Japadog: The hot dog of choice in Vancouver

Japadog hot dogs VancouverFortunately, this delicacy isn’t far from the convention center. So if you’re in Vancouver on business, you can duck out easily for the best hot dog the city has to offer. Japadog, lauded by Anthony Bourdain, has no walls or roof. Rather, it consists of two hot dog stands – each with different menu items – on Burrard Street. I visited both stands, on Smythe and W Pender – and ultimately decided to dine at the latter. After all, the location on Burrard and Smythe didn’t have hotdogs made from the laziest animal known to man.

Kobe beef is interesting. If you order a hamburger made from it, you’re probably getting scammed. The fat, which is what makes the difference, burns off in the process, and you’re eating a burger that might as well have come from an athletic cow. I generally approach a kobe beef hot dog with this healthy skepticism, but time an again, I find that it just doesn’t fit with dogs the way it does with burgers. At minibar in Boston, I had a fantastic kobe beef hot dog, and the one I downed at Japadog in Vancouver just confirms it.

%Gallery-122843%The difference is flavor. These beef hot dogs don’t have the same snap as the pork-based dogs you find at places like Crif Dogs and Grays Papaya, but the explosion of flavor more than compensates. Tasty and rich, these thick hot dogs, served on sesame seed buns, are nothing short of delightful – and they live up to the $10.25 price tag. I was a bit concerned to let Japadog adorn my hot dog with spicy mustard and ketchup, as I didn’t want to bury the flavor of the dog itself, but everything came together perfectly. When you visit, don’t modify the menu items!


Though the Japanese influence is obvious, Japadog makes a concerted effort to connect with its Canadian home. Before munching on your hot dog, take a look at the decorations atop it. The kobe beef dog comes with three Canadian maple leaf shapes on it … a unique touch on an already unique hot dog.

The Japadog kobe beef dog was the perfect break from the conference I was attending with Corporate Secretary magazine. Even with plenty of free food available, as is always the case at a conference, it seems, it’s definitely worth walking a few blocks up the street for a memorable hot dog.

So, that’s the top hot dog in Vancover. Take a look at the best dogs in Montreal, below.

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