Nathan's Fun Facts

  • Nathan’s Famous products are sold in all 50 states at over 45,000 US locations.
  • The original Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand opened in 1916.
  • In 2010, Nathan’s Famous sold over 425 MILLION hot dogs. All of those hot dogs placed end to end would wrap around the world!
  • In 2009, Nathan’s hosted a hot dog bun eating contest with three female elephants competing against 3 male contestants. The elephants ate 492 buns in 6 minutes, compared to 180 buns by the male contestants.
  • In 1933, to celebrate the end of prohibition, Nathan’s Famous served free beer. Cheers!
  • Nathan’s is proudly served at the home stadiums of the New York Yankees, New York Mets, New York Giants, New York Jets, New Jersey Devils, Brooklyn Nets and many others.
  • China held its first Nathan’s hot dog eating contest on June 19, 2011.
  • Nathan’s Famous was featured on the popular TV show Seinfeld, where the entire episode was based on visiting the original restaurant on Coney Island.
  • In 2011, Nathan’s created a separate Hot Dog Eating Contest for women. Sonya Thomas was the FIRST ever woman champion, eating 40 hot dogs and buns. GO SONYA!
  • Nathan’s opened its second restaurant in Oceanside, Long Island in 1955.
  • Nathan’s opened its third restaurant in Yonkers, New York in 1965.
  • In 2009, Joey Chestnut set the world record for the Nathan’s Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest eating 68 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. That’s approximately 20,400 calories and 6,000 more calories than the average person eats in a week. WOW!
  • Every year at the Hot Dog Eating Contest, Nathan’s Famous donates 100,000 hot dogs to the Food Bank for New York City, a hunger relief charity that is part of the America’s Second Harvest network.
  • Nathan’s Famous is Coca-Cola’s oldest chain customer.
  • Nathan’s opened its fourth restaurant in Times Square, New York City in 1971.
  • To open his hot dog stand, Nathan borrowed $300 from his friends Jimmy Durante and Eddie Cantor. The hot dogs were sold for only 5 cents and made using his wife Ida’s grandmother’s secret spice recipe. That recipe is still used today!

Extended Nathan’s History

Nathan’s Famous was founded by a Polish immigrant, Nathan Handwerker, and his is truly an authentic “only in America story.” He started his business in 1916 with a small hot dog stand in Coney Island, New York. He sold hot dogs that were manufactured based on a recipe developed by his wife, Ida.

In the 100 years that have passed since opening day, Nathan’s has gained worldwide recognition for the unequaled quality and taste of its product. Today, Nathan’s has gained a reputation for being among the highest quality hot dogs in the world.

Nathan’s popularity was almost instantaneous, and in its earliest days had legendary characters such as Al Capone, Eddie Cantor, Jimmy Durante, and Cary Grant as regular customers. It gained its first international exposure when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt served Nathan’s Famous hot dogs to the King and Queen of England in 1939. Later, Roosevelt had Nathan’s hot dogs sent to Yalta when he met with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Years later, Nelson Rockefeller, Governor of New York, stated that, “No man can hope to be elected in his state without being photographed eating a hot dog at Nathan’s Famous."

Politicians, show-business personalities, and sports celebrities are often seen and photographed munching Nathan’s dogs, and heard singing its praises. Barbra Streisand, actually had Nathan’s hot dogs delivered to London, England for a private party. A trip to Nathan’s was the focus of a Seinfeld episode created by comedian Jerry Seinfeld. More recently, the ex-mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani declared Nathan’s the “World’s best hot dog.” Shortly after that, Nathan Handwerker was named to the city’s top 100- joining the ranks of Joe Namath, Irving Berlin, Andrew Carnegie, Joe DiMaggio and others. Even Jacqueline Kennedy loved Nathan’s dogs, and served them at the White House. In his final last will and testament, actor Walter Mathau requested Nathan’s hot dogs to be served at his funeral – they were! The point is Nathan’s is not just a hot dog, it has history and it is Americana!

To date there have been over 435 million Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs sold! Today, Nathan’s is sold and enjoyed in all 50 States and sold at over 40,000 food service and retail outlets.