Reindeer sausage food quest

The downtown Anchorage hot dog scene can be equated to the hot dog stands of New York City. They are available on nearly every street corner and offer a variety of options beyond a classic dog.

Reindeer sausage is among the quintessential Alaskan foods sought out by tourists and locals alike. With a subtle spice and a hearty flavor, the reindeer sausage hot dog can be doctored up to most people’s liking.

We chose to visit four stands in the downtown Anchorage area. We visited Tia’s Hot Dog, The Red Umbrella, Alaska Reindeer Dog and M.A.’s Hot Dog stand.

Located on Fourth Avenue, Tia’s Hot Dog stand offers a variety of condiments for you to choose from, including their homemade pineapple sauce, salsa rosado, ranch and three different kinds of mustard. A single hot dog is $6.50. A meal, which includes a drink and a chip is $9.50. The service is casual and the staff friendly. Beyond hot dogs, Tia’s offers homemade Greek Gyros, which can be eaten on the go.

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Tia's Hot Dog can be spotted by their yellow umbrella, right on the corner of 4th Avenue and E Street. Photo credit: Young Kim

Just a few steps down Fourth Avenue sits The Red Umbrella, which offers the cheapest hot dog on our quest, at $6.00 for a single dog. A meal, which includes chips and a drink is $7.50. Offering six different kinds of hot dogs, The Red Umbrella has a large variety of specialty hot dogs to choose from. The stand makes their own special sauce called “Boss Sauce” which is a mustard-based sauce, with habanero and paprika. The staff is super friendly and talkative. The hot dog stand is even a Pokemon stop, and they offer a dollar off your meal if you drop a lure module.

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The Red Umbrella offers the cheapest meal deal for a hot dog in the downtown area. Photo credit: Young Kim
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Alaska Reindeer Dog offers both classic and exotic Asian spins on the reindeer hot dog. The stand offers unique specialty dogs like the Bacon wrapped dog, bulgogi dog and kimchi dog. A single dog is $6.50. A meal with a drink and chip is $8.50. A special dog is $8.00 and a special dog meal is $10.50. The stand also makes their own teriyaki mayonaise, spicy mayonaise, spicy ketchup, spicy mustard and bulgogi sauce. The stand was started by a Korean family that immigrated to the Anchorage area. The staff is friendly and willing to offer suggestions on the best dog for you.

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Alaska Reindeer Dog offers the most exotic hot dog variations in the downtown area. Photo credit: Young Kim
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M.A.’s Hot Dog Stand has been an Anchorage staple in the hot dog scene for years now. So much so, that the opening of his stand unofficially marks the beginning of summer. A single dog is $6.25 and a meal is $8.25. They offer seven different kinds of hot dogs. They provide a homemade special mustard and spicy sweet sauce. The staff is friendly and established. You can find M.A.’s in the heart of downtown Anchorage at Town Square.

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Perhaps the most popular, M.A.'s Hot Dog stand still attracts many customers despite its location change this year. Photo credit: Young Kim

After tasting and reviewing these four stands, the best bang for your buck, the most options and the best tasting hot dog goes to Tia’s. With a variety of hot dogs to choose from, options beyond hot dogs and a large supply of condiments, Tia’s has something for any hungry pedestrian. Alaska Reindeer Dog came in at as a close second with their unique special dogs and the exotic flavors available. Take a walk downtown and journey on your own reindeer sausage food quest.