14 Best Hot Dogs In NYC

NYC hot dogs
NYC hot dogs - Static Media/Getty

Hot dogs, or glizzies, as the cool youth are calling them these days, are having an absolute moment in food culture. A food that is so humble and simple, yet can be elevated with so many different toppings, was due for its viral moment on social media and on the dining scene at large. For this hungry food writer and hot dog enthusiast, I say it's about time.

Summertime in New York City means sticky humidity and busy beach weekends, but it also means the annual hot dog eating contest on Coney Island and the general celebration of the hot dog all summer long. As a salute to this meaty treat, it's only fitting that I put together a guide of memorable and tasty hot dogs in and around New York City. From boiled street cart franks and corn dogs to American wagyu beef franks and just about everything in between, let this list lead you to some of the most delicious and sought-after franks this city has to offer. After all, tis the season to be glizzy.

Prices are as of the date of publication. 

Read more: Common Mistakes Everyone Makes With Hot Dogs

Chicago Dog At Emmett's

chicago dog at Emmett's
chicago dog at Emmett's - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

A Chicago-style hot dog has a lot going on. In addition to the Vienna all-beef hot dog, there's relish, onions, tomato, a pickle, sport peppers, celery salt, and mustard, all nestled nicely into a poppy seed bun. For some, it's too busy. But for those who like an explosion of flavor and heat in each bite, this is the hot dog style to seek out.

The menu at Emmett's, a Chicago-inspired spot in Greenwich Village, is the embodiment of iconic Windy City eats. The Chicago dog is beefy and savory, with just the right snap. The toppings all complement one another; there's a mixture of brine, salt, and spice with plenty of crunch from the onions and pickle. The cherry tomatoes provide an added layer of sweetness to each bite to round it all out. Order with a side of homemade potato chips.

emmettsnyc.com

(917) 639-3571

50 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012

Recession Special At Gray's Papaya

hot dog and papaya drink
hot dog and papaya drink - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

Gray's Papaya was and continues to be a saving grace for New Yorkers moving to the city post-college or those folks who spent more time at "in-between jobs" than they initially anticipated. Gray's Papaya, located on the Upper West Side, is an institution. Its no-mess, no-fuss hot dog is the picture of ease, and it's that simplicity that makes it so special.

Come to Gray's Papaya first thing in the morning (seriously, they're open at 8 a.m.) and with those last few dollars in your pocket, order the Recession Special: two hot dogs, fully loaded, and a tropical drink for $7.50. Ketchup, mustard, relish, and sauerkraut are all free, and adding chili or cheese will cost you just a wee bit extra. But so don't be shy; the sweet, savory toppings with just a hint of heat paired with that beefy dog makes for the perfect bite. Wash everything down with the sweet and fruity papaya drink.

grayspapaya.nyc

(212) 799-0243

2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Footlong Chili Cheese Dog At New York Burger Co.

foot long chili cheese dog
foot long chili cheese dog - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

Whenever a restaurant or hot dog stand advertises a footlong, I tend to take it with a grain of salt. Is it actually 12 inches long? Typically, no. However, at New York Burger Co. in Chelsea, the footlong chili cheese dog is truly 12 inches; I measured it myself with the measure app on my iPhone. It sits rather playfully on a 5-inch hot dog bun. This footlong, topped with chili, cheese, and chopped red onion, is a feat of strength that requires you to have a fork and knife at the ready.

The hot dog itself is tender and juicy, but the highlight here comes via the toppings, most notably the beef chili. Rather than being a poorly-seasoned and generally sad afterthought, the chili is impressive and something I'd happily eat on its own. Moreover, the chili, which is rich and perfectly seasoned with a little heat, adds an extra layer of savory flavor on top of an already delicious frank.

newyorkburgerco.com

(212) 255-0400

470 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

Corn Dog At Cowgirl

corn dog at cowgirl
corn dog at cowgirl - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

Corn dogs tend to get lumped in with fried butter, giant bacon-wrapped turkey legs, and whatever other foods fall into the "state fair" category. But, the corn dog is the hidden gem of the afternoon snack menu. Cowgirl in Greenwich Village fully champions this snack-on-a-stick option. The corn dog here is simple, classic, and oh-so-delicious, which makes it the kind of food that's delicious and a legitimate joy to eat.

The hot dog, which comes coated in a light and slightly sweet cornmeal batter, is tender and flavorful. The beefy flavor beneath the deep fried coating plays nicely with the sweet corn. Opinions abound as to what dip goes best with a corn dog — ketchup or mustard — but luckily, this one comes with both so you can go forth and dip as you please. For something even lighter, order a single corn dog, or for a more substantial snack, opt for the double option.

cowgirlnyc.com

(212) 633-1133

519 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

Potato Hot Dog At Korean Street Foods

potato hot dog at Korean Street Foods
potato hot dog at Korean Street Foods - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

It's not often you come across an over-the-top food item that's actually worth eating, but Korean Street Foods has broken the mold. Tucked away on Avenue A in the East Village, Korean Street Foods is cooking up some pretty fantastic treats, from spicy tteokbokki (hot Korean rice cakes) to decadent egg sandwiches. The real star of the menu, however, is the hot dog section, and while there are some intriguing options, there's one that never fails to catch my attention.

The potato hot dog is a take another popular option on the menu, crispy hot dog. The latter is a Frosted Flakes-covered corn dog. The potato hot dog swaps out the flakes in favor of crispy cubed potatoes, which essentially combines the hot dog and fries combo meal into one bite. The frank, while buried deep beneath layers of potatoes and batter, still manages to be beautifully juicy and tender. This savory, starch-laden dog, served hot and crispy, benefits greatly from a drizzle of spicy boom boom sauce. Or, to cut through all that richness, add a healthy drizzle of sweet ketchup.

kstreetfoods.com

(646) 490-4067

147 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

B.L.T. Dog At Crif Dogs

BLT hot dog
BLT hot dog - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

Crif Dogs got a lot of attention when the speakeasy cocktail bar attached to it via secret phone booth, PDT (Please Don't Tell), opened in 2007. And while the bar is more than worth visiting, Crif Dogs shouldn't be overlooked as simply the place you walk through to go somewhere else. The hot dogs at Crif Dogs are an important part of this stretch of St. Mark's in the East Village, and the B.L.T. dog is a perfect representation of why this humble downstairs dog spot shouldn't be forgotten.

The B.L.T. is my version of the perfect sandwich, and yet somehow, Crif Dogs has made it better. The deep-fried pork and beef frank is flavorful and tender, and gets that extra hit of salt and fat from the smoky bacon wrapped around it. Shredded lettuce, mayo, and chopped tomatoes give this dog added crunch and gentle sweetness, and for a fully loaded dog, it's surprisingly light. Order with a side of hot and crispy tots and consider this the perfect meal before trying to walk through that phone booth.

crifdogs.com

(646) 922-8524

113 St. Mark's Pl, New York, NY 10009

Hot Dog From Sabrett's Cart

sabrett's hot dog
sabrett's hot dog - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

There are several foods that come to mind when I think of what best defines New York City, but none as iconic as the Sabrett's hot dog cart. Walk down just about any New York City street, and among the crowds, traffic, and the general hustle and bustle of this buzzing metropolis, there's bound to be a hot dog cart with the Sabrett's umbrella on top to catch your attention. The "dirty water dog," as its lovingly referred to, is quick, inexpensive, and downright tasty -- which makes it a New York City staple. It's the people's wiener.

Unlike some of the more fanciful hot dogs on this list that get that delightful crispy char from spending time on a grill or a flat top, the Sabrett's cart dog is boiled, resulting in a frank that's got less snap than the others, but isn't lacking in flavor. Top it with ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, onions, relish, or nothing at all. Enjoy it on the steps of the Met, or walking home after a long workday. Eat it with gusto, and be thankful for the abundance of Sabrett's carts that line the bustling city streets.

Vegan Chicago Dog At Dog Day Afternoon

vegan chicago dog
vegan chicago dog - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

Dog Day Afternoon is a humble but meaningful nod to Chicago sandwich staples like the Italian beef, Polish sausage, and of course, the Chicago hot dog. You can go the carnivore route, or, if you want all the Chicago dog elements without the meat, or opt for the vegan dog as a shockingly delightful alternative.

All the elements of the vegan Chicago dog are as they should be, from the diced onions and toppings like relish, sport peppers, and a pickle spear, to the mustard, sliced tomato, and celery salt. And while the plant-based frank is not as juicy as a typical meat frank, it is still a real treat. The vegan Chicago dog is savory with good texture and seasoning, and is perfect for someone who is searching for the pomp and pleasure of a traditional Chicago dog, but would rather forego the meat. Your hunt ends here, weary traveler, as this is a more than worthy contender.

dogdaybrooklyn.com

Multiple locations

Chili Cheese Dog At Nathan's Famous

chili cheese dog at Nathan's
chili cheese dog at Nathan's - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

Coney Island is home to great roller coasters and the occasional mermaid, but most importantly, it's also the prime spot to get a Nathan's Famous hot dog. Although the Coney Dog may have been invented in Detroit, this Coney Island spot serves up this famous dog, complete with chili, cheese, and onions.

The chill cheese dog from Nathan's is a tasty one. The frank is beefy and juicy, the chili is hot and well-seasoned, and the cheese sauce is ooey gooey and decadent, similar to what you would put on a plate of nachos. But eating the hot dog is only part of the experience. At Nathan's, you can eat your hot dog outside, underneath the hot Coney Island sun, maybe at a table or right on the beach. You smell the ocean air, you hear the rumble of the Cyclone, and the woosh of the Soarin' Eagle. This hot dog is good by any standards, but it's truly great if you let the New York of it all envelop you, too.

nathansfamous.com

(718) 333-2202

1310 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224

Hoyt Dog At Mile End Deli

hoyt dog at Mile End deli
hoyt dog at Mile End deli - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

For anyone who has an affinity for gravy and cheese curd-covered poutine and smoked meat, Mile End is an absolute gift. Nestled on Hoyt Street in Brooklyn's Boerum Hill neighborhood, Mile End is serving up some of the best Jewish and Montreal deli cuisine on this side of the Canadian border. Among the appetizing platters and smoky meat plates is the humble (yet wonderful) Hoyt dog.

The Hoyt dog is an all-beef frank with relish and sauerkraut served in a toasted challah roll. The frank is juicy and savory, with a great snap and crisp char all around. The relish is bright and acidic, and the kraut provides a delightful crunch to each bite. The most memorable element, however, is the challah roll. The light toast gives it a good crunch, and the subtle sweetness of the bread is the perfect contrast to the richness of the frank and its toppings. Don't forget to ask for a side of maple mustard for some added heat.

mileenddeli.com

(718) 852-7510

97A Hoyt St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Famous Frankfurter At Liebman's Deli

Famous Frankfurter at Liebman's deli
Famous Frankfurter at Liebman's deli - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

The Jewish deli is the unsung hero and undeniable dark horse of the New York City hot dog scene. If you're committed to experiencing one of the best hot dogs the city has to offer, and I mean really committed, hop, skip, subway, bus, boat, or however else you get up to the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx and go to Liebman's for the Famous Frankfurter. After one bite, you'll be happy you made the trek.

The deeply flavorful beef frank is grilled on a flat top where it gets some nice char and a delightful snap, and sits pretty in a pillowy hot dog bun. All the usual toppings are available free of charge, including sauerkraut, sauteed onions, and pickle relish, but I recommend spending an extra dollar and getting nothing but potato salad right on top. The deli salad is peppery and just a bit creamy, and cuts through the rich, unctuous frank. A healthy spread of deli mustard with just a hint of spice ties the whole thing together.

liebmansdeli.com

(718) 548-4534

552 W 235th St, Bronx, NY 10463

Mango? Let's Tango At Kings Of Kobe

mango? let's tango hot dog
mango? let's tango hot dog - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

When people think about Wagyu beef, beautifully marbled steaks, brimming with fat and juice, at an upscale steakhouse might come to mind. But, Wagyu can also be a delicious addition to a hot dog. At Kings of Kobe, the hot dogs are the perfect option for someone who wants to experience that high-end meat, but doesn't want to fully commit to a steak. The Mango? Let's Tango hot dog highlights this deeply flavorful, unctuous meat in hot dog form, and it's nothing short of a revelation.

This hot dog, topped with mango-jalapeño relish, lime mayo, crispy red onions, and chopped bacon, is a messy, fork-and-knife situation. The relish is sweet with just the right kick of heat, and the crispy onions provide plenty of crunch, thanks to the light, tempura-style batter. The lime mayo is creamy and zippy, making for the ideal acidic condiment to cut through the richness between the bun. Sometimes, you just need a really fancy glizzy. This is the one you want.

kingsofkobe.com

(646) 370-5121

650 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036

Sean Paul At Glizzy's NYC

sean paul hot dog at glizzy's
sean paul hot dog at glizzy's - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

Another example of an establishment pumping out somewhat "gimmicky" food items that shouldn't work, but do, is Glizzy's. Glizzy's is a trendy food lover's dream, with locations in Williamsburg and in the Market 57 food hall in Chelsea. It's pumping out hot dog creations with names like "Houston, We Have a Problem" and "Fuhgeddaboudit." The menu is a shout-out to going way, way outside the box when it comes to hot dog toppings, and the best example of that is the Sean Paul.

The Sean Paul is a beef frank topped with jerked smoked brisket, coleslaw, and a drizzle of Mike's Hot Honey. It's a real hodgepodge of flavors and textures. Each bite of the Sean Paul ends up being an enticing and shockingly melodic combination. The coleslaw is crunchy, the brisket is smoky and slicked with tingling spice, and the sweet heat of the honey cuts through all the heavy meatiness. Is this a hot dog you should eat every day? Probably not. But for something fun and special when the mood strikes? This is a hot dog not to be missed.

glizzysnyc.co

Multiple locations

Perro Caliente Mexicano At La Perrada De Chalo

mexicano hot dog
mexicano hot dog - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

No matter what type of cuisine you're in the mood for, chances are you can find what you want on Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, Queens. For Colombian cuisine enthusiasts, some of the very best bites can be found on this stretch, and the collection of fully-loaded Sonoran hot dogs at La Perrada de Chalo is impressive to say the least. And when I say fully-loaded, I mean it. Think your standard hot dog with ketchup, mustard, kraut, and onions is a feat of strength? You ain't seen nothing yet.

Perro toppings at La Perrada de Chalo range from cheese and hot sauce to ham, pineapple, hard-boiled eggs, potato chips, and shrimp sauce, just to name a few. While there's really no wrong order here, my go-to is the Mexicano. The thick frank is topped with cheese, hot sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, and crushed potato chips for added crunch. My favorite element, however, is the bun, which is more like a thick sandwich roll than anything else. It makes it the ideal vehicle for a hot dog. As a friend of mine so eloquently put it, "A hot dog is a snack, but a Sonoran dog is an event."

laperradadechalo.com

(718) 639-6677

8312 Northern Blvd, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

Methodology

hot dog with pickles and fried onions
hot dog with pickles and fried onions - Sara Kay/Tasting Table

Determining the most memorable hot dogs in New York City is no easy feat. It's a labor of love. I determined the hot dogs for this list based on taste and creativity, as well as how approachable it was. After all, a hot dog isn't meant to be something unattainable. A hot dog is, more than anything else, a handheld treat that can be enjoyed at a sporting event, first thing in the morning, or as a more substantial meal after one of those all-too-common tasting menu experiences that end up being little bits and bites of food rather than a sustainable meal. But, I digress.

That said, I did my best to include hot dogs that can be found on street corners and in casual settings, as well as in more upscale establishments. I took suggestions from hot dog-loving friends as well as from online reviews and food blogs. I tried each hot dog and paid for them myself.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.