Detroit: City of Coney Island Restaurants

GreeceWe spent last weekend in Detroit which is an awesome food city we are just beginning to explore. While driving around we noticed (often brightly-colored) restaurants called “Coney Island” all over the place. We had heard of the famous Coney Island dogs themselves, hot dogs topped with beanless chili, which have become the quintessential food of Detroit (with variations throughout Michigan). However, we also learned that the name, “Coney Island” refers to a whole genre of restaurants. The name “Coney Island” dates back to the early 20th Century to a Greek restaurant started by Greek brothers Bill and Gus Keros in 1914, which served Coney dogs. The two brothers split in 1917 and each created their own rival “Coney Island” restaurant, Lafayette Coney Island and the American Coney Island. The format of serving Coney Island dogs and other American foods alongside Greek dishes like gyros and souvlaki worked, and other Coney Island imitators began popping up all over town. The restaurants can still be found throughout the state today, under the leadership of Greek and Macedonian restaurateurs, as well as newer arrivals. To learn more about the history of the Coney Island, there is now an entire book about them, Coney Detroit. Who serves the best Coney is a matter of taste – do you have a favorite?


The Two original rival Coney Island joints by SB Tuska

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