With thousands of spectators cheering him on, Chestnut downed the 69 dogs -- and their buns -- in 10 minutes, improving on his previous personal best of 68.
He retained the Mustard Yellow International Belt for a seventh straight year, his title run surpassing that of Japanese speed-eating great Takeru Kobayashi, who won six straight Coney Island crowns before he was beaten by Chestnut in 2007.
Matt "Megatoad" Stonie was a distant second, scarfing 51 hot dogs.
Sonya Thomas retained the women's title, downing almost 37 dogs to win by a fraction of a frankfurter.
The "Black Widow" of competitive eating couldn't equal her feat of last year, when she matched her age by consuming 45 hot dogs.
Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs says the Independence Day contest has been running since 1916 -- when the winner consumed 13 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
This year the contest was a welcome signal that Coney Island, the slice of Brooklyn famed for its boardwalk and the Cyclone wooden rollercoaster, has rebounded from the destruction of Superstorm Sandy nearly nine months ago.