During the dog days of August, there is something nearly patriotic about eating a hot dog — on a stick, in a bun, wrapped in pastry — it’s all good. The movement toward fast-casual and outdoor dining means a boon in sausages and hot dogs available for the noshing. These are just a few that speak of summer and maybe the grand ol’ tradition of deli (delikatessen, for those keeping track).
Marin & North Bay
Beer, brats and bikes are the holy trinity at this restaurant and bar with, well, beer and sausages (and bikes). There are 24 types of sausage on the menu, including four vegan options and six “spicy.” We’re keen on the bison, pork, and cheddar jalapeño bratwurst on a salted pretzel bun. Top it with sautéed onions and sauerkraut, add some Sierra Nevada Stout & Stoneground Mustard and you have just died and gone to heaven.
28 Bolinas Rd, Fairfax
Brenda Goodman runs the hot dog show at the San Rafael Pacifics’ Albert Park. Her jumbo hot dogs are cooked roller-style with fresh buns every day. Served “baseball style” without any toppings, the dogs are as basic as they get, though ketchup, mustard and relish are available, as needs must.
100 Albert Park Ln, San Rafael
Owners Damon and Mari Stainbrook make the hot dogs and hot links in house with all-natural casings and no preservatives. All breads, including buns, are also made on-site. Though they keep ketchup on hand, the barbecue sauces are handmade, and the Carolina mustard is sauce perfect atop either dog or link. For a change, Mari recommends adding chow chow relish for that little extra something you didn’t know you were missing.
341 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera; 415.891.3265
A restaurant known for country French cooking dreamed up the cochon in a blanket, a traditional beef frank wrapped in house made puff pastry sprinkled with herbes de Provence. Accompanied by good French mustard (coarse and smooth) and a handful of cornichons, it’s a dish that carries you to a poppy-strewn field or the sun-splashed backyard of a white-washed house in Avignon.
540 Main St, Napa; 707.252.8115
The breakfast and lunch menu leans into sausages and charcuterie to boost the protein content to 11. Into the Euro-leaning flavor mix, chef Jorge Molina launched a classic Vietnamese banh mi sandwich, layering pork sausage and paté with house pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro, fresh mint, jalapeño and sriracha crème.
31 East Napa St, Sonoma
The 13-inch all beef hot dog (frankfurters, though similar in their skinny style, are typically made with pork) makes a rather shocking appearance at a club known for cocktails. The so-called Thrillerdog is topped with cheddar, scallions, sour cream, bacon, chives, brown mustard, mayo and potato sticks, so really, it’s a baked potato masquerading as a hot dog. Fooled ya!
508 Fourth St, San Francisco; 415.706.6568
A brewery is a fine place to find sausages, and the “other” brewery in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood serves up a fine andouille sausage. There is no bun to speak of, but sides of sauteed shallots and broccoli raab are typical on any given night — because we all need some veg — as well as some non-negotiable stout mustard.
100 Hooper St, San Francisco; 415.757.0178
Black Hammer Brewing’s Castro location, known as Willkommen, sources sausages exclusively from San Francisco’s queen of sausage, Rosamunde. In this case, it’s a smoky, savory Slovenian klobase, an all-pork coarse-ground number made with Duroc pork from Compart Family Farms. The flavors of garlic and onion shine through and make the klobase a great choice for the Berliner style, also known as currywurst. The sausage arrives atop fries with plenty of curry-infused ketchup and a dusting of curry powder.
2198 Market St, San Francisco; 415.766.9225
Chef Paul Canales’ new restaurant, inspired by regional southern French cuisine, reminds us of another classic French sausage, boudin blanc. A mixture of veal and pork cased in a larger-gauge hog casing, the sausage is pale in color from the “boudin,” or cream and caramelized onion that are blended with warm spices (clove, nutmeg, allspice), plus coriander, caraway and cayenne. The boudin is first poached and then sauteed to give the sausage its own caramel edge.
422 24th St, Oakland; 510.985.9001
More from Marin:
- Where to Eat: San Rafael
- Dining for Justice: A New Bay Area Food-Justice Program Ensuring No One Goes Hungry
- Where to Get the Best Seafood Sandwiches in Marin: 5 Top Restaurants
Christina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract Publishing, Sunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her child’s school, and supports the Marin Audubon Society, PEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.