The Coney Dog: Did you know a Greek invented Michigan's favourite street food in 1910?

coney dog, coney hot dogs, coney island hot dogs

The most popular theory for inventing the CONEY DOG dates back to 1910 and credits GREEK immigrant Constantine (Gust) Keros in Detroit, Michigan.

The history of the Coney Dog is almost a microcosm of American history. A German baker, Charles Feltman, opened the first U.S. hot dog stand in New York City in 1871, selling sausage served in milk rolls.

A Polish immigrant, Nathan Handwerker, opened his iconic hot dog stand in New York’s Coney Island in 1916, which evolved into Nathan's Famous restaurants.

A Coney Island Hot Dog (or Coney Dog or Coney) is very popular in Michigan and across the Midwest. It is a hot dog in a steamed bun dressed in a Greek seasoned meat sauce, striped with yellow mustard and punctuated with diced onions.

coney dog, coney hot dogs, coney island hot dogs

In 1910, a Greek immigrant, Constantine (Gust) Keros, opened a hot dog cart in Detroit after sampling hot dogs in Coney Island, NYC, en route from Ellis Island to Michigan.

He topped the dogs with a traditional Greek “red meat sauce” (saltsa kima) and called them “Coney Dogs”. Business boomed with Detroit’s auto industry as workers devoured a hot, fast, inexpensive lunch.

coney dog, coney hot dogs, coney island hot dogs

The hot dog cart became a small restaurant near the same corner in 1917.

In the early 1920s, Gust brought his brother Bill Keros over from Greece to help him run the restaurant he named American Coney Island, which still sits today and continues to be owned by the third-generation Keros family.

The business was booming, but eventually Bill and Gust butted heads, and in 1936, Bill decided to open up his own shop, Lafayette Coney — right next door. Thus was born one of Detroit's most storied rivalries, with each Coney drawing fiercely partisan fans.

Lafayette Coney

READ MORE: Taste Atlas: The two Greek sweets in the world’s top 50 – Which one is on the worst list?

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