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Unleash Your Hot Dog’s Full Potential: 13 Unconventional Toppings You Must Try

13 Things You Should Put On Your Hot Dog But Don’t

Hot dogs are a beloved American comfort food, enjoyed in backyards, ballparks, and cookouts across the country. While classics like ketchup and mustard will always hold a special place in our hearts, there’s a whole world of creative and delicious toppings that can take your hot dog experience to new heights. In this article, we’ll explore 13 unconventional and delicious toppings that you should be putting on your hot dog, but probably aren’t. From crispy potato chips to tangy kimchi, these toppings will add a burst of flavor and excitement to your next hot dog feast.

Crushed Potato Chips

An unexpected topping that can add a delicious crunch to your hot dog is crushed potato chips. Inspired by Colombia’s Perros Calientes, this creative twist combines the salty goodness of potato chips with the meaty hot dog and soft bun. To try this topping at home, simply crumble a handful of chips or sticks on top of your hot dog and let the magic begin. You can also experiment with other toppings such as Salsa Rosada, a combination of mayonnaise and ketchup, or fresh coleslaw, salsa and pickles for a truly fancy experience.

Tomatoes and feta cheese

For a fresh and tangy flavor profile, consider topping your hot dog with tomatoes and feta cheese. This Greek-inspired combo cuts the fat from the hot dog and infuses bold, bright flavors into every bite. The juicy tomato chunks complement the hot dog perfectly, while the sharp, cheesy bite of the feta takes it to another level. Add a few cucumber moons for a cool and refreshing twist, and top with homemade or store-bought tzatziki sauce for a creamy finish.


If you’re a fan of coleslaw or sauerkraut, why not try kimchi on your hot dog? Kimchi, a popular Korean condiment, brings a whole new level of flavor and excitement to your hot dog experience. With its tart and spicy flavor, kimchi adds a unique twist to the familiar hot dog. You can find kimchi dogs on menus around the world, but you can also make them at home by simply sprinkling your hot dog with this versatile condiment. Get creative and explore the many ways kimchi can elevate even the most humble of dishes.

Sautéed or caramelized onions

While freshly chopped onions are a classic topping for hot dogs, sautéed or caramelized onions take it to the next level. Slow-cooked onions bring a satisfying dose of sweetness to your hot dog, complementing the charred flavors of the meat and the crunch of the bun. For melt-in-your-mouth caramelized onions, cook them low and slow until they reach a golden, caramelized hue. You can also add raw or fried onions for added texture and flavor.

Avocado and Salsa

For a taste of the Sonoran hot dog, a popular regional style, try topping your hot dog with avocado and salsa. Whether you prefer hot, medium or mild salsa, the combination of creamy avocado and spicy salsa creates the perfect balance of heat and cool. The Sonoran hot dog is often topped with a variety of toppings, but the base of chunky salsa and ripe avocado is a must. You can recreate this delicious combination at home with homemade or canned salsa and thinly sliced or mashed avocado.


If you’re feeling adventurous, consider adding pineapple to your hot dog. Known as a hula dog, this tropical twist originated in Hawaii and brings a sweet and tangy flavor to your hot dog experience. Whether you make a pineapple salsa or simply add the fruit, the combination of sweet and savory is surprisingly delicious. You can add a kick of heat with Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce, or enjoy the simplicity of pineapple’s natural flavors.

Melted cheese

When it comes to hot dogs and cheese, you don’t have to settle for neon yellow gas station cheese. Upgrade your hot dog with premium melted cheeses like brie, gruyere or smoky sharp cheddar. The creamy, melted cheese adds richness and depth of flavor to your hot dog. Pair it with chili for an indulgent cheese dog or add fried onions for an extra kick. You can even take inspiration from the Midwest, where designer cheese dogs are a regional favorite.

Roasted Corn

For a burst of sweetness and a hint of citrus, top your hot dog with freshly roasted corn. The sweet and charred corn kernels complement the meaty hot dog perfectly, creating a delightful contrast of flavors. Spice it up with chili powder, jalapenos, or a drizzle of hot sauce and mayo.

Guacamole and Bacon

Take your hot dog to the next level by adding a generous dollop of guacamole and a few crispy strips of bacon. The creamy and flavorful guacamole adds a luxurious touch, while the smoky and salty bacon enhances the overall flavor profile. This combination brings together the richness of avocado and the irresistible crunch of bacon for a truly indulgent hot dog experience.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

For a unique twist on a classic flavor combination, try a layer of peanut butter and jelly on your hot dog. This unconventional combination may sound unusual, but the sweet and nutty flavor of peanut butter, combined with the fruity sweetness of jelly, creates a surprisingly delicious contrast to the savory hot dog. Give it a try and let your taste buds be pleasantly surprised.

Mac and Cheese

Indulge in the ultimate comfort food experience by topping your hot dog with a generous helping of creamy macaroni and cheese. The combination of cheesy noodles and savory hot dog creates a delicious blend of flavors and textures. You can use homemade macaroni and cheese or opt for the quick and easy boxed version. Either way, this decadent topping will satisfy your cravings and take your hot dog to new heights of deliciousness.

Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Add a burst of Italian flavor to your hot dog with a dollop of pesto and a sprinkling of sun-dried tomatoes. The vibrant and aromatic pesto, made with fresh basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil, adds a delightful herbal note to the hot dog. The sun-dried tomatoes bring a concentrated sweetness and tang that complements the pesto perfectly. This combination is a great option for those looking for a gourmet twist on a classic favorite.

Buffalo Sauce and Blue Cheese

For those who like a little heat and spice, try topping your hot dog with Buffalo sauce and crumbled blue cheese. The spicy and tangy buffalo sauce adds a kick of flavor, while the creamy and tangy blue cheese balances it with its distinct tang. This combination is reminiscent of the popular Buffalo chicken wing flavor and adds a unique twist to your hot dog. Serve with some celery sticks on the side for a complete buffalo-inspired experience.

Barbecue Pulled Pork

For a hearty and indulgent hot dog experience, pile on some tender and flavorful barbecue pulled pork. The juicy and smoky pulled pork adds a rich and savory element to your hot dog, taking it to a whole new level of deliciousness. You can make your own pulled pork or use store-bought options for convenience. Top with slaw for added crunch and freshness and enjoy the delicious combination of flavors.

Bottom Line

There you have it-13 unconventional toppings to add to your hot dog to elevate your culinary experience. From the crunchy goodness of crushed potato chips to the tangy kick of kimchi, these toppings offer a wide range of flavors and textures that will delight your taste buds. Whether you’re a fan of savory, sweet, or spicy, there’s a hot dog topping on this list to suit your tastes. So the next time you fire up the grill or visit your favorite hot dog stand, don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new. Your taste buds will thank you!


What are some unconventional toppings for a hot dog?

Some unconventional toppings to consider for your hot dog include crushed potato chips, tomato and feta cheese, kimchi, sautéed or caramelized onions, avocado and salsa, pineapple, melted cheese, roasted corn, guacamole and bacon, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, buffalo sauce and blue cheese, and barbecue pulled pork.

Where can I find these unique hot dog toppings?

You can find many of these unique hot dog toppings at your local grocery store. Some specialty toppings, such as kimchi or certain types of cheese, may be available at specialty or international food stores. Alternatively, you can make some of these toppings at home using simple recipes and readily available ingredients.

Can I customize the toppings based on my personal preferences?

Absolutely! That’s part of the fun of creating your own hot dog masterpiece. Feel free to mix and match toppings based on your personal taste preferences. You can also experiment with different combinations to discover new and exciting flavors.

Are these toppings vegetarian or vegan friendly?

Many of the toppings mentioned in this article can be enjoyed by both vegetarians and vegans. For example, toppings such as crushed potato chips, sauteed or caramelized onions, avocado and salsa, roasted corn, and pesto and sun-dried tomatoes are vegetarian and vegan-friendly. But it’s important to check the ingredients and make sure they fit your dietary needs.

Can I use these toppings on other types of meats or plant-based alternatives?

Absolutely! While this article focuses on hot dogs, these toppings can be used to enhance the flavor of other types of sausage or plant-based alternatives. Whether you’re grilling bratwurst, vegan sausages, or even plant-based hot dogs, these toppings can add a burst of flavor and excitement to any type of sausage you prefer.

Can I find these toppings in restaurants or food trucks?

Some of these toppings, such as kimchi or barbecue pulled pork, are commonly found as toppings at certain restaurants or food trucks that specialize in hot dogs or street food. However, availability may vary depending on your location and the specific establishments you visit. It’s always a good idea to check the menu or ask the staff about available toppings before ordering.

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