The United Hot Dogs of America
Alabama: Boiled Peanuts
Boiled peanuts add some Southern sass and crunch, so pile them on and take a bite. A smear of peanut butter will also do the trick.
Alaska: Grilled Coca-Cola Onions
In Alaska they eat hot dogs differently: The dogs are made from caribou. The solution for those of us not rugged enough to make it up north? Caramelized onions deglazed with Coca-Cola—it’s the must-have caribou dog topping and it doesn’t require a plane ticket.
Arizona: Tamale Dog
Arizona natives are lucky: The weather is great and tamales are abundant. Stuff yours with an all-beef frank, slice it long-ways, and add some peppers down the center.
Arkansas: Cheese Dip
Cheese dip: It’s a wonderful thing. The Arkansas version is a spicy (non-nacho, non-traditional) dip that begs to be eaten with a hot dog. Serve it on the side: Dipping your dog is part of the fun.
California: Bacon Wrapped
California is a long state with many distant hot dog identities but one things for sure: The dog must be bacon-wrapped. Cali bonus points for sliced avocado.
Colorado: Green Chili
Colorado was made for green chili—the plant grows like crazy in the Colorado climate and, it goes on everything. Even hot dogs. Especially hot dogs.
Connecticut: White Clam Pizza
White Clam Pizza is a Connecticut mainstay, so try this hot dog version: Put a hot dog in a bun, dust it with parmesan, and dot it with little neck clams—then broil until the clams are cooked and the cheese is melted. Then top with slices of fried garlic and a serious sprinkling of oregano.
Delaware: Salt and Vinegar Chips
If you have ever gone to a Delaware beach, you know that vinegar fries are a necessity. Our replacement? A handful of crushed salt and vinegar chips—a much more reasonable alternative than a trip to the state.
Florida: Mango Salsa
A lot of Floridians love the mayo-only hot dog, but we chose to spice things up with a healthy dose of mango salsa.
Georgia peaches are so good this time of year, you’ll need to thoroughly cover your hot dog with a pile of these southern beauties.
Hawaii: Spam and Pineapple
Sliced Spam and chopped pineapples live together happily ever after in this Hawaiian hot dog. Aloha.
Idaho: Mashed Potatoes
Idaho is known for its spud power, which is why any self-respecting Idahoan will jump at the chance to top a dog with fluffy, mashed potatoes.
Illinois: Chicago Dog
Don’t even think about getting ketchup near this Chicago-beauty. It’s layered with fresh sliced tomatoes, quartered pickles, yellow mustard, chopped onions, bright-green relish, sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt. *swoon*
Indiana: Corn Dog
Indiana is known for corn, so a corn dog is only fitting. And also awesome.
We chose a topping that reflects the long history of farming in this great state: Succotash. Ours is a corn-and-lima-bean mix with a kick of peppers, just for fun.
Popcorn lovers, rejoice—you can, and should, be putting popcorn on hot dogs. It’s the perfect balance of light, salty, and crunchy.
Kentucky: Hot Brown
Hot Browns are a true Kentucky sandwich, so we turned it into a dog: Oven-bake a bacon-wrapped hot dog. Make a Mornay sauce as the dog cools. Line a bun with sliced turkey, place your hot dog on top, cover in Mornay sauce and broil until the sauce is bubbly and begins to brown. Eat with great relish (the feeling—not the condiment).
Louisiana: Red Gravy
We all know about the legendary food scene in Louisiana: The crawfish, beignets, muffalettas, gumbo, and étouffée. But there is one Louisiana staple that really seems like it was made for hot dogs: Red Gravy. Trust.
Why eat a hot dog when you could eat a lobster roll? Because the two are even better together. A lobster salad-topped hot dog is pure heaven.
Like the aforementioned lobster-hot dog roll, the crab meat-covered dog from Maryland is surf-and-turf happiness. The more crab the better—we like it served with crab cakes on the side.
Massachusetts: Boston Baked Beans
Boston baked beans—smoky, and slightly sweet from molasses—were made to be a hot dog topping. Period, end of story.
Michigan: Coney Dog
This dog presides over all other mid-western hot dogs with great style and class. It’s the strangely named Coney Dog—a Detroit staple topped with meat-sauce (read: chili, no beans), chopped onions, and ample yellow mustard. The world will be forever indebted to you, Detroit.
Minnesota: Sweet Relish
Some from Minnesota might say that it can’t be Minnesota dog if it’s a dog at all—apparently it should be a brat. Frankly we don’t really care, as long as it is smothered in sweet relish.
Mississippi: Pimento Cheese
Pimento cheese can be found all over the country: It’s, at once, a dip, a sauce, and a melting cheese. But nowhere does this multi-tasker shine like it does as a hot dog topping.
Montana: Rocky Mountain Oysters
A polarizing choice, to say the least. But no one does Rocky Mountain Oysters like Montana—they deserve their rightful place on this dog.
Nebraska: Meat Pie
Sometimes it’s what is on the outside that counts. The bready pocket that surrounds these hot dogs pays homage to the state’s Eastern European heritage. To make these, simply wrap the dogs up in store-bough pizza dough and bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes (until the dough and dog are cooked).
Nevada: Pine Nuts
Nevada—known for Las Vegas and, well, Las Vegas—happens to be one of the country’s big pine nut producers. Their rich, buttery flavor goes great with hot dogs.
New Hampshire: Poutine
Poutine is a loaded food and those who love it have strong opinions about it. This New Hampshire dog, inspired by the states French-Canadian history, comes together with fries, brown gravy, and loads of your favorite cheese.
New Jersey: Potatoes, Green Peppers, and Onions
A lesser known New Jersey staple is the Italian hot dog: A dog cooked in oil served on a roll or in Italian bread with potatoes, onions, and bell peppers. Simply cook your cubed potatoes until tender then mix with cubed peppers and onions and eat with a napkin at the ready.
New Mexico: Frito Pie
The magic of Frito Pie is that it’s eaten in bag. But with this dog, forget authenticity. Simply place your dog in a bun, top with chili and cheese, then broil until cheese is melty and hot dog is hot. Top with Fritos and sour cream. Eat ten.
New York: Pushcart Sauce
Pushcart Sauce is a New York hot dog must-have. It’s available in most supermarkets—but you can fake your own by mixing sautéed onions with a little ketchup and a dash of hot sauce.
North Carolina: Coleslaw, Onion, and Chili
North Carolina has created a beautiful thing: The half coleslaw, half chili, onion-topped hot dog that will forever change your outlook on chili dogs.
North Dakota: Sauerkraut
Never underestimate the power of sauerkraut. It’s the purest form of happiness.
Oklahoma: Fried Okra
Oklahoma is known for it’s cornmeal fried okra—a side dish so good you’d be a fool to leave it off your dog and out of your summer line-up.
A true Oregon dog should probably be made with a vegetarian frank, but instead we topped this meaty dog with mushrooms sautéed in loads of butter. This dog is rich but it’s exactly what you need post hike. You know, because… Oregon.
Pennsylvania: Cheese Wiz
Step aside, cheese steak: There’s a new use for Easy Cheese. Make it happen.
Rhode Island: Spiced Meat Sauce
Rhode Island is above simple meat sauce and meaty chili. Those beloved Rhode Islanders have taken the meat-on-meat topping to a new level with the addition of some serious spice: Add cumin, paprika, chili powder, and allspice. Feel free to add yellow mustard, celery salt, and onions, if you’re game.
South Carolina: Coleslaw and Yellow Mustard
Slaw and mustard: Why didn’t we think of that? Way to go, South Carolina!
South Dakota: Fried Hot Dog
In South Dakota there is this thing called Chislic. It’s a traditional dish of fried red meat served on toothpicks. Here’s our take on a Chislic dog: Cut it, fry it, skewer it. (Bun optional, but encouraged.)
Tennessee: Summer Tomatoes
Tennessee known for barbecue, good music, and (now) the summer tomato topped hot dog. Just find the ripest, juiciest tomato you can and slice it, cube it, or dice it and load up your grilled dog.
Texas: Chili and Pickled Jalapeños
In Texas, they love chili, but there are no beans about it. Simply load your dog with all-meat chili and top with pickled jalapeños.
Utah: Fry Sauce
In Utah they live for fry sauce: a simple (or complex) mix of ketchup and mayo that can turn your hot dog into a thing worth worshiping.
Vermont: Sugar-on-Snow Dog
Sugar on Snow is a do-not-miss Vermont tradition. But if you can’t trek all the way to the maple tree paradise, do yourself a solid and make this hot dog. Simply slice up a pickle and douse your dog in maple syrup. TRY IT.
Virginia’s known for it’s Country ham, and it has no better place than on a dog. Cube it and devour.
West Virginia: Chili, Coleslaw, Onions, and Yellow Mustard
West Virginia might win the Most-Stuff-You-Can-Stuff-On-Your-Hot-Dog award, but every element is important: slaw, chili, onions, and gobs of yellow mustard. Layers upon layers of flavor.
Wisconsin: Cheddar Cheese
: Cheddar Cheese
In the land of the Cheese Heads, it’s only fitting to serve a hot dog loaded with Wisconsin cheddar. Melting the cheese is by no means required, but it does make this dog a little better.
Wyoming: Buffalo Wing sauce
In Wyoming the hot dogs are best when they’re made from buffalo meat. But let’s say all you have on hand is a bottle of buffalo sauce and a hankering for a Wyoming-style dog? Unconventional option, but a must-try.