To get the lowdown on hot dogs in Charleston, I went in search of a great chili dog, like what you’d find at Skin Thrasher's or Pete’s No. 6 in the Upstate or even at The Varsity in Atlanta: Soft bun, nonsnappy wiener, loose-meat chili (that's not sweet), a sprinkling of diced onions and a yellow line of mustard. It seems basic but finding it proved elusive. There are a couple of decent chili dogs and even a lovely gourmet one at Bar Normandy, but none came close to the idealized chili dog in my mind. Either the chili was too sweet, the dog was too snappy, or the bread was just too bread-y. But I was able to find some great hot dogs that are worth eating, like the Chicago Dog at Skoogies and five others you can read about online. 

Follow Stephanie Barna on Twitter @stefbarna.