These Cities Eat the Most Hot Dogs
Ah, hot dogs. Not many people could tell you how they came to be or where they got their name, and we’re convinced that nobody actually knows what they’re made of (we’ll spare you the details), but one thing’s for certain: Americans can’t get enough of them.
In fact, from Memorial Day to Labor Day – that’s prime hot dog season – Americans consume an average of 818 hot dogs per second, which adds up to seven billion hot dogs consumed by the end of summer. Of those, 150 million are consumed on the Fourth of July alone.
Okay, okay, we get it. Americans love hot dogs. But that got us thinking: Which Americans love hot dogs the most?
Not surprisingly, some cities have more passion for tubular-shaped meat emulsion than others.
Here’s a quick look at the top 10 cities, ranked by consumption:
At first glance, we see a lot of larger cities, but this isn’t your average “biggest cities in the country” list. Take Texas, for instance. Despite Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas all ranking in the top 10 for population, none appear on this list. Conclusion: Texans hate hot dogs.
Continue reading to learn how we crunched the numbers and see just how many hot dogs these cities manage to eat.
Hot Dog Methodology
This one is pretty straightforward. While there are a couple ways you could determine which cities eat the most hot dogs, we ended up ranking our list based on raw weight (in pounds) of hot dogs consumed for each city. For reference, a pound roughly equates to one package, or 10 total hot dogs.
Just for fun, we also included how much each city spent on hot dogs for the year, including an estimate of cost per package. As you’ll read below, the value of a hot dog is definitely different from city to city.
1. Los Angeles
Total Consumption (lbs): 30,971,771
Total Spend: $71,953,397
Estimated Hot Dogs Eaten: 309,717,710
Estimated Cost Per Package: $2.32
Did you know the City of Angels is also the city of hot dogs? LA’s roughly 4 million residents consume an average of 76 hot dogs each per year. That’s a lot of dogs, but with the variety of styles and flavors offered throughout the city – including celebrity-themed eats at Pink’s – it’s easy to see why Angelenos keep coming back for more. On top of that, the cost per package is the lowest of any of our top 10 cities. Endless options at a cheap price? Sign us up.
2. New York City
Total Consumption (lbs): 19,537,321
Total Spend: $93,249,765
Estimated Hot Dogs Eaten: 195,373,210
Estimated Cost Per Package: $4.77
Next up is the Big Apple. Everyone knows that New York is famous for having the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Wall Street, and a high cost of living, so it may not surprise you to know that the hot dogs here are super expensive, too. Residents eat an average of 23 hot dogs each year and pay more than any other city in the top 10 to do it. Any hot dog lovers here trying to save money? Fuhgeddaboudit! At least you’ll have plenty of famous hot dog restaurants to choose from.
Total Consumption (lbs): 15,653,424
Total Spend: $54,416,673
Estimated Hot Dogs Eaten: 156,534,240
Estimated Cost Per Package: $3.48
Moving on to the third city on our tour, we arrive in Philadelphia. The people here love their hot dogs to the tune of 99 eaten per resident each year. Despite warranted competition from the Philly Cheesesteak, there are plenty of great places to whet your appetite if hot dogs are your preferred meat-in-a-bun of choice. However, at $3.48 per package, they are on the expensive side.
Total Consumption (lbs): 14,793,768
Total Spend: $56,838,830
Estimated Hot Dogs Eaten: 147,937,680
Estimated Cost Per Package: $3.84
Shipping off to Boston, we find a similar story to Philadelphia. With nearly 150 million hot dogs consumed each year and the second-highest cost per package among our top 10 cities, it’s clear that residents here love their hot dogs and are willing to pay for them. To be fair, though, you can go both ways on the price in Boston, with options ranging from 25 cents to $24 per dog.
Total Consumption (lbs): 13,725,516
Total Spend: $40,261,583
Estimated Hot Dogs Eaten: 137,255,160
Estimated Cost Per Package: $2.93
Although it’s home to two MLB stadiums and a topping-heavy eponymous hot dog, The Windy City comes in at number 5 on our list. Residents here consume a much more reasonable 51 hot dogs per year, but that’s still plenty enough to make it onto this list. With slightly over 40 million dollars spent each year on roughly 137 million hot dogs, Chicagoans are firmly in the bottom half in terms of cost per package as well. In other words, we don’t see them leaving this list anytime soon.
Total Consumption (lbs): 13,185,022
Total Spend: $31,869,202
Estimated Hot Dogs Eaten: 131,850,220
Estimated Cost Per Package: $2.42
Moving out west to the desert, the residents of Phoenix enjoy pairing their hot weather with plenty of hot dogs. Rather than point out the number or the cost of hot dogs eaten here, let’s focus on weight for a second. Residents consume over 13 million pounds of hot dogs per year. To better visualize how much weight we’re talking about, that’s roughly 13 Boeing 747 jumbo jets’ worth of meat. We don’t have numbers for how many pounds of toppings Phoenicians go through each year, but the well-garnished Sonoran hot dog is a popular option.
Total Consumption (lbs): 11,683,999
Total Spend: $33,777,255
Estimated Hot Dogs Eaten: 116,839,990
Estimated Cost Per Package: $2.89
Atlanta is home to the busiest airport in the world and is also the birthplace of Coca-Cola. We’d have to guess that residents and visitors to The ATL probably enjoy a nice glass of Coke to wash down the 116 million hot dogs they consume each year, especially since the cost comes in fairly low relative to the other cities on this list. There are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat here, but The Varsity has been an iconic hot dog spot for decades. They even opened a location inside Hartsfield Jackson Airport a few years ago, so remember to grab a famous slaw dog during your next layover.
Total Consumption (lbs): 11,057,822
Total Spend: $32,625,272
Estimated Hot Dogs Eaten: 110,578,220
Estimated Cost Per Package: $2.95
Coming in at number 8 on the list, Detroit has had a tough last decade following the financial struggles of many of the city’s largest companies. The city itself even filed for bankruptcy in 2013. Things are on the rise, however, and with that comes a place on our list. Motor City residents eat over 110 million hot dogs each year, and there are a lot of great options to try if you’re on the hunt for something unique, including two side-by-side restaurants – American and Lafayette – that sell Detroit’s classic Coney dogs.
9. Washington, D.C.
Total Consumption (lbs): 10,787,403
Total Spend: $37,338,119
Estimated Hot Dogs Eaten: 107,874,030
Estimated Cost Per Package: $3.46
Our nation’s capital occupies the penultimate spot on our list. With so many museums and landmarks to see throughout the city, you need to stop sometime to refuel, and the people here have clearly landed on hot dogs as their fuel of choice. Just like everything else in D.C., hot dogs are on the pricy side, coming in as fourth most-expensive out of our top 10 at around $3.46 a package. That price tag doesn’t seem to stop anyone from enjoying hot dogs topped with the traditional (bacon, onions, and mustard) and the unexpected (black pepper honey, hoisin sauce, and, yep, a hard-boiled quail egg).
Total Consumption (lbs): 9,834,694
Total Spend: $33,210,100
Estimated Hot Dogs Eaten: 98,346,940
Estimated Cost Per Package: $3.38
The city of Tampa has so much to offer, from beautiful weather to aquariums and amusement parks. What more could you ask for? The answer is hot dogs, apparently. Tampa may not have broken the 100 million mark, but 98 million hot dogs a year is still worthy of inclusion on this list. So next time you’re down in Tampa, stop by Mel’s to enjoy your hot dog on a steamed poppy seed bun or check out another of the city’s popular hot dog establishments.
To Be Frank
For those of you counting at home, the total number of hot dogs consumed by the top 10 cities above exceeds 1.5 billion per year. Total consumption across the country is estimated at around 20 billion per year, meaning the top 10 accounts for roughly 7.5 percent of all hot dog sales. That’s a lot of hot dogs, and that’s all we’ve got for this one!
Love hot dogs and feeling inspired? Learn what it takes to open your own hot dog stand. Hate hot dogs and not sure why you’re still reading? Consider checking out our extensive recipe list. There’s something in there for everyone – no mystery meats required.
Statistics courtesy of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC).