By Christina Guerrero
MANY AMERICANS AGREE that July is not
complete without the classic hot dog. In fact,
on Independence Day Americans will enjoy
approximately 150 million of them, and during
hot dog season, which stretches from Memorial
Day to Labor Day, Americans typically consume 7 billion (approximately 818 hot dogs per
second), according to the National Hot Dog &
Sausage Council website (
But when it comes to a discussion of
which toppings are best for those frankfurters, you may just start a civil war. Regional
preferences for hot dog toppings range from
plain to peculiar.
The Connection spoke with two hot dog
restaurant owners and Costco members—
Doug Sohn, co-author of Hot Doug’s: The
Book (Midway, 2013; not available at Costco)
and owner of Hot Doug’s in Chicago; and
Matt Jones, owner of Matt’s Hot Dog in
Seattle—who shared these six classic
American hot dog recipes.
Chicago-style hot dog. In the Windy
City, an all-beef steamed or chargrilled frankfurter is set on a steamed poppy seed bun;
topped with yellow mustard, chopped white
onions, neon green relish, a dill pickle spear,
sport peppers and tomatoes; and sprinkled
with celery salt.
Coney Island hot dog. Also known as
the Coney dog, from Detroit, Michigan (not
to be confused with Coney Island in New
York), this steamed or grilled frankfurter is
topped with an all-meat, beanless chili, yellow
mustard and chopped white onions.
Sonoran hot dog. This Southwest hot
dog from Arizona, with origins from Sonora,
Mexico, is a frankfurter wrapped in bacon
and griddled or deep-fried, then placed on an
extra-thick bun or bread in order to hold the
condiments, such as chopped white onions,
tomato sauce, pinto beans, jalapeños and
Slaw hot dog. This Southern specialty
features a frankfurter that is brought to just
below boiling temperature in hot water and
then steamed, and topped with an all-meat,
beanless chili sauce, chopped white onions
Seattle hot dog. First sold on the streets
of Seattle around 3 a.m. (after the bars close),
this all-beef frankfurter is topped with cream
cheese and grilled white onions.
New York hot dog. Also known as the
“dirty-water dog” because the wieners are
held in the same water that they are boiled in
as they are peddled by pushcart vendors in
the Big Apple, this is a frankfurter topped
with brown mustard, warmed sauerkraut and
a red (tomato-based) onion sauce.
Costco member Russell van Kraayenburg,
the award-winning blogger behind Chasing
chasingdelicious.com) and author of
recipe book Haute Dogs (Quirk Books, 2014;
not available at Costco), has discovered more
than 100 different spins on hot dog toppings.
“It’s amazing to see all the different toppings
and just how wild they are—how much variety
has taken on over the years,” says van
Kraayenburg, who lives in Houston.
When it comes to favorites, the 28-year-
old admires the Chicago-style hot dog for its
pickle, and the spicy South African sausage
roll, which was introduced to him by his
father, who emigrated from South Africa.
“There’s a lot of food out there and a lot of
different varieties—don’t be afraid to try
them,” van Kraayenburg advises. C
The Costco Connection
In the warehouse, look for the following
Kirkland Signature™ items: beef dinner
franks, beef hot dogs, Polish dogs, sandwich
rolls, hot dog buns, premium sliced or low-sodium bacon and real mayonnaise, as well
as fresh, refrigerated and frozen meat and
produce for toppings and sides.
Costco and Costco.com also carry grills
and grill accessories.
are over the top
for your table
Above: The New York hot dog is topped
with brown mustard, warmed sauerkraut
and a red onion sauce. Below: The slaw
hot dog is topped with beanless chili
sauce, white onions and coleslaw.