Nathan’s Famous

Hot Dogs

in Brooklyn: Coney Island & Brighton Beach

A classic hot dog from Nathan's Famous

©Mikki Brammer/Lonely Planet

The hot dog was invented in Coney Island in 1867, which means that eating a frankfurter is practically obligatory here. The top choice: Nathan’s Famous, founded by Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker in 1916. The hot dogs are the real deal, but the menu runs the gamut from fried clams to fried chicken fingers.

The restaurant’s annual 4th of July hot-dog-eating contest is the stuff of legend. If you can't make it in person, you can catch the competitive gorging, replete with play-by-play announcing and cheerleaders, on TV. The record, if you're curious, is 74 dogs.