Get Your Hot Dogs, America!

Chili cheese dog from Pink's in L.A.
A chili cheese dog from Pink's, a Hollywood icon

Summer is prime hot dog season in the U.S., when warm temps invite grilling, beer drinking, and lazy hand-held-sandwich eating. This Friday, wiener consumption will hit its yearly peak: Every July 4, Americans put away an estimated 150 million hot dogs, a nice chunk of which will probably be consumed at Coney Island, Brooklyn, during the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest championship. It’s fitting, perhaps—the neighborhood represents the birthplace of hot dogs in the U.S. (via the Germans, of course)—but the Nathan’s dog is just one of many around the country with which people will be stuffing their faces this summer. Hot dogs are as regional as they come, and it’s downright enlightening to get to know the various location-specific styles. In tribute to these meat sticks so beloved by our country, I contributed a roundup to Men’s Journal of 20 Must-Try Hot Dogs in America, spanning Maine to Detroit, New Jersey to Los Angeles. Read the complete article at, and feast your eyes on pics of some favorites below.

NYC hot dog and papaya juice

New York City's all-beef, natural-casing hot dogs are served with mustard, sauerkraut, and saucy onions. Papaya juice too!
Read more about New York-style hot dogs.

Coney Island dog from Detroit

Detroit's Coney Island dogs get grilled and topped with runny chili, mustard, and onions. A delicious mess!
Read more about Coney dogs

Rhode Island hot wiener, or New York system hot dog

In Rhode Island, a New York system, a.k.a. a hot wiener, is a natural-casing frankfurter in a steamed bun topped with mustard, chopped onion, celery salt, and a “secret” (ground beef) meat sauce. The preferred drink to go with it? Coffee milk.
Read more about Rhode Island hot dogs.

Buffalo and elk dogs from Denver

On the streets of Denver, the dog of choice is made from game meat like Colorado-sourced elk or buffalo and toppings include a shot of cream cheese from a caulking gun.
Read more about Denver's game dogs.

Charbroiled hot dog from Buffalo, NY

Western New York's charbroiled hot dogs are extra crispy thanks to the charcoal grill used to cook them. “The works” might include mustard, diced onion, sweet relish, ketchup, hot sauce, and a pickle.
Read more about charbroiled hot dogs in Buffalo.

Jersey Shore footlong hot dog from Max's in Long Branch

This griddled footlong from the Jersey Shore is found a stone's throw from the beach in a town that's synonymous with hot dogs.
Read more about hot dogs in Long Branch.

Washington, DC chili half-smoke from Ben's Chili Bowl
photo by user Skolich

A chili half-smoke—more sausage than hot dog—is a must in Washington, D.C. Pile of fries optional.
Read more about half-smokes in D.C.


Published On: June 30, 2014

Leave A Comment