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The 20 best hot dogs in NYC

From loaded banh mi-style sausages to sloppy chili-topped franks, these are the best hot dogs in NYC

Photograph: Beth Levendis

The best hot dogs are the ultimate comfort food, calling to mind long-ago family picnics and cookouts. As kids, we craved simple ketchup-squiggled wieners, but these days, we embrace the bolder dogs being served up by the city’s restauranteurs: think Spanish-style, heaped with BBQ, and even vegetarian. Whether you’re on the boardwalk or the LES, our guide will lead you to the best hot dogs in NYC.

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Best hot dogs in NYC

Katz’s Delicatessen

The iconic eats at this legendary Lower East Side deli counter have always been of the no-frills sort, from the hulking piles of peppery pastrami to the Swiss-and-sauerkraut rueben. The hot dog is no exception: The all-beef frankfurter is seasoned deeply with garlic, salt and paprika beneath its firm, lightly charred natural casing. A traditional topper of zesty golden mustard and tangy kraut adds some bright acidity inside a soft, humble split bun. $3.95.

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Lower East Side

Nathan's Famous

Tourists and tube-steak zealots make the trek to this Brooklyn landmark for a taste of hot-dog history. Established in 1916, the former 5¢ stand still does a roaring trade. The bun is flimsy, but in the end, it's just a vehicle for the chain-spawning wiener, which has a tight casing that gives way to a juicy interior. $3.99.

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Crif Dogs

The stoner-friendly offerings at Crif Dogs include this perennial top-seller, featuring a bacon-wrapped dog, chili, coleslaw and pickled jalapeños. The crunch of deep-fried bacon gives way to a soft interior, and the mild chili sauce soaks into the bun, giving each bite an extra hit of meaty flavor. $4.75.

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The Cannibal

The beer-loving Brooklyn butchers know their way around, ahem, meat, a fact proven in their carne-heavy menu of house-made charcuterie, terrines and, yes, hot dogs. The house tube steaks arrive as a pair and are served “tiger style”: the all-beef franks are topped with spicy tripe chili, a scattering of scallions and plenty of Chinese mustard on a squishy bun. You’re lucky they come in twos, because you’ll seriously want another one. $15.

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Ditch Plains

A pair of classic comfort foods—hot dogs and mac and cheese—join forces to create this tasty monstrosity. Each order comes with two Sabrett dogs tucked into potato rolls and covered by a generous helping of mac and cheese, made with a gooey blend of Parmesan, Gruyère and American cheeses. The whole thing’s served atop a mound of fries. $12.

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West Village

Mile End Deli

This nouveau Jewish deli is best known for bringing Montreal-style smoked meat to the city, but it also makes its mark on a New York classic with its from-scratch hot dog. The griddled all-beef frank and the tangy sauerkraut are made in-house, while the thick, poppy-seed-studded bun is courtesy of Hot Bread Kitchen. Weekday lunchers can get the dog solo; at night, it comes with pickle relish. Hot dog $8, dinner dog $9.

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Boerum Hill


Phillip Kirschen-Clark (formerly of Vandaag) is the latest boldfaced-name toque to make his mark on this cocktail den's haute-dog menu. His Scandinavian-inflected creation is built around an all-beef wiener that's been pickled in apple cider vinegar. The tangy frank is balanced by coriander-scented sauerkraut, mustard greens and piccalilli (an English-style relish). $6.

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East Village

Bark Hot Dogs

Josh Sharkey is a trailblazer in the artisanal-wiener boom, and the simple Classic is the best showcase of his secret weapon: a snappy beef-and-pork dog made in Rochester, NY. Griddled, basted in smoked lard butter and nestled into a Pepperidge Farm bun, it doesn't need any extra flourishes to shine. $4.25.

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Park Slope


Jonah Miller’s tapas tavern debuts off-the-menu Spanish-style franks and horchata slushies from the takeout window. Zesty house-made chistorra sausages come smothered with aioli and piquillo mustard between a soft Martin’s potato roll. Single dog $6, combo $10.

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East Village


This flea-market star opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in 2011, hawking Asian-inflected franks. The most successful of the bunch is the Vinh, which gives a Schaller & Weber wiener the banh mi treatment: The bun is smeared with pâté on one side and sriracha aioli on the other, then topped with a flurry of cucumber, pickled carrot and daikon, diced jalapeños and cilantro. $4.50, two for $8.

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Matthew W
Matthew W

Good list. You can't go wrong putting Katz's and Nathans as 1 and 2

Terry A
Terry A

No Papaya King on 86th St? this list is incomplete

Small H
Small H

@Terry A Papaya King is great when you're drunk and have limited funds. But in the cold, sober daylight, they're actually pretty gross.