Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Easy Ways to Up Your Hot Dog Game

Updated May 12, 2017

Hot dogs on a platter.

They may be the longstanding choice of children, but hot dogs have learned some new tricks that can appeal to everyone. You can now choose between beef, pork, turkey, chicken, or veggie dogs. Look for organic and grass-fed options too!

No Mystery In This Meat

The better the meat, the better your meal. Whether you reach for delicious Nature’s Rancher Uncured Hot Dogs, Wellshire Premium Beef Franks or any other hot dog brand in our store, grill with ease knowing that the hot dogs we sell are held to the same high standards as all our other products. This means:

  • No added synthetic nitrates or nitrites
  • Made from animals raised on vegetarian feed without antibiotics or added hormones*
  • No artificial preservatives

*Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising pork and poultry.

Refrigerator Pickled Slaw

Refrigerator Pickled Slaw

Double Dog Dare You

Move over mustard. Catch ya’ later ketchup. With respect to regional favorites like New York City’s signature brown mustard, sauerkraut or onions sautéed in tomato paste and Detroit’s classic “Coney” dog with chili, onion, mustard and cheddar cheese, it’s time to make some new discoveries.

Whatever the occasion, get adventurous with your toppings. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Softball Supper. Green chiles + fresh corn + red onion
  • Saturday in the Park. Tomatoes + onions + steak sauce
  • Date Night on the Patio. Caramelized onions + shredded Gruyère cheese
  • Pool Party. Pineapple + lime + red onion + cilantro + jalapeño pepper
  • Backyard Bash. Mayo with chili garlic paste + pickled veggies + cilantro
  • Grandma’s in Town. Refrigerator Pickled Slaw

Better Buns

Going the classic dog route with soft white buns? Ours are made with unbleached and unbromated flour and no artificial flavors or artificial preservatives. If you want to get even more nutrient value for your money, reach for whole wheat or sprouted whole grain buns.

Sweet Pickle Relish

Sweet Pickle Relish

Meat Alternatives

Are you a vegetarian or cooking for one? Look for 365 Everyday Value® Veggie Dogs. Made with tofu and pea (and no soy isolates), they are Non-GMO Project Verified. Hot dog alternatives like these grill up fairly quickly over indirect heat, so follow instructions on the packaging, as ingredients and cooking times may vary.

There are endless possibilities, so why not set up a hot dog bar for your next backyard barbecue? With a mix of non-traditional toppings (salsa, blue cheese, avocado) and proven favorites like Sweet Pickle Relish and ketchup, you and your guests can compete for the most delicious and innovative combination.

Doused in queso? Wrapped in bacon? Or will simple ketchup do? What’s your favorite way to dress a hot dog?

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ilya koltusky says …

For hot dogs- Go Chicago or go home. On a seeded bun place one (or two) natural, skinless all beef hot dog (boiled) and add chopped onion, relish, yellow mustard, kosher pickle spear and thick slices of heirloom tomatoes. Don't forget to add a sprinkling of celery salt and NO KETCHUP please.

diane says …

i saw in the article that WF sells veggie hot dogs. are they totally soy free????

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@DIANE - Since our vendors differ between stores, check with your local store to see which vendors they carry that are soy free!

Roger Hein says …

They all taste good but the backyard bash is just GREAT,!!

Deanna says …

Anything wrapped in bacon is amazing! I'm usually a purist though...ketchup and mustard, sometimes some cheese also! Yummy!

screwdestiny says …

Under meat alternatives you definitely should have mentioned Field Roast frankfurters. I've tried a few meatless hot dogs, and while the 365 ones are good, the Field Roast option is excellent. I like them way better than the meat hot dogs I used to avoid due to poor flavor. How to top them? I'm pretty simple--Sir Kensington ketchup and dijon mustard, with some dill and garlic sauerkraut salad. Yum!

Gary mussell says …

I am trying to find out if whole foods sells tall grass beef products.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@GARY - Is this a specific vendor? If so, check with your local store directly to see if they have this in stock as our products differ between stores.

Tony says …

Neat article! What is your best selling all natural beef hot dog? Other than the applegate brand, I don't like theirs. thanks

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@TONY - Since our products differ between stores, it will vary. Check with your local store to see if they have an option they would recommend!

Pearl says …

I love that you have your own organic, whole wheat hotdog buns. One of the ingredients listed are "natural enzymes" ... are these from a vegetarian / vegan friendly source? (These buns: http://www.fooducate.com/app#page=product&id=E6E4091A-FFC5-11E0-8977-1231380C180E)


what an interesting article! and the hot dogs seems so yummy and delicious....

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@PEARL - More than likely this is a regionally made bun. I would suggest checking with the bakery team at your local store so they can look in to this for you.