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15 Popular Menu Items from Nathan’s Famous

Nathan’s Famous has been, well, famous for its hot dogs for more than a century. Founded in Coney Island in 1916 as a nickel hot dog stand, Nathan’s has expanded exponentially over the years. Now, it offers some of the best burgers, sandwiches, shakes, and, of course, hot dogs you can find.

People gather at the famous hot dog restaurant, Nathan's, at Coney Island, NYC

With nearly 200 locations around the world, Nathan’s really has something for every taste.

A quick note to be aware of. Some of Nathan’s items are only available in specific locations, but I was unable to find any master list.

However, if you check your local Nathan’s menu, you’ll be able to find exact information about what’s available in your area.

I’ve sampled a relatively large portion of the menu over the years, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite Nathan’s menu items. From classic hot dogs to frosty desserts, I think you’ll really enjoy each of the items on this list.  

Chili Cheese Dog

I’ve always had a thing for saucy sandwiches with a zip.

The drippier, the better. Nathan’s Chili Cheese Dog is at the top of my list of favorites for that very reason.

This hot dog’s topping combination of spicy, saucy chili and melted cheese makes this one of the tastiest hot dogs I’ve ever tried. 

If you’re looking for a super spicy hot dog, though, I probably wouldn’t choose this one.

It’s got enough of a kick to it for my taste, but it doesn’t have that blazing hot, tongue-searing heat that a lot of people like from chili. 

Corn Dog

Corn dogs have always seemed like an odd combination to me, so I guess that’s why it took me so long to try one.

I never had much of an interest in them as a kid, so I was well into adulthood by the time I got around to sampling one.

However, once I tried the corndog from Nathan’s, I was pretty much hooked.

I think what I like best is the crunchiness of the corn dog’s cornmeal combined with the juicy hotdog inside.

The outside of the corn dog has a nice golden crust that fits perfectly with Nathan’s hot dog seasoned with a proprietary mix of spices. And for best results, I like to dip in a mix of ketchup and mustard. 

Hot Dog Combo Meal

Almost every time I’m heading to Nathan’s and want a full meal, I like to grab a Hotdog Combo Meal.

It’s a quick and easy meal to order, I get a drink with it, and it’s just the right size for lunch or an early dinner.

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It’s also a good choice for kids who might be a bit picky about what they like.

I usually like to get my hotdog combo meal with Nathan’s fresh-squeezed lemonade. With no preservatives and just the right amount of sugar, it’s pretty much the best lemonade I’ve ever tasted.

Combine that with their regular fries, and you have a perfect meal that’ll fill you up for the rest of the day.

Hell’s Kitchen Chicken Sandwich

The Hell’s Kitchen Chicken Sandwich is what showed me that Nathan’s is more than just a hot dog stand.

This sandwich has jalapeño peppers, jalapeño bacon, and a jalapeño ranch sauce, which is more or less the trifecta of spicy perfection.

I really didn’t think it would need any more than that, but the addition of cheese proved me wrong. 

Not only is this stacked sandwich delicious, but the fried chicken is some of the most well-seasoned I’ve come across. It’s also big enough that you won’t need to make it a combo if you’d prefer to skip the fries and drink.

So if you have a craving for a sandwich with a bit of a kick, definitely check the Hell’s Kitchen Chicken Sandwich out.

Creamy Orange Shake

Sometimes if I’m just looking to cool off or want a tasty dessert after one of Nathan’s hotdog combo meals, I like to grab one of Nathan’s Creamy Orange Shakes.

Creamsicles are my favorite ice cream treat, and this shake is a solid alternative. It’s the perfect addition to my meal on a hot day or if I want a quick treat.

I like the Creamy Orange Shake because it’s actually made with natural ingredients.

Milk, vanilla, and cane sugar make up the bulk of the ingredients, which are a welcome replacement for the fake stuff that you might find in milkshakes from other fast-food restaurants.

It’s got a great orange taste, and the whipped cream on top gives it the perfect finishing touch. 

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

If I want something a bit lighter than a hot dog, I’ll lean toward the Grilled Chicken Sandwich.

It’s a no-fuss option that gives you a slightly lower calorie count than some of Nathan’s other sandwiches while still offering just as much flavor.

When you simply can’t settle on any one item, this will definitely satisfy you.

What I like most about Nathan’s grilled chicken is that you can opt for grilled over fried on any other chicken sandwiches on Nathan’s menu.

So, if you’re not up for a crispy fried chicken breast on the Chicken Club Hell’s Kitchen sandwich, you can choose a juicy grilled option instead. 

Hot Honey Half Chicken

If the Hell’s Kitchen Chicken Sandwich was an indication that Nathan’s might be able to do more than just hot dogs, then the Hot Honey Half Chicken solidified that fact in my mind.

I honestly never would’ve thought Nathan’s could do a meal like this, but its fried Hot Honey Half Chicken is delicious in so many ways.

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I think my favorite part is that it’s absolutely smothered in Sweet Baby Ray’s, which has always been my favorite barbecue sauce.

I put it on absolutely everything. So, when I saw a fried half chicken with my favorite sauce and Nathan’s crinkle-cut fries, I was sold instantly. 

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

I’m a huge fan of spicy foods, which is why I’m so obsessed with the Hell’s Kitchen Chicken Sandwich at Nathan’s.

However, if I want something a bit more toned down that still has a kick, the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is where it’s at. 

Nathan’s buffalo wing sauce combined with cool, creamy blue cheese dressing really brings out the flavor in the chicken.

I always go for the fried chicken breast when I order the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich because I love the added crunchy texture. 

NY Attitude Burger

Nathan’s NY Attitude Burger is huge. Not kind of big. Not large.

Huge. It has two 8-ounce beef patties, heaps of bacon, pickles, onions, and cheese, and it’s all held together with an everything bagel bun.

You’ll definitely need two hands to eat this one.

I’ve always been of the opinion that burgers are the best way to try out new flavor combinations, and the NY Attitude Burger is further proof of that.

I think the special sauce slathered on the bun really brings all the flavors together, making this sandwich a real treat.

NY Cheesesteak Sandwich

Nathan’s NY Cheesesteak boasts a half-pound of black Angus ribeye, caramelized onions, American cheese, and steak sauce on a soft hero roll.

The seasoning on the steak combined with the steak sauce really makes this sandwich stand out.

Like the NY Attitude Burger, this sandwich has a certain big city flavor that you won’t find elsewhere.

If you’re a fan of a classic Philly cheesesteak but can’t make it to the city of Brotherly Love, Nathan’s Cheesesteak will be the perfect substitute.

If you’re really hungry, add a side of Nathan’s classic crinkle-cut fries and a fresh-squeezed lemonade to make it a complete meal.

Old Fashioned Lemonade

Nothing says summer refreshment quite like an ice-cold lemonade.

What I enjoy most about Nathan’s is that it’s not from concentrate. In fact, it’s handmade right on-site every day from South African lemons.

I mean, what could be better than a cup of fresh-squeezed lemonade with your hot dog?

There aren’t any preservatives in Nathan’s lemonade, so you won’t get any kind of aftertaste or artificial flavor when you order one.

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It also has just the right amount of sugar, so there’s no syrupy taste. Overall, this chilly beverage is the perfect treat on a warm day.

Onion Rings

In my opinion, the best onion rings are sliced onions batter-dipped and deep-fried to a crispy, golden brown. Fortunately, that’s precisely what you’ll get with Nathan’s onion rings.

These tempura-style rings are a perfectly filling snack that’s also great for sharing.

Sometimes, when I’m just in the mood for a hot dog, I’ll order myself a side of onion rings, too, just to satisfy my craving for something fried and crunchy.

If you’re a fan of anything fried in tempura batter, you’ll love these tasty rings.

Philly Cheesesteaks

If you want something a bit simpler than the NY Cheesesteak with a slightly different flavor, you can go for Nathan’s twist on the classic Philly Cheesesteak.

Like the traditional sandwich, you won’t get any sauce on this one. Instead, it’s loaded with grilled onions and swiss cheese, which are the perfect accompaniments to the tasty seasoned steak.

Personally, I like the NY Cheesesteak better just for the sauce, alone.

However, the combination of swiss cheese and grilled onions gives this sandwich a remarkable flavor that’s just different enough to give your taste buds a surprise.

That said, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of a real Philly cheesesteak, just be aware that this is quite a bit different.

Plain Hot Dog

If I’m just in the mood for a quick snack that I can eat while I walk, I usually just go for one of Nathan’s plain hotdogs.

The blend of spices they use to make their dogs makes them absolutely delicious. If you just need something to snack on, the hot dog by itself will definitely hold you over until dinnertime.

And of course, I can’t forget the toppings. I almost always load up with ketchup, mustard, and relish.

Now and then, though, I like to add a nice drizzle of cheese sauce that mixes perfectly with ketchup and mustard.

Then, I grab a nice, cool lemonade and head on my way.

Popcorn Chicken

When crispy and fried foods are on my mind, popcorn chicken is my first thought, especially when I’m near one of Nathan’s locations.

Nathan’s tasty fried Popcorn Chicken is such a fabulous treat, especially when I add an order of their famous crinkle-cut fries on the side. 

Popcorn Chicken is a good choice when you want something tasty from Nathan’s that doesn’t require two hands to eat.

Since some of the sandwiches can get a bit cumbersome due to size and toppings, this finger food makes walking and eating an easy feat.

So, are you hungry yet? If you don’t have a Nathan’s nearby, that’s alright.

You can always head to your grocery store to find Nathan’s famous hot dogs, crinkle fries, and other tasty treats. But next time you see one of those green, yellow, and white signs, you should definitely stop in for a visit.

You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, Google Guide and Facebook.