November 8th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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World-renowned chef, author and Emmy-winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Detroit, Michigan in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, November 10, at 9 p.m. ET. with a live broadcast from Las Vegas immediately after. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.

Man cannot live on hot dogs alone - and in Detroit, he doesn't have to. There's always chili, onions and a few key elements that meld together to form the city's signature coney: a specially selected hot dog that is grilled, put into a steamed bun, then covered by an all-meat beanless chili, two strips of yellow mustard and chopped sweet onions.

During Anthony Bourdain's recent trip to Detroit for Parts Unknown, he sought the counsel of locals to find the whys and whereabouts of the best chili-topped tube steak, amidst hundreds of choices.

Bourdain tried his luck at Duly’s Place (a.k.a. Duly's Coney Island, located at 5458 West Vernor Highway), which has been serving up coneys around the clock - to people in varying states of sobriety - since it opened in 1921.

"You tell people you’re going to Detroit, and chances are somebody from the home team is gonna say, 'Be sure to get a Coney.' I never really understood that, I mean I’m like 30 minutes from a place called Coney Island where presumably, they know something about freakin' hot dogs, right? Maybe the early Greeks or Macedonians who first experienced that golden land by the shore then took what they saw with them to Florida, Michigan and beyond. Maybe they knew something.

They’ve been doing Coneys at Duly’s for over 90 years. That’s almost as long as the hot dog’s been around. And I can’t tell you how deep this creation runs here. Deep dish in Chicago, cheesesteak in Philadelphia, you’ll find some ambivalence. Not here.

It seems like a simple thing. Hot dog, chili, raw onion, mustard, steamed bun. But the delicate interplay between these ingredients when done right is symphonic."

He ordered up a second dog and deemed this the best of his three coney experiences - but he didn't stop there.

Bourdain also visited a pop-up barbecue joint called "Greedy Greg's."

And a top-secret pupusa house.

Not to mention Full Belly Cafe, Vicki’s Barbecue and Shrimp, Guns + Butter and a firehouse fulla hungry fellows.

Full yet? Save room for Bourdain's live broadcast from Las Vegas. Here's what's on our menu in Sin City.

Previously on "Parts Unknown":
- Tokyo
Tasting Tokyo's treasures
- South Africa
Taste the Rainbow Nation
- Sicily
Sicilian food to soothe the soul
10 things to know before visiting Sicily
- Copenhagen
A sense of place in Copenhagen cuisine
- New Mexico
In New Mexico, choose a side: red or green
Bourdain cops to mistake on Frito pie canned chili claim
10 things to know before visiting New Mexico
- Granada, Spain
Traditional tapas in Granada
11 things to know before visiting Spain
- Israel, the West Bank and Gaza
In Jerusalem, even food origins are contentious
10 things to know before visiting Israel, the West Bank and Gaza
Bourdain has traditional Palestinian meal
- Congo

SPAM and coq au vin on the Congo River
- Peru
Peruvian food, from guinea pigs to pisco sours
Peruvian food is having a moment
Make perfect pisco sours and ceviche
South America's pisco enjoys North American revival
- Libya
Breakfast in Libya
Where fast food tastes like freedom
- Morocco
iReport: In Morocco, eating is the spice of life
Street snacking in Morocco
- Canada
O Canada! Our home and delicious land
Come for the strip bars, stay for the poutine
- Colombia
Colombian cuisine – from aguardiente to viche
Americans just don’t understand the potato. Colombians do.
- Los Angeles Koreatown
The ever-changing flavor of L.A.'s Koreatown
Bridging generations and cultures, one blistering bowl of bibimbap at a time
Los Angeles food trucks are in it for the long haul
- Myanmar
Fall in love with Myanmar's cuisine
In Myanmar, drink your tea and eat it too

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Filed under: Anthony Bourdain • Content Partner • Detroit • Hot dogs • Parts Unknown


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soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. RDtoo

    Reading all the bad comments about Detroit made me wonder how in the world did we get picked as the best sports town in America, have the 2nd best bookstore in the world according to Business Insider, have a jewel of an island park in the middle of the river, have one of the best art collections in the USA, the list could go on. By the way, a coney here is much more than a hot dog but we also have Detroit style Pizza and lots of other good places to eat. If you have bad things to say about Detroit, then you probably have not been here.

    May 20, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
  2. Dave

    If you like Tony's show, you love his book A Cook's Tour. No Reservation and Parts Unknown are based on this book. Laugh out loud funny and a page turner. As a native of The D, it's nice to hear some complements. She's no beauty, but we lover her.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  3. Sean Murphy

    Here is my response to both this show and how people reacted after the show had aired.

    http://tueborclothing.com/blogs/tuebor-tourism/10064209-the-real-parts-unknown

    November 13, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  4. seasonedplate

    I love Anthony Bordain's shows and his new CNN project – Part's Unknown – is definitely worth the watch. I look forward to seeing the episode. Detroit has always been one of those cities that I would like to visit because of its gritty feel. I'm currently in Melbourne, Australia, but the next time I'm home in Canada I may try to pop down. I also really want to visit New Orleans and Bordain really did the city justice in his No Reservations. The US has so much to offer in the way of food culture, and lets not forget the craft beer market that is emerging quite rapidly at the moment.

    - Stephen

    seasonedplate

    November 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  5. Andy

    If I can remember correctly, Bourdain pinned Cincinnati based Skyline Chili as having the best Cheese Cony, which is the exact same as listed here. People say anything for money.

    November 11, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Person

      There's no cheese in a Detroit coney.

      April 19, 2014 at 11:39 am |
  6. zork

    " ... a specially selected hot dog that is grilled, put into a steamed bun, then covered by an all-meat beanless chili, two strips of yellow mustard and chopped sweet onions."

    "Specially selected or not," it's hard to believe the above is all that impressive.

    Those tooting the Lost City's supposed glorious future employ the same kind of license.

    November 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  7. Queenie

    Anthony Bourdain thanks for coming to Detroit! People complain about the "ruin porn" but it's real, and it does have it's own strange beauty, which I feel you did recognize. Of course we have tons more food than that which was shown on your show, but I'm glad you enjoyed your trip here anyway. And of all people Charlie LeDuff – YEA! I bet you two had a blast.

    November 11, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  8. Fan

    Good down to earth look at Detroit . Very Fair . You did a great job on your "seal" story from Canada . You obviously are opened minded unlike the Peta types who would have us eating grass. I salute you

    November 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  9. Ms. Grammar

    Never made it to Duly's when I lived in Detroit during the late 70s through early 90's. My favorite coney place was Senate's on River Road near Livernois. We would eat there for lunch at least twice a week. It never got old. Coney's and Vernor's! Miss them both!

    November 11, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • William

      Senate was good, and that little Hamburger shack a bit further west on Michigan, I think it was called Telway. Nothing like a Detroit Coney Island, but I loved Duly's, it was a ritual for us growing up to go there.

      May 15, 2014 at 10:03 am |
  10. Detroit love

    I lived right around the corner from Duly's the first 20 years of my life. I remember eating there after school and being a teenager when they filmed "The Rosary Murders" in the neighborhood. I use to "urban explore" the Packared Plant, walked down the streets where the 'Heidelberg" project is and walked balloons down Woodward on many a Thanksgiving. Love this episode!!

    November 11, 2013 at 12:27 am |
    • William

      Amen, I lived at Junction and Plumer Streets, went to Western High in the early 80's. Duly's was incredibly good. I loved growing up in Southwest, so much exploration of all those ruins, so much trouble to get into. ha ha ha

      May 15, 2014 at 10:06 am |
  11. john w askew

    a stablemate of the coney island dog, the loose hamburger has always been my favorite. " two loose heavy" was my standing order for decades at the great duly's on Detroit's southwest side. can still see the old guy at back table dicing onions in the middle of the night.

    November 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  12. John

    It wasn't long ago that Anthony Bourdain was quoted criticizing Paula Deen for cooking "unhealthy" food like mac and cheese. Now, he is promoting Bar B Que and mac and cheese. What's this, has he changed? Maybe he should visit Savannah for some Real mac and cheese.

    November 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • NBC Fact Checker

      Savannah Guthrie can't cook,just ask her new Husband.

      November 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  13. Carol

    My kids went to Holy Redeemer, and we lived about 4 blocks from Duly's. I worked at the mini station(police) just up from the corner by Dulys, and always went in early so I could eat there. The best Coneys in the world!! A lot of people put Detroit down, but until you live there, don't complain. There were the theaters, I-max, Symphony, Art and Historical museums, J.L. Hudsons christmas floor, Belle Isle, Bob-Lo Island, Cobo Hall, and the waterfront. And we can't forget Tiger Stadium! There were places we DIDN'T go, but we used common sense also. I graduated from Wilber Wright, after riding a city bus from Gratiot and Harper, to downtown and transfering to another to get to school, all before daylight. I never had any trouble. Since I moved from there, I have lived in 46 of the 50 states. Unless you live as a hermit, you will always find some place that is not as safe as it should be. Detroit IS bad now, but still has a lot of good people in it, as well as a lot of beautiful places. I hope the new mayor and the people can get it sorted out, and make it what it used to be. So unless you have actually lived there, don't be so quick to judge. You should take off your blinders, and look around where YOU live.

    November 10, 2013 at 1:02 am |
  14. John

    Very good to see that Anthony Bourdain made his way to DULY's at Vernor and Junction Streets in southwest Detroit for the very BEST hot-dogs, chili, a touch of yellow mustard all sitting of a soft hot dog bun ... and interesting conversation from both the gang sitting at the counter and the staff who run this great little restaurant. Duly's ranks as one of the best. Congratulations! Nice going, Anthony Bourdain. Did you happen to notice the very large and beautiful church across the street? Holy Redeemer Church and its schools and Duly's have a long and blessed history!

    November 10, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • bintoo

      You are so right- I used to live in Detroit and I went to college there- Wayne State. I miss it very much. I am from Jackson, Mi and I would put those Coneys up with anything in Detroit. The coney places in Jackson used to to buy deer heart from the local hunters-this was YEARS ago- and it was their secret ingredient. Can't do that now I guess, what with health laws and such. I live a long way from Detroit now because we can't make a living there anymore. But, I still go visit at least once a year. Summer isn't complete without a Tiger's game! (Miss the old stadium, though)

      December 29, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  15. stephen48739

    Fishing the Detroit River, at the end of Mt. Elliot, across from the Coast Guard Station. The smell of fresh bread baking at night, from shops on Joseph Compeau. The "help wanted" signs in the little stores in Hamtrack, that read "must speak Polish". The kind-hearted landlady, I rented my flat from, who provided a home-cooked meal every Friday evening. Watching the Tigers play baseball. My love my hometown. Great show, Anthony! I enjoy watching.

    November 9, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
  16. sschus87

    The Coney was invented in Jackson, Michigan, about 80 miles west of Detroit. This was in 1914. Coneys didn't start popping up in Detroit until 1921. Jackson is home of the coney and still has the very best ones out there (with real beef heart!!)

    November 9, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
  17. Animal

    Too bad you have to go to Detroit to visit the places to eat. Risk your life for a hot dog? Not for me. Yes, I've been to Detroit, more times than I wish. You can bet Bourdain had bodyguards with him.

    November 9, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • adam876543210

      You don't risk your life in Detroit lol. Do you know how many people work downtown on a daily basis? The places in the city that you would have to go to be in any immediate danger are places you would have no business going to anyways.

      It cracks me up that there are people out there that actually think thugs are running around the entire city of Detroit picking random people off with weapons. There are certainly innocent people dying, because they are stuck financially and can't get out of terrible parts of the city, but in general, it's gang bangers killing gang bangers. I work downtown everyday and have never felt unsafe once.

      November 9, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • downriverdem

      Hey Animal, we always can count on haters like you. You are clueless. You add nothing to the conversation. So much good it starting to happen in Detroit. It is so sickening to hear folks like you who don't get it and never will.

      November 11, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  18. billy smithe

    coneys were invented in cincinnati in 1918. besides that tony dumb ass bordain dont know any more about food than he does about fornicating...

    November 9, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
  19. Socialwkr

    Used to be a place on Ford Road and Middlebelt in Garden City, a Detroit suburb, that had the best coneys ever. They also used to serve an awesome omelet with hand shredded hashbrowns. Can't remember the name of the place. Used to be a jewelry store next door – Orin's I think??

    November 9, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • BruinTen

      Plato's Place……Small, dark, and the only place to get a coney after school in the 70's. It has moved to a bright strip mall location – coneys are still good but it has lost the character

      November 10, 2013 at 1:28 am |
  20. jerry

    There were comments about not visiting Lafayette & American, justifiably so since they are institutions. Keep in mind though that neither of those two make their own chili anymore. They buy National's and add a few spices. Just look in their fridge on the wall and see the National bricks of chili stocked. Duly's may be the best coney in town, but there is another one not mentioned that rivals any coney...Red Hots on Viktor Ave. in Highland Park. This place is about 90 years old and used to serve lunch to the assembly line workers at Ford's original factory. He makes his own sauce from scratch. Bourdain is right about Detroit being beautiful. Look beneath the surface of the old buildings and you will see the beauty that once was and could still be.

    November 9, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Jerry

      You are right about everything but your comment on that being Fords first factory. The first factory was the Mack Ave plant. Then it was the Piquette Plant at Piquette and Beaubien. They built 12,000 Model T's from Sept 27 1908 until Jan 1910. Plus the model B,C,F,N,R,and S Then they moved to Highland Park. People don't know anything about this factory. Right now It's home to the Model T Museum. Which is the process of being restored This was the first factory with a sprinkler system. This was right after the tragic garment factory fire in New York. Henry Ford did more than just refine the automobile. He was a very amazing man

      November 10, 2013 at 7:22 am |
      • Toyota

        Found On Road Dead--Fix Or Repair Daily.

        November 10, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • Bob

      jerry, i look forward to trying some of the other coney options as I must confess I'm a Lafayette guy for 40 years now. I must disagree though with the characterization of Lafayette as having lost something because it is now supposedly just remixing National's chilli. I don't know where the chilli comes from, but I do know that the quality of taste of that Lafayette coney (and the chilli specifically) is the exact same as it was 40 years ago. So if they are using some base ingredient from National, they are still finding a way to produce the traditional Lafayette coney without compromising that amazing taste.

      December 11, 2013 at 5:44 am |
  21. Yoda

    Good reason not to have socialized medicine. Sometimes people deserve the crap they get when they eat stuff like this.

    November 9, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Dover

      It is always breathtaking how morons reveal themselves in an awe-inspiring display of stupidity.

      November 9, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  22. Karen Mueller

    Bourdain must be on some pretty heavy s#@t (or paid an awful lot) to say that Detroit is a beautiful city and has lots of good places to eat. ANYwhere but that city would be better on both counts. //

    November 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Dover

      Says the person who, has never been to Detroit.

      November 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • adam876543210

      You ma'am are the definition of a sheep. Detroit has plenty of beauty and plenty of places worthy of visiting. If you don't know that, then you either have never been there, and just take the word of mass media, or you're a moron.

      November 9, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Detroit love

      I just love how people NOT from Detroit don't know what the heck they are talking about....

      November 11, 2013 at 12:20 am |
  23. Mary-Ann

    Hot dogs in Detroit? But no visit to American Coney or Lafayette Coney? Anthony Bourdain's research team just lost all credibility in my book.

    November 9, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Mary-Ann

      Hi Mary-Ann, my name is Mary-Ann. You clearly are no hotdog connoisseur, as you lead to believe. Do you even know where hotdogs come from? The only place to get a better hotdog than in Detroit, is Flint. And that's a fact. Page 684 of The Bible. Read it sometime before you judge sweet Anthony! Yeesh! I don't understand people these days. They get their GED and they think they know everything about hotdogs! Where do they come from Mary-Ann? You probably don't know. I'll pray for you sweetie. Just as Jesus would like :) God Bless

      November 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • fj

        in the left corner wearing a girdle a pink oversized g-string – mary ann from detroit! in the right corner wearing a green size 16 bikini – may ann from flint! let's get ready to rumble! winner gets an unlimited lifetime supply of chili hot dogs!

        November 9, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
  24. TD

    Spot on, Anthony – Detroit loves you & NYC right back, buddy. You are always welcome here.

    November 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  25. ModJimmy

    Mr. Bourdain gets it.
    Why is it that in the English-speaking world, only New Yorkers (and a special thanks to David Byrne & Patti Smith) & the major cities of the British isles grasps why Detroit is so relevant and interesting? Its outrageously disproportionate musical influence on the world alone should be the first thing that commands attention, but frankly, that's just scratching the surface of an ongoing history of much more. Detroit is a juxtaposition of wild contrasts, simultaneously being one of the most ugly and most interesting places in the US at the same time.

    November 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  26. Ian33

    Bourdain gets it – For all of its problems, Detroit IS largely misunderstood, and has long-had absolutely fantastic things going on when you look closer at it.

    November 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Scott C

      Thank You for saying that Ian. I wish more people were as open minded as you about my beloved city. It's got a ton of problems yes, but there is so much to love about it if one just took the time to look beneath the surface.

      November 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • Cj

        Visited Detroit for my honeymoon nearly 11 years ago. First time anywhere back east. Was blown away by the possibilities of that city! From what I've been reading, Detroit is slowly transforming itself. Urban farms, etcetera. 10 years from now, it may be other cities looking to Detroit for ideas.

        November 10, 2013 at 3:09 am |
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          November 25, 2013 at 2:58 am |
    • fj

      detroit is interesting if you think murder and economic collapse is interesting

      November 9, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
      • heynow

        There are some great places to drop into here in Detroit, just have to know where they are, as there are parts of town in dreadful states of decay that should be avoided. Having said that, there's a lot of great people here, very friendly and down to earth. The architecture is superb, with some structures rivaling Europe, though a great deal has been lost to decay.

        Three cheers for Bourdain for coming here, though not sure being featured on a show which makes a habit of dining in war zones a good sell...Out in the quieter suburbs, Senate Coney Island serves up good Coney's as well.

        November 9, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
  27. Screw Detroit

    Why the hell would he go to Detroit? I live by Detroit the city is revolting. " One of the most beautiful cities in America " Is he desperate and running out of places to go ? Detroit is a sh@# hole.

    November 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • heynow

      You must be one of the people who never leave the suburbs, which is understandable if watch local news...

      It's true, the city is dangerous and in decay, but there are some gems there. Hopefully the new mayor will begin turning things around, which I estimate could take 60-80 years...

      November 9, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  28. Dean

    Want a good hot dog? Try Charleston WV.

    November 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • ModJimmy

      Mr. Bourdain gets it.
      Why is it that in the English-speaking world, only New Yorkers (and a special thanks to David Byrne & Patti Smith) & the major cities of the British isles grasps why Detroit is so relevant and interesting? Its outrageously disproportionate musical influence on the world alone should be the first thing that commands attention, but frankly, that's just scratching the surface of an ongoing history of much more. Detroit is a juxtaposition of wild contrasts, simultaneously being one of the most ugly and most interesting places in the US.

      November 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • heynow

        You're right to point out the contrasts. There is much to admire, and much to lament.

        November 9, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
  29. donald

    eat my shorts

    November 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Just Kidding

      Well... your wife was just saying that the miniature hot dog was very unsatisfying :)

      November 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
      • Simpson, H

        and your wife was more satisfied with the mini one compared to what your packing

        November 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  30. Eur O. Peenn

    Americans will eat absolutely anything, no matter how banal or revolting.

    November 9, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • someone

      your absolutely f***** wrong. the chinese eats everything. and that's it

      November 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Dean

      You mean stuff like beef brawn, which is nose, lining of the nose, with the hairs still attached, that is served in France and Germany?????

      November 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
      • someone

        even I have eaten sheep brain, testicles etc. they're everywhere

        November 9, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • fj

        once i went to a pakistani restaurant and saw the cook preparing goat balls. the balls were still in the scrotum and had pubic hair attached. i skipped dinner that night.

        November 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  31. suzanne

    We love your show, and very much looked forward to watching it each Friday eve at 6:00pm in Amman, Jordan. Unfortunately, four times out of eight, your show was pre-empted by what someone felt was more urgent news! Once, it was the Iranian president's news conference at the UN. Once about the govt shutdown. Last night, it was about the
    hurricane in the Phillipines. Since your show was bracketed by hours of news on each side, we felt this was a bad
    call in terms of production–who makes these calls????? We are excited to see you will have a third season, but
    have very little hope of actually seeing it here in Jordan.

    November 9, 2013 at 3:15 am |
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