A Different Dog

A wizened look beyond the coney to metro Detroit’s alternative hot dog offerings
Photograph by Joe Vaughn

Ancient food lore dictates that we are what we eat, and in Detroit, we eat coneys.
We are the coney. We love the coney. But alas, love blinds. And in the case of the hot dog, there is much more to see. Even here in the coney holy land, there are toppings, tastes, and flavor combinations well worth deviating from “The Coney Way.” So when the craving for something different sets in, embrace it. Besides, the next time you reach for a coney, it will be still be there, delicious and
unchanged. The only thing that will have changed is you.


1. Imperial — Imperial Sonoran

Originally a product of Arizona and northern Mexico, the sonoran traditionally consists of a bacon-wrapped dog topped with Mexican ingredients. At Ferndale’s Imperial, the house sonoran is topped with stewed beans, poblano pepper, lime crème, queso fresco, salsa, and cilantro. facebook.com/imperialonwoodward


2. Atomic Dawg — Hula Dawg

Specializing in fresh, homemade ingredients, Berkley’s Atomic Dawg has gourmet dogs down to a science. Among its stellar lineup of all-beef hot dogs is the Hula Dawg, a sweet and tangy selection topped with teriyaki sauce, grilled pineapple, grilled onions, lettuce, and Japanese cherry mayo. atomicdawg.com


3. GoGo’s — Holo Dog

Located in the space once home to Bucharest Grill inside Detroit’s Park Bar, GoGo’s brings Hawaiian cuisine downtown, and with it, the Holo Dog. Nestled inside a hollowed-out onion/poppy seed bun, GoGo’s Holo Dogs are made to order with add-ons like Spam chili, sweet sesame mustard, and pineapple jalapeno relish. Sound messy? Fear not. All the good stuff is packed neatly and deliciously inside. gogos.us


4. Laika Dog — Banh mi Dog

Like the cosmos itself, Laika Dog’s hot dog menu is vast. But when visiting the Corktown joint inside the UFO Factory, stick with their signature dogs, which include a kimchi dog with fried ramen, a PB&J dog with housemade raspberry ancho-mint jelly, and the banh mi dog (pictured here) with pickled carrots and radishes, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and spicy vegan mayo. laikadogdetroit.com


5. Stadium Hotdogs — Breakfast Dog

Just one of several specialty footlongs on the Dearborn-based Stadium Hotdogs menu, the Breakfast Dog provides all the essentials for a hearty morning meal: scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, and shredded cheese. Of course, one need not wait until morning to consume. stadiumhotdogs.com