Hot dogs are an essential ingredient to any New Yorker's diet.
Can New Yorkers start wearing shirts that say, "Eat more hot dogs?" Because most really do love them.
What's actually in a hot dog? Who's to say? And besides, does anyone really care?
As long as they're grilled or boiled to perfection and made perfect with your favorite toppings, then they're great.
Hot dogs are kind of a big deal here in New York City, so you better believe that we put together a list with the 10 best in the Big Apple (in no particular order, that is).
1. Papaya Dog (various locations)
I'm not going to lie to you. The first time I had Papaya Dog was when I was in Hoboken, but that doesn't mean that Papaya Dog isn't a true NYC gem.
Seeing a Papaya Dog in Midtown while I was decked out in a Santa onesie during Santacon a few years back was like seeing George Clooney standing on the corner waiting for me: a dream come true.
Two hot dogs and one of their fabulous juices will become your go-to meal in no time, even when you're not in a little drunk.
2. Crif Dogs (113 Saint Mark's Place)
Crif Dogs is easily the specialty hot dog king of New York. The things they do with hot dogs there are out of the box... and not to mention out of this world.
From the Jon-Jon Deragon, an everything bagel virtually on hot dog, to a breakfast dog wrapped in ham, egg and cheese, this place is innovative with their franks and a nice change to the NYC hot dog game.
3. Papaya King (3 Saint Mark's Place)
For 80 years, Papaya King has been killing it with hot dogs and papaya juices, so it's basically a big part of NYC history at this point. One dollar hot dogs from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Saint Mark's location is a definite plus too.
Oh, and those hot dogs combos. Whether you dig your dog covered in chili cheese or loaded in sauerkraut is up to you, but each combo also comes with a tropical drink and a side of curly fries.
Now that's just downright delightful.
4. Gray's Papaya (2090 Broadway)
Okay, seriously, what is with the trend of including the word "papaya" in the name of hot dog places?! I don't hate it, but I wonder what the connection is.
This UWS hot dog hub has the usual suspects when it comes to papaya hot dog places: hot dogs with whatever you want on top and an array of tropical juices.
Go with the recession special, which is two hot dogs anyway you want them and a larger than life juice or $4.50.
5. Asia Dog (66 Kenmare Street)
When Asian delicacies become the perfect hot dog toppings, the stars will align in your mouth.
You'll get to choose not only your kind of dog (from beef, chicken, or veggie), but you'll always get to choose a combination of Asian flavored toppings, and this will be a difficult choice to make.
Why not make it the Mash (with ketchup, jalapeño mustard, and crushed potato chips) or the Vinh (a banh mi style hot dog)?
Better yet, why not try them all?,
6. Nathan's Famous (Coney Island - Brooklyn)
Nathan's is basically the OG hot dog of New York because its first location opened up at Coney Island back in 1916. That's almost one hundred years of cooking up hot dog awesomeness.
If you're going to go to any Nathan's for hot dogs, it better be the Coney Island location.
And you better have a hot dog, their famous crinkle fries, and a lemonade. This is the best way, the only way, to do it.
7. Bark Hot Dogs (474 Bergen Street - Brooklyn)
This Park Slope doghouse (see what we did there?) prides itself on good food that's carefully and thoughtfully made.
Their cheddar cheese sauce is house made and pairs impeccably with thick Nueske's bacon or chili on their hot dogs.
Wholesome, hearty food has never been so damn tasty!
8. Ditch Plains (29 Bedford Street - Brooklyn)
Bottom line here is, you have to try the fantastic Ditch Dog.
It's definitely not the cheapest hot dog in NYC, but that's probably because it's topped with (wait for it) creamy, rich, homemade macaroni and cheese.
Unconventional, right? But also two thumbs up, both for the food and the idea.
9. La Perrada de Chalo (8312 Northern Boulevard - Queens)
Why should you come here? Because Colombian gourmet hot dogs, that's why.
La Perrada de Chalo brings the best tastes of Colombia to your hot dog, and actually it's pretty amazing.
When combined with the toppings they offer, these dogs are larger than life, like the Iraqi, which is loaded with the most unlikely of toppings (ketchup, mayo, pineapple sauce, crushed potato chips, and hard boiled eggs).
10. Shake Shack (various NYC locations)
You probably rely on the burgers so much at Shake Shack that you forget they even served hot dogs. Well, do us a favor, and mix it up next time, would you?
Try the Shack-cago Dog (good one, Shake Shack!), which is a split-top dog topped with relish, mustard, pickles, cucumber, onion, peppers, tomato, and celery salt.
So what if it's Chicago style? It's delicious!
If you enjoyed this article, check out 14 Mouthwatering NYC Foods That Won't Break the Bank!