New England–style hot dog bun

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New England–style hot dog bun
Alternative namesNew England bun, New England roll, split-top roll, top-loading bun
TypeBread roll
Place of originUnited States United States
Region or stateNew England New England
Created byHoward Johnson's
Main ingredientsPotato flakes, dry milk, egg, wheat

New England–style hot dog buns, also often known as New England hot dog buns[1] or top-loading hot dog buns,[1][2] are the hot dog buns most commonly used in the United States region of New England and its cuisine. They may also be called split-top, top-sliced, frankfurter rolls, or frankfurt rolls.[3]


This style of roll or bun was developed in the 1940s by Howard Johnson's, who approached the Maine bakery J. J. Nissen in search of a bun for its fried clam strip sandwich. According to The Boston Globe, the "restaurant chain wanted top sliced rolls that would stand upright and be easier to prepare, serve, and eat."[2] Outside of New England, they are associated with clam rolls and lobster rolls, dishes iconic to New England cuisine.

The New England–style bun predates the hot dog bun found almost everywhere else in the United States by at least several years. Before the invention of the New England bun, commercial bakers would slice rolls all the way through.[2]

Today, this style of bun is prevalent in New England, with small and large grocery stores stocking at least several competing brands, and the hot dog bun typical of the rest of the United States (also called a "side-loading" bun) offered right alongside.[4]


In New England, hot dogs, clam rolls, lobster rolls, and the buns that accompany them are often associated with the summer months and coastal villages, where clam shacks and lobstering are common.[2][4] Some recipes for these dishes explicitly require the use of a New England–style bun.[5][6]

The rolls are baked very close together, keeping the sides soft, much like sliced bread. This makes them amenable to buttering, toasting and grilling.[1][2]

Grocers in localities with significant tourism from New Englanders, such as some markets in Florida, will sell New England–style buns to satisfy visitors.[2]

Outside the US[edit]

The Norwegian retail chain Coop introduced top-loading hot dog buns in 2019, arguing that the buns helped to keep the hot dog and its toppings upright. Even though Norway has a significant hot dog market, with approximately 500 million hot dogs sold annually in a country of 5 million people, top-loading hot dog buns failed to make significant inroads into the Norwegian market. Only four years after being introduced they were discontinued following negative feedback from customers. [7]


  1. ^ a b c "New England Hot Dog Buns and Lobster Rolls". Curious Cuisiniere. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Jennings, Holly (2 July 2013). "New England-style bun, from HoJo's to homemade". Boston Globe. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  3. ^ "J.J. Nissen New England Frankfurt Rolls (12 oz)". Instacart. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  4. ^ a b Seavey, Aimee. "New England-Style Hot Dog Rolls". New England Today. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  5. ^ Chase, Sarah Leah (2015). New England Open-House Cookbook. New York: Workman Publishing. ISBN 9780761184249. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  6. ^ America's Test Kitchen (2015). The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2016. Brookline, MA: The Editor's at America's Test Kitchen. p. 251. ISBN 9781940352350. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  7. ^ Kristiansen, Harald. "Coop snur pølsebrødet – toppsnitt er historie". NTB Kommunikasjon (in Norwegian). Retrieved 7 July 2023.