Along with pizza and burgers, hot dogs are one of the most popular foods in the United States. Found everywhere from backyard barbecues to sporting events, this simple but tasty food item has withstood the test of time to become a staple during the summer time and in locations where there is often a lot of people and not a lot of time to make elaborate meals.
Depending on your taste, the toppings piled onto hot dogs are endless and can vary from region to region. Usually common favorites like ketchup, mustard, and relish are readily available for anyone who wants to get creative and make their hot dog according to their own taste. Once we step out into the world however, the toppings get really interesting and creative which puts a new twist on an old, simple favorite food item.
Because a classic hot dog is relatively simple with just some bread and meat, people from all over the world have gotten really creative in terms of the various ways to prepare hot dogs. Many times, people will take foods that are popular in their country and simply pile it on a hot dog to make a culturally relevant culinary delight.
Below we take a look at 24 countries and the wild variations that cultures around the world have come up with to make a classic hot dog into something that is a reflection of their preferences and cuisines. This begs the question, is there anything you can’t put on a hot dog?
This hot dog from Greece is primarily different than the typical hot dog because of the hearty sauce poured on top of it. This hot dog is sure to please meat lovers because the pureed sauce is also made of ground beef, along with chicken stock, tomato sauce and a variety of different spices such as cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, the sauce gives it a very unique flavor that is sure to set this hot dog apart from the hot dogs most of us are used to enjoying.
The Brazil hot dog, otherwise known as the cachorro-quente, has so many different toppings that you could make a filling meal out of them all on their own. The bun is much wider than the typical hot dog bun which is necessary considering the buffet of food items that are usually piled on top of it. The long list of toppings can typically include foods like ground beef, corn, parmesan cheese, carrots, ham or bacon, shoestring potatoes, and even a quail egg on the side!
A larger than average bun is exactly what is needed for a larger than average sausage in typical hot dogs from Germany, which can be very filling because of the substantial ingredients added. The bread is usually toasted and once the sausage has been grilled and slightly charred, it is typically topped with onions, mustard (what else?) and the well-loved and well-known favorite, sauerkraut, to give it a distinctive local taste. Some places even put a few crushed pretzels on top for a nice crunch.
Well known for being a staple in Korea, kimchi is added to many dishes and sometimes eaten by itself. Made of fermented cabbage and chili paste, kimchi has a very strong flavor and once layered on top of a hot dog, will give an old classic a completely new twist. The other ingredients included in these hot dogs are also very strong in flavor: soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and a little bit of sugar to balance stronger, more pungent flavors all combine to offer a unique eating experience.
Also known by the name of Tunnbrödsrulle, Sweden's version of a hot dog is jam packed with ingredients that may be familiar, but combined in a completely different way to offer a new experience for those who want their hot dogs to be a bit different than the normal street dogs. In addition to basic onions and lettuce, the sauce on top of this hot dog is made with mayonnaise and sweet cucumber relish which give it a fresher flavor than most hot dogs.
One of the cheesier hot dogs on this list, the hot dog from Spain usually does not have a large number of toppings, but it is made with two different kinds of cheeses- a cheese spread and Manchego cheese which is made from sheep’s milk and is produced in the La Mancha region of Spain - home of the well known figure Don Quixote. The cheese gives the hot dog a fruity, nutty taste that is complemented by a few pieces of Serrano ham sprinkled on top.
Made from larger bollilo rolls, Mexico's hot dog is topped with both familiar ingredients such as mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, and onions. Other ingredients make it obvious that this is not a regular hot dog and include more local and well known favorites such as elotes (corn), refried beans, and jalapeños. This particular hot dog is sure to please people who think that bacon goes with everything. Before all of the toppings are piled on, the hot dog itself is wrapped in crispy bacon.
Polynesia's hot dog is one of the lighter and simpler hot dogs on this list- but that does not mean it is any less delicious and flavorful. Along with the popular topping of bacon, this time chopped up and sprinkled on top instead of wrapped around the beef, the Polynesian hot dog pays homage to it’s island origins and includes chunks of juicy pineapple along with finely chopped chives and a bit of hoisen sauce on top to round out the slightly sweet flavor.
Also called the Oroshi dog, the Japanese hot dog is packed with a number of classic ingredients that are typically used for cooking other traditional Japanese dishes. This hot dog features a bratwurst topped with a generous amount of ingredients such as soy sauce, chopped green onions, and grated daikon radish which is a popular ingredient used for cooking fish and other meats in the country. The Japanese hot dog is both tangy and a bit bitter because of the radish and combines flavors usually not found in typical variations.
The toppings on the Thai style hot hog could be a light meal in and of themselves. Topped with fresh ingredients like papaya salad, peanuts and spicy Sriracha, this hot dog is a bit fresher and healthier than most; but that certainly does not mean it is not full of flavor! The combination of ingredients brings many different flavors that work well together in one bun and in order to release even more of the flavors of the papaya salad, the ingredients are usually crushed while they are mixed.
14 Canada (Montreal)
The Montreal hot dog is usually made up of three simple ingredients used as toppings: mustard, fresh coleslaw, and a lot of chopped onions. Although there are slight variations depending on the restaurant you go to, most of the restaurants that serve this style of hot dog generally include these three ingredients but will vary in terms of how they cook the meat. The most popular and inexpensive way to order a Montreal hot hog is steamed which makes the meat soft, but some people may prefer to have it toasted or grilled until it is crisp.
Unlike many of the other hot dogs on this list, Italy's hot dog does not make use of any onions to enhance the flavor. Typically served on a torpedo roll bread, this hot dog includes just a few ingredients; but the individual ingredients themselves sometimes require preparation before they are tossed on top. Italy's hot dog includes potatoes that have been boiled and fried along with peppers that have also been fried beforehand. A dash of mustard is spread on the bread to give it a tangy flavor.
Chile's hot dog stands apart from many other variations of hot dog on this list because rather than use beef, they substitute it for a chicken sausage that is much lighter. In keeping with their lighter ingredients, the Chile hot dog also includes cherry tomatoes, plain yogurt, some lemon juice, and some sliced avocados, making it seem more like a chicken salad in a bun than a regular hot dog; although no less enjoyable for foodies who want to get full but don’t want to feel heavy afterwards.
Usually sold on the streets by vendors that are out in the morning or at night, Denmark hot dogs keep it pretty simple as hot dogs are typically seen in the same way that hot dogs in the United States are viewed; as a quick, on the run option. In addition to the slightly thicker bread, toppings usually include pretty common ingredients such as ketchup, mustard, and two different kinds of onions- roasted and raw. One ingredient that makes it distinct? The Danish remoulade sauce which is typically made of aioli or mayonnaise.
This hot dog from the Philippines not only relies on additional toppings in order to make their hot dogs stand out from others, the sausage that they use is actually quite popular in the country because of the quality of the sausage which is typically bright red because of artificial food coloring. Rather than leave the sausage whole and adding ingredients on top like most other hot dog variations do, the hot dog typically slices the sausage and adds in other ingredients such as ground beef, onions, and peppers.
The Peru hot dog doesn’t seem like a hot dog at all because of the way that it looks since neither the bread nor the sausage is readily visible. But rest assured, there is bread and sausage underneath all of the additional ingredients that are piled on top of this flavorful version. Popular among street vendors, Salchipapa is a very filling food item made with fried, seasoned potatoes, an egg, and plenty of ketchup and mustard to complete a very filling version of a regular hot dog.
Norway's hot dog does not have many additional ingredients and the ones that are typically found on top of a regular hot dog are pretty basic like mustard, ketchup, and onions. The bread is usually pretty basic as well, but the one thing that sets the Norway hot dog apart from pretty much every other hot dog on this list is the kind of meat that the sausage is made of. Most Norway hot dogs are made from reindeer meat, and that is definitely something not easily found in other countries.
One of the only two hot dogs on this list that places the sausage right in the middle of baked bread, France's hot dog is made by splitting open a baguette and toasting both sides until crispy. The hot dogs are typically sold on the streets and the simplicity of the ingredients means that both the sausage and bread have to be on point. Aside from the very basic mustard and ketchup toppings, not much else is added to the typical France hot dog.
Similar to the popular Vietnam food Banh Mi, the Vietnam hot dog also incorporates a lot of the same tangy and refreshing ingredients. The ingredients include items such as carrots, jalapenos, peanuts, fresh cilantro, and sliced cucumbers. The hot dog is usually topped with sriracha and ingredients are usually mixed in with sugar and vinegar which gives them a definite kick that will set this hot dog apart from many others in a simple way that is not going to leave you feeling too full afterwards.
One distinguishing feature that is immediately noticeable about the China hot dog is the way that the sausage is wrapped up in the bread and baked to a golden brown. Commonly eaten for breakfast or food on the go, the China hot dog is very simple and more preparation goes into making sure that the bread is tasty and soft as opposed to piling any ingredients on top since there is really nowhere to put them. Before popping them in the oven, the bread is typically brushed with egg whites and rolled in sesame seeds.
Similar to the hot dogs in the United States, the Argentina hot dog, better known as Choripán, is typically sold by street vendors or at sporting events. The secret to the tastiness of this particular hot dogs lie in the Chimichurri sauce that packs quite a punch in terms of flavor since it is made with ingredients like garlic, red wine vinegar, and paprika to name a few. Paired with a a Creole sauce called Criolla made with some more red wine and onions, tomatoes, and peppers.
The Amsterdam hot dog takes things to another level by upping the quality and preparation of their toppings and making sure to offer a variety of different sausages sure to please meat lovers and veggie lovers alike. A more common hot dog in the country is pretty simple compared to others on this list and is typically made of beef and has some well prepared ingredients which may include classics such as smoked onions, mustard, and a special spicy sauce for anyone looking for a slight kick with their dog.
The Colombia hot dog combines a variety of different ingredients that we typically may not think to put together in a bun, however it is one of the most popular ways to add flavor to a regular beef sausage. Topped with ingredients like pineapple, mozzarella, crushed potato chips, and the particular restaurant’s special sauce, it is definitely a new twist on an old favorite that is worth giving a try just to see how the sweet flavor of pineapple interacts with the saltiness of the potato chips.
One look at the larger sized hot dog from Uruguay is enough to send many people running the other way; the size is quite intimidating and leftovers are probably a guarantee unless it is shared among friends! Thankfully, Uruguay hot dogs also come in a smaller size. Also called “panchos”, Uruguay hot dogs are typically boiled or roasted like most of the meats in the country are and topped with a variety of ingredients including mozzarella cheese, crispy bacon, and a creamy, thick mustard sauce.