GREAT HOT DOGS OF KANSAS CITY
Travel And Photo Today Does Lunch
“UP DOG” OF INDEPENDENCE
By now it is obviously no secrete that I’m a big fan of DAWGS – Hot Dogs that is. (Yes, I know – a bit weird – but as they say, there’s no accounting for taste.) Whenever I travel, domestically or even internationally, I enjoy the opportunity to check out hot dog stands and dinners along the way. I’ve written about several of my hot dog encounters previously – click to read about Harley’s Hot Dog Revolution and Biker Jim’s – both in Denver or Murdo Drive In in South Dakota. COVID has slowed my travels a bit so, rather than give up on my interest in hot dogs, I have used the opportunity to explore the local hot dog scene right here in the Kansas City area. Most recently I’ve written of my visit to Custard’s Last Stand in Blue Sprints, Missouri.
Today I set out to explore Independence, Missouri just to the east of Kansas City. Independence is best known as the hometown of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States. The City of Independence has many venues and attractions related to President Truman including the Truman Home ( a National Historic Site) and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum.
Independence is perhaps a bit less well known as the location of a great little restaurant specializing in that Great American delicacy – the Hot Dog. The restaurant is aptly named “UP DOG” and is strategically located right on the central square of Independence.
Up Dog is located on the square in central Independence, Missouri. It is about 10 miles east from downtown Kansas City, Missouri and approximately 25 miles from Overland Park, Kansas.
UP DOG location details –
114 N Liberty Street
Independence, Missouri 64050
Up Dog occupies the southwest corner of the intersection of W Maple Avenue and N Liberty Street, directly across from the “Historic Truman Courthouse” and a statue of Harry S Truman in his military uniform which sits on an adjacent corner.
Up Dog (Circle # 1 in map below) is located only one mile from the Harry S Truman Presidential Library and Museum (Circle # 3 in map below) and 1/2 mile from The Harry S. Truman National Historic Site (Circle # 2 in map below).
The Restaurant –
UP Dog, in Independence Missouri, is a bright and friendly restaurant which specializes in hot dogs. It offers dine-in and pick-up service. The space is bright and open and airy with a fun and classic retro decor featuring a black, white and red color theme. Chrome based stools with red cushions provide counter seating at the grill as well as along one window counter area. An adjacent wall offers booth seating with matching decor. It is a fun and pleasant atmosphere reminiscent of days gone by.
Customers place their orders at the front counter with food being delivered to their table in short order. Soft drinks are self-serve.
Classic style Hot Dog Machine
Holds 8 Dogs & 6 buns
Perfect for sausages, brats, taquitos
The Menu –
The Menu at Up Dog is clearly focused on hot dogs and sides. They offer eight different “specialty” hot dogs as seen below as well as a “Naked Dog” – a plain hot dog without any of their special “fixins.” For those not into hot dogs, they do also offer a limited number of additional items including chicken tenders, chicken strips, a cheese steak sandwich and a BBQ pulled pork sandwich.
— THE DOGS —
MISSOURI DOG – pickle, bacon, cheddar cheese, mustard
CHICAGO DOG – Vienna hot dog, pickle, tomato,relish, onions, sport peppers,mustard, celery salt, poppy seed bun
DETROIT DOG – bean-less chili, diced onions, mustard
CINCINNATI DOG – 2 mini dogs, chili, cheese
NEW YORK DOG – mustard, sauerkraut
RIO DOG – cream cheese, bacon, onions, jalapeños, mustard
BACON CHILI CHEESE DOG – brat bun, bacon, bean-less chili, cheddar cheese
CHILI CHEESE DOG
PIZZA DOG – provolone, pepperoni, marinara
For those not into hot dogs, they do also offer a limited number of additional items including chicken tenders, chicken strips, a cheese steak sandwich and a BBQ pulled pork sandwich.
— THE UP DOG MENU —
The Hot Dogs –
Decisions, decisions, decisions – Eight Speciality Dogs! How to choose? Some offerings were just a bit too “out there” for me. I mean, what’s with this “Rio Dog” for example? Cream cheese and jalapenios on a hot dog? Really? After considerable internal debate I decided to go with the “Missouri Dog” – a hot dog on a steamed bun topped with pickle, bacon, cheddar cheese and mustard. Seemed fairly straight forward and a good way to sample Up Dog fare. And anything with bacon – well, that’s gotta be good! For good measure I paired my Missouri Dog with an order of Tater Tots.
My Missouri Dog arrived promptly – all hot and loaded with goodies. Served in a checkered paper plate with the tots cozied up alongside – the image is appealing and speaks of great flavors to come. One bite and I knew this was the place for good dogs. It was delicious and full of great hot dog flavor. Oh so good! It was great. And the tots? Usually I would go “all in” with some ketchup on tater tots but these little bits of ‘tater were fully capable of standing on their own. Hot, crispy and full of flavor. Hold the ketchup folks. A great compliment to my Missouri Dog.
Bottom Line –
Up Dog does a really great Dawg. The restaurant is fun and has a classic retro diner vibe that adds to the enjoyment of the experience. It’s a little slice of hot dog heaven. If you are a hot dog lover it’s well worth the trip. On my first visit I thoroughly enjoyed my Missouri Dog. Next time I think I’ll try one of their other specialties – but probably not the the Rio Dog. Cream cheese on a hot dog? No thank you very much!
Check Out The Dawgs At Up Dog …..
….. And Enjoy The Adventure!
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