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Coney Dog.
Coney Dog.
Wikimedia Commons

9 Classic and Creative Coney Restaurants Worth Trying

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Coney Dog.
| Wikimedia Commons

Here's the question: If it veers off the chili-mustard-onion track, is it truly still a Coney? Can a creative Coney even exist? Or is that just a fancy hot dog? While the traditionalist debate over American vs. Lafayette Coneys rages in the background, much like the Pat's vs. Geno's Philly Cheesesteak showdown, some Coney (or should we say, hot dog) enthusiasts have made subtle—and not-so-subtle—changes to the traditional recipe. So dive into Eater's Coney Island map for some of the more original Coney creations, along with the old favorites.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

American Coney Island

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Self-touted as “Detroit’s Original Coney” in operation since 1917, American Coney Island pleases purist Coney enthusiasts to no end. Here find the classic combination of hot dog, secret chili sauce, mustard, and onions on a steamed bun.

Lafayette Coney Island

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Literally right next door to American Coney Island sits rival Lafayette Coney Island. Once owned by the same family, Lafayette boasts similar classic Coneys, but with slightly different chili sauce and hot dogs. If you haven’t already picked a favorite between these two, then chances are you aren’t really from Detroit.

Duly's Place

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Featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown,” Duly’s in Southwest Detroit is another oldie but goodie dating back 93 years. This classic Coney restaurant is even open 24 hours a day to sate those odd-hour Coney cravings.

Green Dot Stables

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Coneys can and ought to be an inexpensive dish—it’s a fancy hot dog for goodness sake. So for $2, get a Coney slider at Green Dot Stables made with an amped-up chili sauce of venison meat…along with the usual fixin’s of mustard and onions of course.

Mercury Burger & Bar

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They don’t officially call it a Coney, but the “Detroit” hot dog looks awful familiar. Chili? Check. Onion? Check. Cheese? Um, sure, why not. Also, it’s a quarter-pound hot dog.

Bucharest Grill

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Again, the word Coney only appears in the ingredient list of The Detroiter hot dog referencing the kind of sauce found on this gourmet dog. But along with that more classic take on the dish, Bucharest Grill also offers five other variations from The Chicago, featuring relish, peppers, and tomatoes, to The Hamtramck, with red cabbage, bacon, and spicy mustard on a kielbasa.

Atomic Dawg

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Creativity reigns supreme here, with gourmet hot dogs (“dawgs”) such as the Hula Dawg (teriyaki and pineapple) and the Swanky Franky (bourbon bacon and “jalapeno lava cheddar”). “The D” being as close to the traditional Coney as it gets with chili and onion.

Mike's Pita & Grill

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At Mike’s in Eastern Market, quantity is just as important as quality. In the case of feeding a family or a voracious Coney appetite, grab eight Coneys for $10. (And maybe some antacids too at that rate?) Don’t need quite so many? Then just go for one and choose from any number of variations on the theme: chili, mustard, onion, sauerkraut, ground beef, bacon, ketchup.

Zeff's Coney Island

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Another Eastern Market Coney outpost, along with Mike’s, Zeff’s offers up true Detroit-classic Coneys, as well as a few creative styles. Try the Coney Taco with ground beef, which is actually served on a bun, not a taco shell.

American Coney Island

Self-touted as “Detroit’s Original Coney” in operation since 1917, American Coney Island pleases purist Coney enthusiasts to no end. Here find the classic combination of hot dog, secret chili sauce, mustard, and onions on a steamed bun.

Lafayette Coney Island

Literally right next door to American Coney Island sits rival Lafayette Coney Island. Once owned by the same family, Lafayette boasts similar classic Coneys, but with slightly different chili sauce and hot dogs. If you haven’t already picked a favorite between these two, then chances are you aren’t really from Detroit.

Duly's Place

Featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown,” Duly’s in Southwest Detroit is another oldie but goodie dating back 93 years. This classic Coney restaurant is even open 24 hours a day to sate those odd-hour Coney cravings.

Green Dot Stables

Coneys can and ought to be an inexpensive dish—it’s a fancy hot dog for goodness sake. So for $2, get a Coney slider at Green Dot Stables made with an amped-up chili sauce of venison meat…along with the usual fixin’s of mustard and onions of course.

Mercury Burger & Bar

They don’t officially call it a Coney, but the “Detroit” hot dog looks awful familiar. Chili? Check. Onion? Check. Cheese? Um, sure, why not. Also, it’s a quarter-pound hot dog.

Bucharest Grill

Again, the word Coney only appears in the ingredient list of The Detroiter hot dog referencing the kind of sauce found on this gourmet dog. But along with that more classic take on the dish, Bucharest Grill also offers five other variations from The Chicago, featuring relish, peppers, and tomatoes, to The Hamtramck, with red cabbage, bacon, and spicy mustard on a kielbasa.

Atomic Dawg

Creativity reigns supreme here, with gourmet hot dogs (“dawgs”) such as the Hula Dawg (teriyaki and pineapple) and the Swanky Franky (bourbon bacon and “jalapeno lava cheddar”). “The D” being as close to the traditional Coney as it gets with chili and onion.

Mike's Pita & Grill

At Mike’s in Eastern Market, quantity is just as important as quality. In the case of feeding a family or a voracious Coney appetite, grab eight Coneys for $10. (And maybe some antacids too at that rate?) Don’t need quite so many? Then just go for one and choose from any number of variations on the theme: chili, mustard, onion, sauerkraut, ground beef, bacon, ketchup.

Zeff's Coney Island

Another Eastern Market Coney outpost, along with Mike’s, Zeff’s offers up true Detroit-classic Coneys, as well as a few creative styles. Try the Coney Taco with ground beef, which is actually served on a bun, not a taco shell.

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