Special Report

America’s 40 Best Cities for Hot Dog Lovers

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Americans eat hot dogs all year long, but somehow they seem particularly appropriate for summertime. And why not? They’re casual, hand-held, inexpensive, perfect on the backyard grill. We consume about 150 million hot dogs across the nation on Fourth of July alone, and according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (you know such a popular food category has to have its own council), we eat about 20 billion of them a year in all – approximately a third of those between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  

The Council differentiates between 18 different regional hot dog styles. In Alaska, for instance, the toppings are simple (grilled onions, sometimes simmered in Coca-Cola, are popular) but the bun is steamed and the dog itself may be made from “reindeer” (actually caribou). In Arizona, the Mexican-influenced Sonoran dog wraps the frank in bacon and heaps on pinto beans, grilled onions and green peppers, chopped tomatoes, jalapeño salsa, and shredded cheese – and don’t forget the relish, mayo, and mustard. (Here’s a look at the best hot dog joint in every state.)

The Chicago version, on the other hand, adds yellow mustard, dark green relish, chopped raw onion, a pickle spear, sport peppers, tomato slices, and celery salt to an all-beef frank nestled in a poppy seed bun – and by the way, the application of ketchup to a dog is considered a mortal sin in the Windy City. (Read about the signature dishes from 50 American cities.)

Due to regional variety and other factors, some cities around the U.S. are more hot-dog-friendly than others. To compile a list of Amermpetition awards (for hot dog ambassador and hot dog topping contests), and popularity (iconic regional sica’s 40 best cities for hot dog lovers, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a recent report by Lawn Love, an online lawn care marketplace that conducts research into city and state amenities. The site ranked the 200 largest American cities across nine differently weighted metrics in four key categories: access (number of hot dog vendors per square mile), consumer satisfaction (ratings and reviews), cotyle, monthly wiener-related Google searches, and number of hot dog eating contests).

Click here to see America’s 40 best cities for hot dog lovers

Considering the fact that there seem to be hot dog carts on every corner and that the hot dog-centric Gray’s Papaya is considered as much an essential restaurant in the city as Katz’s Deli or Le Bernardin, it’s hardly surprising that New York captures first place here. Chicago comes in next. But it’s the No. 3 city, Los Angeles, that leads the nation in annual hot dog consumption, scarfing down about 30 million pounds of wieners a year.  

40. San Diego, California
> Access rank: 74/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 6/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 36/200
> Overall score: 18.15

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39. Oakland, California
> Access rank: 10/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 64/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 73/200
> Overall score: 18.25

38. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
> Access rank: 7/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 97/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 62/200
> Overall score: 18.41

37. Tempe, Arizona
> Access rank: 24/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 12/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 61/200
> Overall score: 18.54

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36. Alexandria, Virginia
> Access rank: 9/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 46/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 101/200
> Overall score: 18.86

35. Dallas, Texas
> Access rank: 150/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 139/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 9/200
> Overall score: 18.9

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34. Anchorage, Alaska
> Access rank: 199/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 18/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 30/200
> Overall score: 19.14

33. Dayton, Ohio
> Access rank: 91/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 98/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 31/200
> Overall score: 19.26

32. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
> Access rank: 13/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 27/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 51/200
> Overall score: 19.86

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31. Detroit, Michigan
> Access rank: 59/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 108/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 22/200
> Overall score: 20.51

30. Kansas City, Missouri
> Access rank: 182/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 157/200
> Competition awards rank: 3/200
> Popularity rank: 23/200
> Overall score: 20.61

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29. Jersey City, New Jersey
> Access rank: 5/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 28/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 86/200
> Overall score: 21.07

28. Orlando, Florida
> Access rank: 15/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 45/200
> Competition awards rank: 6/200
> Popularity rank: 39/200
> Overall score: 21.83

27. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
> Access rank: 54/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 57/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 20/200
> Overall score: 22.14

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26. Tacoma, Washington
> Access rank: 36/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 111/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 24/200
> Overall score: 22.61

25. Baltimore, Maryland
> Access rank: 37/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 83/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 18/200
> Overall score: 23.79

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24. Providence, Rhode Island
> Access rank: 31/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 65/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 29/200
> Overall score: 23.87

23. Tulsa, Oklahoma
> Access rank: 117/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 71/200
> Competition awards rank: 3/200
> Popularity rank: 25/200
> Overall score: 23.9

22. Cleveland, Ohio
> Access rank: 86/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 61/200
> Competition awards rank: 5/200
> Popularity rank: 19/200
> Overall score: 24.16

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21. Phoenix, Arizona
> Access rank: 98/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 29/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 7/200
> Overall score: 24.25

20. Portland, Oregon
> Access rank: 52/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 23/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 15/200
> Overall score: 24.28

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19. Atlanta, Georgia
> Access rank: 33/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 68/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 11/200
> Overall score: 25.51

18. Denver, Colorado
> Access rank: 39/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 53/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 12/200
> Overall score: 25.53

17. Newark, New Jersey
> Access rank: 12/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 122/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 27/200
> Overall score: 26.12

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16. Boston, Massachusetts
> Access rank: 21/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 50/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 16/200
> Overall score: 26.57

15. Las Vegas, Nevada
> Access rank: 6/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 5/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 34/200
> Overall score: 26.64

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14. San Antonio, Texas
> Access rank: 107/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 4/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 13/200
> Overall score: 26.72

13. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
> Access rank: 22/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 38/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 14/200
> Overall score: 27.19

12. Tucson, Arizona
> Access rank: 27/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 13/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 17/200
> Overall score: 27.36

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11. Honolulu, Hawaii
> Access rank: 25/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 11/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 21/200
> Overall score: 28.02

10. Houston, Texas
> Access rank: 80/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 7/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 6/200
> Overall score: 30.07

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9. Miami, Florida
> Access rank: 1/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 116/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 35/200
> Overall score: 32.23

8. Seattle, Washington
> Access rank: 11/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 9/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 10/200
> Overall score: 32.77

7. Rochester, New York
> Access rank: 3/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 119/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 25/200
> Overall score: 32.77

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6. Cincinnati, Ohio
> Access rank: 20/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 82/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 4/200
> Overall score: 35.13

5. San Francisco, California
> Access rank: 2/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 51/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 8/200
> Overall score: 38.12

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4. Washington, D.C.
> Access rank: 19/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 19/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 3/200
> Overall score: 38.14

3. Los Angeles, California
> Access rank: 41/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 1/200
> Competition awards rank: 1/200
> Popularity rank: 5/200
> Overall score: 53.9

2. Chicago, Illinois
> Access rank: 4/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 2/200
> Competition awards rank: 11/200
> Popularity rank: 2/200
> Overall score: 54.65

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1. New York, New York
> Access rank: 8/200
> Consumer satisfaction rank: 3/200
> Competition awards rank: 2/200
> Popularity rank: 1/200
> Overall score: 65.89

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