Let’s be frank

Learn what makes these regional hot dog specialties so doggone delicious

By Maddie Bane

In the words of Mickey Mouse and his friends, “Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog!” Originating in Germany in the late 1600s, the hot dog was first brought to the U.S. by a German who immigrated to New York. The links were primarily known as “dachshund sausages,” hence the name we all know and love today. Over several decades, hot dogs evolved in different regions, creating specialties and proving that there are endless amounts of topping combinations.

A Chili Coney

This popular style of hot dog traces its roots to Greek and Macedonian immigrants in the early 1900s, many fleeing the Balkan Wars, who entered the U.S. through Ellis Island in New York City. Coney Island hot dogs are also very popular in Detroit, and are sometimes known as Detroit-style hot dogs.

LOCAL Life Test KitchenConey Island hot dogs


3 plain hot dog buns

3 hot dog links

Beanless meat chili

White onions, diced 

Yellow mustard 

Directions [1] Steam hot dog buns. [2] Place hot dog links onto buns, add chili and onions and top with mustard.

New York State of Mind 

In the Big Apple, hot dogs made their debut in the 1860s, thanks to a German immigrant who would sell them topped with sauerkraut. Walking the streets of New York City today, though, you’ll be able to grab a hot dog of your choice on virtually any corner.

LOCAL Life Test KitchenNew York-style hot dog 


1 sesame seed hot dog bun

1 jumbo all-beef frankfurter, natural casing 

Spicy brown mustard


Directions [1] Steam hot dog bun. [2] Place hot dog link onto bun, add sauerkraut and top with brown mustard. 

A Windy City classic 

The Chicago-style hot dog can be traced back to the 1930s during the Great Depression. Just one nickel could buy you this loaded hot dog, making it a cheap and filling meal. At one point, it was known as a “Depression Sandwich.” 

LOCAL Life Test KitchenChicago-style hot dog


1 poppy seed bun 

1 jumbo all-beef frankfurter, natural casing 

Yellow mustard

Pickle relish

Onions, diced 

1 dill pickle spear

2 sport peppers

2 tomato slices 

Directions [1] Steam hot dog bun. [2] Place hot dog link onto bun and add desired amount of mustard. [3] Top with dill spear, sport peppers, relish and onions. 

Sweet dreams are made of cheese 

It’s believed that the Seattle-style hot dog originated in the neighborhood of Pioneer Square by a man who operated a bagel cart – hence the cream cheese.

LOCAL Life Test KitchenSeattle-style hot dogs


2 hoagie rolls 

2 jumbo all-beef frankfurters, natural casing 

Caramelized onions

Smokey cream cheese

Jalapeños, sliced 


Directions [1] Lightly toast hoagie rolls. [2] Spread cream cheese on bun. [3] Place hot dogs on rolls and add onions and jalapeños. Top with ketchup. 

Sonoran to new heights 

Popular in Tucson and Phoenix, the Sonoran hot dog originated in the capital of the Mexican state Sonora in the 1980s. Inventor Benjamin Galaz and his wife would sell them from their cart in southern Tucson. What sets these hot dogs apart is the Bolillo-style bun, a type of Mexican baguette.

LOCAL Life Test KitchenSonoran hot dogs


2 Bolillo-style buns

2 jumbo all-beef frankfurters, natural casing 

Pinto beans


Tomato, diced

Avocado, diced



Pico de gallo 

Directions [1] Split the bolillo-style buns down the middle, creating an opening. [2]  Place hot dog link into bun and add the desired amount of remaining ingredients on top. [3] Drizzle with mayonnaise.

Lettuce eat

Watching your carbs or no luck finding a gluten-free hot dog bun? Try a lettuce wrap. With a similar structure of a traditional hot dog bun, it’ll easily hold in all of your toppings. 

LOCAL Life Test KitchenLettuce dogs 


3 Romaine lettuce leaves

3 jumbo all-beef frankfurters, natural casing 

Desired toppings

Directions [1] After separating lettuce leaf from the head, be sure to pat dry. [2] Place hot dog links onto lettuce and add desired ingredients on top.

Everything is better on a stick 

It’s said that the corn dog was first introduced to the world sometime between the late 1930s and early 1940s in Dallas at the Texas State Fair. Nothing like a deep-fried stick of meat to get your day going! Enjoy it bare or with your choice of condiments.

LOCAL Life Test KitchenCorn dogs


6 hot dog links

6 wooden skewers

Vegetable oil, for frying

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 egg

Directions [1] After patting hot dogs dry, place onto wooden skewers. [2] In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, combine buttermilk and eggs and combine into dry ingredients. [3] Over medium heat, add oil into large pot, enough to fill halfway. Heat until it reaches 375 degrees. [4] Pour batter into a tall glass and dip hot dogs in to coat evenly. Fry for five minutes or until golden. Rotate as needed. [5] Remove corn dogs with tongs and place onto paper towel. Serve with desired condiments. 

Bottoms up

Looking to add more flavor to your frankfurters? Try simmering them in 3-4 cans of beer. Simmer chilled dogs for 5-8 minutes and frozen dogs for 12-13 minutes. While any style of beer will work, the overall flavor of lager/pilsner styles work best with meat. 

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