Ask any Detroiter what the Motor City’s quintessential comfort food is and is unanymous: The Coney Dog. Non-Michiganders, take note: This is no ordinary “chili dog!” During the growing auto industry, New York’s famous hot dogs from Coney Island immigrated to Detroit with the booming Greek population. When it arrived in the Motor City, it was married with a bean-free, spiced and meaty coney sauce (not “chili”); fresh cut onions; plenty o’ good ol’ fashioned yellow mustard; and incased in a soft, steamed bun.
The two iconic Coney palaces are Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island, still right next door to each other. They were each originated by a pair of brothers, exploding into an epic rivalry that is still fueled today by their die-hard customers.
You don’t need to visit one of the icons, however, to experience this delicacy–Coney houses are sprinkled everywhere! Go off Detroit’s beaten path to Duly’s Place (the 5458 West Vernor Highway spot was recently visited by Anthony Bourdain in Parts Unknown) or one of the metropolitan area favorites, like Senate or Daly Drive-In. For a few bucks, you can indulge on on loaded dog, coney sauce-smothered fries, and a frosty Vernors (a Michiganders’ quintessential drink).
If you’re not from Detroit and don’t plan on visiting soon (although I encourage everyone to visit the Big D at least once in your life), try it yourself: American Coney Island and National Coney Island ships Coney Kits worldwide!