Level Up Your Hot Dog This Summer With These 11 Toppings

Grilling season is in full-swing, which means it’s time to enjoy an all-American favorite: the hot dog.

Few things are as delicious as a freshly charred dog right off the grill… but we have a confession to make: we’re a little fed up with regular old ketchup and mustard on our dogs. Even relish doesn’t do it for us anymore.

If you’re feeling restless about your predictable hot dog toppings, we’ve got a solution for you. Actually, we’ve got 11 solutions for you. Try any of these 11 funky hot dog toppings and we guarantee that you’ll be seeing hot dog grilling in a whole new light this summer.


French Onion Dog

Image: Serious Eats

What’s not to love about French onion soup? It’s got all the basic food groups: broth, cheese, bread, and caramelized onions. Now that that’s settled, the only real question is this: why haven’t you made a French onion soup version of your hot dog yet?

To do so, cover your hot dog in a thick layer of caramelized onions, then top it off with an unhealthy amount of Swiss cheese. Warm the dog up to get the cheese to melt, and sprinkle some fresh Thyme on top.



Banh Mi Dog

Image: Damn Delicious

If you’re looking for a hot dog that’s less “take me out to the ballgame” and more next level AF, then look no further than the banh mi dog.

All the best parts of the traditional Vietnamese sandwich have been transferred to your hot dog, including a layer of mashed peanuts, pickled carrots, cilantro, jalapenos, and cucumbers. What dog could ask for more?






Image: WeHeartIt

For those trying days when you’re stuck with serious decisions like, ‘Do I want mac n’ cheese or hot dogs?’ Ah, the great conundrums of life.

Instead of going down an existential hot dog hole, why not just combine these two comfort foods into one ultimate dog? Make your mac (the thicker and creamier the better) and then proceed to slather your hot dog in said mac. The result is the stuff of every stoners’ dream.



Reuben Dog

Image: Girl Carnivore

Bubbe would be so proud — as long as that dog’s kosher, of course. Sorry Bubbe. Take your hot dog up a few notches by piling it high with all the mouth-watering flavors of our favorite sandwich: the Reuben.

Wrap your grilled dog in pastrami (or even grill the dog with the pastrami wrapped around it), then bury it in Swiss and sauerkraut. Top off with a healthy drizzle of Thousand Island dressing and dig in.



Bacon Wrapped Dog

Image: Port and Fin

Because everything is better wrapped in bacon, obviously. Grill up this epic hot dog wrapped in the good stuff, then give it a little heat by adding some jalapenos to the mix. Want to take it a step further? Top it off with a generous dollop of guacamole.

Spicy? Yes. Delicious? You better believe it.



Kimchi Dog

Image: Steamy Kitchen

Regular relish may be played out, but the reign of kimchi relish is just beginning. Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made of fermented vegetables (usually cabbage) with a variety of seasonings. And guess what? It’s like a spicy flavor party in your mouth.

While you can make kimchi (it’s the same fermentation process as you would use for sauerkraut, if that helps at all), you can buy kimchi both online and in stores, which we would suggest. Add some honey, rice vinegar, and spicy mustard to your kimchi for the best relish your hot dog has ever known.



Pulled Pork Dog

Image: Cooking and Beer

For some serious comfort food on comfort food (comfort food-ception?), you need to try this pulled pork and broccoli slaw hot dog. Have you ever heard something scream “home-cooked Southern comfort,” um, ever? We think not.

Granted, this dog takes a little extra time. You need to make your pulled pork and your slaw (you can buy slaw to make your life easier, we won’t tell) before you can make your masterpiece. But trust us, this explosion of flavor will be well-worth you slaving over a hot grill.



Vacation Dog

Image: Real Simple

Give your taste buds the getaway they’ve been craving with this “vacation dog”. You might not be able to get to the Bahamas before October (damn your limited vacation days!), but your stomach sure can. The tastes of summer are all here — smokey hot dog, juicy pineapple, and red cherry peppers. Now that is what we call a sweet, sweet victory.



Eclair Dog

Image: The Frisky

That’s right, hot dogs aren’t conforming to your societal norms anymore. If you really want to tick off The Man, turn your dog into a sweet-as-pie chocolate eclair hot dog. It sounds gross when you first hear it, we’ll give you that, but you will be pleasantly surprised by this combination of savory and sweet, we promise.

Dip the bottom of your bun in chocolate and top your dog off with some whipped cream. The thicker the cream, the better, but you can use canned whipped cream to get the effect, too.


Texas Chili Dog

Image: Damn Delicious

You know what they say about Texas — everything’s bigger and covered in chili there. Well, maybe not that last part, but it’s the truth. Texas without chili would be like the Kardashians without plastic surgery. So if this is going to be a Texas dog, there better be chili. And lots of it.

Once you’ve piled your dog high with savory chili, top it off with a crumble of Fritos for a satisfying crunch. Because it’s Texas, ya’ll, why the heck not?



Smores Dog

Image: Rolling Out

Your barbecue guests never saw this coming. Sure, you’ll be grilling up hot dogs and s’mores over an open fire, but who knew you’d be grilling up HOT DOG S’MORES over an open fire? And we’re not talking about just any old s’mores here, but a peanut butter s’mores, no less.

We get that smothering your toasted bun in marshmallow fluff and drizzling chocolate syrup and peanut butter all over your hot dog isn’t normal grilling etiquette,but who said anything about this list being “normal”?

So get grilling, and enjoy a summer full of weird, hot dog-related fun, courtesy of us. You’re welcome.e.


By Tessa Newell

Tessa lives and writes in Sturbridge, Massachusetts where she hoards an obnoxiously large collection of scarves and puts queso cheese on everything she sees. Although she looks short and tiny, Tessa can eat several cheeseburgers in one sitting and will do anything for a spoonful of peanut butter. Or a whole jar, whichever.

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