Survey Finds Nearly 60% Of Americans Prefer This Iconic Hot Dog Chain

All aspects of hot dog consumption seem to inspire strong opinions. Some people like 'em served up plain, while others dress them in everything from chili to sauerkraut to crushed potato chips and beyond. Still, others won't touch them with a ten-foot pole because they're so very grossed out by what they think they're made of.

Although hot dogs have traditionally suffered from some pretty bad PR, that doesn't seem to be stopping people from eating them. In 2021 alone, Americans consumed $7.5 billion worth of hot dogs and sausages, per the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC). A huge chunk of hot dog sales occur during the summer cookout season, with 7 billion of them consumed on average in the period from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Many of these are enjoyed at major league baseball games, but plenty of hot dog enthusiasts turn to chain restaurants to get their fix on days when a ballfield visit just isn't possible.

This hot dog chain is far and away America's favorite

Mashed recently conducted a survey to find out exactly which hot dog chain is dearest in the hearts of Americans. Of the 526 people questioned, Nathan's Famous took a whopping 311 of the votes, for 59.13%. Nathan's Famous hot dogs have come a long way since an immigrant named Nathan Handwerker opened up a "nickel hot dog stand" in 1916, says the chain. The Coney Island stand was a huge success, and today the brand boasts hundreds of locations (per Restaurant Business). Although Nathan's still serves hot dogs, it has branched out in recent years to include hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, heroes, cheesesteaks, and more on the menu.

Innovation aside, Nathan's hasn't lost sight of where it came from, with the Coney Island shop still up and running. The brand is perhaps best known, however, for the annual 4th of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, which started in 1916 as a challenge between friends. Today, the event hosts 40,000 spectators and is broadcast on international television to the amusement of millions.

Coming in second place in the Mashed poll is Wienerschnitzel, with 99 votes (18.82%), followed by Portillo's at 63 votes (11.98%). The quintessential food court staple, Hot Dog on a Stick, came in last place, with 53 votes (10.08%).