This is a listing of regional variations on the hot dog. Different areas of the world have local variations on the type of meat used, condiments, and means of preparation, which are enumerated below.
In the United States
The Sonoran-style or Estilo Sonora hot dog, found in Tucson, Metro Phoenix, and in neighboring Sonora, Mexico, is a hot dog wrapped in mesquite-smoked bacon then cooked on a grill or on a griddle or comal, then topped with beans, grilled onions, fresh onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise, cream sauce, mustard and Jalapeno salsa or sauce and served on bread and often with a side fresh-roasted chili. It originated in Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora.
In Los Angeles, Pink’s Hot Dogs promotes its celebrity customers and its chili dogs, the latter of which come in a wide number of varieties. A local chain, Tommy’s, also has chili dogs featuring a premium natural casing hot dog alongside its much better-known chili hamburgers, and another local chain The Hat, which specializes in pastrami, has them also.
Other notable Los Angeles chains that specialize in hot dogs include Hot Dog On A Stick, which serves a preparation similar to a corn dog, and Wienerschnitzel, a chain that bills itself as “The World’s Largest Hot Dog Chain.” The Farmer John Dodger Dog is sold at Dodger Stadium. Street vendors in Los Angeles also serve the “Downtown Dog” or “Danger Dog” a Mexican-style bacon-wrapped hot dog with grilled onions, jalapeños, bell peppers, mustard, ketchup and salsa as condiments.
Oki Dog, in West Hollywood, or Oki’s Dog, on Pico serves the Original Oki Dog—two hot dogs on a flour tortilla, covered with chili and pastrami and wrapped up like a burrito. This is a variation on a hot dog served on the Japanese island of Okinawa, which is where it takes its name.
Also common in Los Angeles and San Francisco are bacon-wrapped hot dogs, often served with toppings such as fried peppers and onions, mayonnaise, etc. These are typically sold by street vendors who grill the hot dogs on small push-carts. The legality of such operations may be questionable in some instances. Locals sometimes refer to these treats as “danger dogs” or “heart attack dogs”.
Connecticut hot dog restaurants often serve Hummel Bros or Grote and Weigel dogs, which are family operations. There is otherwise no particular Connecticut style. It is customary for hot dogs to be served plain so the customer can put their own condiments on the hot dog. Options range from establishment to establishment, with Blackie’s of Cheshire offering hot pepper relish, brown mustard or ketchup only while the Windmilll of Stratford is known for dogs loaded with sauerkraut, onions, and pickly chili on soft buns. Other noted establishments include Rawley’s of Fairfield and Super Duper Weenie.
In Columbus, Georgia, a local favorite is the “scrambled dog,” the exemplar of which was first served at the Dinglewood Pharmacy by “The Lieutenant” Charles Stevens over 50 years ago. The scrambled dog is a chopped hot dog covered by chili beans, onions and pickles with an accompanying portion of oyster crackers.
The Chicago-style hot dog is a steamed Kosher-style all-beef, natural-casing hot dog topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sliced or wedged fresh tomatoes, a dill pickle spear, sweet pickle relish dyed bright green (often referred to as “piccalilli“), pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt, served on a steamed poppy seed bun. Chicago-style dogs never include ketchup, and some vendors won’t even offer it for french fries.
This “dragged through the garden” style (more commonly called, “with the works”), is heavily promoted by Vienna Beef and Red Hot Chicago, the two most prominent Chicago hot dog manufacturers, but exceptions are common, with vendors adding cucumbers or lettuce, omitting poppy seeds or celery salt, or using plain relish or a skinless hot dog. Several popular hot dog stands serve a simpler version: a steamed natural-casing dog with only mustard, onions, plain relish and sport peppers, wrapped up with hand-cut fries, while the historic Superdawg drive-ins notably substitute a pickled tomato for fresh.
Kansas and Missouri
In Boston, hot dogs are often served steamed as opposed to grilled. The Fenway Frank is a fixture for Red Sox fans, and there are several other local brands such as Pearl that are used. Hot dogs in the Boston area are associated with Boston baked beans, though this is probably not unique to the region. Ketchup, mustard, relish, picalilli, and chopped onions are the most common toppings.
In lower Michigan, a chili dog is called a Coney dog and is very specific as to the ingredients: a beef and pork hot dog with natural casing served on a steamed bun, topped with a beanless, all-meat chili, diced yellow onion, and yellow mustard. There are two variations on the Coney dog: Detroit style, made with a more soupy chili, and Flint style, made with thicker, meatier chili. With over 350 chain and independent purveyors of these dogs in the metro-Detroit area, an entire restaurant industry has developed from the hot dog and are called Coney Islands.
New Jersey’s potato dog includes diced stewed potatoes combined with brown mustard served on a spicy hot dog. The most common brands of spicy hot dogs used are Sabrett’s or Best’s, both of which are NJ companies. A traditional Newark Style Dog (also called an Italian Hot Dog) is made by cutting a round “pizza bread” in half (for a double) or into quarters (for a single), cutting a pocket into it and spreading the inside with mustard. A deep-fried dog (or two if it is a double) is put in the pocket, topped with fried (or sautéed) onions and peppers, and then topped off with crisp-fried potato chunks. A quicker version of this, often simply called a double dog, can also be requested at some lunch trucks, luncheonettes, and pizzerias across the state. Instead of the traditional potato round, French fries are substituted and in some spots a Portuguese or sub roll replaces the traditional round bread used.
Rutt’s Hut in Clifton, NJ is famed for its rippers, hot dogs deep-fried to the point where the sausages burst open, resulting in a dense, caramelized outer casing. The rippers are served with Rutt’s homemade relish, a blend of mustard, onions, carrots and cabbage.
The Texas wiener was created in Paterson, New Jersey sometime before 1920. The “Texas” reference is to the chili sauce used on the dogs, which actually has a stronger Greek cuisine influence due to the ethnicity of the cooks who invented it. The wiener, also referred to as an all-the-way dog, consists of a hot dog covered in Düsseldorf mustard (as opposed to the Coney, which uses yellow mustard), diced onions, and chili sauce.
In New York City, the natural-casing all-beef hot dogs served at Katz’s Delicatessen, Gray’s Papaya, Papaya King, Papaya Dog and any Sabrett cart are all made by Sabrett’s parent company, Marathon Enterprises, Inc. of East Rutherford, New Jersey (Levine 2005). Nathan’s hot dogs, which are all-beef and come in both natural-casing and skinless, were also made by Marathon until several years ago (Levine 2005). Local kosher brands—which are not permitted natural casings—include Hebrew National, Empire National (Levine 2005). The usual condiments are mustard and sauerkraut, with optional sweet onions in a tomato based sauce invented by Alan Geisler, usually made by Sabrett. Hot dogs are available on street corners as well as at delicatessens. New York street vendors generally store their unsold dogs in warm-water baths, giving rise to the semi-affectionate moniker “dirty water dog.” Bagel dogs are also sold in Manhattan.
The white hot or “porker” is a variation on the hot dog found in the upstate area. It is composed of some combination of uncured and unsmoked pork, beef, and veal; it is believed that the lack of smoking or curing allows the meat to retain a naturally white color. White hots are almost exclusively eaten with mustard, specifically spicy brown, and other spices, and often include a dairy component such as nonfat dry milk.
Buffalo, Rochester and Western New York state are known for charcoal-broiled hot dogs, cooked over real hardwood charcoal. Prominent purveyors include Ted’s and Louie’s. The popular regional brands are Zwiegles, Sahlen’s and Wardynski’s.
In North Carolina, hot dogs are prepared Carolina style which includes chili, slaw and onions; locally, mustard sometimes replaces slaw, or is added as a fourth item. Merrit’s Burger House has been serving Carolina hot dogs since 1958.
When Cincinnati chili is served on a Coney-style hot dog, dubbed the “Cheese Coney”, the chili is also topped with cheese. The default Coney also includes mustard and a small amount of diced onion.
There are several variety of local dog recipes in Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, street vendors sell hot dogs that can be topped with one or more of several traditional Philadelphia toppings: ketchup, mustard (yellow and/or spicy brown), chopped onion (cooked/soft or raw), relish, and (without exception) sauerkraut. In Allentown, Pennsylvania there is regional Yocco’s Hot Dogs. Various shops and butchers in Pennsylvania make traditional German natural casing franks. Altoona, Pennsylvania has two remaining Texas Hot Dog stands that claim a legacy going back to 1918.
The hot wiener or New York System wiener is a staple of the food culture of Rhode Island. It is typically made from a small, thin frankfurter made of veal and pork, thus giving it a different taste from a traditional hot dog made of beef. Once placed in a steamed bun, the wiener is topped with a meat sauce seasoned with a myriad of spices like cumin, paprika, chili powder, and allspice, which is itself covered in finely chopped onions, celery salt, and yellow mustard.
In Seattle, hot dogs are served with cream cheese and grilled onions on a toasted bun. The sausages are split in half and grilled before being put in the bun. Stands offer a variety of condiments, such as Sriracha sauce and jalapeños.
An “all-the-way” hot dog in West Virginia generally, but not always, features yellow mustard, chopped onions, chili (or “sauce”), and cole slaw.
Hot dog carts are a staple of Toronto street food, offering large hot dogs (and other types of sausages) grilled and placed in a bun. Customers are offered a variety of “serve yourself” condiments including the standard ketchup, mustard and relish, but may also have mayonnaise, sauerkraut, raw onions, and sometimes corn relish, olives, pickled sweet peppers and or hot sauce
A Montréal-style hot dog, as popularised by numerous shops such as the famous Montreal Pool Room, is either steamed or griddle fried (nicknamed steamies or toasties, respectively). It is generally topped with coleslaw, onion, mustard, relish, and occasionally paprika or chili powder. Due to the bilingual nature of Montréal street culture, these are usually ordered, and condiments named, in Franglais. Montreal hot dogs can be found throughout Eastern Canada and the United States.
In Latin America
In São Paulo state, some hot dogs consist of a non-heated bun cut in two (across its short section, forming two semi-circular halves) and each half is partially emptied to form a pocket which is filled with a weiner-type sausage, chopped tomatoes, vinaigrette, sweet corn, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, fried shoestring potatoes, and topped with mashed potatoes; each half is served in a plastic bag, which it fills completely, and shaped so that the top layer of mashed potatoes (or optional cheese) forms a flat oblong surface.
In Chile, there is a popular variation called completo (Spanish for “complete”, “total”) which, besides bread and sausages, can be made up of mashed avocado, chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, a variation of the sauce américaine, Chilean chili, green sauce and cheese. Its size can be twice of an American hot dog.
The multiple combinations of the ingredients of the completo leads to have specific names for the most typical ones, for example:
- Completo (Complete): Traditional version with chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise (a large amount) and sauerkraut. In some regions, this variation also has avocado sauce. Also, “completo” is also used as the generic name for any hot dog with avocado, so, for example, this combination is called “completo completo”.
- Dinámico (Dynamic): A mix of the aforementioned ingredients; tomatoes, avocados, mayonnaise and sauerkraut or sauce américaine. Also called “américana” (American).
- Italiano (Italian): Consists of chopped tomatoes, mashed avocados and mayonnaise. The name comes from its resemblance with the colors of the Italian flag.
- Tomate mayo (Tomato-mayo): As its name suggests, it’s a version with only chopped tomatoes and mayonnaise. Also called “completo sin palta” (completo without avocado).
- As (Ace): A version which consists of cuts of “churrasco” (grillet meat) instead of sausages, mashed avocado, tomato and mayonnaise. It’s a variant version of the “italiano”.
In Colombia perros calientes are sold in street stands with ketchup, mustard, salsa rosada, mayonnaise, pineapple sauce, cheese and crumbled potato chips. Some add a cooked quail’s egg on top. In the coast, it’s common to also add some finely shredded lettuce to the bun, giving it a refreshing touch for the coast’s hot weather.
In Guatemala shucos are sold across the country, especially in the country’s capital, Guatemala City. Shucos are usually served with guacamole, boiled cabbage, mayonnaise, mustard, and an assorted choice of meats. Chopped onions are added by a decent amount of shuqueros (hot dog vendors) across Guatemala City and Antigua. The most popular choices of meats are sausage, chorizo (red sausage), salami, longaniza (white sausage), and bacon. They are cooked in a carbon grill and hot sauce is offered at customer’s request.
In Mexico, hot dogs include chips, mushrooms, beef or other ingredients besides the bun and sausage.
The Sonoran-style or Estilo Sonora hot dog, found in Sonora, is a hot dog wrapped in mesquite-smoked bacon then cooked on a grill or on a griddle or comal, then topped with beans, grilled onions, fresh onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise, cream sauce, mustard and Jalapeno salsa or sauce and served on bread and often with a side fresh-roasted chili. It originated in Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora.
In Japan, hot dogs are used in bento boxes and are often sliced to resemble an octopus. More conventional hot dogs are also available, either on a stick (with or without a coating) or on a bun. Japanese Fusion Dogs are not actually from Japan but are a Pacific Northwest invention that pairs hot dogs with Japanese and Asian condiments like wasabi, kimchi and teriyaki.
In the Philippines, hotdogs are eaten as is, in a bun with an optional selection of condiments, or with rice and condiments. Hotdogs are also typically served during breakfast. They are also skewered and grilled over coals, and sold as street food. Skewered waffle hotdogs are also available in the country (a local variant having the hotdogs coated in hotcake batter and then deep-fried). Chopped hotdogs are an ingredient in Philippine-style spaghetti (Bolognese). They are also used in various other dishes (e.g. as a filling in an embutido, as sliced pieces of meat in tomato-based savories such as caldereta or menudo, etc.).
A popular South Korean form of the hot dog, sold at street stalls, fairs, and some fast-food restaurants, involves the placing of the sausage on a stick, followed by a batter of some kind. They more resemble a corn dog than a hot dog. Ketchup is a common condiment, and occasionally mustard. Hot dogs in a bun or wrapped in bread are also widely available, or on a stick without a bun. Another very popular hotdog in South Korean geunyeoui the sausage is made from mixture of beef and pig meat and served on decorated phone shaped plastic. This kind of hotdog usually served in Korean high society events
Taiwanese style hotdogs are put on a bun or without a bun on a stick.
Hot dogs (Thai: ฮอตดอก, IPA: [hɔ́t dɔ̀ːk]) are very popular in Thailand and are also used in various ways in Thai cuisine. It can be sold inside a bun similar to a standard American hot dog but instead of tomato ketchup, they are also often eaten with a sweet tomato-chili sauce. Very popular are street vendors selling hot dogs which have been deep-fried or charcoal grilled. They are served with either a sweet, slightly spicy sauce (nam chim wan) or a very spicy sauce (nam chim phet). Hot dogs can also be used as a filling for a croissant which are served with mayonnaise. Hot dogs are even used as a filling for raisin bread together with shredded dried pork. The Thai dish called khao phat Amerikan or American fried rice, rice fried with tomato ketchup and containing raisins, is always served with hot dogs and a fried egg. Donut sai krok is the Thai name for a sausage filled savoury donut in the shape of a log. Hot dog sausages also feature as an ingredient, together with onion, celery or coriander (cilantro) leaves, lime juice, fish sauce and chili peppers, for a Thai salad called yam hot dok. Another dish that uses hot dogs is called khanom Tokiao (lit. “Tokyo cake”). This is a Thai style crêpe which is wrapped around a filling of hot dog and sweet chili sauce. The chili sauce can also be served on the side.
In Australia, the term “hot dog” refers to the combination of frankfurt and bun, generally with condiments such as ketchup and mustard, but sometimes served with additional toppings such as fried onion or shredded cheese. Artificial cased frankfurters are the most widely available while skinless types are sometimes sold as ‘American style’. Smaller cocktail sized frankfurters are also common. One variation is the Dagwood Dog which consists of a frankfurt on a stick covered in either wheat-based or corn-based batters, deep fried and dipped in ketchup. It is also known as a Pluto Pup or Dippy Dog, depending on the region. A battered sav is a saveloy deep fried in the same wheat flour based batter that is used for fish and chips.
Genuine ‘hot dogs’ in the American style are very popular in US-themed restaurants, amusement parks and in particular, at cinemas, and one can even find specialist ‘gourmet’ hot dog & champagne establishments in cities such as London. However ‘hot dogs’ are more usually found with the frankfurter replaced with a British style of sausage and served with relish, fried onions, salad leaves, ketchup and wholegrain mustard or the much sharper English mustard, usually served in a piece of baguette. In this form, they are possibly more similar to those found in France, excepting the sausage itself. Authentic German-style wuerstchen mit brot can also easily be found at fairs and markets in most parts of the UK and are often referred to as ‘German hot dogs’.
One of the most popular Nordic variation is the Danish hot dog. It usually includes a red sausage (Røde Pølser), ketchup, Danish mustard, fried onion, raw onion and sometimes remoulade, a mayonnaise-based sauce with sweet relish and topped with sliced dill cucumbers.
The Danish style hot dog has spread to the other Scandinavian countries as well as Germany. Steff Houlberg/Tulip corporation operates 4300 hotdog stands in Denmark alone, and has also opened a chain in Korea, Japan, and China.
In Sweden hot dogs are served in a bread and topped with mustad and ketchup, additional toppings include roasted onion, shrimp salad or mashed potatoes, the latter goes by the name of “Halv Special” (half special). “Varmkorv med bröd” (hotdog with bread) is widely sold all over Sweden at most street corners from stands and in kiosks and fast food restaurants.
In August 2006, the British newspaper The Guardian selected Bæjarins beztu as the best hot dog stand in Europe. Bæjarins beztu pylsur (English: The best hot dog in town) often shortened to simply “Bæjarins beztu,” is a popular hot dog stand in central Reykjavík, Iceland. Hot dogs from this stand are derived from the Danish hot dog. They are often ordered with “the works,” i.e., all condiments, or in Icelandic “eina með öllu”.
Hot dogs in the Czech Republic are known as párek v rohlíku which can be literally translated as sausage in roll with the label hot dog also applied in marketing to both locals and tourists. Czech-style hot dogs are differentiated by the fact that rather than slicing the bun in half and placing the sausage into the resultant cleavage, the top of the bun (rohlík) is cut off, with a hole punched into the softer inside of the bun where condiments and then the sausage is placed. Specially designed appliances (stroj na párek v rohlíku – literally appliance for sausage in bun) which consist of a hot-water cooker for the sausages and heated metal spikes to punch the holes and pre-warm the buns also exist to assist vendors with preparation of this dish.