Nathan’s Famous Is Adding Vegan Hot Dogs to Its Menu
First sold online in April, plant-based versions of the iconic New York hot dog will debut at select restaurants around the greater NYC area.
The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is exactly one month away, returning to its regular Coney Island setting after taking place in a COVID-19 secure capacity last year. Though everything is mostly back to normal in 2021, could a bigger change be on the horizon: a vegetarian hot dog competition? Nathan's is taking a step in that direction. On Monday, the iconic hot dog chain will begin serving vegan hot dogs at 13 locations across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, including at its Coney Island flagship.
Back in April, Nathan's Famous announced that the brand had partnered with the plant-based protein company Meatless Farm to produce a "gourmet" 100-percent plant-based dog using Nathan's 100-plus-year-old secret recipe. That same month, the Nathan's Famous Plant-Based Hot Dog by Meatless Farm began selling exclusively through Nathan's online Shopify store – but the chain did promise that these vegan dogs would be "rolled out in select locations in May."
So, yes, by Nathan's own estimates, the dogs are arriving in restaurants slightly later than expected, but for anyone who has been reluctant to spend $44.99 for a six-pack plant-based hot dogs kit (that comes with buns and mustard) or $39.99 for a 12-pack of veggie dogs only, the chance to buy a single dog in-store will make trying these new "Famous" dogs far more affordable.
The product "was created not just for our flexitarian, vegetarian, and vegan customers, but all who enjoy a healthier diet," James Walker, SVP of restaurants for Nathan's, stated when the plant-based dogs were first released. "We've spent a great deal of time perfecting this hot dog and making sure that those who know and love Nathan's one-of-a-kind flavor, as well as those that might not have tried a Nathan's hot dog due to diet, can now enjoy an option that fits their lifestyle."
Meanwhile, Morten Toft Bech, founder of Meatless Farm, stated that they were excited to be "working with the most iconic hot dog company in the country, turning this American favorite into a Meatless favorite."
Looking to score the vegetarian dog? Here are the 13 locations where it will first be sold: In New York, beyond Coney Island, they can also be found at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan, at the Long Beach Road location in Oceanside, the Hillside Avenue location in New Hyde Park, The Arches Circle in Deer Park, the Commack Road location in Commack, and the Central Park Avenue location in Yonkers. In New Jersey, head to Bridgewater Commons, the Southbound Brook Mall, the Jersey Shore Premium Outlets in Tinton Falls, the Paramus Park Mall, or Rockaway Town Square. Finally, in Connecticut, go to the Danbury Fair Mall.
A Nathan's Famous spokesperson says the goal is to continue to roll out these meatless hot dogs to other locations in the future.