New York City may be famous for its dirty water dogs (you know, those boiled dogs sold on every street corner), but if you’re really looking for a good hot dog to write home about, you don't have to go too far. Rounded up below are our top five picks for NYC’s best hot dogs. It’s stiff competition, so you might need to make a couple trips to each to choose your favorite. Hey, we’re giving you an excuse…go now!
Crif Dogs (East Village)
Image: Alexis Lamster/Flickr
Opened in 2001, Crif Dogs has been a New York City staple ever since, and their dogs aren’t your typical run-of-the mill tube steaks. You’ll find specialties like the B.L.T. Dog (bacon wrapped dog with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise), Jon-Jon Deragon (dog with a schmear of cream cheese, scallions, everything bagel seeds), and Chihuahua (bacon wrapped dog with avocados, sour cream) making up the menu. Additional location in Brooklyn. 113 Saint Marks Pl., 212-614-2728, crifdogs.com
Papaya King (Upper East Side)
Home of the “best hot dogs in New York,” according to no less an authority than Julia Child, Papaya King has been around since 1932. Serving up special recipe, one-of-a-kind franks, this beloved joint has affordable dogs and toppings galore. Bacon, coleslaw, cheese, chili, curly fried, fried pickles, mushrooms, pastrami, raw onions, relish, and sautéed peppers are just some of the goodies you can have put on top of your dog. (And while you’re there, don’t forget to try their papaya juice!) Additional locations in the East Village and Brooklyn. 179 E. 86th St., 212-369-0648, papayaking.com
Nathan’s Famous (Brooklyn)
While the original Nathan’s Famous can be found just off the boardwalk in Coney Island, Brooklyn, multiple food carts carry the famous dogs around Manhattan as well. Their famed beef hot dogs are served with chili or chili cheese, in addition to a classic plain dog. Made with a tight casing, these dogs come out juicy and with that perfect hot dog crunch in every bite. There’s a reason it’s called Nathan’s Famous, after all. Additional locations in Manhattan. 1310 Surf Ave., 718-946-2202, nathansfamous.com
Katz’s Delicatessen (Lower East Side)
Coming it at a cool $3.95, the Frankfurter at Katz’s Delicatessen is worth every penny. Its all natural casing makes it one of New York’s bests, and if you want to tack on an extra two bucks you can have it covered in a steaming chili (do it!). Katz’s is known for their portion sizes, and they don’t skimp with their dogs either. Make sure you come with a ready appetite if you’re planning on dining here. 205 E. Houston St., 212-254-2246, katzdelicatessen.com
Sons of Thunder (Midtown East)
You might not think to head to a poke place for some top-notch hotdogs, but like with most assumptions, New York City produces the unexpected. Sons of Thunder keeps their menu rotating every few months to keep things exciting, but you can always expect to find a couple dogs on it. From an inventive Banh Mi Hot Dog to a more traditional Chicago Dog, you never know what you’re going to find at Sons of Thunder. The one thing you do know? It’s going to be good. 204 E. 38th St., 646-863-2212, sonsofthunder.com
In the last decade, Chelsea Market has turned into one of the biggest attractions for foodies and snackers. Within Chelsea Market is Dickson's, which opened as a local butcher for residents of Chelsea and the Meat Packing District, but with the growing popularity of Chelsea Market, and with Dickson's introduction of prepared foods, it's move it's butcher shop downstairs and turned the original upstairs location into a restaurant. Dickson's artisanal hot dogs and sausages are really all about the meat—Dickson's works with family farms in upstate New York to get the highest quality meats in NYC. dicksonsfarmstand.com
Insider tip: Don't you dare leave Dickson's without picking up some Chili & Star Anise beef jerky. You can thank us later.
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