Spike's: The Rolls-Royce of Hot Dogs

Spike's: The Rolls-Royce of Hot Dogs
Dave Gittleman, franchise owner of Spike's in Allston

There’s nothing more satisfying than the perfect hot dog. While my BU and BC friends are feuding over the Green Line rivalry (hockey season is BACK!), they all agree that Boston’s best hot dogs are found at Spike’s Junkyard Dogs in Allston. After trying the Texas Ranger Hot Dog (tangy BBQ sauce, a generous amount of chopped bacon, and cheddar cheese), I have to agree.

Spike’s massive menu and truly affordable prices (hotdogs are $4 to $5) make it the perfect spot for a casual eat. It’s a must try for any Bostonian. Spike’s friendly staff take the first name of your order and can offer you suggestions if it’s your first time.

Employees are quick to recognize regulars on a first name basis and by their favorite order. No matter the time, Spike’s is packed with regulars from all walks of life. Whether you’re working construction or studying economic modalities aptly characterized as agrarian pre-capitalist, everyone loves a good hot dog.

I sat down with the Spike’s Allston franchisee Dave Gettleman to talk about his story and menu. Dave shared that the original Spike’s was opened in Providence in 1991 by restaurateur David Drake.

Spike’s became so successful that Drake wanted to expand into Boston. When Dave was offered a chance back in 2000 to open a Boston Spike’s he quickly agreed. Dave spent 2 years searching for the best location. He found it on the corner of Brighton and Linden St. in Allston, and Spike’s has been a neighborhood staple in the 19 years since.

When I asked Dave why he decided to open a Boston branch, he told me, “Spike’s is the Rolls Royce of hot dogs. It was an opportunity I truly believed in.”

The reason why Spike’s is so good is because of its recipes. Drake worked with a fourth generation German American Wurst company right here in New England, and they created Spike’s original and exclusive hot dog recipe that is still used today (and you can TELL). At first, Spike’s baked its own rolls, but as Spike’s became more and more popular, Drake gave his roll recipes to local bakeries who deliver the rolls par baked and then they are finished in the restaurant-fresh everyday.

Visiting Spike’s is exciting! There’s so many combinations that I’ve come back... again and again. First timers MUST try the spicy Hot Dog and the Texas Ranger Hot Dog. Dave’s favorite is the Cheesy Buffalo Dog, served with buffalo sauce, a healthy portion of blue cheese, scallions and cheddar cheese.

Vegetarians will be relieved to hear that you can substitute Spike’s incredible veggie dog into any option. The veggie dogs have been a star feature of the menu since 2002. They’ve become so famous that CBS and Boston Magazine have named them the best veggie hot dogs in Boston.

Dave proudly says, “And you asked me what makes me happy. I get vegetarian customers that take a bite out of our vegetarian hot dogs and they come up to the counter and they ask, is this a veggie hot dog? I love it.”

Playing up to the neighborhood are two Boston themed hot dogs created by Allston employees. The CR’s Bulldog with grill sauce, baked beans, and cheddar as well as the Greyhound Dog topped with buffalo sauce, bacon, scallions, and cheddar.  

Spike’s offers promotions like Dog of the Week or Chicken Sandwich of the Week. Spike’s is a two minute walk from the Harvard Avenue T stop on the BC Green Line branch. Located on the corner of Linden at 108 Brighton Ave., Allston, MA, 02134

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