Duly'S Place-Detroit
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15 Best Michigan Coney Islands to Tempt Your Tastebuds

The site of a freshly steamed hot dog smothered in chili sauce, mustard, and diced onion is a sight to behold for many Michiganders.

In Michigan, especially in Metro Detroit, Coney Island restaurants dot the landscape, inviting hungry customers to sit down for heaping plates of coney dogs and chili cheese fries while enjoying the comfortable atmosphere.

The coney is a Michigan staple, and the best Michigan Coney Islands take their franks seriously. With names like Detroit’s Best Coney Island, Hollywood Coney Island, and National Coney Island, these restaurants are dedicated to serving quality frankfurters to customers.

Coney Dogs

All About Michigan & The Coney Dog

Every Fourth of July, the nation turns its attention to Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs for its hot-dog eating contest on Brooklyn’s Coney Island. As famous as Nathan’s and the contest is, coneys are serious business in Detroit Michigan.

The coney dog has been featured on national food television shows and is even at the center of some heated debates in the state. In Michigan, dozens of restaurants serve coneys, and both residents of the state and out-of-town visitors have their favorite coney shops.

A Twist on a Delicious Classic

The Michigan coney features a natural-casing beef and pork European-style Vienna sausage. It’s then topped with a beef-heart-based sauce, diced onions, and yellow mustard. However, several places in Michigan have put their own spin on it.

Detroit

Detroit-style coneys became a fixture in the 20th century because of the Greek and Macedonian immigrants who operated restaurants in the city. Coneys in Motown typically feature a sauce without beans.

Flint

Flint-style coney dogs are best characterized by a dry hot dog topping that’s ground to the consistency of ground beef. That topping is typically served on a Koegel hot dog and topped with onions, spices, and mustard.

Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo is home to the longest continuously operating Coney Island restaurant in Michigan — Coney Island Kalamazoo — and has developed its own twist on the coney. A Kalamazoo-style coney features a secret recipe sauce served on a skinless Koegel dog.

Jackson

Jackson-style coneys feature a ground beef heart sauce, as well as spices and onions. The sauce is served atop a hot dog on a steamed bun with chopped onions and a stripe of mustard.

American Coney Island-Detroit
American Coney Island | photo via foodanddrinksphi

Some of Our Favorite Michigan Coney Islands

There are dozens of Coney Island restaurants in Michigan, so it’s impossible to list every single one. Instead, here are a few of our favorites.

Mama Vicki’s | Port Huron

Mama Vicki’s has been a mainstay in downtown Port Huron for decades and takes its coney dogs seriously. The franks are specially made by Koegel Meats, and a unique chili recipe sets them over the top.

American Coney Island | Detroit

American Coney Island has been a favorite of Detroiters and Michiganders at large since 1917 and is at the center of a fierce rivalry with Lafayette Coney Island. Founded by the Keros family, American is known for its specially made Dearborn sausage frank, secret recipe chili, mustard, and sweet onions.

Lafayette Coney Island | Detroit

Depending on who you ask, Lafayette (not American Coney Island) is the place of the original (and best) coney, though both were founded by members of the Keros family. The Lafayette coney is said to have a beefier sauce and is constructed with mustard and onions as well.

Duly’s Place | Detroit

Founded in 1921, this popular southwest Detroit Coney Island maintains a devoted following. The restaurant has the look and feel of a small-town diner and oozes nostalgia as a longtime hot spot. It’s open 24 hours a day, serving delicious coneys and breakfast all day.

Lou’s Coney Island | Detroit

Customers of all ages are encouraged to come hungry when they visit Lou’s. The menu here is big, offering something for every taste bud and appetite. Lou’s serves coneys and loose burgers, as well as chili fries (cheese is optional) and south-of-the-border fries.

Leo’s Coney Island | Royal Oak

Opened by brothers Leo and Peter Stassinopoulos opened their first Coney Island restaurant in 1972. Today, there are more than a dozen locations around the state from Detroit to Birch Run. Customers can choose from traditional coney dogs, plant-based coneys, kosher coneys, loose hamburgers, chili, and much more.

Kerby’s Koney Island | Metro Detroit

Once named the family restaurant of the year by the Michigan Food & Beverage Association, Kerby’s restaurants have long been visited by Metro Detroiters for quick, filling, inexpensive meals. Kerby’s serves Detroit-style coneys, coney burgers, and specials, as well as breakfast, burgers, sandwiches, and more.

Telly's Coney Island-Flint
Telly’s Coney Island | photo via vinceeible

Telly’s Coney Island | Flint

Since 2007, Telly’s has served both Flint and Detroit-style coneys on delicious Koegel dogs. But Telly’s is more than just coneys, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to satisfy any appetite. Also, menu options include fish and chips, pork chops, seafood, and Greek food.

Zef’s Coney Restaurant | Bay City

Hungry customers in search of coneys can find them at Zef’s, which serves regular coneys, Zef’s specials (similar to Flint-style coneys), and loose coney burgers, as well as New York coneys and bacon-wrapped hot dogs. The menu here is extensive, but hot dogs may just be the star.

Jackson Coney Island | Jackson

Since 1914, Jackson Coney Island has served the best coneys in town and, according to its website, “the best coneys in the world.” Hungry customers can order coneys from more than a dozen dog options, but the menu also includes a tasty lineup of sandwiches, soups, grinders, burgers, and more.

Zef's Coney Restaurant-Bay City
Zef’s Coney Restaurant | photo via downtownbaycity

Sparty’s Coney Island | Lansing

For more than 30 years, Sparty’s has been a popular stop for breakfast and lunch among college students and adults alike. Customers can find all of their breakfast and lunch favorites, including Detroit and Flint-style coneys.

Lansing coney enthusiasts can also order take-out coney sauce and coney kits for tailgates, picnics, and parties.

Coney Island Cafe | Battle Creek

Hungry customers can come to Battle Creek for a coney dog but might be more than tempted to stay for the huge menu that features a little bit of everything. Those looking for a filling meal can order everything from chicken parmesan to meatloaf to sandwiches and wraps to Mexican favorites.

Vernors
Lafayette Coney | photo via @vernorsclub

Coney Island Kalamazoo | Kalamazoo

The longest-operating Coney Island restaurant in Michigan has two Kalamazoo locations but has been slinging tasty coneys since 1915. The menu is simple but very effective and includes burgers, gyros, and hot dogs, including coneys, Chicago dogs, and New York dogs (topped with brown mustard, sauerkraut, and onion).

Vee’s Grill & Coney Island | Zeeland

Situated on the Lake Michigan shoreline, Vee’s offers hungry customers tasty breakfast options, burgers, sandwiches, and coneys. Vee’s coneys are served Detroit-style, though customers can get coney specials with ground beef, New York dogs, and Tony dogs (served with tomatoes, mayo, and jalapenos).

Joe’s Coney Island | Houghton Lake

The menu at Joe’s in Houghton Lake is extensive, featuring soups, salads, skillets, breakfast favorites, and Greek specialties. But, Joe’s also serves tasty coneys — everything from the original coney to coney specials to loose hamburgers with coney-style beef to New York and Chicago dogs.

Visit a Michigan Coney Island Restaurant Today

Whether you can’t get enough of coney dogs or you’ve never had one, you owe it to yourself to visit a Coney Island restaurant in Michigan and try one. Be warned — They’re quite messy, so make sure to have some extra napkins nearby.

The coney dog is well known in Michigan for a reason. The restaurants that serve it are passionate about serving high-quality dogs and special recipe chili to make sure their customers have a good meal.

So, order up your coneys however you prefer them. Paired with a cold beverage and a side of French fries or onion rings, a coney meal in Michigan is hard to beat.