The hot dog is an all-American classic, and like most foods in New York you can get one at about a hundred different locations (not counting all those crappy midtown carts). Traditional dogs are all beef and served with mustard, no ketchup, but there are plenty of places to get a fix on unique toppings, buns, and even some variations on the wiener itself. Check out our picks for some of the best dogs in the city. We’ll see y’all there…
I’m In The Kitchen Sandwich Board: The Dog Show
Seriously, with sixteen different types of hot dog (fifteen meat variations, one vegetarian) and twenty-three toppings options, it’s pretty much impossible to visit Crif’s and a) make a decision 2) leave unhappy. Doesn’t hurt that no matter what’s in or on the bun, it’s guaranteed to be perfectly cooked & seasoned. These guys have devoted themselves to hot dogs and it shows.
113 Saint Marks Pl # 2 New York, NY 10009
Gray’s is a New York staple serving up super inexpensive dogs and fruit juices. If you’re trying to score a cheap eat that won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth, Gray’s is a go-to. They may not pack on the fancy toppings, but sometimes simple is best. If you’re not near a Gray’s, no one will fault you for stopping in to a Papaya King or a Papaya Dog, both of which serve pretty much the exact same menu. We’re confused too.
402 6th Avenue, New York, NY / 2090 Broadway, New York, NY
Nathan’s is the reigning New York hot dog institution. You’ll know them by their famous hot dog eating contest where the record stands at 62 dogs eaten in under 10 minutes, but you’re allowed to eat just one or two (and take as much time as you want doing it). The dogs are pared down, but a satisfying accompaniment to any beach day or Coney Island freak show visit.
These guys have a bunch of Manhattan locations in addition to their Coney Island spot (but you should go to the Coney Island spot).
The Smoke Joint
Can’t decide between two backyard staples: a hot dog or BBQ? Fret no more. At The Smoke Joint you can get a wiener topped with barbequed pork, chicken, or beef, which is like the best of two worlds stuffed into a hot dog bun. If you’re still hungry, order up some classic Southern sides like cornbread, slaw, or mac & cheese.
87 S Elliot Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Steering off the traditional path is Asia Dog, who slap Asian-inspired toppings like kimchi and seaweed flakes or pork pate and daikon radishes on top of good old American wieners. These guys are not for the unadventurous eater, but that’s never been you, now has it?
66 Kenmare Street (btwn Mott and Mulberry in Nolita) NY, NY 10012 or at carts at pretty much every flea and outdoor event this summer.