Coney dogs. Need we say more? Such a seemingly normal food has taken Jackson County by storm as it has historically struck debate, controversy, but most of all…hunger. There are a couple of spots in Jackson known for their coneys, both iconic Jackson and Detroit style. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve got the scoop and not just a scoop of chili.
Firstly, let’s break down the basics. Why bother debating the home of the coney or how it comes? It’s the equivalent of arguing which is the better pet, dogs or cats. One side is typically very passionate about why their pet is superior. You could claim the Detroit-style is less-than because it drowns the dog itself in chili, while the Jackson-style keeps its chili, onion, and tangy mustard contents within a steamy, delicious bun. We’re not biased, we’re just here to share where you can pick your poison.
Note that our reviews are all in good fun, and welcome any and all styles of coneys that keep Jackson County buzzing!
Roll into Virginia Coney Island for an old-timey, diner feel. Take a seat on a bar stool and bite into a delicious, savory Jackson tradition. They keep their finely ground chili nicely condensed so that there’s room to appreciate each element of the coney. For just $1.50 a pop, you can’t go wrong. For a similar, classic local bite, head over to Jackson Coney Island for one of those iconic coneys. You can’t go wrong when it comes to any of Jackson’s local spots for a staple like this.
Are you a dog person? Us too, coney dog, that is. At Junkyard Dog, they specialize in hotdogs of all shapes, sizes, and of course, toppings. You can stick to your traditional Jackson coney or go the extra mile and order a Chicago Dog topped with mustard, relish, tomato, pickles, peppers, and celery salt all stuffed in a steamy poppy seed bun, or a Sloppy Dog complete with beefy sloppy joe, melted Colby cheese, and French-fried onions. For obvious reasons, you can’t go wrong with the classic coney, especially not in the heart of downtown Jackson.
Now we’re getting into Detroit-coney territory. Not geographically, but right here in Jackson. Rooster’s Coney Island serves up the Detroit-style coney. Now, we’re not here to argue, because this option is as delicious as they come. However, this option does come with a different dog and is more loaded with chili, so be prepared to grab your fork for this one. You’ll enjoy classic coney island vibes, with a vast brunch menu, in addition to coneys. The same coney option is served at Alpha Koney Island, with chili spilling out the sides. Rather than a diner feel, you’ll see clouds painted across the ceiling when you look up. Located right in the Jackson Crossing Mall, it’s a great stop for a classic lunch.
Honorable mentions go out to both The Parlour and Andy’s Pizza, while not specializing in coneys, they keep the Jackson tradition alive by having them on their menus. Keep that in mind next time you head back to one of those Jackson classics for some ice cream or pizza; you can enjoy a coney too.
For an in-depth review, check out this blog written by an anonymous Jackson County native back in 2019.