Rutt’s Hut in Clifton might not look like the type of place you would want to stop into for a bite to eat. But it is an institution of New Jersey and has been at this same location for nearly 100 years, 1928 to be exact, and very little has changed since then. It is a simple place easily overlooked. Simple inside and out. You will see everyone from truckers to teenagers coming here after school to eat. It overlooks a highway, and they only take cash.
So what makes this the nation’s #1 Hot Dog? It could be the fact that they use a combination of both pork and beef. It could be that its stood the test of time. But I am guessing that they cook the hot dogs by deep frying them to the doneness the way people like.
Their original process of frying causes the hot dog casings to crack and split has led to the nickname “Rippers”. The relish is just as famous as the hot dogs they serve. Its made with a secret blend of mustard and spices. As simple as a place that it is, its been featured on the PBS special A Hot Dog Program, USA Today, numerous Food Network shows and the Travel Channel’s Deep-Fried Paradise. It is also listed in the book 1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die.
They make a variety of other things as well including hamburgers, sandwiches, fish, sides and a lot more. I personally love their chili, and the fact they serve cold beer on tap. This is a real slice of Americana that has survived the decades in spite of the fast food mega chains. When you come here, you can be sure you are enjoying the simple pleasures others have been enjoying for nearly a century.
Rutt’s Hut www.ruttshut.com
417 River Road, Clifton NJ