If you grew up in Bergen County, you most likely grew up with Callahan’s hot dogs. The hot dog fast food restaurant opened in 1950 by Artie Castrianni serving quality hot dogs that people would drive miles to eat. In 2006 the business closed, leaving loyal customers wanting more.
Eight years later after his parents closed the original restaurants, Artie’s grandson Daniel C. DeMiglio decided to reopen the family business and continue his grandfather’s dream. Dan is the third generation to own and operate Callahan’s, contributing to his family’s legacy. When his fine dining restaurant closed in 2014, Dan went back to his roots and brought back Callahan’s in the form of a food truck along with the executive chef from the restaurant, Chef Daniel Fabian.
The response from the food truck was enormous! The truck sells their famous regular (9 inches) and SUPER dogs (over a foot long) and fries. It has won several awards including 201 Magazine’s Best Food Truck in 2015 & 2016, and various awards at different food truck festivals.
Dan now owns three Callahan’s food trucks, along with Callahan’s store front in Norwood which I visited in July (July is National Hot Dog month after all!). When the store front opened in April of 2015, old fans of the restaurant showed up to show their love and how much they’d missed it. The old fans, who Dan called “Callahan’s Kids”, have been overwhelmingly supportive of the restaurant traveling from all over the country to grab a famous hot dog.
Callahan’s in Norwood isn’t just a restaurant…it’s a destination! It’s the kind of place that if you were planning a road trip you would put in on your travel plans. It’s basically a tourist attraction! There is so much to see and take in while you’re inside from the original lights and tables, the Callahan’s pop culture all over the walls, and the “selfie mirror” in the bathroom. It’s ridiculously fun to visit there.
Before his Grandfather purchased Callahan’s in 1950 it was a gas station that sold food, and Dan has incorporated that into the design of the restaurant. The menu looks like a gas station, there’s a pump for the condiments, and there’s a 1950s Chevy where you can cap off your glass bottles.
On to the food…
Obviously if you are going to Callahan’s you should be getting a hot dog. Their motto “so big!, so good!” is an understatement.
Their homemade topping are incredible! Their hot toppings include sauekraut, cheese, hot gravy, homemade chili, bacon pieces, sauteed onions, sweet onions and sauce, and spicy onions. They also have a list of free toppings including the hot dog standards (ketchup, mustard, relish, raw onions, mayo) and their famous “So Good” sauce.
Callahan’s has the cutest kids meal I’ve ever seen (and had to get) which comes in a classic car with “Fantastic Frank” toy. I feel as an adult it’s perfectly acceptable to play with your food.
Executive Chef Daniel Fabian has been creating incredible dishes in addition to hot dogs at the restaurant. Their Truffle Mac and Cheese Burger was rated the #11 burger in the COUNTRY. The burger is made with white truffle oil, bacon, smoked gouda mac n’ cheese, and two burger patties which are then pressed, stuffed, breaded, and fried. Oh yeah, and it comes with a side of gouda man’n cheese!
As you can see it was the size of my face! I can’t even tell you how many heads turned and stared when that burger came out. Personally I feel like it’s enough food for at least 2 people, maybe four. Definitely deserving of it’s ranking!
They also have a list of fries that will blow your mind. The list includes the Frank n’ Fries, Broad Street Disco Fries, Freight Train Fries, and…Buffalo Bacon Blue fries (seen below).
If you’re looking for dessert, Callahan’s also has double battered cupcake and CinnaCrunch Frosted Fries.
Not only did I love the experience and the food at Callahan’s, but I loved meeting Dan and talking to him about his passion for the restaurant and preserving his family’s legacy. His hard work in the last two years has gotten him lots of recognition for obvious reasons, and he’s so humble about it. If you get a chance to meet him at a food truck event or at the restaurant, be sure to say hello!
I have nothing but positive things to say about Callahan’s hot dogs. I look forward to my next trip there!
Additional Information on Callahan’s Hot Dogs:
Address: 10 Broad St, Norwood, NJ 07648