Top That Coney Island Dog

Detroit Coney Island

Listen up.

It’s school time. As in, you are about to be educated.

Not all Coney Island hot dogs are the same. Not by a long shot.

You’re about to receive a recipe, so it’s best you understand which one.

I worked in Detroit for years. Stepping out our back door, only a about 40 yards away, one entered the Coney Island that served the courts and Police headquarters.

I ate a million of them. The ones pictured at the right are from the Lafayette Coney Island, about a mile from where I worked. They are the same.

Notice that the topping is more a sauce with meat. I’m not sure how it’s made but I have an idea.

Flint Coney Island

About an hour north of Detroit, is Flint. (See you are getting a geography lesson too!)

Their version of a coney dog is represented to the left. It is a meaty thing.

I was born in Flint, and lived there until I was nearly through college.

I never ate a coney dog there as best as I can recall.

From what I have seen, most of the Midwest makes its coney dogs like one of these two versions.

Nathan’s Coney Island

Neither is to be confused with Nathan’s Coney Island dogs, which are made in Coney Island, NY.

I’ve never eaten one of them either.

They look very sauted oniony to me.

They don’t seem to have any meat sauce, and I think I see the hint of cheese, of the velveeta variety. Which I utterly abhor.

Not casting any aspersions on Nathan’s of course.

I might be wrong. It might be orange caviar.

The recipe you are getting today is the “Flint” coney. I made it and it’s very good. But I’m now pretty certain I’m going to search for the Detroit recipe.

Much thanks to Lynda Sweezey from JustaPinch who posted this one. I only changed a little bit of it.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 sm onion, diced
  • 2 TBSP prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 TBSP vinegar
  • 2 TBSP sugar ( I would reduce to 1)
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp tabasco sauce ( I used 2 tbsp homemade enchilada sauce, but any hot sauce you like will be fine)
  • 1/4 c ketchup or enough until the mixture is moist.


  1. In a skillet, brown the meat and onion. Drain off any fat. Add everything but the ketchup and simmer on low for 35-40 minutes. Add the ketchup as needed to make it a bit saucy.
  2. To be reasonably authentic, you place the dog in the bun, cover with the “sauce” and then top with raw chopped onions and a good squiggle of ball park mustard.
  3. And don’t even think of picking it up to eat. It’s a fork food!

Serves: 6-8 hot dogs


3 thoughts on “Top That Coney Island Dog

  1. Ha! That is NOT a Flint, MI coney……where did you come up with that recipe?
    Are you sure you are from Flint?

    I have had coneys at at least a dozen places around Flint over the years and never ever have I had a coney with hot sauce in it.

    You need to go to Flint and try one at US Coney on Saginaw, Paul’s or any of the 2-3 dozen coney restaurants there. It is not this.

    • I was born at McClarren Hospital. I said I had never eaten a coney in flint. The recipe I posted does not portray to be a “flint coney”. I simply said the recipe I was posting was a loose meat recipe similar to Flint coney in appearance. Please try to READ before getting all screechy about what it is or isnt. I lived in Flint until I graduated from law school, and then returned many times. I went to Hamady High school. I have ZERO intention of returning to Flint, a city that is sadly nothing but a rusting hulk. Of course it was never much more than a poor imitation of Detroit, which also has seen much better days. I am sure Flint coneys are lovely. Geesh, please get a grip….its hardly a matter of life or death.

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