Why This Rhode Island Hot Dog Is Called A 'New York System'

What's your favorite junk food? Is it a plate of fried chicken, a juicy cheeseburger squished inside a bun, or maybe a greasy slice of pizza? We love all of those things and more, but we have to say that our favorite indulgence might be a salty, snappy hot dog. Whether crowned with a simple squiggle of mustard or heaped with tangy sauerkraut, there's just something about this cookout staple that really stokes our cravings.

Although you might be accustomed to eating your hot dogs simply, there's actually a ton of regional styles around the country that call far more than simple condiments into play. Take, for example, the Sonoran hot dog, a Mexican-inspired Arizona specialty that wraps the dog in bacon and tops it with beans, onions, tomatoes, and mayo (via Buzzfeed). Or the well-known Chicago dog, featuring a poppy seed bun and fresh and pickled veggies, including tomato and dill spears (via First We Feast). But have you ever heard of a New York System hot dog? Read on to learn more about this style of dog, and how it got its intriguing name.

A Rhode Island dog with a New York name

If you've ever visited Rhode Island, you may have heard of a "New York System" hot dog. This hyper-local sausage is a Rhode Island classic, served in wiener spots including Ferrucci's New York System and Sam's New York System. The tasty dog is the type that might have you reaching for an antacid — but it will be worth it — featuring an all-beef sausage topped with meat sauce, mustard, chopped white onion, and celery salt (via First We Feast).

So why does a Rhode Island hot dog sport a New York name? According to the New England Historical Society, hot dogs became very popular in the United States in the 1900s. The weiners were typically associated with New York's Coney Island, where they were served on the beachside boardwalk by purveyors such as Nathan's Famous, established in 1916 (via Smithsonian Magazine). In Providence, a primarily Greek community of immigrants started to open hot dog joints, beginning with Sparky's Coney Island System (now closed) in 1915, and followed by Baba's Original New York System in 1927 (via New England Historical Society). Shop owners employed the name "New York System" as a marketing term to indicate authenticity.

Today, Providence's Olneyville New York System, established in the late 1930s, is the city's best-known purveyor of the NY-style dogs. Wherever this mutt of a dog is from, put us down for two (or three).