Michigan Hot Dog aka Detroit Coney

2014-08-17
A Flint-style coney (with dry coney sauce) from Rio's Coney Island in Flint, MI.
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The Michigan hot dog, or “Michigan”, is a boiled all-beef hot dog on a steamed bun topped with a thick, meaty sauce, called “Michigan sauce”. The sauce may be tomato-based, depending on where the Michigan is prepared. Michigan hot dogs or Michigan coneys are usually served with chopped onions, which are either buried under the sauce, under the hot dog itself, or sprinkled on top of the sauce.

Michigans are also a favorite in Upstate New York State, and are also very popular in Montreal and other parts of Quebec, where the sauce put on them is usually tomato-based and is often referred to as “spaghetti sauce”. Lafleur Restaurants, a Quebec fast food chain, is known for its Michigan and Poutine.

Oddly enough, “Michigan hot dogs” are not called by that name in Michigan or anywhere else in the Midwest. A similar food item, the Coney Island hot dog or “Coney dog”, is a hot dog topped with onions and either chili or a bean-less chili called coney sauce. Conversely, the “Coney Island” is not called as such on Coney Island, or anywhere else in New York State; it’s called either a “Michigan” or a “red hot.”

There is no consensus on the origin of the Michigan. Although there are many different varieties of Michigan sauce today, the original Michigan sauce was possibly created by George Todoroff in Jackson, Michigan. The sauce was originally created to be used as a topping on Coney Island hot dogs. In 1914, Mr. Todoroff founded the Jackson Coney Island restaurant and created his Coney Island chili sauce recipe.

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