Nathan’s Famous debuts vegan hot dogs in its restaurants

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Nathan’s Famous, hot dog chain and host of the wild and stomach-churning annual hot dog-eating competition, released a vegan hot dog in April that was available online only. Starting today, however, the vegan hot dogs will be served at 13 locations in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, including at the original Coney Island location, says Food and Wine.


The retail price for a plant-based hot dog kit online (for six hot dogs) is $44.99, which is, uh, a little more than I’d pay for a hot dog kit, even though it also comes with buns and mustard. A 12-pack of vegan dogs alone is $39.99. So serving single dogs at a storefront is probably a much better way to get people to try it without digging into the couch cushions to find extra change.

James Walker, Nathan’s senior vice president of restaurants, said in a statement, “We’ve spent a great deal of time perfecting this hot dog and making sure that those who know and love Nathan’s one-of-a-kind flavor, as well as those that might not have tried a Nathan’s hot dog due to diet, can now enjoy an option that fits their lifestyle.”

Since the vegan hot dogs will only be available at select locations on the East Coast, the rest of us will have to wait for them to come to us, or use our paltry savings to invest in the at-home hot dog kits. No word on whether or not the hot dog eating contest—traditionally held on July 4—will involve vegan versions, however. I feel like that would add an interesting dimension to an already gnarly spectacle.

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.


Pennsyltucky Dreams of America

My wife recently went vegetarian, and I’ve been trying to find a good veggie dog. So far, they’re all terrible. All the reviews must be written by life-long vegetarians because they apparently have no idea what a hot dog tastes like. The supposed “best” one is Lifelight’s version, which to us tastes like peas and plastic with the texture of soft rubber. The only hint of hot dog is the artificial smoke flavor, it barely even tastes like food. I hope they put the Nathan’s version in stores since there’s no restaurant around here, they must have higher standards than these dedicated vegetarian companies.