Larry Martino

Larry Martino

Weekdays 3:00pm - 8:00pm

A string of delicious hot dogs from different recipes in paper gondolas

It’s National Hot Dog Day in the USA! There are millions of ways to dress your hot dogs. In fact, there are probably as many ways to top that puppy as there are people in the USA! For the most part, that depends on where you grew up, because different regions tend to generate their own styles.

Arguments Arise When Discussing The Best Way To Dress A Hot Dog

My wife and I have been joyously married for thirty-plus years. However, very early in our relationship, we had our first argument over how to dress a hot dog! I know, how trivial. She topped my franks with mustard and ketchup. KETCHUP!?! Well, I got a little loud over that. No respectable hot dog lover puts ketchup on a hot dog. Of course, she correctly pointed out that if I didn’t want ketchup on my dog, then get a different one and dress it the way I wanted it. The wife is always right, right?

Here in Las Vegas we have friends who grew up all over this great country of ours. I bet each one of your friends likes different condiments on their hot dog than you. Heck, I even know someone who likes them plain! I grew up in New York City, so I’m partial to hot dogs dressed with spicy brown mustard and either sweet onion sauce or sauerkraut. My wife grew up in West Virginia, so she likes hers topped with chili, cole slaw, and mustard.

Have You Tried All Of These Regional Varieties Of Hot Dogs?

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yes, there is such an organization) has a pretty comprehensive list of regional varieties of hot dogs on That is where I’m getting the descriptions of all of the delicious dogs below:

Atlanta and Southern U.S.: Topped with cole slaw and chopped raw Vidalia onions

Kansas City: Topped with sauerkraut and swiss cheese. Sounds like a Reuben sandwich to me.

Colorado: The “Rockie Dog” is a foot-long frank topped with grilled  peppers, kraut and onions.

Boston: The famous “Fenway Frank” is served on a New England style bun and then topped with mustard and relish. Sometimes, they add baked beans. Now you know why they call Boston “Beantown.”

New Jersey: Their “Italian Dog” is served on thick pizza-style bread and topped with onions, peppers and deep friend potatoes.

Philedelphia: An all-beef hot dog with a fish cake inside the bun as well. What? Philly, I love your cheese steaks but this one is a little weird. This offering is topped with sweet vinegary slaw and spicy mustard.

California: There are many styles of hot dogs throughout the state, but the most popular one is a bacon-wrapped frank topped with grilled onions and peppers.

Alaska: A Reindeer dog perhaps? It’s actually a sausage made with caribou meat, often topped with grilled onions sauteed in cola.

Scroll down to check out seven more deliciously dressed regional varieties on National Hot Dog Day in America!

  • New York City Hot Dog

    Homemade hot dogs with the onion sauce on top, New York street cart food

    Homemade hot dogs with the onion sauce on top, New York street cart food

    This is the one I grew up with in Queens. It seemed like there was a Sabrett hot dog cart on every busy street corner. After a game of sandlot baseball or football, my buddies and I would stop off for a New York City hot dog with dark brown mustard and sweet onion relish. Sometimes, I would switch it up and add sauerkraut. Delicious memories!

  • Cincinnati Chili Dog

    American Cincinnati Chili hot dog closeup in the paper on the table. Horizontal

    American Cincinnati Chili hot dog closeup served on a napkin. Also topped with chopped raw onions and mounds of shredded cheddar cheese.

    Cincinnati is famous for its chili, and they love to eat it on pasta, in a bowl, or on their hot dogs. Why not? Chili dogs are popular all around the nation. However, Cincinnati-style chili has a much sweeter taste than other chilis. They add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves to season their chili. Good stuff! But mounds of cheddar cheese on their dogs doesn’t hurt either.

  • Sonoran Hot Dog

    Homemade Sonoran Hot Dogs with Bacon Mustard Mayo

    Homemade Sonoran Hot Dogs with Bacon, Mustard, Mayo, pinto beans, tomatoes, relish, and more.

    This style of hot dog has its origins in Sonora, Mexico, but has migrated to Arizona in the USA. It’s a grilled bacon-wrapped hot dog that’s usually dressed with pinto beans, grilled onions and green peppers, chopped fresh tomatoes, relish, mustard, mayo, and cheese. Sometimes, green tomatillo salsa is added as well. This big boy battles the Chicago Dog for total number of condiments on one sandwich.

  • Seattle's Cream Cheese Hot Dog

    Homemade Seattle Style Hot Dog with Cream Cheese, Jalapenos and Onions

    Homemade Seattle Style Hot Dog with Cream Cheese, jalapenos, and Onions

    We have visited Seattle quite a few times over the years, but I have never tried one of their street cart hot dogs. I see them everywhere, especially after hitting the night spots. I’m sure their cream-cheese laden hot dog is delicious, but I’m not sure I would have been pleased at first glance once it was served to me. I’ll have to try one next time we’re up there.

  • Cleveland's Polish Boy Sandwich

    Homemade Cleveland Polish Boy Sandwich with cole slaw, BBQ sauce and French Fries

    Homemade Cleveland Polish Boy Sandwich with cole slaw, BBQ sauce, and French Fries

    Now, don’t quibble with me because this sandwich really isn’t a typical hot dog. Cleveland’s Polish Boy Sandwich can be served with a Polish kielbasa sausage, or an American style frank. It’s really the barbecue sauce and French Fries that set this puppy apart from all the rest. It’s always nice when you have a sturdy enough bun to handle what’s packed inside. I hate when overstuffed hot dogs or sandwiches fall apart in my hands. This one looks deliciously filling.

  • Texas Hot Dog

    Chili Con Carne Hot Dog on dark wooden background

    Texas-style hot dog served with chili con carne, jalapenos, and cheese.

    Texas and chili con carne just go together. They serve Texas-style chili over corn chips, hot dogs, and just about everything else. Texans love their meaty chili as much of the folks in Cincinnati love their sweetly spiced chili. Of course, everything’s bigger in Texas, so you know it’s a foot-long hot dog, smothered with chili con carne, jalapenos to spice things up, and plenty of cheese to cool things down.

  • The Chicago Dog

    Homemade Chicago Style Hot Dogs with Mustard Relish Onion and PIckle

    Homemade Chicago Style Hot Dogs with Mustard Relish Onion and PIckle

    The King of all hot dogs in America. The Chicago Dog. Even if you don’t like a lot of condiments on your food, this one is packed with everything but the kitchen sink. For some reason, I always end up working up a sweat when I eat one of these. Must be because of all the spicy sport peppers, and the vinegary pickle and mustard. To be an authentic Chicago Dog, it should really be a Vienna All-Beef hot dog served on a poppy-seed bun. I’d like to see Joey Chestnut eat fifty of these!

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