Top Hot Dogs in New York

Following my award-winning (?) post on the top hamburgers in New York, I decided to give hot dogs the same treatment.

Hot dogs are perhaps the most fun food there is. That’s why they are rarely served at funerals. Eating one almost makes me forget I live in this awful city.

Just like with the hamburgers, I will not dissect how the frankfurter is made. I will just tell you whether it is good (and really, there are no bad hot dogs). One rule though — ketchup never, ever, ever, ever goes on a hot dog. It is disgusting. If you put ketchup (or even catsup) on your hot dog, please leave this website and never come back. I don’t want your click.

Lower East Side
Katz’s Delicatessen
The granddaddy of New York deli franks at the granddaddy of New York delis.

East Village
Crif Dogs
I ate here several years ago. The hot dog was good, but I don’t think I was cool enough to be in there. Definitely an unnecessary “too-cool-for-school” vibe. You’re serving hot dogs!

Feltman’s of Coney Island
We have a candidate for the best hot dog in New York. This frank has the snap and spice missing from most hot dogs. I was talking with the owner, who says he makes everything fresh, including the mustard! Who makes mustard?! Oh, and ketchup is banned, which gives this place a huge edge over everyplace else. It’s easy to miss this little takeout window on St. Mark’s Place just West of 1st Ave — make sure you don’t just walk on by. And by the way, it is named after the guy who invented the hot dog, 50 years before that Nathan character.

Midtown East
Frankie’s Dogs on the Go
Very good dog in the food court at Grand Central Terminal.

Eden Wok
Funny story — when I was a kid in Brooklyn, my local crummy Chinese take-out place sold hot dogs in an egg roll wrapper. They were great, and I thought this was a standard Chinese offering. How wrong I was. But along comes Eden Wok, a Glatt-Kosher Chinese restaurant, of all things, serving my childhood favorite. They are delicious.

Midtown West
Brooklyn Diner
Many years ago, I had the foot-long hot dog here. It was good. I see now it costs $21.95. I don’t care how good it is, but a hot dog it should not cost that much unless it comes with a baseball game.

Hell’s Kitchen
The Cannibal
Another fine food option at Gotham Market West. Two hot dogs for $14 with all kinds of crazy toppings. Excellent stuff.

Rudy’s Bar & Grill
The greatest bar in the history of bars offers FREE franks. That’s right, FREE. For some reason it defaults with the awful ketchup, but just ask for the Devil’s sauce to be left off. Oh, and $3 beers. I might just move into one of the ripped-up red pleather banquettes.

Upper West Side
Gray’s Papaya
Still offering its recession special — ¬†two hot dogs and a drink for $3.50. Beats $21.95.

Upper East Side
Papaya King
Have I ever eaten here? I must have, although I can’t remember. I promise to go soon. (UPDATE: I went there. Yes, I had never been. Good, although I think I like Gray’s Papaya better.)

Not Manhattan
Nathan’s
The classic frankfurter. Part of being a New Yorker is eating one on the Coney Island boardwalk. Sure, you can get one anywhere and not risk being murdered, but it isn’t the same.

Asia Dog
They have a stand at the Brooklyn Flea Market (and perhaps other places, I don’t know). The All-American meal with an Asian flair. Good stuff.