Seattle-Style Hot Dog


Cream cheese in a hot dog? Yes, trust me, Seattle knows what's up



If you’re a hot dog purist, then you may need to look away for this next one. Today, we’re talking about Seattle-style hot dogs as part of my newest series on hot dogs throughout the United States. Now, hot dogs may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Seattle, Washington. However, thanks to this recipe from Roxi, you won’t be able to associate anything else with Seattle.  

 The exact date, reason, or person behind Seattle’s hot dog is usually a hotly disputed topic- and actually so is the definition of what exactly goes into or onto a Seattle hot dog. Although there are a few variations, there’s one thing all of the recipes have in common: Cream cheese. Yes, that’s right, I said “cream cheese.” It’s certainly an unlikely hot dog topping, but you have to just trust the process on this one. 

So, where did the cream cheese idea come from? The most popular theory is focused on a bagel cart vendor from the 1980s. The vendor was allegedly always being hassled by his customers for hot dogs, so one day he finally caved and became a bagel/hot dog cart. The cream cheese and hot dog combo was just a way to make a big impression (and probably use up the leftover cream cheese).   

Roxi first tried these hot dogs when she moved to Seattle from Los Angeles about 10 years ago. Now, she’s such a Seattleite that she has her own recipe. Roxi’s Seattle-style hot dogs begin with a lightly toasted bun that’s then lathered in cream cheese. A steamed hot dog is then layered in alongside some crispy bacon, Thai chili sauce, and topped with fried onions. If you’re blown away by that flavor combination, then you’re not alone. I was shocked by the beautiful balance of salty, spicy, and sweet, as well as the contrast in textures from the silky cream cheese and the crunch of the bacon and onion.  

Other variations for the Seattle-style hot dog include a long list of ingredients like sauerkraut, cabbage, mustard, barbecue sauce, Sriracha, and sliced jalapeños. But as for me, I’ll happily stick with Roxi’s easy and delicious version of the Seattle-style hot dog.  

Watch the Video


Seattle-Style Hot Dog


  • hot dog bun
  • hot dog sausage your choice
  • cream cheese
  • bacon cooked crispy
  • sweet Thai chili sauce
  • crunchy fried onions


  • Toast your bun.
  • Grill or pan fry your hot dog till charred slightly.
  • Spread cream cheese inside the bun. Place hot dog on top.
  • Add a slice of bacon on one side of the hot dog. Top with sauce and liberally sprinkle with onions. Enjoy!
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Region: North America

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