Sunday, April 14, 2013

Looking for a One and Only? Try Hot Dog Johnny's!

My husband and I and our younger son found ourselves in rural Warren County, NJ yesterday, at the birthday party of a little girl named Joy. After the party, we headed west for several miles on Route 46 to a place called Hot Dog Johnny's. Family-owned and operated since 1944, Hot Dog Johnny's sits along the Pequest River, far from strip shopping malls and chain restaurants and interstates and corporate-created nostalgia.

Hot Dog Johnny's is the real deal, in Buttzville, yes Buttzville, New Jersey, which makes for great t-shirts for middle schoolers. (Which is exactly why our son was willing to endure a one-year-old's birthday party)

We've been to Hot Dog Johnny's many times before. It's a rite of spring after the annual camping trip of our sons' former private school. But we hadn't been there in years. Do you have places like this in your life? Places that conjure up happy times?

 Our son, below at right, look pensive. But really, he is texting.

In addition to frosted birch beer, fresh buttermilk, hot dogs, French fries and ice cream, Hot Dog Johnny's also sells all kinds of Tastykakes.

 We'll be back!


  1. Love Hot Dog Johnnie's! As a kid, it was a favorite stop as my parents took me and my three siblings to visit our relatives in Staten Island and Long Island, from Pittston, PA. Many, many fond memories. I need a road trip!

  2. OMG I am now convinced we are living parallel lives! Yes, HDJ's is one of those childhood happy places. We did the reverse trip to Mary Ellen's--we were going from SI to the Poconos. Now I go with my husband and kids. We all love it. That is the only time I will eat hot dogs now. Last time we were there I noticed the place had been cleaned up a bit and you can't access the stream...probably a good idea.