Gourmet Hot Dogs in Metro Detroit

The new Avocado BLT Dog from Ray's Red Hots in Ann Arbor. Photo courtesy of Ray's Red Hots.

These 4 Hot Dog Joints are All Wieners in Our Book


Hot dogs are as much an American staple as coney dogs are a Detroit staple. But, it doesn’t have to be all chili and mustard 24/7. What if you prefer the spice of a few raw jalapeno slices? What if you’re of the opinion that pickles on a dog must be heard? What about the vegans!?

Let us calm this sour crowd with a few choice spots in metro Detroit that are reclaiming the classic dog on a bun and turning it into a gold-medal wiener.

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Ray’s Red Hots

Rays-Red-Hots-Gourmet-Hot-Dogs

The Avocado BLT Dog (bottom left) and the Chicago Dog from Ray’s Red Hots in Ann Arbor. Photo courtesy of Ray’s Red Hots.

With a quest to serve Chicago dogs with a Michigan influence, Ray’s Red Hots in Ann Arbor relishes in its local producers by sourcing just about everything from Michigan farmers. The poppy seed bun (white and whole wheat buns are also available) is baked locally and steamed in-house. The dog itself is 100% Angus Beef and topped with yellow mustard, a dill pickle spear, neon sweet relish, raw onions, roma tomatoes, spicy sport peppers and celery salt. You know. Chicago Style.

But, that’s just one of many dogs and sausages available at Ray’s Red Hots. New to the menu is the Avocado BLT Dog. It’s wrapped in thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon and topped with avocado, roma tomato, lettuce, Frog Island BBQ sauce (made in Ann Arbor), diced red onion and avocado-infused mayo.

Doug’s Delight

Do you like stories of rebirth? Then you’ll really enjoy Doug’s Delight, a Hazel Park staple that was brought back to life by Mabel Gray chef James Rigato and pastry chef Kristina Conger. The revived ice cream stand has returned stronger than before with a menu of hot dogs, coneys, mini taco nachos, “walking tacos,” cream puffs, soft serve and more.

Dougs-Delight

An assortment of food from Doug’s Delight in Hazel Park. Photo courtesy of Doug’s Delight.

Of note is the Hot Mess Hot Dog: Dearborn brand sausage, kimchi, onions, chili, nacho cheese, and sauerkraut. And it’s just one of six different hot dog styles being slung Wednesday through Sunday at this rising phoenix.

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Chili Mustard Onions

Next up is a newcomer so new they’re not even here yet. Chili Mustard Onions is a vegan coney island that was slated to open on April 1, but they sure fooled us. Due to a delay in final inspections, CMO isn’t quite ready to swing its doors open.

However, when those doors start opening like a never-ending revolving door, you can expect vegan coneys, loose coneys, chili cheese fries, beet balls (think meatballs, but beets), soft serve ice cream, kombucha and more. Their chili is made with 10 different spices and a soy crumble, making it spicier and thicker than traditional coney dog chili.

Keep an eye on their Facebook page for an official opening date.

Atomic Dawg

Over in Berkley, you’ll find one of the biggest selection of gourmet hot dogs. The Russian Dawg is topped with Canadian slaw (or sauerkraut), swiss cheese and Russian dressing. The Swanky Franky is wrapped in bourbon-smoked bacon and topped with jalapeno lava cheddar. There’s a total of 10 gourmet “Dawgs” on the menu and the option of a plain hot dog with additional toppings available ala carte.

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