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Hot dogs from Laika Dog at the UFO Factory.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

15 Top Hot Dog Spots to Try in Metro Detroit

Where to find the most creative tube meat toppings and classic coneys, too

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Hot dogs from Laika Dog at the UFO Factory.
| Michelle and Chris Gerard

A favorite at backyard barbecues and ballparks, the hot dog is a symbol of gastronomic simplicity. While a sandwich at heart — meat between a bun — it often falls into its own category on restaurant menus. In Detroit, franks are nearly synonymous with the classic coney dog, but plenty of restaurants have found ways to take sausages to the next level. On this list, no simple ketchup and mustard condiments will do. Here, now, are 15 bacon-wrapped, kimchi-topped, spicy pepper-bedecked hot dogs that are worth a special trip.

Where's your favorite place for franks? Let us know in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Duly's Place

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With its narrow lunch counter and friendly, 24-hour service, this Southwest Detroit coney island classic oozes character. The hot dogs here have a satisfying snap and come dressed with the essentials — chili, mustard, and onions on a steamed bun. Consider ordering chili fries on the side. Duly’s is strictly cash-only, so hit up an ATM on the way.

Mercury Burger & Bar

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Corktown's laid-back burger bar rounds off its menu of boozy shakes and poutine with five styles of natural casing and all-beef franks. Choose from options like the N.Y., N.Y. with corned beef, spicy mustard, and sauerkraut or the Murty-Bird with chicken-apple sausage, caramelized onions, and Dijon.

UFO Factory

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This eclectic Corktown bar and music venue is one of the best spots in town for a hot dog. UFO’s in-house kitchen, known as Laika Dog, keeps patrons well-fed with choices like a PB&J dog with Thai peanut sauce, raspberry ancho-mint jelly, and banana cashew crunch and a bahn mi dog with pickled veggies, cucumbers, cilantro, and spicy vegan mayo. Bonus: Vegan options including meatless sausages are plentiful on the menu.

Lafayette Coney Island

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No drunken downtown bar crawl would be complete without a trip to this iconic greasy spoon. While every Detroiter has their favorite coney island, it's safe to say Lafayette has the ambiance down to a science.

American Coney Island

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This patriotic looking downtown restaurant shares a friendly rivalry with its neighbor Lafayette and is one of the oldest hot dog restaurants of its kind in the city. Serving up their own version of the Detroit coney, American has its own loyal following of diehard fans.

Second Best

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Brush Park watering hole Second Best serves twists on traditional bar snacks like its version of Pigs in a Blanket — a gyro sausage wrapped in crispy pastry and topped with tzatziki, feta, onions, and cucumber-tomato slaw.

Chili Mustard Onions

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The menu at vegan comfort food sensation Chili Mustard Onions riffs off classic coney island fare like gyros, “cheeze” fries, and burgers, but the main event is the CMO coney: a Smart Dog with meatless chili, mustard, and onions. Customers have the option to order one with a gluten-free bun.

Amar Pizza

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Amar is known for its creative pizza flavors that use Bangladeshi ingredients. However, the restaurant also dresses up its halal hot dogs with those same toppings. Think: tandoori franks with cilantro and onions or spicy ghost pepper sauce-slathered hot dogs.

Brenna Houck

Red Hots Coney Island

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Highland Park’s venerable coney island has a slightly more modern interior than most thanks to a TV makeover a few years ago, but make no mistake: this spot is a local coney dog institution. Red Hots uses its own special recipe chili to make its coneys, which are some of the best around.

Imperial

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This trendy Mexican restaurant and taqueria in Ferndale specializes in bacon-wrapped hot dogs known as Sonorans. The Imperial Sonoran is slathered in stewed beans, chopped tomato, onion, poblano lime cream, salsa verde, queso fresco, and cilantro. There's also a vegetarian option. Don’t forget to order a margarita with the meal.

Doug's Delight

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Ice cream and snack stand Doug’s Delight was awakened from dormancy in 2018 by the team from Mabel Gray. The seasonal Hazel Park restaurant opens from late-spring through early fall (check hours before visiting) with a wide array of treats including cookie ice cream sandwiches, cream puffs, milkshakes, and several styles of hot dog. The Dearborn brand sausages here are dressed up with options like house kimchi and sauerkraut. There’s also a classic Chicago dog and, of course, a coney made with National Coney Island chili.

Vinsetta Garage

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This Woodward Avenue mainstay is a veritable hot dog feast with appetizers like a fried Coney in a Blanket — an egg roll stuffed with chili, diced hot dogs, smoked cheddar, and onions. The restaurant also serves options like the bacon-wrapped and deep-fried Yeti Dog and the 3 A.M. Dog comes with bacon jam, fried onions, chives, sriracha mayo, and a sunny-side up egg.

Atomic Dawg

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This food truck turned Berkley restaurant serves up gourmet hot dogs with toppings like bourbon smoked bacon and teriyaki sauce and Italian sausages with sauteed sweet onions and peppers. Atomic Dawg also keeps plenty of vegan hot dogs in stock.

Hippo's Hot Dogs

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Hippo's specializes in Chicago-style Vienna Beef franks garnished with mustard, relish, onion, tomato, pickle, sport peppers, and seasoning. There are also plenty of brats, Polish sausages, and Cajun-style sausages to choose from.

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Best dogs around

A post shared by Jason Bouza (@jamirepoix) on

Loaded Links Hot Dogs

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This Troy-based restaurant serves an extensive list of fancy hot dogs and sausages ranging from turkey dogs to Wagyu beef weiners. Customers can try a range of regional style hot dogs such as the Seattle with cream cheese, sauerkraut, grilled onions, jalapeños, and mustard. For $11, big spenders can also invest in a Billionaire Dog with foie gras, port onion marmalade, and truffle mayo.

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Duly's Place

With its narrow lunch counter and friendly, 24-hour service, this Southwest Detroit coney island classic oozes character. The hot dogs here have a satisfying snap and come dressed with the essentials — chili, mustard, and onions on a steamed bun. Consider ordering chili fries on the side. Duly’s is strictly cash-only, so hit up an ATM on the way.

Mercury Burger & Bar

Corktown's laid-back burger bar rounds off its menu of boozy shakes and poutine with five styles of natural casing and all-beef franks. Choose from options like the N.Y., N.Y. with corned beef, spicy mustard, and sauerkraut or the Murty-Bird with chicken-apple sausage, caramelized onions, and Dijon.

UFO Factory

This eclectic Corktown bar and music venue is one of the best spots in town for a hot dog. UFO’s in-house kitchen, known as Laika Dog, keeps patrons well-fed with choices like a PB&J dog with Thai peanut sauce, raspberry ancho-mint jelly, and banana cashew crunch and a bahn mi dog with pickled veggies, cucumbers, cilantro, and spicy vegan mayo. Bonus: Vegan options including meatless sausages are plentiful on the menu.

Lafayette Coney Island

No drunken downtown bar crawl would be complete without a trip to this iconic greasy spoon. While every Detroiter has their favorite coney island, it's safe to say Lafayette has the ambiance down to a science.

American Coney Island

This patriotic looking downtown restaurant shares a friendly rivalry with its neighbor Lafayette and is one of the oldest hot dog restaurants of its kind in the city. Serving up their own version of the Detroit coney, American has its own loyal following of diehard fans.

Second Best

Brush Park watering hole Second Best serves twists on traditional bar snacks like its version of Pigs in a Blanket — a gyro sausage wrapped in crispy pastry and topped with tzatziki, feta, onions, and cucumber-tomato slaw.

Chili Mustard Onions

The menu at vegan comfort food sensation Chili Mustard Onions riffs off classic coney island fare like gyros, “cheeze” fries, and burgers, but the main event is the CMO coney: a Smart Dog with meatless chili, mustard, and onions. Customers have the option to order one with a gluten-free bun.

Amar Pizza

Brenna Houck

Amar is known for its creative pizza flavors that use Bangladeshi ingredients. However, the restaurant also dresses up its halal hot dogs with those same toppings. Think: tandoori franks with cilantro and onions or spicy ghost pepper sauce-slathered hot dogs.

Brenna Houck

Red Hots Coney Island

Highland Park’s venerable coney island has a slightly more modern interior than most thanks to a TV makeover a few years ago, but make no mistake: this spot is a local coney dog institution. Red Hots uses its own special recipe chili to make its coneys, which are some of the best around.

Imperial

This trendy Mexican restaurant and taqueria in Ferndale specializes in bacon-wrapped hot dogs known as Sonorans. The Imperial Sonoran is slathered in stewed beans, chopped tomato, onion, poblano lime cream, salsa verde, queso fresco, and cilantro. There's also a vegetarian option. Don’t forget to order a margarita with the meal.

Doug's Delight

Ice cream and snack stand Doug’s Delight was awakened from dormancy in 2018 by the team from Mabel Gray. The seasonal Hazel Park restaurant opens from late-spring through early fall (check hours before visiting) with a wide array of treats including cookie ice cream sandwiches, cream puffs, milkshakes, and several styles of hot dog. The Dearborn brand sausages here are dressed up with options like house kimchi and sauerkraut. There’s also a classic Chicago dog and, of course, a coney made with National Coney Island chili.

Vinsetta Garage

This Woodward Avenue mainstay is a veritable hot dog feast with appetizers like a fried Coney in a Blanket — an egg roll stuffed with chili, diced hot dogs, smoked cheddar, and onions. The restaurant also serves options like the bacon-wrapped and deep-fried Yeti Dog and the 3 A.M. Dog comes with bacon jam, fried onions, chives, sriracha mayo, and a sunny-side up egg.

Atomic Dawg

This food truck turned Berkley restaurant serves up gourmet hot dogs with toppings like bourbon smoked bacon and teriyaki sauce and Italian sausages with sauteed sweet onions and peppers. Atomic Dawg also keeps plenty of vegan hot dogs in stock.

Hippo's Hot Dogs

Hippo's specializes in Chicago-style Vienna Beef franks garnished with mustard, relish, onion, tomato, pickle, sport peppers, and seasoning. There are also plenty of brats, Polish sausages, and Cajun-style sausages to choose from.

View this post on Instagram

Best dogs around

A post shared by Jason Bouza (@jamirepoix) on

Loaded Links Hot Dogs

This Troy-based restaurant serves an extensive list of fancy hot dogs and sausages ranging from turkey dogs to Wagyu beef weiners. Customers can try a range of regional style hot dogs such as the Seattle with cream cheese, sauerkraut, grilled onions, jalapeños, and mustard. For $11, big spenders can also invest in a Billionaire Dog with foie gras, port onion marmalade, and truffle mayo.

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