Fancy Franks
By Randi Chapnik Myers

The Newest Trend

Angelos Economopoulos had been working in the restaurant business for more than a decade when on a trip to Los Angeles, he noticed a trend. “Everywhere I went, there were gourmet fast food joints. It was the newest trend – higher quality food you can get fast,” Angelos recalls. What type of fast food tasted best in an elevated version? Why, hot dogs, of course.

To bring the idea home to Toronto, Angelos needed just the right space, and says he knew exactly where to focus his search. “Kensington Market is thriving. It’s one of the only areas that still has that untouched, Old World Toronto feel. And hot dogs are part of that history.”

When Angelos hit upon a high traffic, high visibility corner that had room for a painted mural on the side, he knew he’d found the right spot. After a 2012 renovation that dug the walls back to exposed brick, Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs emerged as rustic and comfy, with a big open kitchen and a long table with stools for customers to sit and munch.

Let’s face it – hot dogs are one of those staples, a real treat that peps you up. - Angelos Economopoulos, owner

The Fresh Factor

Fancy Franks hot dogs are uniquely delicious and there are styles for every taste, from traditional to deep fried to Korean style and everything in between. No matter what type of hot dog you love, they’re all equally delicious, says Angelos. A local butcher creates the dogs from a recipe of 100 per cent shoulder beef that's put inside a lamb casing that’s hand twisted.

Fresh ingredients are the brand’s mainstay. “Our meat is always made fresh, never frozen,” says Angelos, who points out that there’s a toppings bar full of fresh veggies to pile on, too. There are other old school faves as well: sausages, an extensive poutine menu, fries, onion rings, mini doughnuts, classic milkshakes, and customized hand-tossed salads. All of it is made fast, fresh and right in front of you.

Feeling Fine

Fancy Franks has been so popular that Angelos opened a second location at Bloor and Ossington in 2014 and a third on Queen Street a year later. All of the stores have their own unique mural, which brings you back to Coney Island days, featuring celebs like Sigourney Weaver and JFK taking a bite.

“Let’s face it, hot dogs are one of those staples, a real treat that peps you up,” Angelos says, and he knows it’s true by how his customers react. “Sometimes people literally skip inside the door,” he says. “They’re so excited to walk in and connect with that childhood memory of sinking their teeth into a nice, fresh hot dog. It’s that great a feeling.”

Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs sells fresh gourmet hot dogs with all the trimmings in downtown Toronto.
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