Legendary Hot Dogs Shine in
Little Rock and North Little Rock

Kerry Kraus


There’s nothing quite like a good hot dog, especially in the summer or at an athletic event. For a while, there seemed to be a dearth of good hot dogs in central Arkansas, with only Sonic as an option (no, I’m not dissing Sonic) – or so it seemed. I have to admit to being picky about my hot dogs – I don’t like the ones made from whatever is leftover at the end of the day which is then ground up, mixed together, plopped in a casing and called a hot dog. I prefer all beef or turkey.

Ever since I’ve been able to get the Food Network and Travel Channel on cable, I’ve heard of the legendary Nathan’s Famous hot dogs from Coney Island. I was determined to get one somehow, ordering off the Internet if I had to. Low and behold, Bill’s Coney’s (top photo) has saved me the trouble. Served out of a cart on Main Street in the Argenta District of downtown North Little Rock, Bill serves Nathan’s. On top of the dog, he serves “Coney dry,” which is not chili but a “dry” meat sauce. You can get one with the works: sauerkraut, onions, cheese, relish, mustard and jalapeños. You can also get Frito Pie made with Coney dry.
Does Nathan’s live up to its reputation? To me it does. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the often described “snap” when you bite into it. Bill’s is open for lunch Monday-Friday and is located in front of Galaxy Furniture and Design Center at 304 Main.

Another celebrated dog – this one with Arkansas roots – is now being offered again. As long as I can remember, I’ve heard about Perciful’s legendary hot dog, once served at a drive-in at 8th and Broadway in downtown Little Rock. It was always mentioned in those wistful conversations that started “Remember those…..” The business started in 1942 and soon became one of the capital city’s main destinations of downtown “cruisers” during the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s.

After a lengthy sabbatical, it is now located in the East End community southeast of Little Rock.  Perciful’s (middle photo) is once again serving its famous frankfurter, with slaw and chili made from the same great recipes. Also on the menu are homemade chili, Frito pie, nachos, freshly baked pies and cookies. I haven’t been to Perciful’s yet but I will get there.

I can’t leave out what is my all-time favorite hot dog – the Arkansas Griller (bottom photo) from Petit Jean Meats. If you haven’t had one, they are terrific, just like all the other meats Petit Jean offers. I thoroughly enjoy them at Reynold’s Razorback Stadium during an Arkansas Razorback football game but the toppings are somewhat limited. The best I’ve had is at Little Rock’s own Purple Cow. It’s topped with cheddar cheese, onions and chili. It’s huge but you savor every bite.

I know there are tons of other really good hot dogs across Arkansas, ones I haven’t yet had the pleasure of trying. Where is your favorite place in Arkansas for a hot dog?

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