A Deep Dive into Detroit’s Coney dogs

Growing up, I always looked forward to going out for a nice Detroit-style Coney dog. Whether it was before a big Tigers game, or just a late night snack— it has always been the food I have enjoyed most. The combination of the bun, mustard, onion, hot dog and chili creates one of the most famous foods to try in Detroit: the Coney dog. Though this pegs the question; Where can you find the best tasting Coney dog?
In Detroit you’ll find the most popular spots for Coneys, the American and Lafayette Coney Island restaurants— which are actually directly next to one another. They are each other’s biggest competitors, as they share the Coney dog duties within the biggest city in Michigan. In the suburbs of Detroit, we enjoy Leo’s Coney Island. For Groves students, the most notable locations stand at Telegraph and Maple and in Downtown Birmingham. Just past Leo’s Coney Island, and a block off of Woodward, stands Greek Islands Coney Restaursant in downtown Birmingham, and another popular lunch spot would be Hellenic Coney Island on Evergreen in Southfield. Leo’s is the most common Coney, and each restaurant looks relatively the same, with the Greek paintings on the wall and similar foods on the menu, such as the saganaki. Greek Islands Coney is a more modern twist, which is oftentimes filled with high school students wanting an after school snack. Hellenic Coney Island is a place us Groves students often go for lunch. They serve breakfast all day long, which really benefits students during the 11 AM A lunch. American and Lafayette are a lot smaller and in tight spaces, but they are the most famous Coneys in the area, giving it a classic feel.
Because I am such a Coney dog advocate, I decided I wanted to rate which restaurant serves the best of the best. I went to each Coney in the local Detroit area and judged each based on the bun, the chili and the hot dog, as well as an overall grade based on the combo of the ingredients.

As you can see, in my opinion, Lafayette serves the best Coney dog. The chili was much better than the other restaurants and so was the hot dog. So all in all it was easily my favorite one to eat as well as my favorite experience. I like the classic type of restaurants like Lafayette. However, my findings are based solely on my opinion, so I recommend trying each place to see what you like. Each Coney spot has its own unique style— from the modernized restaurant to the classics downtown, they each give you something just a little bit different. Coney dogs are a unique Detroit experience, so next time you’re craving a salty and filling snack, I suggest venturing to one of your local Coney restaurants for a long-time Detroit classic!