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!

Historic Photo Gallery

Over 100 Years of Fun and Flavor

A lot has happened since 1916.

Tornado Rollercoaster, Coney Island, NY
Steeple Chase Swimming Pool, Coney Island, NY
Nathan’s Original Restaurant Circa 1920 / Coney Island, New York
Nathan’s Second Restaurant Circa 1960 / Oceanside, NY
Nathan's Hot Dog Stand
Nathan Handwerker
Historic Coney Island Post Card
Tornado Rollercoaster, Coney Island, NY
Nathan’s Coney Island Restaurant Circa 1950 / Coney Island, New York
1918 - Legendary gangster and Brooklyn native Al Capone visited Nathan's repeatedly during his jaunts around Coney Island. Capone's love for his hometown hot dog never faded, and he visited the restaurant whenever his travels brought him back to Brooklyn.
The Ferris Wheel, Coney Island, NY
Hippodrome, Luna Park, Coney Island, NY
Nathan and Ida Handwerker
Municipal Baths and Beach, Coney Island, NY
Tornado Rollercoaster, Coney Island, NY
SteepleChase Park, Coney Island, NY
Entrance to Luna Park, Coney Island, NY
SteepleChase Entrance, Coney Island, NY
Miniature Railway, Dreamland, Coney Island, NY
Nathan’s Coney Island Restaurant Circa 1940
Coney Island, New York
Nathan Handwerker and Jimmy Durante
Nathan’s Coney Island Restaurant Circa 1980 / Coney Island, New York
According to legend, on July 4, 1916, four European immigrants hold an impromptu hot dog eating contest to settle an argument about patriotism. It is decided that whoever can eat the most Nathan's hot dogs is clearly the most American. Irish immigrant James Mullen wins the contest by eating 13 Nathan's hot dogs in buns in 12 minutes, beginning an annual tradition that survives to this day.
Historic Coney Island Post Card
Tornado Rollercoaster, Coney Island, NY
Historic Coney Island Post Card