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“Good hot dogs, great place outside of Busch Gardens” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mel's Hot Dogs

Mel's Hot Dogs
Ranked #108 of 2,356 Restaurants in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $4 - $14
Cuisines: American, Fast Food
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: World Class Wieners and other gourmet sandwiches. Cold beer and warm hearts.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
102 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Good hot dogs, great place outside of Busch Gardens”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2012

There were various types of hot dogs from different parts of the US. Very good taste and with fries is a home run! The decor is average but you have already been to Busch Gardens! Get a great meal not too expensive especially for kids!

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
Thank James B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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167 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    85
    48
    15
    10
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
“Pricey”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2012

I hate there with my girlfriend before going to Busch Gardens, Seafood was average atmosphere was excellent Service was good but it was very pricey. I probably would not go back.

    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Stockguy239
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Worth checking out”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2012

Found this place through reviews and i definitely would recommend trying the hot dogs from there. I had the Chicago with the sausage and it was great.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank airruiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooksville, Florida
Level Contributor
63 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Stop here often”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2012

We have been going to Mel's for years. I stopped there just because of the crazy hot dog car and was not disappointed. The dogs "pop" when you bite, a coney island favorite! Love the poppy seed bun and the crazy bright green relish. I always get the mighty mel, a larger dog. Good!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank bon p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“You May Already Be A Wiener...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2012

...But you'll have a hard time finding a dog as good as Mel's. I should know, I've tried and come close, and my own dogs are good for what they are. Mel's are special, though. It's his own secret ingredient, which you'll discover if lucky enough.

I've been going to Mel's since the mid-1990s, so you could consider me a regular who may have some bias. After all, Mel still affectionately refers to me as "Dirt Bag" on the order tickets. That's what family does, right? And if you're up to it, Mel will welcome you to the family. He's a real character, and the place just wouldn't be the same without him. When you go to Mel's, it's more than just filling your endless cavity with proteins and carbs. It's about an experience.

To the few naysayers out there, I've traveled around a bit, even to Chicago. I can honestly say that I prefer Mel's Chicago Dog over what other dogs I've sampled. The other dogs weren't bad, I just prefer the taste of Mel's combination of ingredients. As for the price, in my travels, Mel's is on par with other places. I'm not a Walmart shopper, though, so take that bias for what it's worth. I also prefer QUALITY over quantity. I'll take a moderately portioned, carefully crafted meal with some real taste over a Golden Corral stuff-your-face-with-volumes-of-crap meal any day.

So, foodie bias aside, Mel's dogs are really good. My favorites are the Slaw Dog and Chicago Dog. Mel's slaw is my favorite, and it pairs so well with the natural casing dog and poppy seed bun. That's saying a lot since I live in the South, which has an abundance of slaw. Next on the favorite scale is the Polish Dog, which will take longer to prepare since it's grilled fresh.

If you're feeling adventurous and want to try something other than a dog, order up a Chicago Beef. Ask for it sweet, wet and hot: just like Mel likes his women (sweet = grilled red peppers, wet = au jus, hot = hot gardiniera).

6 hoot owls out of 5, most definitely.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank iamjanosik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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