On A Roll Dog Kitchen


"For me, a great hot dog is feel good food. One bite and I’m swimming through childhood nostalgia."

Opening hours:
Mon - Sat, 12h00 to Late

78 Durban Rd, Mowbray, Cape Town, 7700

021 685 9916 | e w


The humble hot dog has a special place in every kid’s heart. Growing up they were the star of many a birthday lunch, school fête or Friday treat. My mom used to buy those economy size packs of viennas, you know the ones with the questionable meat content? My siblings and I would descend on them like a murder of crows at a hot dog massacre. Ah… good times. For me, a great hot dog is feel good food. One bite and I’m swimming through childhood nostalgia. And at On A Roll Dog Kitchen, I was like a kid in hot dog heaven. As soon as you arrive at On A Roll, you know you’re in for a good time.

As you step in you’re greeted by a life-size Elvis statue and rock ‘n roll tunes blasting through the speakers. The 1950s decor is comfortable and familiar, and the large glass windows give the place an authentic corner diner feel. It’s owned and run by well-known chef, Peter Ayub, his wife Debbie and their French bulldog, Batman. lt’s the realisation of Peter’s dream spot and we’re all the better for it.    

To say that On A Roll just makes hot dogs is like saying that Led Zeppelin was just a band, or that a Ferrari is just a car. These dogs are built to be dangerous and there’s something for everyone on the menu. What makes them so different from anything you’ve ever tried is the love that goes into them. The sausages come from arguably the best sausage maker in Cape Town, Raith Gourmet. Every roll is freshly baked, and the toppings available are interesting and unique.

My jaw nearly fell onto Batman’s cute little head when I saw that the Grandstand Swagger is topped with Lebanese-style spit roast lamb. Spit. Roast. Lamb. That’s meat topped with meat, people. I promptly ordered one of those bad boys and a basket of chilli and beer battered onion rings. As I sipped on my beer, I bobbed my head to Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog which roared out through the speakers. At one point I think I even saw Batman bobbing his head in time to the beat, and I could swear he threw me sly wink as my food arrived. 

The Grandstand Swagger was everything I hoped for and more. The roll was soft and delicious. The pork sausage was juicy and tasty. The lamb was beautifully spiced and topped with pickled courgettes, onions and peppadews. It came with a stack of skinny fries and a side of chilli onion rings, which added a subtle kick. As I stared down at this thing of beauty, the hot dog frenzy overcame me. For the first time ever, I actually took a bite before we had taken the photo. It was a moment of weakness on my part, but if I had to do it again, I’d do it exactly the same.

Words by Karl Tessendorf