In Australia, it’s pretty hard to imagine a hot dog without the defining squiggle of tomato sauce. Head to the US, and you’ll be committing a hot dog sin for indulging in your desire for ketchup! According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, if you’re to follow correct hot dog etiquette, you mustn’t use it after the age of 18.

Comments from hot dog lovers online vary, from comparing the combination to mixing blue cheese and chocolate, to declaring that only kids could possibly ruin their dog with the tomato topping.

Despite staunch opposition to poor old tomato sauce, it still remains one of the world’s most popular hot dog toppings, so most of us obviously turn a blind eye. However, if you want to brush up on your etiquette, what are you supposed to top your sausage with?

Let’s take a look at what’s in.


A hot dog stand just wouldn’t be the same without the option of tangy mustard. The bright yellow topping is a constant favourite with crowds and, best of all, it’s an approved condiment for your dog!


When you want to dress your hot dog up, gourmet style, relishes are for you. Choose from sliced jalapeno peppers, sweet green relish, hot pickled peppers or corn relish, depending on your mood. Or, take advantage of relish dispensers and pick more than one to try! (We’re not sure if that’s approved hot dog etiquette, but we promise we won’t tell).


Whether you want the fresh crunch of raw onions or the sweetness of caramelised ones, they add just the right amount of zest to your hot dog.


Who would have thought that fermented cabbage would be one of the most trendy hot dog toppings across the world? No one seems to know who came up with the genius idea, but as it complements sausages so well, chances are it’ll be a favourite with the condiment ‘in’ crowd for a long time to come.


Our backyard picnics wouldn’t be the same without it, and hot dog lovers feel the same way. Whether it’s creamy, spicy, chunky or smooth, coleslaw will always have a home between the sausage and the bun, especially with summer coming up!


A sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese never goes astray on your dog, but these days you can choose whatever you want, including cream cheese, Swiss cheese and even blue cheese!

The weird and the wonderful

Certain fanatics from around the world have disregarded the rules entirely, to come up with toppings you thought you’d never see at the hot dog cart. Bacon bits, guacamole, teriyaki sauce, dried prawns, mashed potato…you name it, it’s found its way onto a hot dog somewhere.

Does that mean that everything is in, when it comes to hot dog toppings? It certainly seems like it. Plus, we have a funny feeling that no matter how much opposition there is to tomato sauce…it’s here to stay!