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 star butchers Erika Nakamura (L.A.’s Lindy & Grundy) and Jocelyn Guest (Dickson’s Farmstand), who break down whole animals and churn coils of sausage, like a hot dog dressed 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).
At this Colombian cocina, dig into one of the towering hot dogs smothered until invisible beneath crushed potato chips, crispy bacon, fresh carrot-cabbage slaw, crumbled costeño cheese, pineapple sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, and salsa rosada — plus the crowning jewel: a skewered, hard-boiled quail egg. Wash it all down with a drink even more gluttonous, the crushed-ice and condensed milk cholado bobbing with fresh tropical fruits and showered in grated coconut.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This Colombian joint turns out Latin American–style hot dogs with toppings like diced pineapple, egg, and even blackberry. Our favorite is the zesty Mexicano, loaded with salsa verde, melted cheese, crushed potato chips and squiggles of ketchup, mustard and spicy mayo.
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.
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.
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.
This Hudson River–hugging nautical “dive bar” is a confusing but successful high-low hybrid, as seen in the elaborate tiki cocktails devised by Milk & Honey vet Toby Maloney and the addictive pretzel-wrapped hot dog, a perfect spiral of golden dough and flake salt that you'll be hard-pressed to resist peeling part and eating separately. Instead, dunk that divine helix in mustard and wash it down with a happy hour brew.
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 juniper slaw.