Four Ways to Dress up Your Hot Dog for an Over-the-Top Fourth

loaded hot dogs
festive, loaded hot dogs

Nothing says summer like a hot dog. Whether you’re grilling dogs outside, or boiling them up in the kitchen, a loaded hot dog is the perfect way to kick off any celebration. While a simple preparation is delicious, the right toppings can transform a hot dog from a nostalgic childhood favorite into a full-blown gourmet meal. Try these preparations to add a little something special. All of our dressed up dogs start with all-beef frankfurters—these sausages are the traditional base for many styles, but feel free to improvise with your favorite brand.

Chicago-style hot dog

A Chicago-style hot dog is a classic street food in the windy city. The classic Chicago dog is topped with sweet pickle relish, tomato, sweet onion, a dill pickle spear, pickled peppers, and mustard. Traditionally, ketchup is not included on a Chicago dog, and some locals consider it taboo. Many versions are served on a poppy seed bun.

New York-style hot dog

To keep things simple, try a New York hotdog-cart-inspired dog. We’ve topped our version with sauerkraut, mustard, and ketchup for a sweet and tangy bite.

Chili cheese dog

Chili cheese dogs originated in Pennsylvania, with deep roots in Scranton, Philadelphia, and western New York. These decadent dogs should be topped with a traditional meat chili (no beans!), shredded cheese, and chopped white onions.

Kimchi dog

For an international take, try a loaded hot dog topped with kimchi. This Korean-fermented cabbage will bring the same briny kick you get from sauerkraut, along with a little spice and additional complexity. If you like a little something, this is the dog for you. Our version is topped with Kimchi, shredded cabbage, and sriracha mayo.

Looking for a summery dessert to fill up your plate? Try this no-fuss strawberry crostata.