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Best hot dogs in NYC

Bite into one of the city's top dogs.

It's no secret that hot dogs are a staple of many youngsters' diets; my son, um, requests one every day. While I say no four times out of five (we parents have to draw the line somewhere), when the answer's yes, we hit one of New York's best—and kid-friendliest—doggeries. These five are at the top of our list.

Katz's Delicatessen
One of the city's few remaining Jewish delis, Katz's has been serving griddled all-beef pups (and world-famous pastrami) since before your bubbe was born. The basic frank ($3.50 is as classic as they come, and the thick-as-your-wrist knoblewurst ($7) is a garlicky treat. Kids also love the bustling, only-in--New York atmosphere—check out the signs ("Send a salami to your boy in the army") and memorabilia plastered everywhere. Katz's also has high chairs and booster seats available. 205 E Houston St at Ludlow St (212-254-2246, katzdeli.com)

Shake Shack
Justifiably famous for burgers and frozen custard, Shake Shack also makes a mean wiener. The Shack-cago Dog ($4) is pure Windy City, right down to the sport peppers and celery salt. Or try a Bird Dog ($4.50): chicken-and-apple bratwurst. Madison Square Park, 23rd St at Madison Ave (212-889-6600, shakeshack.com), *Upper East Side, 154 E 86th St between Lexington and Third Aves (646-237-5035), *Upper West Side, 366 Columbus Ave at 77th St (646-747-8770), *Battery Park City, 215 Murray St between West St and North End Ave, *Theater District, 691 Eighth Ave between Eighth Ave and 44th St (646-435-0135), *Downtown Brooklyn, 409 Fulton St between Willoughby and Adams Sts, Brooklyn (718-307-7570).  

Bark Hot Dogs
These dog-lovers take their work seriously, elevating the humble weenie with artisanal techniques: Think custom-made beef-and-pork franks ($4.25 for the classic; toppings are extra), homemade condiments (even the sauerkraut), and a veggie dog ($7) that's set more than a few tongues wagging. Serious doesn't mean stuffy, though—the tall, reclaimed-wood tables are perfect for little ones to play under. High chairs are also available. 474 Bergen St at Flatbush Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-789-1939, barkhotdogs.com)

Nathan's Famous
While you might walk right past Nathan's fast-food outlets anywhere else, the original Coney Island location's tube steaks are worth making a special trip. Munch on a snappy all-beef dog ($2.50) and some thick-cut crinkly fries ($3), then take the kids for a stroll along the boardwalk or down the street to the New York Aquarium. 1310 Surf Ave between Stillwell Ave and W 15th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn (718-946-2202, nathansfamous.com)

Cevabdzinica Sarajevo
Okay, technically they're not hot dogs. But stuff cevapi (fresh beef sausages the size of a lipstick, $6 for 5) inside a hunk of thick and chewy pita, smear on some ajvar (red pepper sauce) and take a bite—technicality goes out the window. Ifthe tykes want a more traditional approach, trade the ajvar for mustard. After you eat, pop into the Museum of the Moving Image, right around the corner. 37-18 34th Ave at 38th St, Astoria, Queens (718-752-9528)

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under age four eat hot dogs only if they are sliced lengthwise first, then cut into small pieces.

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