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Jun 30, 2019

LA-Style Danger Dogs

L.A. Style Danger Dogs - bacon-wrapped grilled hot dogs topped with mustard, ketchup, mayo, grilled onions and peppers, fresh pico de gallo, and often topped with a grilled jalapeño pepper. 

LA Style Danger Dogs #hotdogs #mexicanhotdogs #sonorahotdogs

Los Angeles Danger Dogs are wrapped in bacon, and grilled on a baking sheet on top of a metal shopping cart with a can of Sterno to heat the baking sheet.

They are topped with grilled onions and peppers that are cooked on the same baking sheet, and nestled in a grocery store hot dog bun.

If you have ever been to a late night event in Los Angeles, you have likely been greeted by a line of sidewalk vendors repeating "hot dog, hot dog, hot dog" as you walk to your car.

Danger Dog Vendors

Danger dogs are a riff on Sonoran-Style Hot Dogs, which are sold in the state of Sonora, Mexico. Sonoran hot dogs are bacon-wrapped, and include pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, onions, mustard, salsa, crema, and roasted jalapeños on top of a bolillo roll. Evidently, there is an active Sonoran-style hot dog scene in southern Arizona.

There are theories as to why the hot dogs in Los Angeles evolved into Danger Dogs:

While Sonoran immigrants brought Sonoran-style bacon wrapped hot dogs to Los Angeles, the hot dogs evolved due to various factors, including one theory that bolillo rolls were not readily available in Los Angeles within walking distance.

Supermarket buns were so much easier (and cheaper) to obtain. However, they were/are not sturdy enough to hold the beans and all of the extra ingredients.. thus, the Los Angeles version.

Regarding the name Danger Dogs, there are two theories:

First, until recently, Los Angeles was so strict about food vendors that you had to be very agile when you set up your hot dog cart.

Second, the whole idea of pork sitting out without refrigeration may have something to do with the name.

Danger Dog Vendors in Los Angeles

How do you find Danger Dogs in Los Angeles?

While there are a few Sonoran style hot dog restaurants with actual addresses, to find Danger Dogs, you will need to hang out after an event that is just letting out. These photos are outside the Wiltern Theater (at Wilshire and Western), where we've been to many concerts. 

P.S. If you go there, be sure to eat at El Cholo on Western for dinner for another classic LA experience. 

The Wiltern Theater

Other options include the Greek Theater, USC football games, LA Galaxy Soccer matches, night clubs in Echo Park, Downtown, and Highland Park, and I'm sure lots of other areas that I'm not aware of. 

Danger Dog Vendors in Los Angeles

Danger dogs are served on a sheet of parchment paper. Otherwise, they look exactly like the photo at the top of this post.... with one exception. I could not drizzle mine with mayo. Mayo on hot dogs doesn't work for me...

I also added a few bits of chopped avocado in homage to the Sonoran-style bacon wrapped hot dogs.

Bacon wrapped hot dogs from Los Angeles

How do you make Danger Dogs? 

You don't need a baking sheet, shopping cart and a can of Sterno to make danger dogs. I made mine in a cast iron frying pan. You can also use a griddle pan. 

Bacon wrapped hot dogs in a cast iron pan

First, wrap a hot dog with bacon and secure with toothpicks if necessary. then grill the bacon-wrapped hot dogs in the hot pan or griddle until the bacon and hot dogs are fully cooked. 

In the same pan, while you are cooking the hot dogs, grill the onions and peppers. 

Fill a bun with the hot dog, the grilled onions and peppers, and fresh salsa, and drizzle with ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. Top with avocado pieces. 

I'm really excited about posting this recipe (well, it's really not a recipe, it's more of a story). I've had an obsession with these hot dogs forever (thus, all of the photos), mostly because we go to a lot of concerts in LA. There's that clarion call of "hot dog, hot dog, hot dog."

If you like hot dogs, be sure to check out the rest of the recipes from the Our Dinner Table group! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, join our Pinterest board, too! If you are a blogger and would like to join, send me an email.

Hot Doggity Dog Recipes

Bacon wrapped hot dogs - LA style Danger Dogs with all of the fixings #dangerdogs #hotdogs #sonorastylehotdogs

LA-Style Danger Dogs - Hot Dog Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Author: Karen Kerr
L.A. Style Danger Dogs - bacon-wrapped grilled hot dogs topped with mustard, ketchup, mayo, grilled onions and peppers, fresh pico de gallo, and often topped with a grilled jalapeño pepper.


  • 4 hot dogs
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced
  • 1 sweet onion, halved and sliced
  • 4 whole jalapeño peppers (optional)
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Diced avocado


How to cook LA-Style Danger Dogs - Hot Dog Recipe

  1. Wrap four hot dogs with bacon and secure with toothpicks. 
  2. Heat a griddle, frying pan, or cast iron pan over medium heat and add the hot dogs. 
  3. While the hot dogs are cooking, add the onions and peppers to cook in the bacon fat. 
  4. Continue to cook until the bacon is fully cooked and the onions and peppers are charred. 
  5. Place the hot dogs in the buns, add the peppers and onions, as well as pico de gallo. 
  6. Drizzle with ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise, and garnish with an optional grilled jalapeño and/or avocado. 
hot dogs, danger dogs, sonora dogs
hot dogs
Created using The Recipes Generator
Sources include Gastronomy Blog, Food Republic, and Thrillist

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Would you like to comment?

  1. These hot dogs look so delicious! I love the story behind them. And I love mayo so I would definitely add it onto mine!

  2. Once again we are on the same page. Are you sure we are not related??

  3. The story behind these hot dogs is so fun to learn! I know that I would love these and all of those toppings!

  4. Of all the hot dog recipes, three of us made something similar. How funny!! I love the story behind these. And I can't wait to try your bollilo recipe for my Sonoran hot dogs.

  5. Agree with the tip to hit up El Cholo on Western Ave!!! It’s been a family fav for years. :)

    1. Awesome! Every time we go to the Wiltern, we have dinner there first.


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