1. Nathan's Famous Skinless Beef Franks
An overt effort was made to try Nathan's last because we had a notion that no one would come close. This wasn't entirely the case in light of the boutique brands that pleasantly surprised, but bestowing this legendary Coney Island brand with "best in class" distinction among its mass-produced brethren would be a harsh injustice. With alternating layers of smoke, sweetness, and salt captured in a magically skinless package that chars up perfectly every time, this is all anyone could ever possibly want in a hot dog.
None of the fancier brands came even close, but considering an entire cottage industry has grown around stuffing as many of these things in your face as you can, how can you be even the slightest bit surprised to learn this? Like most great American stories, Nathan's Famous was brought ashore by an enterprising immigrant who believed the USA was where his dreams of gastronomic greatness could be achieved. Hot dogs are America's food, and this is, without argument, America's finest hot dog. God bless America, and God bless the processed tubed-meat products we've perfected over the past century.