Yocco’s “The Hot Dog King” – Emmaus, PA

Nestled a little more than an hour or so north of Philadelphia is a time warp in the form of a Hot Dog restaurant called Yocco’s. With six locations in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania Yocco’s has been delivering qualities hot dogs amongst other classic american foods since 1922. I had received a tip from somebody to go here since I like hot dogs so much & I must say it was so much more than just stopping in for a hot dog. It was like going back in time.

I wasn’t even at the restaurant yet when I started to get a feel for the place. I had already passed a few farms & some old-fashioned restaurants but then I saw the advertisement for Yocco’s on a bus stop and could tell that Yocco’s was going to be like some of the other places I had passed during my drive there.

IMG_3793

The only concern that entered my mind was “what will the state of the restaurant be?” It’s not out of the question for a localized restaurant chain to not be in the best of condition right? Luckily I didn’t have to worry about that issue because as soon as I pulled into the parking lot it became clear that Yocco’s values keeping the property & restaurant in pristine condition.

IMG_3789

So upon entering the restaurant and finding myself back in time with the entire restaurant looking like a movie set in the 80’s my eyes immediately were glued to the menu. I could smell the dogs cooking & I needed food ASAP. True to the time warp that Yocco’s is they are a cash only establishment so bring some or hit the ATM if they have them. Rocco’s South had one but not all six of their locations do.

img_3782.jpg

The hot dogs at Yocco’s come made well done, you have to ask for them to be cooked otherwise if you prefer them not to be well done, with mustard, diced onions & a special Chili Sauce and that made my heart smile because I am a firm believer that Ketchup does not belong on hot dogs. So to see that MUSTARD not ketchup comes on them in the restaurants preferred state told me I was going to really enjoy these dogs. The two main staples of Yocco’s is their hot dogs of course but also to my surprise Mrs. T’s Pierogies locally founded & headquartered in Pennsylvania. I’m not usually one to get pierogies, let alone see them at a fast food restaurant, but I had to have them to say I had a true Yocco’s experience. I also got fries & a cheese burger which is also served with mustard, onions & the special chili sauce. I was so confused when the food was just plopped on a tray with a liner and told to enjoy my food, but then I remembered I was in the 80’s and went about my business and took a seat.

IMG_3786

img_3787.jpg

So after tearing through my food I must say that I was not let down. The hotdog had a great snap to it and the mix of the onions, mustard & chili sauce was fantastic. Everything else was pretty good too especially given how affordable everything was priced but there’s a reason why they refer to themselves as “The Hot Dog King.” While I thoroughly enjoyed my meal I walked away with an empty feeling due to the fact that Yocco’s isn’t necessarily a short trip for me.

IMG_3792

As I bid a fond farewell to Yocco’s I knew I would be back but wouldn’t be back fast enough. For anybody in the tri-state area it’s definitely worth making a detour there if you’re on a trip to the Poconos or anywhere else in the Lehigh Valley area. Just remember to bring cash & leave your ketchup at home.


If you enjoyed this, check out more posts from the Just Grubbin team here! Also make sure to listen to The Just Grubbin podcast to hear us go into further detail about this and to hear all of our random irreverent takes on food, drink and whatever else.

Leave a Reply