Seattle Hot Dog

Ingredients for a Seattle Dog

When the bars close down in Seattle, the drunk and hungry residents flock to hot dog stands get a Seattle dog- a hot dog smeared with a healthy stripe of cream cheese and smothered with grilled onions. This odd combination is unique to the city of Seattle.

The recipe originated with a bagel vendor who moved to Seattle from the Midwest in the early 1930s only to learn the locals didn’t share his deep love for bagels. Everybody wanted hot dogs from his street cart but he refused to serve them. Finally, he inserted hot frankfurters into bialy sticks with cream cheese (kind of like long bagel sticks) and they became an immediate success. The other hot dog vendors in the area had no interest in using the bialy sticks but saw how much people took to the cream cheese topping, so they used traditional hot dog buns instead. The Seattle Dog was born!

Seattle Dog

Cream cheese and frankfurters on a bun topped with caramelized onions. That's a Seattle Dog and as weird as it sounds, it's surprisingly tasty. Caramelized onions add sweetness to counter the bite of the creamcheese. You can always add sauerkraut and sliced jalapeno peppers if you need to normalize them a bit. In Seattle, you can get theses babies at the ballpark, inside bars and, of course, from vendor carts in the wee hours of the morning.
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Course: Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: American, American Northwest, North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 Dogs
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • small saucepan
  • Frying pan or grill


  • 6 All-beef hot dogs
  • 6 Hot dog buns
  • 2 medium Yellow onion
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 oz Cream cheese
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • Sauerkraut (optional)


  • Make Onions – Cut onions in half and slice as thinly as possible. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook for 45-50 minutes until they have turned a deep brown brown. Stir every 5 minutes to avoid sticking.
  • Soften Cream Cheese – Soften cream cheese in a saucepan or in the microwave.
  • Cook Dogs – Grill dogs over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side.
  • Assemble – Lightly toast buns, if desired. Liberally smear warmed cream cheese on the inside surface of the bun. Lay the grilled hot dog inside and top with caramelized onion and mustard. Toss on some sauerkraut and/or sliced jalapeno peppers if you're feeling it.


  • When making caramelized onions, keep the heat at a low temperature so the onions become sweet and caramelized without burning.

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