- A​ Hot Dog Cart in Battery Park, NYC.

G​ood Grubs: A love letter to Toronto's hot dog stands

W​e have a lot of sausage, but we don't have hot dog stands here in Germany

3d ago
4.4K

A​ few years ago, from April 2014-2015, I was fortunate enough to live and work in Canada. It was awesome, and I had worked towards that after finishing my Abitur in 2013.

W​hen I arrived in Toronto, I spent the first weeks just exploring around the city. Maybe I took too long to find a first job there, but I was just overwhelmed by living in the big Metropolis. I really loved it though.

I​n the evenings, I usually cooked in the Hoste Kitchen. It was much cheaper to do so. But while I was out exploring, I used to love the simple street hot dog.

A​ Toronto Sausage Stand.

A​ Toronto Sausage Stand.

T​he normal Jumbo Beef Hot Dogs sold all over Toronto were already pretty good, but I actually preferred the Mild German Sausage. It was a whole Dollar more, and it was nothing like a real German Bratwurst, but it was very delicious.

A​nd the best thing was that all the toppings were free – as long as you did not overdo it.

T​hose Sausages probably were never the best available Option, but it did love their convenience, and I quickly got used to them. I felt like a real Torontonian waiting in Line for my Street Grub. It was awesome.

C​an you see the Stand?

C​an you see the Stand?

A​fter a while, I then left Toronto and was unable to get my Sausages for a while. Obviously, there were none in the small Villages I had been living in in between. And I did not even think of them while living in Algonquin Park, working as a Dishwasher.

When I volunteered for the Toronto International Film Festival that September, I got brought right back to the Stands though, but since I had Work, I did not use them as much.

T​hen I moved again, this Time to British Columbia (after living off a Friend for a while). There, Street Sausages were not really a Thing. I guess Vancouver is too ‘health’ for that, and the Canadian Rockies were just too remote.

New York City hot dogs

F​rom a Tour Bus.

F​rom a Tour Bus.

J​ust before going back Home, I then went on a short, yet very pricey getaway to New York City. And that place is sorta Famous for its ‘dirtwater’ Hot Dogs. They are called that way because the Sausages are usually cooked in Water with all their brethren.

O​nce again, I loved that feeling of Street Culture. But admittedly, I much preferred the grilled Toronto Dogs to the boiled NYC Dogs. A man has got to have his principles.

T​he only Thing I regret about that short Visit is that I did not stay longer, it was just too expensive to stay in the Hostel (75$ in NYC vs 25$ in Toronto, per Night). And I did not visit a Bodega. I wish I did. But maybe there is something coming that way. (Cheeky Plug end)

F​ood Trucks in Toronto.

F​ood Trucks in Toronto.

E​ver since I left Toronto and flew back Home, I have not had a real Street Hot Dog. I never really thought about that, but right now I kinda miss it.

W​e just do not have the real deal Street Meat here in Germany. We have Bratwurst Stands and Döner Carts, but those are very different.

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Comments (11)

  • If it helps we don't have any food cart of any kind here.🙄

      2 days ago
  • Omg, those food trucks on Queen St outside City Hall / Nathan Phillips Square!!! Ahhh man good times I would get a cheap fries or poutine from there and walk around Toronto. 🙌

      2 days ago
    • Yes! Those were always worth a visit. One Time, a CBC Reporter even eyed my Food as I walked past him.He probably was hungry. 😬

        2 days ago
  • Yaaaass I'm from Toronto and my whole childhood was eating sausage buns from those hot dog/fast food carts I did not know it was kind of a unique to Toronto thing. Thank you for writing this!!!

      2 days ago
    • I definitely miss them, but I am unsure if they are completely unique Toronto. But maybe in Canada. New York also has some after all.

        2 days ago
    • Ohh no NYC for sure is famous for its food trucks I meant I was surprised that your overall experience in Toronto sounded like it was hard to replicate 😊

        2 days ago
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