If you ever find yourself traveling along the northeast coast and have a craving for some hot dogs, you will want to make sure Hank’s Franks in Lodi, New Jersey is your first and only stop! Family owned since 1959, this local staple not only has mouthwatering food, but a pretty great origin story too.
It all began with the founder of Hank’s Franks, Hank Benanti. Shortly after World War II, Benanti purchased a pushcart to sell hot dogs to the public. It was only a matter of time before the business started to grow, and Benanti upgraded his pushcart to a three-wheeled, motorized scooter cart. Business was booming, and according to the current owner, Gary Benanti, Hank’s son, "By 1965, the competition wanted to shut my father down because he didn’t have a bathroom, so the stand was built. That was the best thing to ever happen...".
These days, you can still find Gary at 210 US highway 45 E, and not much has changed since his dad created Hank’s Franks. Their hot dogs are and have always been Sabrett® brand, known for their natural casing and phenomenal snap! Just like his dad, Gary is loading his dogs up with classic toppings like chili, cheese, mustard, and relish. There is also a few menu options that you will most likely only find in New Jersey. For instance, have you ever had hot Italian onions on your dog? What about potatoes and sauerkraut? Chances are one of the only places you’ll find these hand-held delights is Hank’s Franks.
Now, while Gary isn’t changing any of the existing menu options, he has recently expanded them. In the summer of 2023 Hank’s Franks added AutoFry® to their kitchen space and introduced fried foods to their already amazing menu. Customers can now add deliciously crispy, crinkle cut fries to any hot dog order. You can even top those fries with chili, cheese, or both. But wait, that’s not all! Gary and his team are also cranking out onion rings, chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches, mac & cheese bites, churros, and funnel cake sticks. We know, talk about impressive! They even handed out free fries to all their patrons to celebrate and promote the new addition.
So, when you have a HANKering for some delectable dogs, make your way to the Garden State and be sure to add Hank’s Franks to the itinerary. Hank’s Franks is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, except on Sundays. This roadside destination is full of friendly faces, delicious food, and even a little history. We know you won’t be disappointed!