Founded in 1921, Duly’s is a postcard-perfect diner where vintage coffee percolators whisper at all hours. The menu is basic Americana with one important regional highlight: the Detroit Coney Island Hot Dog
There is nothing unique or fancy about Coney Island dogs. No grainy mustard or nitrite-free butcher’s-choice hot dogs, that’s for sure. What makes a good Coney is its chili; and Duly’s chili is first-rate. It is meaty where others can be floury, and spicy where others are milquetoast. This chili is good enough to eat by the bowl. Whatever you get here, make sure it has chili on it.
Some chili devotees opt for a Looseburger, which is simply a generous ladle full of chili scooped into a hot dog bun with onions and mustard: basically, a Coney Island minus the frank. It’s an interesting novelty, but the standard Coney Island is a better choice. The hot dog provides important texture and structural support to what is otherwise a disintegrating bun-raft awash in a sea of molten chili.
Even with the dog included, the Coney Island dog at Duly’s is very heavy on the chili, which makes it unusually substantial. One makes a significant snack, and two are a meal. It is so hefty that many prefer to attack it with a knife and fork.
The coziness of the place, the price and the quality of the dogs, make it hard to beat Duly’s for late night cravings in Detroit. It’s more than just that though. At any hour, it’s one of the best things to eat in town.