Hot Dog Nation Slideshow
Dog: Bratwurst (large, white, pork-based hot dog), preferably Usinger’s
Bun: A brat bun (Milwaukee) or hard-roll (Sheboygan)
Method: Simmered with onions in beer and finished off on a charcoal grill
Toppings: Onions; Brats are cooked with and finished off with brown or Dijon mustard, never yellow.
The Spot: State Street Brats and Lambeau Field’s parking lot a few hours before a Packers game.
Dog: Pork or beef hot dog
Method: Boiled or grilled
Toppings: Mustard, diced onions, Cincinnati-style chili, and a mound of shredded Cheddar
The Spot: Skyline
Dog: All-beef frank, traditionally Vienna Beef
Bun: Doughy poppy-seed bun
Method: Boiled or grilled
Toppings: Yellow mustard, sport peppers, tomatoes, a pickle spear, onions, bright green relish, celery salt, and absolutely no ketchup
The Spot: What a question. Superdawg, Wolfy's, Wiener's Circle, Murphy's, Hot Doug’s, Portillo's, and many more. The more interesting question is who makes Chicago's worst hot dogs, and how much better are they than New York's?
While not a regional style, the foie gras dog at Hot Doug's does deserve mention among the country's iconic hot dogs. Doug Sohn, the owner of Hot Doug's created this "celebrity" dog in 2006 to flout the ban pushed by Chicago chef Charlie Trotter and Alderman Joe Moore. The ban was repealed in 2008, but the foie gras dog is still on the menu.
Dog: Mini pork dogs
Bun: Mini steamed buns
Toppings: Shredded cheese, chili, onions, and mustard
The Spot: The Coney I-Lander mini-chain
Dog: An all-natural beef hot dog with natural casing
Toppings and the Spot: Detroit-Style (“wet") means beanless chili with beef hearts, yellow onions, and mustard . The place for it? Lafayette Coney Island. Flint-Style (“dry”) means chili, diced yellow onions, and mustard . The spot? Lipuma Coney Island.
Dog: Beef or pork dog, or a combination of the two.
Toppings: With our without chili, and sometimes onion and mustard
The Spot: Ben’s Chili Bowl
Dog: Pork sausage
Bun: Toasted rye-bread
The Spot: Tony Packos
Special Note: If you’re famous and want to represent, sign a bun. They’ll frame it, and hang it there.
Dog: One or two all-beef dogs
Bun: Half a giant Italian-roll
Toppings: Fried peppers, potatoes and onions
The Spot: Jimmy Buff’s
Dog: Pork or beef hot dog
Toppings: Spaghetti sauce
The Spot: The Quebecois Lafleur Restaurant chain
Dog: Red-hots, all-beef natural casing
Toppings: The slaw topping is tinged red with a vinegary BBQ sauce. Mustard and chili, optional.
The Spot: Slaw Dogs can be found throughout the South
Special Note: West Virginians lay claim to originating the Slaw Dog, but it’s North Carolina where this variation has taken on a bolder hue.
Dog: Kosher all-beef
Toppings: Sauerkraut and mustard
The Spot: Katz’s Delicatessen
Bonanza's may not be a regional style, but the Oyster Bay, Long Island hot dog and Italian ice joint knows how to pile on fun toppings. They make hot dogs the way you'd have made them for yourself when you were a kid if someone had let you. Tangy, spicy, vinegary, salty, chili, cheese, ketchup, and slices of fresh jalapeño — toppings are piled so high that you'll have trouble finding a way to eat it all in one go without spilling all over the sidewalk.
Dog: Chopped from giant all-beef links
Toppings: Meat sauce, onions, mustard, and celery salt
The Spot: Olneyville NY System
Dog: Foot-and-a-half-long dog
Bun: Hoagie Roll
Method: Griddle-cooked and served like a hoagie
Toppings: Shredded lettuce, tomatoes, coleslaw, and tangy provolone
The Spot: PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates
Dog: All-beef in natural casing
Method: Fried then grilled
Toppings: Mustard, relish, sauerkraut, and cubed thick-cut bacon
The Spot: Rawley’s Drive-In
Dog: All-beef hot dog
Toppings: Rutt’s Hut special relish
The Spot: Rutt’s Hut
Special Note: If you want it well-done ask for a “Cremator.”
Dog: Large uncured, unsmoked, pork, beef, or veal hot dogs called “white-hots”
Toppings: Meat-sauce, mustard, and onions
The Spot: Schaller’s
Dog: Pork or beef
Toppings: Chili and onions covered in mustard, ketchup, sliced dill pickles, and oyster crackers
The Spot: The Dinglewood Pharmacy claims to be the originator of the Scrambled Dog
Special Note: There are special “scrambled dog” bowls that are similar to banana-split bowls.
Dog: Pork, beef, veggie, or salmon
Bun: Grilled or steamed
Method: Grilled or boiled
Toppings: Cream cheese and onions, with or without kraut
The Spot: Matt’s Gourmet Hot Dogs
Dog: Berk's all-beef in natural casing
Bun: Steamed National Bakery Roll
Method: Sliced in half, "but not all the way through," and grilled
Toppings: Düsseldorf mustard and fresh diced onions (diced by a 1928 Model Hobart Chopper), topped with homemade chili
The Spot: Coney Island Lunch
Special Note: The “Texas Wiener” is based on the heavy Greek-influence around Plainfield, and its chili can be considered an American interpretation of Greek spaghetti sauce. Though not part of the original Texas Wiener, Coney Island also offers Cheddar sauce and sauerkraut as toppings.
Dog: Wrapped in Mesquite-smoked bacon
Toppings: Beans, grilled onions, fresh onions, chopped tomatoes, mayo, cream sauce, mustard, guacamole, cheese (either queso fresco, shredded Cheddar, or cotija), and salsa (variations include salsa verde, red chili sauce, and jalapeño salsa). (Radishes, cucumbers, chilies, and mushrooms are optional.)
The Spot: El Güero Canelo
Dog: Quarter-pound hot dog
Bun: Toasted torpedo roll
Toppings: Sautéed peppers and onions, and thin French fries
The Spot: As previously noted by GutterGourmet, Dilly’s has a unique way of keeping track of orders. When you order, you go up to the window and draw a playing card. When the food is ready, the number on your card gets called out.
Dog: Farmer John's skinless, 10-inch long hot dogs made with a pork and beef blend
Bun: Steamed bun
Method: Steamed or grilled
Toppings: No particular toppings, but options include: mustard, ketchup, onions, and relish.
The Spot: Dodger Stadium
Special Note: The grilled dogs are considered to be the real Dodger Dogs. As LA Weekly noted, "in the mid 90's, they tried to switch from grilling the dogs to boiling them. The fans were irate, and this terrible new idea was quickly put to pasture." Also, the "Super Dodger Dog” variation is made of 100 percent beef.
While not a regional style, the Ditch Plains' Ditch Dog in New York City's West Village has won praise for originality. The potato bun is warm and soft with a slightly charred interior. The hot dog is bold and juicy, if almost completely hidden beneath a Gruyère/American/Parmesan mac ‘n cheese. Elbow macaroni lend texture to the creamy cheese, crisped bun, and meaty dog — the ultimate cheese dog. (Read more about the Ditch Dog.)
The Daily Meal Staff
At least 50,000 chili dogs are sold the day of NASCAR races. Dale Earnhardt reportedly liked to eat them before qualifying (he said they gave him "extra octane"). The recipe is secret, but includes slaw, chili, and onions. How did the connection start? Innocently enough, according to the track's website. Decades ago, a hot dog with slaw, chili, fresh onions and a few other secret ingredients were wrapped in waxed paper and sold in Martinsville Speedway’s concession stands. They've been a staple ever since.
931wolfcountry.com/Clay JD Walker
Dog: Natural-casing, neon-red beef and pork franks
Method and Bun: Griddled with a toasted, buttered roll, or steamed in a steamed split-top hot dog bun
The Spot: Simone's Hot Dog Stand
Special Note: Maine's Red Snappers are dyed with FD&C Red #40
Dog: Polish sausage
Bun: Bun-sized breadloaf, pierced and toasted
Toppings: Hawaiian relishes and sauces (the two most popular combinations at Puka Dog are pineapple relish, garlic lemon sauce, and guava mustard or mango relish, spicy jalapeño sauce, and lilikoi mustard.
The Spot: Puka Dog
Special Note: It’s difficult to choose from a menu with at least 35 different combinations. Interesting specials include: the bacon burrito, the 12-inch jalapeño, the pastrami burrito, and the "America the Beautiful" dogs. But the most expensive (and perhaps the most epic) is Three Dog Night: three hot dogs wrapped in a tortilla, with three slices of cheese, three slices of bacon, chili, and onions.
Dog: Natural-casing, beef hot dogs
Toppings: Sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard
The Spot: Multiple, but the original is best: Nathan's Famous