What Hot Dogs Look — and Taste — Like Around the World (Slideshow)
July 14, 2016
We take you to 35 countries, states, and cities to find out how each place does its dogs
Amsterdam has a very serious version of the hot dog known to locals as "The Stoner." This hot dog is a cross between a normal hot dog and a pizza, making it the perfect late-night snack for those visiting Amsterdam, and especially that city's, well, stoner cafés. This style of dog can be found at numerous stands around the city.
The Argentinian version of the hot dog is made with spicy chorizo that's wrapped in warm, crusty bread. The favorite topping to go along with the Argentinian hot dog is the local green sauce, chimichurri.
Australia has its own version of the corn dog known as the “Dagwood Dog,” “Pluto Pup,” or “Dippy Dog.” It’s essentially a dog that's coated in a wheat- or corn-based batter and then fried and topped with ketchup to complete the delicacy. Additionally, “sausage sizzle” events also serve sausages on “buns” in the most basic way possible: A link is placed on a piece of plain, white bread with ketchup.
Photo by Gabriel V. via Yelp
When it comes to hot dogs in Brazil, the more toppings the better. If you name a topping, it’s been added to a Brazilian dog — even items like quail eggs, mashed potatoes, corn, peas, cheese, and marinara sauce have been utilized. A common topping is shoestring French fries, because why eat them on the side when you can eat them on top of the hot dog itself?
While California has several popular versions of hot dogs available throughout the state (such as the chili dog), street vendors in Los Angeles serve what’s known as the "Downtown Dog" or "Danger Dog." It’s a Mexican-style, bacon-wrapped hot dog with grilled onions, jalapeños, bell peppers, mustard, ketchup, and salsa — and it's also the perfect late-night meal. There’s no shortage of interesting varieties here, which isn’t surprising when you remember that California is the birthplace of the Wienerschnitzel chain.
The Chicago-style hot dog is a true classic in the States. It starts with a steamed, all-beef, natural-casing hot dog topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sliced or wedged fresh tomatoes, a dill pickle, sweet pickle relish, pickled peppers, and a dash of celery salt. This iconic dog is served on a poppy seed bun, because Chicagoans clearly want you to make as much of a mess as possible while eating.
The Chileans go to extremes with their version of a hot dog, called “The Completo.” It can be made in numerous ways, but the most common starts with a long hot dog in an equally-long open bun (fitting for such a lengthy and thinly shaped country), which is slathered with a heaping pile of mayonnaise and then topped with some combination of tomato, parsley, avocado, relish, mustard, ketchup, and green chile peppers. Or all of the above, because we don’t judge.
China’s hot dogs are baked inside warm, doughy buns, very similar to the dumplings and bao buns that the Chinese are known for. They are smaller in size than American hot dogs, but these yummy treats still satisfy. They are often topped with sesame seeds for an extra kick.
Photo by Tigra C. via Yelp
The Colombians love both their toppings and their crunch. In addition to typical toppings like ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise, the country’s hot dogs also come complete with shredded cheese, pineapple sauce, and crushed potato chips.
Photo by Michaela P. via Yelp
In the Czech Republic, if you have a hankering for a hot dog, it’s known as “párek v rohlíku,” which translates to “sausage in a roll.” Notice it’s not on a roll, because in this case, the roll is not cut in half. Instead, the Czechs punch a hole into the end of a bun and tuck the sausage inside.
Photo by Shenny S. via Yelp
Denmark’s version of the hot dog generally uses a red sausage (also called a røde pølser) topped with ketchup, Danish mustard, fried onion, raw onion, sliced dill cucumbers, and sometimes a remoulade made with mayo and sweet relish. Another common variety that’s popular in Denmark for some reason: the “French” hot dog, served on a baguette with Dijon mustard.
Hot dogs are popular street food in El Salvador. The country’s version of the hot dog includes fried cabbage and mustard, plus a splattering of ketchup and mayonnaise. Just try not to splatter it all over yourself when on the go.
Photo by Rachel R. via Yelp
Finnish culture takes a thick sausage and wraps it in white bread for its version of a hot dog/hamburger fusion dish, called porilainen. Toppings include diced sweet onion, chopped pickled cucumber, ketchup, mustard, and in some cases mayonnaise. It’s so delicious that it might make you want to suddenly break into the native dance of Finland.
While there is no shortage of sausage dishes in Germany, the one that most resembles a hot dog today is known as currywurst. In this case, the "bun" is served on the side, most often in the form of French fries. (OK, you got us, there’s no bun. But it doesn’t matter, because fries!) The main focus is the whole or sliced wurst topped with slightly spicy ketchup infused with curry.
Guatemala likes its hot dogs so much that the country features two different main varieties. The first is known as a mixto, which is a hot dog served on a tortilla with cabbage, lettuce, and avocados. The other type is known as the “shuco dog” ("dirty dog"), which is a hot dog on a sub-sized roll with guacamole, boiled cabbage, mayo, tomatoes, mustard, and hot sauce. Difficulty deciding between the two? Good! You should be ordering both.
We’ve previously told you about bento boxes in Japan, but we never mentioned that hot dogs are sometimes included in them. To add an extra unique spin, the included dog is sometimes sliced to resemble an octopus, because Japan does things like that. Hot dogs are also available as a street food, served both traditionally and on a stick. It’s important to note that “Japanese fusion dogs” (served with Asian condiments such as wasabi, kimchi, and teriyaki) are not actually Japanese, but instead an invention from the Pacific Northwest.
In the sunny state of Hawaii, locals are all about the pineapple. So, naturally, they even top their hot dogs with the delectable fruit. Known as the “Puka Dog,” it’s constructed by tucking the dog inside a special mini loaf of bread, which is then topped with extras like pineapple relish, guava mustard, and garlic lemon sauce.
The Icelandic version of the hot dog starts with a frank that’s a mixture of pork, beef, and lamb. Then it’s topped with pylsusinnep, an Icelandic mustard that’s brown and sweet. The adventurous hot dog eaters top it with rémoulade, a condiment made of mayonnaise mixed with capers, mustard, herbs, anchovies, and gherkins. For one of the best hot dog spots on the island, head to Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur in downtown Reykjavik. In case you were wondering, the name translates to “The Best Hot Dog in Town.” Apparently, “Modest Dog” was already taken.
The Mexican version of the hot dog (called a jocho) is presented similarly to a Mexican torta sandwich, but the toppings can vary. One variety, known as Sonoran-style or “Estilo Sonora,” features a toasted telera roll filled with sliced hot dogs, queso fresco, refried beans, onions, mustard, and creamy avocado.
New York City
One of the best, straightforward New York City hot dogs can be found at Gray’s Papaya. Its all-beef franks can be simply dressed in a warm bun and topped with sauerkraut, ketchup or mustard — or, for the slightly more adventurous hot dog eater, Gray’s Papaya also has a fantastic chili dog. NYC’s Coney Island is also the site of the aforementioned Independence Day hot dog eating contest, and also the birthplace of the “Coney,” a hot dog topped with a savory meat sauce.
The folks of New Zealand like their hot dogs battered and fried, something very similar to a corn dog. They can choose toppings for their fried deliciousness that include ketchup or tomato sauce, keeping it simple and straightforward, yet still scrumptious.
The Norwegian version of the hot dog takes the meat and wraps it in potato lefse, which is similar to a tortilla. As for toppings, it’s kept pretty simple with ketchup, mustard, and relish. Norwegians have also been known to add brunost — a sweet, brown goat cheese — to their hot dogs. We’re certain there’s nor-way you can resist. (We’re not proud of that last one.)
It’s not surprising that the French version of the hot dog incorporates a baguette. (It’s also recommended that you wear and beret and scarf combo and ride around on a bicycle while eating it.) Parisians love their sizzling dogs tucked in or baked into their famous bread, making the whole thing warm and flavorful. The dogs usually include Gruyère and are then grilled. Diners then often have the option to top it with a mushroom-based ketchup.
Peruvians have their own version of a hot dog dish known as a Peruvian salchipapa (a portmanteau of the Spanish words salchicha [sausage] and papa [potato]), which is similar to a sliced German wurst dish, and is also accompanied by French fries and often coleslaw as well. This traditional street food is served with dipping sauces such as ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, or aji chili sauce.
It’s quite popular in the Philippines to find numerous street food vendors selling hot dogs on sticks that have been grilled over coals, which can be eaten as is or served in a bun with a multitude of condiments and a side of rice. Hot dogs are also sliced up and added to Philippine-style spaghetti Bolognese.
Photo by Taylor D. via Yelp
The signature hot dog of Rhode Island has two different names, the “hot wiener” and the “New York System wiener,” and we refuse to accept that these were the best monikers out there. The former name exists because the small, thin, veal and pork dog in question is topped with a seasoned meat sauce that includes paprika and chili powder in addition to cumin and allspice. The toppings often also include celery salt, mustard, and chopped onions. The latter term arose from a Rhode Island marketing campaign in the early 1900s that attempted to associate the state’s hot dogs with New York’s Coney Island.
Photo by Leanna H. via Yelp
The most important ingredient in a Seattle-style hot dog is cream cheese. What this has to do with Seattle is a bit of a mystery, but one explanation claims the dog was invented by a man named Hadley Longe, who operated a bagel cart in the city back in the 1990s. The second most common ingredient is grilled onions, and other signature details include the use of a Polish sausage, which is often split in half to expedite the cooking. Additional toppings range from jalapeños, sauerkraut, and cabbage to mustard, barbecue sauce, and Sriracha.
Shutterstock / Donjiy
Known as boerewors, South African hot dogs are made with a combination of beef with either pork or lamb. The flavor of the dog itself really packs a punch, as it’s normally mixed with spices like nutmeg, cloves, and coriander seed. This delicious mess is wrapped in a large, warm roll and topped with chutney, mustard, and tomato relish.
In this dish that's very similar to a corn dog, South Koreans like to batter their hot dogs (sometimes the batter even includes French fries) and then cook them on a skewer. The hot dogs are then often topped with ketchup, but some also use mustard. Bread-obsessed hot dog lovers can also find more traditional variations served on a bun, but when in Seoul…
Sweden’s version of a hot dog is coined the tunnbrodsrulle (“thin bread roll”). It’s essentially a hot dog rolled up inside a soft doughy roll filled with condiments ranging from mashed potatoes to onions to mustard, and so on. It can also be filled with raksallad, a mixture of minced shrimp, mayonnaise, paprika, and Dijon mustard.
Taiwan has a similar hot dog philosophy as the Philippines: Hot dogs can be served in a bun or on a skewer. The hot dog itself is actually a pork sausage, and for the variation with the bun, it isn’t served in a traditional soft roll but instead a bulky rice patty shaped into bun form. (Oh, Taiwan, we can always count on you to find an excuse to use rice.) Some hot dog variations even include a pork sausage wrapped in a sticky rice sausage, in a dish fittingly called “Small Sausage in a Large Sausage.”
Not only are hot dogs popular as a dish in Thailand, they’re also a popular ingredient. When served on a bun, the dogs are often topped with a sweet tomato-chili sauce in lieu of ketchup. However, hot dogs are also stuffed inside croissants in a dish that’s accompanied by a side of mayo, as well as a filling (along with shredded, dried pork) for raisin bread, doughnuts, and even crêpes.
Photo by Melissa C. via Yelp
The city of Vancouver is now famous for its Japadogs that combine Japanese ingredients with hot dogs — like the Terimayo, a beef hot dog topped with seaweed, teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, and fried onions. Or you can take your Japadog and top it with grated radish, green onion, okonomi sauce, fried cabbage, and dried bonito flakes.
Photo by Hien T. via Yelp
The Vietnamese use a high-end fermented sausage for their version of the hot dog. They wrap it in a warm bun and then top it with pickled vegetables, such as carrots, daikon, or cucumber, in addition to rice vinegar, mayonnaise, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, and green onion.