Launched at the height of ‘gourmet fast food’ mania back in 2013, Bubbledogs’ unwavering popularity proves that Champagne by the glass matched with high-class hotdogs is a combination that is built to last.
In the spring of 2019, Bubbledogs’s intimate dining room underwent a major refresh – gone are the exposed brick walls, high stools and rustic vibe, replaced by a far chicer (and more Fitzrovia appropriate) blend of deep purple colour tones, plush banquette seating and a copper-clad bar by the entrance. There is still one communal high table though, wrapped in marble and featuring a built-in ice tray which can house a handful of Champagne bottles at one time, for groups looking to splash the cash.
This more grown-up vibe is well matched to the restaurant, but the sense of playfulness is not lost thanks to charming, chatty staff and fun touches such as a neon sign on the wall which depicts a dog hitching a ride on a flying Champagne cork. When it comes to the bubbles, co-owner Sandia Chang’s passion for small-producer fizz rubs off on staff who know her treat-packed list inside out, which famously eschews the well-known Champagne houses for smaller grower alternatives.
The kitchen pays equal attention to its luxe takes on traditional hot dogs, which are preceded by devilishly addictive snacks including US-style tater tots that arrive coated in melted Comté cheese, resulting in some pretty impressive cheese pulls that make for prime Insta fodder.
Once you get to the main event, you can choose from a seasonally evolving menu of seven pimped-up dogs. We chose two of the more adventurous options: the Mac Daddy, which saw a pork hot dog topped with a large dollop of creamy mac ‘n’ cheese and crispy shallots, and the Eastern Odyssey, which provided a hit of umami from pickled vegetables and lightly spiced garlic mayonnaise. We opted for a beef dog this time around, but it’s worth noting that for every type of dog, you can choose whether to have pork, beef or a veggie alternative.
Cutesy desserts include a chocolate hotdog served in a cinnamon-dusted bun with sweet raspberry ‘ketchup’, while those who aren’t in the mood for fizz can choose from a small list of cocktails. Although not exactly a cheap eat, prices at Bubbledogs aren’t outrageous either, while the staff’s obvious passion for Champagne and the fun, infectious atmosphere make this place a top dog on London’s food scene.