A Hot Dog Bar is a fun way to serve hot dogs for BBQs and other summer parties. Learn how to set one up with various toppings so your family and guests can create their own hot dog masterpiece!

Side shot of hot dog bar showing different hot dogs and toppings

If you want to make your next BBQ fun, you should plan and assemble a hot dog bar for your guests. This takes boring hot dogs to a whole new level, with lots of hot dog topping ideas for your friends and family.

What is a Hot Dog Bar

I was inspired to create a hot dog bar after making several taco bars and a salad bar board. It’s a lot like a charcuterie board except made with hot dogs and lots of toppings. So instead of meat and cheese, you arrange cooked hot dogs, toasted buns, and a variety of toppings so everyone can assemble their special dog.

You can go way beyond the average mustard, ketchup, and relish toppings. There are so many creative hot dog topping ideas you can use, and I’m showing you our favorite way to assemble the bar. It’s great for BBQs, or anytime you want to host a hot dog party.

Table of Contents
  1. What is a Hot Dog Bar
  2. Hot Dog Ideas
  3. Hot Dog Bar Toppings
  4. Tips
  5. More Recipes That Feed a Crowd
  6. Hot Dog Bar Recipe Recipe
Overhead shot of hot dog bar made on a wooden cutting board

Hot Dog Ideas

The first thing to do is choose the kind of hot dog you want to serve. You can serve all the same or offer a few to choose from. Depending on what you like, here are few types to choose from:

  • All-beef hot dogs
  • Pork hot dogs
  • Chicken hot dogs
  • Turkey hot dogs

You don’t have to stick to hot dogs – you can also use bratwurst or other sausages. Sometimes we set up a bar with grilled beer brats. For regular hot dogs, I plan to serve two per guest.

Whatever kind you opt for, toss them on the grill and cook them. I like to grill hot dogs over medium heat for about five to seven minutes. Bigger sausages will take longer.

Towards the end of the cooking time, when there’s about a minute or so left, I like to warm the hot dog buns on the grill to toast them lightly.

Hot Dog Bar Toppings

Use a large sheet pan (or two) or a large cutting board for your bar. The fun part is choosing and arranging all of the toppings! Here are the ones we love:

  • Chili – any kind will work, but we like one without beans.
  • Shredded cheese – picks a few favorites like cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby-Jack, pepper jack, or Gruyere are all excellent choices.
  • Caramelized onions – you can cook them ahead, so they are ready to go on the board.
  • Diced yellow onion or red onion
  • Cooked and crumbled bacon
  • Sliced or diced tomatoes
  • Sliced avocados
  • Pickled jalapeno peppers
  • Grilled mushrooms
  • Grilled peppers

Don’t forget some condiments and sauces:

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard – we love classic yellow mustard, but deli mustard, grainy mustard, or creamy Dijon are great, too.
  • Pickle relish – try sweet or dill pickle relish.
  • BBQ sauce
  • Ranch dressing
  • Or make a special sauce by mixing mayo, ketchup, and mustard in a bowl.
Close up shot of hot dog bar with hot dogs and all the toppings


To make things easy, you can prepare many of the toppings ahead of time and placed them in smaller serving bowls. Then, you can refrigerate them until you’re ready to assemble the bar.

Give your guests ideas for making their dogs! Here are some ideas:

  • Chili cheese dog with diced onions
  • Caramelized onion and yellow mustard dog
  • Bacon, tomato, avocado, and ketchup dog
  • A pickled jalapeno, chopped onion, bacon bits, and BBQ sauce dog
  • A chili, cheese, diced onion, pickled jalapeno dog

You can also use the same toppings to do a hamburger bar. Or offer both hot dogs and burgers and let everyone choose their favorite. The only rule for making your hot dog bar is that there are no rules! These are just a few ideas to get you started – there are many ways you could take yours with different toppings and sauces. So have fun and come up with hot dog bar ideas to make it your own!

More Recipes That Feed a Crowd

Close up shot of hot dog bar with hot dogs and all the toppings

Hot Dog Bar Recipe

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Learn how to set up your own Hot Dog Bar with various toppings so your family and guests can create their own hot dog masterpiece!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • Hot Dogs – Allow at least 2 per person
  • Hot Dog Buns – Allow at least 2 per person

Toppings we used:

  • 1 15 ounce can of chili with no beans cooked
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 medium yellow onions caramelized
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 8 strips of bacon cooked and diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes sliced
  • 2 avocados sliced
  • 1 cup pickled jalapeno peppers

Condiments we used:

  • Ketchup
  • Yellow mustard
  • Deli mustard
  • Pickle relish
  • Barbecue sauce


  • Heat barbecue to medium heat. Cook hot dogs turning them occasionally. A standard sized hot dog should take about 5-7 minutes to cook. Larger hot dogs will take additional time. Open buns and heat for about one minute at the end of cooking the hot dogs.
  • Add toppings to small serving bowls and place on a serving platter or board. Place condiments in serving bowls or leave in bottles (we used both).
  • Place hot dogs in the buns and place on the serving platter. Serve hot with your favorite chips, salads and other side dishes.

Recipe Notes

  • • Remember that this should be fun. Use toppings you like. Nothing is off limits. If you like ranch dressing, use it, mushrooms, use it. Whatever you can think of, use it!! In our board we did the following:
    • Chili cheese dog with diced onions
    • Caramelized onion and yellow mustard dog
    • A Bacon, tomato, avocado and ketchup dog
    • A pickled jalapeno, diced onion, bacon bits and Barbecue sauce dog
    • A chili, cheese, diced onion, pickled jalapeno dog

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 595mg | Potassium: 429mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 514IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword hot dog, hot dog bar
Side shot of hot dog bar with recipe title on the bottom of image

I’m sure you’ve heard of a taco bar, but what about a Hot Dog Bar? This is an easy and perfect way to please everyone you’re hosting.

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