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Eat & Drink

Junction shop makes the best hot dogs in the world

Posted by Kaela Greenstien / August 7, 2011

best hot dogs in the worldWhen you think of Iceland, you're probably more likely to think of vacation killing Volcanoes or that singer who wore a swan before hot dogs come to mind.

Those who have made the voyage to the sparsely populated, wildly isolated and McDonalds-less country all come back with tales of intensely beautiful geography, nightless summers dogs? Iceland's capital Reykjavik is indeed home to what is supposedly the worlds best hot dog at dockside shop Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, or literally, the best hotdog in town. They are so good in fact, none other than Bill Clinton himself dropped by to try one as you'll find proudly mentioned in any google search of "Icelandic Hotdogs" you can find.

best hot dogs in the worldThe Baker clan, made up of married Mjolk shop owners, Julie and John and brother Frank, decided it was high time for Toronto to experience famous Icelandic hotdogs and set up shop for one night only during the Junction Design Crawl on Friday night.

John and Frank stood decked out in retro style aprons and caps while a massive queue nearly a block long formed down the sidewalk. To recreate the experience, the duo imported the authentic condiments straight from Iceland. Special mustard, remoulade mayonnaise, ketchup, and the key ingredient, frizzled onions, were shipped in and nearly didn't make it after being held by customs for over 2 weeks. The hotdogs, normally made with lamb and boiled in Icelandic beer LAVA, couldn't be imported, so regular Canadian style dogs were boiled up in the specialty beer.

best hot dogs in the worldThe crowd could have easily doubled as the "I've been to Iceland" club as nearly everyone I spoke to had already had some experience with the original famed dogs. Everyone raved about the originals and, even though these ones were made with wonder bread and regular hotdogs, they were a pretty great recreation of Iceland's favourite street food.

best hot dogs in the worldAfter two and a half hours and a couple trips back to the grocery store for more supplies, the guys sold about 200 Canadianized Icelandic hotdogs and would have kept going if the store didn't close. Looks like Toronto may be in store for more Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur next year.

best hot dogs in the world



Colin / August 7, 2011 at 08:04 am
They should do this again! Icelandic hotdogs truly are the best. I got a bottle of Pylsusinnep mustard in my fridge right now! So good!
doggies / August 7, 2011 at 10:11 am
So, in other words these dogs, except for the condiments, were nothing like the originals?
Kaela Greenstien / August 7, 2011 at 10:28 am
More photos up here:
yan / August 7, 2011 at 11:12 am
hotdogs are poison
o.k. replying to a comment from doggies / August 7, 2011 at 11:30 am
Yup. Typical of us North Americans to line up down a block for a B-version of the real thing.
AV replying to a comment from o.k. / August 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm
lol... agreed. Authentic PC hotdogs with authentic No Frills condiments. Just like being back in Iceland.
Ron / August 7, 2011 at 12:24 pm
AWESOME picture of the red-head and the guys staring at her. She's a pro.

howitisdone / August 7, 2011 at 01:31 pm
hahaha listen to these bitches complaining about authenticity. Get off your blogs and go do something of your own. Christ almighty.
Wondering / August 7, 2011 at 01:47 pm
"200 hundred" & "made with wonder bread"... are these posts not edited before being published online? This is not the first time I have seen errors like this on the website. Please start putting more effort into entries!
Brad / August 7, 2011 at 01:53 pm
Yeah. I waited in line for an hour for these "authentic hotdogs" only to hear the guy serving them say "if we run out, I'll just run over to no frills again". Not worth it at all.
teofil replying to a comment from o.k. / August 7, 2011 at 02:02 pm
Also typical of North American (Torontonians) to expend energy harping on the efforts of others.

All said, big thanks to the Mjölk people for their tasty contribution to the Junction Design Walk.
McRib replying to a comment from Brad / August 7, 2011 at 02:09 pm
your first mistake was waiting in line for a hot dog.
A'Dreema Monet / August 7, 2011 at 02:17 pm
so the best hot dogs in the world are schneiders red hots on wonder buns frequently purchased at no frills?
blaafulgar / August 7, 2011 at 02:23 pm
not that mcDs didn't try, there was one in the heart of reykjavik...actually the only place to get a real early a.m. morgunskaffee, once upon a time before the tide of tourists became a tsunami...
Kevo replying to a comment from yan / August 7, 2011 at 02:28 pm
>>hotdogs are poison

Yeah, what's your point? I don't eat them because they're good for me, but rather that I like the taste. I've heard the stories about what goes into them from a guy I went to highschool with who worked in the Maple Leaf plant and it still hasn't stopped me :)
Lenny / August 7, 2011 at 02:58 pm
oh boo hoo! local shops did something fun! I'm going to get on the internet and complain about it! Would commenters on here prefer it if no one did anything different or special? People complaining and hiding behind the anonymity of the internet make it so that no one give a rats ass about what blogTO commenters have to say. bravo guys.
John / August 7, 2011 at 03:22 pm
Thank you for everyone who came out friday! I just wanted to mention the hotdogs were the organic dogs from Rowe farms, and everything else except the buns and ketchup were from Iceland. the beer, crispy onions, remoulade, and mustard were all imported by us. To be honest, hot dogs are hot dogs, and what makes icelandic hot dogs delicious are that they are cooked in beer, and all of the crazy delicious toppings on them!
Juli / August 7, 2011 at 03:29 pm
Just a reminder that this was for FUN!!!

Also, FYI: you can't even import hot dogs due to strict regulations (maybe you can as a private citizen for personal use but not for public consumption).

JunctionTO / August 7, 2011 at 05:02 pm
This was an amazing event, everyone had fun! Stop your pathetic whining, get off your asses and do something creative in your neighbourhood, maybe we'll show up and support you.
morga replying to a comment from JunctionTO / August 7, 2011 at 07:07 pm
An amazing event? I could understand nice, or good....... but AMAZING? What words do you use to describe things that are more important than a smog dog on the street? Must be nice to be easy to please. That's something I struggle with.

Why is everyone so annoyed that people want authenticity? All you are asking for is for someone to go that extra step to do their job the best they can. I'm sorry but no frills hot dogs don't excite me in the least. They had enough time on their hands to go get the silly hats and cart and wait 2 weeks for frizzled onions, why not some authentic meat? I personally don't like when people do a half azzed job at my work, do you? "Well at least they tried" is not acceptable to me.
Gabe / August 7, 2011 at 07:59 pm
This is way to fallick of a post. Oh My!!!
JunctionTO / August 7, 2011 at 08:17 pm
By amazing event, I meant the Junction Design Crawl... look it up
Juli replying to a comment from morga / August 7, 2011 at 08:20 pm
Just to recap since you're information is incorrect:

We could NOT import hot dogs and buns because of a) strict regulations, b) even if we could, it would have rotted before getting to us, being stuck at the border because of strict regulations.

The best we could do was spend extra money on Organic Rowe Farms hot dogs. We didn't anticipate such an incredible demand, so once we ran out, we didn't want to disappoint the people waiting patiently in line, so we topped up on hot dogs.

We imported all the toppings. Last time I checked they don't sell Remulaði, dried fried onions and Pylsussinnep at No Frills.

We actually put a lot of effort, time and care into our event.

Thank you to all of our supporters and friends. We, as a neighborhood, were really pleased about the turn out and we're glad so many of you had a great time.

Lucy / August 7, 2011 at 09:38 pm
A message to all you haters:

I am so grateful that people are actually making an effort to come up with interesting events in our city. There was a great turn out, the people were friendly and it was an awesome night.

I am sorry that people on this blog are such downers. Thank you to the Mjolk people for coming up with such a cute idea, I know that most people were enjoying their hotdogs. The rest of the venues also did a great job. I wish it could have gone on all night!

JunctionTO / August 7, 2011 at 11:05 pm
This is why I love our neighbourhood, people take real initiative to do something interesting, creative, useful, instead of complaining about how much we lack and why doesn't someone do it for us.
You have an idea? Go for it, you'll always have community support.

Another great example is vintage black & white film screenings in the Junction, we saw films like King Kong and Sherlock Holmes under the stars, someone had an idea that Junction should have free outdoor films and so we did! Farm Fest? No problem, another truly unique event in the Junction this Summer, everyone enjoyed themselves. Thanks to ALL the creative people who are not afraid of the lazy negative haters, Junction wouldn't be the same without you.

jeff / August 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm
Very misleading headline.

They make "their version of an Icelandic hot dog" and it isn't even something you can get every day as it isn't really a "shop"
Matthew / August 7, 2011 at 11:58 pm
As one of the people featured in the hot dog-eating photo, I can tell you that the hot dogs tasted both great and unlike anything I've ever had before. They were really, really interesting!

Thanks to the folks at Mjolk. You guys did a great job, and you have a fun and fantastic store, as well. It's enthusiastic people like you that make Toronto great, not compulsive whiners on the Internet who should be creating something of their own rather than endlessly critiquing others.
morga replying to a comment from Juli / August 8, 2011 at 12:09 am
If you read my post, none of my information is incorrect. I mentioned you waited 2 weeks to import the onions(I did fail to mention you imported the rest but never said you didn't). I completely understand about not being able to import hot dogs and buns which I would never expect. The best you could have done is not Rowe farms hot dogs, but making your own. If you look up how to make a hot dog online, the process is not much harder than making sausage, very cost friendly and you would have been able to use lamb. A little recipe adjustment could have found you something authentic. I'm a home cook and have made my own hot dogs. Now if you did that I would be waiting in the 30 minute line for a hot dog with $10 for your efforts.

"We actually put a lot of effort, time and care into our event." - I don't doubt your passion or effort, just the execution. The meat to me would be one of the most important parts of the hotdog. I am not cheering against you here. I really do wish that extra little bit of something would have been there because everything about the article really interested me. I admire that you tried to bring something we don't get often/ever, but for me it wasn't enough for a BLOG TO article claiming "best hot dogs in the world" which clearly is no fault of your own.
julifrank / August 8, 2011 at 08:20 am
Morga, eat a weiner and stfu. seriously what a wanker... people like you ruin everything.
McRib / August 8, 2011 at 08:29 am
oh ffs, shut up. You weren't even there yet are complaining that they didn't make their own hot dogs.
morga / August 8, 2011 at 10:40 am
I am not complaining they didn't make their own hot dogs! I am saying it isn't special enough to do a BLOG TO post about THE BEST HOTDOGS IN THE WORLD. If they would gone that extra step it would have been worth reading about. It was just disappointing...... Simmer down people. I think the people who tell others to STFU ruin it for everyone. Sorry you can't handle another person having a different opinion than yourself about a Blog TO article. Grow up.
Valeria / August 8, 2011 at 02:12 pm
Icelandic hotdogs sound and look so delicious! Too bad we couldn't make it out for the Design Crawl but I hope there will be another next year! :)
Daniel / August 8, 2011 at 02:13 pm
YUM! Looks like you guys did a great job!
Matthew replying to a comment from morga / August 8, 2011 at 03:09 pm
Maybe, instead of complaining about the hot dogs you never ate - and telling the people who threw the event how to make the hot dogs you never ate - you should complain about the hyperbole in the title of the post and leave it at that?

If you want to visualize how boorish your comments are, imagine that instead of typing them on the Internet, you were at the hot dog stand the night of the event, and that you started loudly telling the people who were doing something fun and nice how you make hot dogs at home and how it's so easy to do so and that everyone in line is a sucker for even daring to think that an event like this is interesting?
skratula replying to a comment from morga / August 8, 2011 at 04:38 pm
The blog author was obviously being playful with the article title. And if making hot dogs is so easy then why not organize your own event?
morga replying to a comment from Matthew / August 8, 2011 at 04:43 pm
You are clearly not reading anything I am typing. This isn't the street, this is the internet and I never called anyone a sucker. Its just an opinion. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it was the best hot dog ever served in Toronto and I missed out. I can accept that. I said I was interested in the article until I read about the product they were selling and the misleading headline. I also said in one of my comments that the title of the headline is not their fault. Being in a Blog TO article leaves you open to criticism and I can't believe I am being challenged for not accepting no frills hot dogs and buns with a few condiments as something special. I have eaten a no frills hot dog and bun before, and that is 80% of the product they sold. IMHO it is lipstick on a pig.
It doesn't make sense to me to put time and effort into ordering in specialty products, and then serving it with low end garbage. What they were trying to accomplish was brilliant was inspired.
Visualize this, An "ARTICLE" on a restaurant pushing store bought frozen pizza crust with flown in lobster and fresh truffles on it claiming it was the best pizza in the world. You would probably say WTF right?
anya replying to a comment from morga / August 8, 2011 at 05:04 pm
As a random reader who didn't attend this event and thinks hot dogs are revolting on principle, I have to say you're coming off as a total whiny jackass. Just stop.
fiddleton / August 8, 2011 at 05:09 pm

Holy Morga!
anders / August 8, 2011 at 05:16 pm
I think the concept of the event was perfect for the Junction Design Crawl. The group did put a lot of time and effort into their food and unfortunately, they were SO good that they ran out of dogs! They were obviously met with a choice--tell the line of patient folks to disperse, OR head to the store. I think they made a wise choice.

The allure of hot dogs has nothing to do with their homemade taste. They're a guilty pleasure! Making your own hot dogs strikes me as strange--why bother?

Why so much negativity around an event that was meant to be fun?
morga replying to a comment from anya / August 8, 2011 at 05:32 pm
morga replying to a comment from anya / August 8, 2011 at 05:37 pm
"Making your own hot dogs strikes me as strange--why bother? "

I just like to know what is in them. That's all. Its kinda fun. It is strange, I'm not gonna lie. When I tell people I do this they think I am insane. They are probably right. I do also enjoy a good Toronto smog dog once in a while though. I'm not a total snob.
The Shakes replying to a comment from morga / August 9, 2011 at 05:10 pm
Something tells me that the hot dogs you make probably taste really sour and bitter.
El / August 9, 2011 at 11:29 pm
Thanks Mjolk for bring Toronto a yummy taste of Icelandic hotdogs. Brilliant idea!
morga replying to a comment from The Shakes / August 10, 2011 at 12:15 am
Sour, bitter, and just in bad taste. That's the way I like them.
lee / August 10, 2011 at 01:34 am
you guys do realize that you are lining up to eat a hot dog! a hot dog people. who cares what version it is, it is still pig waste mixed with lard.
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