Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy Dog

Get your gourmet hot dog fix (for Clevelanders, such a thing exists) at the gritty, retro-hip neighborhood corner bar, Happy Dog. The interior remains largely unchanged since it was built in the 1940s; heralded by an oval wood racetrack bar and chrome barstools, outfitted with raised scallop paneling and dangling globe light fixtures. Downstairs at Underdog, pinball machines stand out against dim lighting and black fixtures. 

The kitchen offers locally made all beef hot dogs, veggie dogs (vegan Italian sausages), crispy tater tots and slender french fries - accompanied by a massive selection of toppings, all house made. The menus are designed as a choose your own hot dog adventure -  pencil in your order and get creative with it. They've got everything from Froot Loops and pimento mac n cheese, to vodka sauerkraut and Caribbean coleslaw. The sauces range from traditional (house made ketchup, Bertman Original Ballpark mustard, sriracha sauce) to intriguing (black truffle honey mustard, Alabama-Style white bbq) - all of them that we sample are excellent.

For those feeling daunted by the topping selection, but still up for something wacky - go for a suggestive wiener from the list of signature happy dogs. The East Meets West comes slathered in crunchy peanut butter, dressed up with Thai chili and garlic sauce, topped with do chua (Vietnamese daikon and carrots) and garlicky escarole. A 1:45 am Special features applewood smoked bacon, cheddar, chipoltle hollandaise and a fried egg. Wash down your dogs and tots with a local beer on draft like the Bell's Two-Hearted Ale (Kalamazoo, MI) or the Fat Heads Head Hunter IPA (North Olmstead, OH). They offer a large selection of domestic and imports - including some funky Eastern European beers

Our CLE crew was in for lunch and the place was relatively quiet -  but they have live music most nights, so I imagine a rowdy crowd. The Happy Dog is unmistakably authentic. This place makes me very happy, indeed. 

Happy Dog
Gordon Square Arts District / 
Detroit Shoreway 
5801 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44102

Happy Dog on Urbanspoon


  1. This place has such a fun vibe. Kind of reminds me of Lucky's.

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