Your hot dog topping - mustard vs ketchup

Every year for the last five years, JJ's Red Hots determines the top 10 toppings for America's...
Every year for the last five years, JJ's Red Hots determines the top 10 toppings for America's favorite food, the hot dog. (photo courtesy JJ's Red Hots) (KOTA)
Published: Jun. 29, 2018 at 2:47 PM MDT
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Nothing gets a hot dog connoisseur more rabid than the wrong topping.

What a New Yorker slaps on a dog (spicy brown mustard and maybe sauerkraut with sautéed onions; and don’t even put that ketchup bottle near it!) is far different than a Chicagoan’s choice, which is a lot (yellow mustard, sweet green pickle relish, onion, tomato wedges, pickle spear, sport peppers).

There always is an argument.So what topping tops the list?


That’s according to

of Charlotte, N.C. The owners of JJ’s will be the first to tell you it isn’t a restaurant. It’s a hot dog joint. And they know toppings … 350 to be exact.

To celebrate National Hot Dog Month, JJ’s Red Hots ranks what people will probably put on their hot dogs this Fourth of July, reportedly the most popular hot dog day of the year.

1. Mustard - reigns supreme for five years running

2. Chili - JJ’s Red Hots calls chili the Avis (we’re number 2, so we try harder) of hot dog toppings

3. Relish– on the rise from 5 last year

4. Sauerkraut– up two spots and always steady

5. Onions– down one; breath mint, anyone?

6. Cheese– still popular with paired with mustard and chili but a little weaker when alone

7. Bacon– number seven with a bullet, up two spots

8. Tomatoes– new entry, even besting its offspring ketchup

9. Salsa– new entry, one that makes you go hmmm

10. Ketchup– the personal pariah of both Dirty Harry and JJ’s founder and proprietor Jonathan Luther

“We do the classics better than anyone and everything on this list you’ll find in our restaurants,” said JJ’s owner, Jonathan Luther. “Yet where we really shine is when we push the envelope and introduce guests to things they’ve never tried before. If you think you’ve tried it all, come back next week and we’ll prove you wrong.”

While there is no way this is anywhere near a realistic topping, some people have admitted to squirting chocolate syrup on their dogs. And we won't even talk about mayonnaise. Someone in the newsroom says only Satan puts mayo on a hot dog.

How would you rank the top choices? Take the poll on our home page.