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.
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Best hot dogs in NYC
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
In a former meat fridge next to Schaller & Weber’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.