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The best hot dogs in NYC

New York’s best hot dogs include classic deli dogs, loaded banh mi-style sausages and sloppy chili-topped franks

Photograph: Cayla Zahoran

In a frank-loving city like New York, even cheap hot dogs are good. As kids, we craved simple ketchup-squiggled wieners, but these days, we embrace the best hot dogs in NYC, bold tubers served everywhere from the city’s best food trucks to the best BBQ restaurants and top-rate New York delis. Whether you’re on the boardwalk or the LES, our guide will lead you to the best hot dogs in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Best hot dogs in NYC

1

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.

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Lower East Side
2

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.

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Coney Island
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3

Feltman’s Kitchen

Nathan’s Famous may have the brand-name recognition but Feltman's has the historical bona fides: German immigrant Charles Feltman invented the hot dog in Coney Island back in 1867, nearly 50 years before its Surf Avenue rival. Get the snappy tubers loaded with sauerkraut, mustard and onions; chili and cheddar cheese; sausage gravy and even vodka sauce and grated Parmesan.

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East Village
4

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.

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Williamsburg
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5

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.

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Midtown
6

The NoMad Bar

Daniel Humm, Will Guidara and Leo Robitschek—the James Beard Award–winning trio behind neighborhood stunners Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad—expanded the latter to include this elegant saloon inside the NoMad hotel, teeming with lofty pub grub like a bacon-wrapped hot dog festooned with black truffles.

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Flatiron
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7

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.

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West Village
8

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.

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Boerum Hill
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9

White Gold Butchers

A laser focus on quality ingredients is no surprise when it comes to Bloomfield, but the Michelin-starred chef takes it to a new level with White Gold Butchers, her Upper West Side meat market–slash–all-day restaurant with long-time partner Ken Friedman and star butchers Erika Nakamura (L.A.’s Lindy & Grundy) and Jocelyn Guest (Dickson’s Farmstand). The latter two can be found behind the retail counter, breaking down whole animals and churning coils of sausage, like a hot dog that the kitchen dresses with plucky kimchi and mayo.

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Upper West Side
10

Dickson’s Farmstand Meats

Jacob Dickson is selling meats sourced from small local farms at his first retail shop, in the Chelsea Market. In addition to beef, pork, lamb and poultry, visitors can purchase house-made charcuterie, fresh hot dogs and cured meats.

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Chelsea
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11

PDT

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).

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East Village
12

Huertas

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.

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East Village
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13

Schaller’s Stube

In a former meat fridge next to Schaller & Webers Yorkville flagship, supplying uptowners with German meats and charcuterie since 1937, lies this 10-seat sausage offshoot, helmed by third-generation wurst maker Jeremy Schaller. The streetside counter issues out brioche sandwiches stuffed with house-made tubers, fried chicken and Schaller’s seven signature wursts, including a Nürnberg brat spiced with marjoram and caraway.

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Upper East Side
14

The Smoke Joint

The all-Angus hot dog at this Brooklyn barbecue is deep-fried, grilled and stuffed into a toasted bun slick with drawn butter. Swine lovers take it to the next level with a topping of pulled pork butt that’s been smoked for 12 hours over ample and hickory.

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Fort Greene
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15

Shake Shack

Danny Meyer's fast-food joint brings Gothamites a taste of the Midwest with this Chicago-style snack. The Vienna beef dog is split and griddled on a flattop, then nestled in a pillowy potato bun. It comes fully loaded with toppings, such as pickled green sport peppers and relish from Lower East Side pickle-maker Rick’s Picks.

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Upper West Side
16

Frankel’s Delicatessen & Appetizing

A recent newcomer to the city’s infamous deli scene, this family-run Greenpoint spot specializes in all sorts of appetizing-store throwbacks, from smoked fish to matzo-ball soup. Hot dog lovers can appreciate the shop’s freshly griddled Brooklyn Hot Dog Company franks, which are long, skinny and generously loaded with sauerkraut. Grab a pair as a daily “recession special”; available with a can of soda for seven bucks.

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Greenpoint
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17

Kings of Kobe

This all-American beef frank operation pays homage to traditional iterations of the nation’s classic dish. A snappy, six-inch Kobe dog is crowned with sweet onion marmalade, tart sauerkraut and a spicy swirl of yellow mustard.

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Hell's Kitchen
18

DBGB Kitchen and Bar

The charcutiers at Daniel Boulud's downtown bistro work their meat-molding magic on this all-American frank, which is smoked, then poached until its skin is ready to burst. Pickled veggies and julienned radish add crunch, sautéed onions contribute a sweet-savory note and a creamy sauce made with ketchup and Dijon is good enough to bottle.

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East Village
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19

Old Town Bar & Restaurant

The unfussy specimens at this venerable tavern still hold their own against the city's artisanal upstarts. Get the chili dog: A grilled and scored all-beef Sabrett is deposited on a butter-toasted bun along with spicy homemade beef-and-red-kidney-bean chili, diced onions and shredded cheddar, as well as a side of fries.

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Flatiron
20

Gray’s Papaya

This mini-chain has long ruled the area’s tropical-drink-and-hot-dog market, with crispy-skinned all-beef Sabretts for a price that can't be beat.

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Upper West Side
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21

La Perrada de Chalo

This Colombian joint turns out Latin American–style hot dogs (with toppings like diced pineapple). Our favorite is the zesty Mexican, loaded with salsa verde, melted cheese, crushed potato chips and squiggles of ketchup, mustard and spicy mayo.

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Jackson Heights
22

Westville

Vegans in the know get their soybean dogs at Westville, where the grilled faux franks pack a serious hit of smoke and spice. Order a single, or ante up for the special: two dogs with thick-cut pickle chips, fries, salad or one of the eatery's seasonally driven sides, like sautéed kale with shallots.

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West Village
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23

Sigmund’s

Alphabet City pretzel masters pair their doughy creations with franks from venerable UES butchers Schaller & Weber in this double duo of dogs. The Chicago Dog smears pepper-onion relish on tomato in a poppy-seed roll, while the Classic comes dressed with tangy, spiced kraut and mustard.

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East Village
24

Brooklyn Diner

You may need a friend to help you tackle this eye-catching behemoth. The oversize all-beef frank—it measures a whopping 15 inches—is griddled on the flattop and stuffed inside a massive bun, which you can pile high with sides of handcut fries and homemade slaw.

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Midtown West
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Comments

4 comments
Scott K

Grays Papaya, but not Papaya King?

Matthew W

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

Terry A

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

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.