Who Is The World’s Best Eater: Joey Chestnut Or Takeru Kobayashi?

Photo Credit: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
  • Age
    28
    34
  • Height
    6'1"
    5'8"
  • Weight
    220 lbs.
    191 lbs.
  • Nickname
    Jaws
    Tsunami/Kobi
  • Hometown
    Vallejo, California
    Nagano, Japan
  • Hot Dog Record
    68 (two times)
    69 (unofficial), 64.5 (official)
  • Nathan's Hot Dog Championship Wins
    6 (2007, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12)
    6 (2001, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06)
  • MLE World Records Held
    23
    4
  • Behind The Records
    Aside from his hot dog-eating record, Chestnut holds records for eating pork ribs (9.8 pounds in 12 minutes), steak (4.5 pounds in 9 minutes), gyros (21.5 in 10 minutes), jalapeno poppers (118 in 10 minutes) and, well, asparagus (9.3 pounds in 10 minutes).
    Kobayashi only has four MLE world records to Chestnut's 23. So you would think there shouldn't even be a discussion. But, considering the MLE has not recognized Kobayashi's eating feats for many years now, he can't wrack up records or compete against Chestnut in sanctioned events. So don't let the "official" records fool you.
  • Unofficial
    He's most famous for his hot dog record, which seems to be the basis of how eating fans rate greatness. Some say that Chestnut is the most complete eater, because he has a "wider range" of standing records. Yet he also isn't known to eat more "exotic" delicacies. For example, some consider Kobayashi's cow brains record to be more impressive then, say, a steak-eating record. But that really depends on your personal taste, if you will.
    In an amazing feat, Kobayashi ate 110 hot dogs (no buns) in 10 minutes at the 2012 Syracuse State Fair, a record not recognized my the MLE. He also ate 337 chicken wings at Wing Bowl XX, which topped Chestnut's best performance of 241 wings at Wing Bowl XVI. To top it off, Kobayashi said he could have eaten 100 more wings. You don't see that in the MLE record books either.
RESULTS
It's clear, from talking to fans of professional eating, that you're either for Chestnut or Kobayashi, not both. And it's also clear that we may never know who the better eater is. There doesn't seem to be any possible resolution on the horizon between Kobayashi and Major League Eating, meaning we may never see Chestnut and Kobayashi go head-to-head again. This kills the dream of a World Series of Eating competition to crown an eventual champion, which is a shame. For now, the debate will live on. So we ask you, who's your guy? Chestnut or Kobayashi?

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