Like many other foods Americans love, the hot dog was first created in New York City. A true New York Dog always comes with mustard, and never ketchup. However, many of the hot dog restaurants below serve excellent specialty dogs with both traditional and nontraditional ingredients. A good hot dog is made on the flat fryer with all beef and has a natural casing that snaps when you bite into it. Much better than the typical dirty water dog on the streets I loved as a kid.
New York City’s 10 Best Hot Dogs (10 to 6)
10. Bark Hot Dogs. 474 Bergen Street, Brooklyn. Good, large hot dogs but on the expensive end. Bark’s also serves a vegetarian dog made from mushrooms and chickpeas. Try the bacon cheddar dog or the chili cheese hot dog.
9. The Smoke Joint. 87 South Elliot Place, Brooklyn. For a change from Smoke Joint’s BBQ, go for their Black Angus hot dog. Unique toppings include their BBQ meat (pork, chicken, or beef). Hot links are worth a try as well. See: New York City’s 10 Best Southern, Soul Food, and Cajun Restaurants for more BBQ options.
8. Nathan’s Famous. Original location: 1310 Surf Avenue, Coney Island, Brooklyn. Many other locations throughout New York City and the US. Nathan’s Famous kosher beef hot dogs are the most famous hot dog name in America and can be found in many supermarkets. Nathan’s original location in Coney Island, Brooklyn hosts the most popular hot dog eating contest in the world on July 4th. See: NYC’s 10 Best Reasons to Go to Coney Island and 10 Best Foods Originated in New York City
7. Shake Shack. Original location: Madison Square Park, near Madison Avenue and East 23rd Street. Other locations: 366 Columbus Avenue, Upper West Side and Citi Field – Home of the New York Mets, Flushing, Queens. This place was the vision of celebrity restaurateur Danny Meyer. If you can deal with the huge lines, this burger and hot dog joint serves basic dogs, loaded hot dogs, and a tasty smoked chicken and apple bratwurst. Don’t forget a custard, my personal favorite is the chocolate and peanut butter hand-spun shake. See: 10 Best Cheap Burgers in Manhattan.
6. Gray’s Papaya. Three locations: 539 Eighth Avenue at 37th Street, 402 Sixth Avenue at 8th Street, and 2090 Broadway at 72nd Street. A Manhattan fast food staple modeled after Papaya King with good, inexpensive dogs and fruit juices. Perfect for those times you need to eat quickly and cheap. The recession special is $3.50 for 2 hot dogs and a 14 oz drink. One of the best fast food joints in the city.
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