In New York City, even in the heart of winter, you can still enjoy a taste of summer. Here, hot dogs aren’t relegated to backyard barbecues alone but are as ubiquitous as celebrities and subway “train traffic.” From classic no-frills franks to curious concoctions (think curry ketchup and everything bagel spices), here are the best places for hot dogs in New York.
Since this St. Marks staple opened a second outpost in Williamsburg, stoner-approved snacks are more accessible than ever. Known for its adventurous items, Crif Dogs tops its handmade dogs with everything from sour cream to everything bagel spices. Feeling—ahem—inspired, yourself? Crif also allows eaters to customize their own creations, ensuring crushed cravings, every time.
Enjoy a taste of Old New York at Nathan’s Famous, a historical hot dog joint satisfying locals for over a century. An oldie but goodie, this Coney Island icon keeps it classic, serving world-famous beef dogs topped with your choice of chili, cheese, or all the fixings.
Even the staunchest New Yorker will happily break their “no chains” rule when it comes to Papaya King. With its down-to-earth dog and tropical drink combos, along with its selection of sides featuring knishes and pickles, this local chain has defined New York City cuisine since opening in 1932. Endorsements by the likes of Julia Child and Martha Stewart solidify Papaya King’s role as New York royalty.
Run, don’t walk, to this Crown Heights hole in the wall, where the humble hot dog is transformed into gourmet grub. Taking a modern approach to old-school snacking, Reservoir Dogs tops items such as vegetarian franks and duck-fennel sausages with ingredient-focused fixings, including applesauce and whipped cream cheese. Tip: thanks to the spot’s “Morning Wood,” which combines bacon and a savory breakfast sausage link, you can now eat hot dogs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Tourists have the lights of Broadway; locals have the neon glow of the 24-hour Gray’s Papaya. The signature thin, juicy dogs at this classic stand, opened in the early 1970s, are considered among the best in the city. Order the Recession Special, on “special” offer since the 1970s, to feel like a million bucks. They have various locations.
Old New York meets New American cuisine at Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar, a contemporary offshoot of the century-old business (and your grandmother’s go-to butcher) Schaller & Weber. Here, high-quality wursts, sausages, and franks come tucked inside Balthazar brioche buns and topped with globally inspired fixings, such as curry powder, Australian beet ketchup, and more.
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