Eat Your Way Across America With These Five Hot Dogs

By: Freelance Contributor
NEW YORK - JULY 4: A plate of hot dogs sit on a table at the annual Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island July 4, 2005 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Kobayashi won for the fifth year in a row eating 49 hotdogs in 12 minutes. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images) Getty Images / 2005 Getty Images

It may not be America’s favorite food, but it’s definitely on the list: Americans consume nearly 20 BILLION hot dogs every year. It’s not all lame hot dogs with ketchup that kids are eating — there are plenty of delicious hot dogs to eat all over the country, with regional and city-specific recipes you often can’t find quite right anywhere else.

Here are five of the most interesting from coast to coast. Consider it a hot dog bucket list, if you love hot dogs as much as I do.


The New York Dog

Toppings: steamed onions, deli-style mustard, plain bun

The New York-style hot dog is the most iconic — everybody wants one. But, it’s actually one of the plainest hot dog recipes on the list. Three simple ingredients, plus the hot dog, and you can enjoy a taste of the Big Apple in a bun.


The Chicago Dog

Toppings: yellow mustard, green relish, chopped raw onion, pickle spear, sports peppers, tomato slices, a dash of celery salt, poppy seed bun

In the ways that the NYC dog is simple, the Chicago dog is decidedly not. It’s a rainbow of colorful ingredients and flavors that strangely work together — and even more strangely, are better without ketchup.


The Sonoran Dog

Toppings: bacon-wrapped, pinto beans, grilled onions, green peppers, chopped tomatoes, relish, tomatilla jalapeno salsa, mayo, mustard, shredded cheese​

You may have to take a trip to the store if you want to enjoy a homemade Sonoran dog: some of these ingredients aren’t going to be laying around the fridge and cupboards. Nonetheless, the Sonoran dog makes the best of its Southern influences in a heaping pile of toppings.


The West Virginia Dog

Toppings: chili, mustard, coleslaw​

Some of the toppings so far might seem a little strange, but the West Virginia dog has the unique privilege of being the strangest — but also vaguely appealing. Spicy chili and cool coleslaw make a party in your mouth the likes of which you can only find in Appalachia.


The Seattle Dog

Toppings: cream cheese, grilled onion

Naturally, I’m partial to the Seattle dog: It’s a game day favorite for fans of the Seahawks, Sounders, and Mariners, and the combo of cream cheese and grilled onion hits all the perfect salty and sweet spots and never fails to chase away any grey-sky sadness.