by a chef sourcing the best ingredients.

Perfect for a quick snack, a bite to eat before you go to the cinema, theatre or whilst you are on your shopping trip in Cambridge. People often mention that there are too many chains in Cambridge city centre. There are still quite a few independent businesses if you go and look for them. The Chilli Dogg Company is one of them!

And….for the non-meat eaters, there are a lot of tasty choices too!


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