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Food Guide to Coney Island

Food Guide to Coney Island

At the southern end of Brooklyn, Coney Island is a summertime treat for New Yorkers. It's amusement park, Luna Park, re-opened this weekend for the season. To herald the opening of the rides, carnival games, and food stalls, the 87-year-old Cyclone was doused with a classic New York egg cream on the morning of April 13.

The iconic soda-fountain drink is made with milk, seltzer, and, traditionally, Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup.

See New York City's Top 10 Egg Creams (Slideshow)

While there aren't too many spots to actually buy an egg cream at Coney Island, there are several dining options among the stalls selling pastel-hued cotton candy, salty popcorn, and sweet funnel cakes.

Start at Totonno's just off the boardwalk on Neptune Ave. By all accounts, Totonno’s shouldn’t be around anymore. Consider first that it was opened in Coney Island in 1924 (by Antonio "Totonno" Pero, a Lombardi’s alum). Then factor in the fire that broke out in the coal storage area and ravaged the place in 2009. Add to that insult the destruction (and some reported $150,000 in repairs) incurred in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy when four feet of water destroyed everything inside the family-owned institution. You’ll probably agree that Brooklyn (and the country) should be counting its lucky stars Totonno’s is still around. And yet it does more than that.

It doesn’t just keep a storied pizza name, or nostalgia for simpler times (and perhaps more authentic and consistent pies) alive. No. Owners Antoinette Balzano, Frank Balzano, and Louise "Cookie" Ciminieri don’t just bridge our modern era’s festishizing of pizza to the days of its inception at Lombardi’s. The coal-fired blistered edges, the spotty mozzarella laced over that beautiful red sauce… ah, fuggedabout all the teary-eyed try-too-much words, this is Neptune Avenue! This is Brooklyn! This is Totonno’s. And this, is how you make pizza and land at #12 on The Daily Meal's 101 Best Pizzas in America.

A stroll along the beach's boardwalk is a must. A recent addition is Coney's Cones ice cream shop. The shop churns homemade traditional flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry but more daring flavors like bacon and has served more than 100,000 scoops since opening in 2011.

Just as famous as the Cyclone roller coaster, perhaps, is the annual Nathan's Famous Hot-Dog Eating Contest held on the July 4th at the intersection of Surf and Stillwell Ave., where Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs has been in business since 1916. Stop by to have one of the chain's famous frankfurters.

If you haven't had enough of a sugar rush, get some to go at the whimsical IT'SUGAR. The name says it all at this saccharine shop that specializes in gigantic, life-size candy and sweets. Cereal-box size boxes of Nerds, one pound Snickers bars, and lollipops the size of Frisbees ensure you'll never run out of sweets. Opened in 2006 by Jeff Rubin, IT'SUGAR has 70 locations around the world, including New York which has shops from Coney Island to Lincoln Center.

Lauren Mack is The Daily Meal's New York City Travel Editor. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.


Recipe Summary

  • 4 ounces American cheese, cubed
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 1 (5 ounce) can tuna, drained and flaked
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sweet pickles
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 hot dog buns

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, eggs, tuna, bell pepper, onion, olives and sweet pickles. Stir in mayonnaise until everything is evenly coated. Spoon generously into the hot dog buns, and wrap each sandwich in aluminum foil.

Bake the Coneys in the preheated oven until filling is heated through and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.


Table of Contents

As New York City faces increasing closures and changes to everyday life due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the HUNTER COLLEGE NYC FOOD POLICY CENTER aims to provide additional resources and support to community members whose lives are impacted by COVID-19.

Below is a resource guide with the following information: meals for children, meals for seniors, retail food stores and their delivery/benefits policies, local food pantries and soup kitchens, resources for homeless people, resources for immigrant populations and resources for people with disabilities.

The Center has also included citywide organizations and additional resources for New Yorkers, which are applicable to community members outside of Coney Island as well. If you have family, friends or co-workers in other neighborhoods, please refer to our website where we have published additional reports. Please always call the listed organizations before visiting to get the latest information about their services, as many are changing daily.

If you or someone you know has additional questions or is facing hunger or food insecurity please contact us at info@nycfoodpolicy.org or call the following organizations:

  • USDA National Hunger Hotline (Hunger Free America): 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (para español) Monday through Friday (7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET) ’s Emergency Food Hotline: 866-888-8777
  • Shelter or Temporary Housing Assistance: 3-1-1

1 1/2 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons margarine
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons dried minced onions
3 ounces tomato puree
3/4 cup water

Combine the ground beef, shortening, and margarine in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the beef is cooked.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.


Ft. Wayne Copycat Coney Dog

This recipe pays tribute to the infamous Coney Island hot dog. Topped with chili and raw onions, this hearty hot dog recipe is so good there's a reason why it's famous. Coming from Krista at Everyday Mom's Meals, make it tonight.

Ingredients

  • For the Chili Sauce:
  • 1 / 2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 / 2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • For the Hot Dogs:
  • 1 package of hot dogs
  • 1 package of hot dog buns
  • onions, diced to taste
  • yellow mustard, to taste

Instructions

  1. Saute the onions and garlic in butter. Add ground beef and break up until fine. Cook until brown and drain fat.
  2. Combine all other ingredients and mix well. Add to beef mixture. Stir well and heat.
  3. Let simmer for at least an hour. If dries out, add a little water, scrape bottom of pan to get pan drippings off and continue simmering.
  4. Serve on hot dogs in buns with mustard and diced onion.
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I am not sure what recipe this comes from, but it sounds amazing, right? I love the spices you put into the chili. Where I live we have Cincinnati chili. It has cinnamon in it, and I can't eat chili with cinnamon. I can't stand the taste of it. I have tried it several times, but it is not my thing at all. I think this will be much more my taste.

This recipe isn't really close to Ft. Wayne's Coney Island sauce. Different consistency, different color, different flavor. It's a good hot dog chili, but it's not close to Coney Island.

Sorry to say that this recipe doesn't look, smell, or taste like coney island sauce from the original in Fort Wayne. Chef JJ's recipe (search google) is much closer, and I have one that's even closer (if I can find it).

The recipe above is not the recipe I got around 30 years ago. The actual recipe is called a Bavarian black sauce if memory serves. Regardless of the name, the recipe contains a fairly long list of ingredients and very little ground beef.

No they use lard i believe

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Detroit

What: The signature hot dog of Detroit, the Coney Island dog is a grilled wiener (always from Michigan!) covered with a runny meat chili (beanless and usually made with beef hearts), chopped raw onions, and yellow mustard, wrapped in a steamed bun. It has nothing really to do with Coney Island, NY, other than being a shout-out to the birthplace of hot dogs in America (via German immigrants)&mdashwhich was probably a marketing ploy. (Interestingly, in places like Quebec and northern New York, this kind of chili dog is sometimes called a &ldquoMichigan hot dog.&rdquo) The first Coney dog is generally attributed to a restaurant in Jackson, MI, in 1914, where the &ldquoConey sauce&rdquo was invented, but two still-existing institutions in downtown Detroit weren&rsquot far behind.

Where: Sitting side by side downtown, Lafayette Coney Island ( 313-964-8198 118 W. Lafayette Blvd., map) and American Coney Island (114 W. Lafayette Blvd., map) are where you go to get your Coney dog fix&hellippreferably after a long night of drinking. Most locals have a strong opinion as to which is better. Without getting involved in that quagmire, we chose to feature Lafayette because it&rsquos much divier than the remodeled American, which positively glitters in comparison despite being the older of the two (est. 1917). Lafayette, with its cramped quarters, Formica tables, and sticky menus, feels more like the real-deal down-and-dirty Detroit experience.

When: Lafayette is open Sun-Thurs, 9am-3am (sometimes 1am, depending on business) Fri-Sat, 9am-4am. American is open 24 hours a day.

Order: At Lafayette, a Coney Island dog with everything ($2.62), which means beef chili, chopped raw onion, and yellow mustard. The slightly snappy wiener&mdasha natural-casing pork-and-beef mix from Dearborn Sausage Company&mdashand crunchy onions add some needed texture to the soupy, meaty chili, but the yellow mustard seems the key ingredient, enlivening the dog with some tang. Expect a mess, and to want to mop up what falls off with the bun that&rsquos left when you&rsquore done. Chili cheese fries are a popular accompaniment, or a bag of local Better Made potato chips. Also big here are the mysterious &ldquoloose hamburgers&rdquo&mdashloose ground beef in a hot dog bun, generally topped with the usual Coney dog ingredients.

Alternatively: Aside from American next door, there are countless&mdashprobably hundreds&mdashof generic &ldquoConey Island restaurants&rdquo all around the Metro Detroit area. They used to be mostly Greek-owned, though today there are likely a lot of Albanians and Macedonians in the mix. Still, they&rsquore akin to Greek diners, with lengthy menus and cheap prices. The most popular items at these restaurants are all-day breakfasts, gyros, and, naturally, Coney Island dogs. You might try Zeff&rsquos Coney Island Restaurant in Eastern Market ( 313-259-4705 2469 Russell St., map) or, f rom the same Greek family that runs American and Lafayette, the Kerby&rsquos Koney Island franchise (multiple locations including 16531 Ford Rd., Dearborn, map).


What: The signature hot dog of Detroit, the Coney Island dog is a grilled wiener (always from Michigan!) covered with a runny meat chili (beanless and usually made with beef hearts), chopped raw onions, and yellow mustard, wrapped in a steamed bun. It has nothing really to do with Coney Island, NY, other than being a shout-out to the birthplace of hot dogs in America (via German immigrants)&mdashwhich was probably a marketing ploy. (Interestingly, in places like Quebec and northern New York, this kind of chili dog is sometimes called a &ldquoMichigan hot dog.&rdquo) The first Coney dog is generally attributed to a restaurant in Jackson, MI, in 1914, where the &ldquoConey sauce&rdquo was invented, but two still-existing institutions in downtown Detroit weren&rsquot far behind.

Where: Sitting side by side downtown, Lafayette Coney Island ( 313-964-8198 118 W. Lafayette Blvd., map) and American Coney Island (114 W. Lafayette Blvd., map) are where you go to get your Coney dog fix&hellippreferably after a long night of drinking. Most locals have a strong opinion as to which is better. Without getting involved in that quagmire, we chose to feature Lafayette because it&rsquos much divier than the remodeled American, which positively glitters in comparison despite being the older of the two (est. 1917). Lafayette, with its cramped quarters, Formica tables, and sticky menus, feels more like the real-deal down-and-dirty Detroit experience.

When: Lafayette is open Sun-Thurs, 9am-3am (sometimes 1am, depending on business) Fri-Sat, 9am-4am. American is open 24 hours a day.

Order: At Lafayette, a Coney Island dog with everything ($2.62), which means beef chili, chopped raw onion, and yellow mustard. The slightly snappy wiener&mdasha natural-casing pork-and-beef mix from Dearborn Sausage Company&mdashand crunchy onions add some needed texture to the soupy, meaty chili, but the yellow mustard seems the key ingredient, enlivening the dog with some tang. Expect a mess, and to want to mop up what falls off with the bun that&rsquos left when you&rsquore done. Chili cheese fries are a popular accompaniment, or a bag of local Better Made potato chips. Also big here are the mysterious &ldquoloose hamburgers&rdquo&mdashloose ground beef in a hot dog bun, generally topped with the usual Coney dog ingredients.

Alternatively: Aside from American next door, there are countless&mdashprobably hundreds&mdashof generic &ldquoConey Island restaurants&rdquo all around the Metro Detroit area. They used to be mostly Greek-owned, though today there are likely a lot of Albanians and Macedonians in the mix. Still, they&rsquore akin to Greek diners, with lengthy menus and cheap prices. The most popular items at these restaurants are all-day breakfasts, gyros, and, naturally, Coney Island dogs. You might try Zeff&rsquos Coney Island Restaurant in Eastern Market ( 313-259-4705 2469 Russell St., map) or, f rom the same Greek family that runs American and Lafayette, the Kerby&rsquos Koney Island franchise (multiple locations including 16531 Ford Rd., Dearborn, map).


What: The signature hot dog of Detroit, the Coney Island dog is a grilled wiener (always from Michigan!) covered with a runny meat chili (beanless and usually made with beef hearts), chopped raw onions, and yellow mustard, wrapped in a steamed bun. It has nothing really to do with Coney Island, NY, other than being a shout-out to the birthplace of hot dogs in America (via German immigrants)&mdashwhich was probably a marketing ploy. (Interestingly, in places like Quebec and northern New York, this kind of chili dog is sometimes called a &ldquoMichigan hot dog.&rdquo) The first Coney dog is generally attributed to a restaurant in Jackson, MI, in 1914, where the &ldquoConey sauce&rdquo was invented, but two still-existing institutions in downtown Detroit weren&rsquot far behind.

Where: Sitting side by side downtown, Lafayette Coney Island ( 313-964-8198 118 W. Lafayette Blvd., map) and American Coney Island (114 W. Lafayette Blvd., map) are where you go to get your Coney dog fix&hellippreferably after a long night of drinking. Most locals have a strong opinion as to which is better. Without getting involved in that quagmire, we chose to feature Lafayette because it&rsquos much divier than the remodeled American, which positively glitters in comparison despite being the older of the two (est. 1917). Lafayette, with its cramped quarters, Formica tables, and sticky menus, feels more like the real-deal down-and-dirty Detroit experience.

When: Lafayette is open Sun-Thurs, 9am-3am (sometimes 1am, depending on business) Fri-Sat, 9am-4am. American is open 24 hours a day.

Order: At Lafayette, a Coney Island dog with everything ($2.62), which means beef chili, chopped raw onion, and yellow mustard. The slightly snappy wiener&mdasha natural-casing pork-and-beef mix from Dearborn Sausage Company&mdashand crunchy onions add some needed texture to the soupy, meaty chili, but the yellow mustard seems the key ingredient, enlivening the dog with some tang. Expect a mess, and to want to mop up what falls off with the bun that&rsquos left when you&rsquore done. Chili cheese fries are a popular accompaniment, or a bag of local Better Made potato chips. Also big here are the mysterious &ldquoloose hamburgers&rdquo&mdashloose ground beef in a hot dog bun, generally topped with the usual Coney dog ingredients.

Alternatively: Aside from American next door, there are countless&mdashprobably hundreds&mdashof generic &ldquoConey Island restaurants&rdquo all around the Metro Detroit area. They used to be mostly Greek-owned, though today there are likely a lot of Albanians and Macedonians in the mix. Still, they&rsquore akin to Greek diners, with lengthy menus and cheap prices. The most popular items at these restaurants are all-day breakfasts, gyros, and, naturally, Coney Island dogs. You might try Zeff&rsquos Coney Island Restaurant in Eastern Market ( 313-259-4705 2469 Russell St., map) or, f rom the same Greek family that runs American and Lafayette, the Kerby&rsquos Koney Island franchise (multiple locations including 16531 Ford Rd., Dearborn, map).


A & W Coney Dog

Ingredients

  • 8 hotdog buns
  • 8 chicken frankfurters, cooked
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 500gm pork and chicken mince *
  • 6 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon white / brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon ground cumin or cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup water
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan until smoking then add in the mince and sear until slightly brown.
  2. Add in tomato puree, sugar, Worchester sauce, cumin, chilli powder, white pepper, water and let simmer for approximately 45 minutes until the meat is soft.
  3. Add salt to taste and let cool.
  4. Just before serving heat up frankfurters (steam or poach in boiling water for 10 minutes), microwave hotdog buns.
  5. Place frankfurter in the warm bun, ladle the meat sauce over the frankfurter and top with diced onions, cheese and serve immediately.

1. Only microwave the hotdog buns for no more than 15 seconds so they are very soft and warm.

2. The Coney Dog “flavour” comes from the cumin, so use this ingredient to balance the flavour of the meat sauce.

3. Simmer the meat sauce until it is very soft, if required, add a little water but not too much or it will gradually dilute the taste of the meat sauce.

4. I used chicken frankfurters because they are softer and easier to reheat and personally, I think they more resemble the original A & W Coney Dog than beef frankfurters.

5. Tomato slices are a good complement on the side if you like simple vegetables to go with the hotdog instead of making a whole salad.

Serves: 8 people

I would choose this hotdog over the usual burger at the pub as it would go down quite well with an icy cold beer as well.

It is also a fantastic alternative to pizzas or a Big Mac because I know exactly what goes into the sauce. I would definitely make a bigger pot of meat sauce the next time because it can easily be freezed in batches.

This meal is not only cheap and delicious, I believe children in their adulthood will fondly remember mum for making this hot dog for them when they were little.

So dear readers, what is your favourite fast food and would you try to prepare it at home?


How to plan your day out at Coney Island

The scenic Punggol Promenade walk in the morning. Photography: Benita Lee

Best time to visit

Head over in the morning or late evening to avoid the blistering sun. Though Coney Island is mostly shaded by huge trees, areas outside the park and at Punggol Settlement are not. Keep in mind that the park is closed from 7pm to 7am.

Punggol Settlement is where you’ll find eateries and convenience stores. Photography: Benita Lee

What to bring

Pack sunscreen and insect repellent, as the park’s raw, untouched grounds may mean that certain areas are inhabited by sandflies. Better yet, dress in long pants and covered shoes if you’re planning on lingering by the beach pocket. It’s a no-brainer, but do bring along bottles of water to stay hydrated and homemade sandwiches or snacks to keep the munchies at bay. Just remember to take home whatever you brought in to preserve the nature spot.

Cycling here is a blast! Photography: Benita Lee

Rent a bike

If you don’t have bikes of your own, pop by Jomando Adventure & Recreations (located at the end of Punggol Settlement), where bikes of all sizes are available for the whole family. Choose from mountain bikes and vintage-style ones (with adorable picnic baskets!), double bikes for you and your tiny, or kids’ bikes in different sizes. Just take note of its opening hours (10am on weekdays and 8am on weekends) so you don’t end up arriving too early.
Jomando Adventure & Recreations, #01-13, The Punggol Settlement, 3 Punggol Point Road, Singapore 828694

That’s Coney Island in the distance. Photography: Benita Lee

Getting there

By car: Drive to Punggol Settlement and either park your car there, or outside Coney Island’s exits by the West and East entrances.

By public transport: Take the train to Punggol and head to the bus interchange (via exit C). Hop on bus 84 to Punggol Point Park. Walk over to Punggol Settlement and simply follow the signs along Punggol Promenade Nature Walk towards Coney Island’s west entrance.

Now that you’re done exploring Singapore’s Coney Island Park, make your way next to the city’s secret parks and hidden gardens.


Watch the video: Visit Coney Island! And Study American English Pronunciation (January 2022).