5/02/2012 01:23:00 PM

Hot Dog Smackdown: Tasting 10 of NYC's Notable Franks

Hot dogs at Rudy's, photo by flickr4jazz via Flickr
We've been focusing on cheap eats this week, and no discussion of low-cost food would be complete without some hot dogs. Frankfurters are a staple of any budget-minded diet, and the Big Apple offers plenty of beefy (or, in some cases, beef-ish) options smothered in everything from sauerkraut to bacon. We trekked through high-end haunts, street carts, a dive bar and even a convenience store to taste 10 of New York's dogs and see how they stacked up. Click through the below slideshow to see which franks you should order when you're down to your last dollars and which you should stay away from (hmmm, we wonder which category 7-11 is in):

37 comments :

  1. How can you do a rundown of NY dogs without Nathan's: absolutely unforgivable. As long as they cook them enough, simply the best!

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    1. Yes, but that's a trek to Coney Island if you want the "real" thing! But you are right, it's a NY dog...

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    2. What is this list? The worst hotdogs in NY? Clueless reviewer. If the dog is bad, you can add all
      the stuff you want to it, it still won't be as good as
      a plain Nathan's frank with mustard. I can't believe 7-11 is on this list.

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  2. It's a hot dog...and no matter how you slice it, it is the best street food going..especially from the vendors(dirty water) and Papaya King... I get the impression from your reviews that,like most hipsters, you just don't like hot dogs...

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  3. Shake Shack ?? I won't even go there for a hamburger....Where's the beef ??

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  4. Come on! If you put down Gray's Papaya, you don't know what a New York City hot dog should taste like! They are perfect, your taste is certainly not.

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  5. & you didn't go to Second Ave. Deli??

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    1. Maybe Zagat's is slipping. The writer of this piece must have recently arrived in NY from a small town in Oklahoma.

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  6. Come on guys! A real Hot Dog is Hebrew National or any good Kosher deli dog,topped with spicy mustard & sauerkraut. Must be cooked "griddle style" crispy but not dried out, a New York roll from Pechter's or Fink's bakery. Try Second Ave deli or if lower eastside (not kosher) Katz's

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    1. Katz's Deli has the best dogs ever, even better than Nathan's :)

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    2. NY Jewsih Deli dogs with mustard & saurkraut right off the griddle are still the best - Second Avenue is my favorite (with a square knish).

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  7. You went to two spinoffs and not the King itself? What happened to the original Papaya King on East 86th?

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    1. It's still there and was remodeled a couple of years ago. Still the best dog in NYC, far superior to Gray's or Nathan's. It's inexcusable that this reviewer didn't go there.

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    2. It is absolutely bizarre to keep referring to the original Papaya King when choosing other competitors and then not bother including it. WTF?

      N.B. Further evidence that the ratings are useless is that two of the contestants actually use the same dog as the base, yet the reviewers described the extreme differences between the dogs' flavors.

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  8. Your study/survey is without validity. . .no 2nd Ave Deli, no Nathans, no Bens, no Mendy's. . .no guts no glory!

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  9. Whoever made this list is obviously not a New Yorker or he would have listed real New York delicatessen hot dogs. Also, I would question this person's credentials to comment on food in general after a whopping gaffe like this.
    Not to mention that this list insults a native New York specialty by ignoring deli or kosher hot dogs which are available at many places in Gotham.
    The perpetrator of this piece should go back to whatever Indiana suburb he or she crawled out of.

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  10. Pretty terrible options have been listed here. I don't really understand why you're even writing about hot dogs while failing to include NATHAN'S! This author is obviously NOT a true New Yorker and must have been too scared to visit Coney Island. I am disappointed.

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  11. Also, any dog without a casing is tube balogna, not a hot dog; no casing, no hot dog.

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  12. Katz's by far has the greatest hot dogs. Try it with mustard and coleslaw ....really delicious. But, the traditional way with a slather of mustard and sauerkraut is pretty darn good too. Like the other commentators, I can only assume the writer is not a New Yorker and has a limited knowledge of what us natives know i.e. a kosher or as in Katz's, kosher style, dog is the best way to go

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  13. Have to agree with the above comments about leaving out some of NYC's most iconic dogs.

    Lemme see: you guys skipped Nathan's, Katz's, 2nd Avenue Deli, Papaya King, Hebrew National, and so on. You must be kidding!

    That's like rating transportation options in NYC and leaving out the subway.

    Try it again, folks, and this time visit the grand old NYC hot dog institutions...

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  14. Seriously? With all the amazing hot dogs available in NYC, this is the hubris you come up with? Why even bother? Kosher deli dogs, Sabrett carts all over the place with their famous red onion sauce, Nathans, Papaya King, etc, whoever wrote this is surely not a New Yorker or Boro bred. A great diservice and disappointment to the city. I personally miss the old Nedick's in Penn Station with the grilled dogs on buttered rolls and an orange drink, but one can always find a great authentic dog in NYC-just not at any of the crapola places you named.

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    1. i passed a nedicks near penn station last week. 7th ave maybe. i remember allways stoppin with my mom when i was just a wee lad in the 60s. not sure if its really the taste or more nostalge then anything
      fred the head

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  15. Besides, I trust no one who uses the term "meh"

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  16. I'm with those who mentioned Nathan's (Coney Island, of course). I rarely wolf down food this unhealthy and full of calories but now and then a trip to CI is a life experience!

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  17. I live in Memphis, and only get to NYC occassionally. But just reading the story left me with questions...why would you mention Papaya King, but not review it?

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  18. Seriously, no Nathan's? That's just wrong. My favorite guilty dog pleasure is the Breezy Dog, sold out of the Breezy Dog Truck on the Rockaway Peninsula. Homemade chili, corn, cheese whiz and a good dog, parked right outside of the fabulous Ft. Tilden. The disadvantage, of course, is that it's really only accessible by car, although there are a few buses that go by. Also, the best shakes anywhere. Worth getting a Zip Car and you might as well enjoy the beach while you're out there.

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  19. whatever happened to Nathans???

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  20. OK - Lets put this in perspective! I agree. The poll taker is probably from Oklahoma or Indiana or Idaho and probably enjoys Pastrami on White. But...first of all, there are Kosher Style (Beef) Hot Dogs and there are Pork Hot Dogs and they taste somewhat different (never mind the religious aspect). Secondly, unlike hamburgers which vary greatly in taste, ingredients and style, hot dogs are "less different" so it may be more difficult to really judge. Finally, the mom & pop deli is fading away. So we are left with vague choices in a really good hot dog. Bottom line! I think that they all basically taste the same. Frankly, I never heard anybody say, "Wow, that was one great hot dog".

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  21. I love Dogmatic on 17th St. Kobe Beef hotdog is the BEST!

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  22. Can't believe you call this "NYC's Notable Franks" and do not taste the most famous, most notable franks ... perhaps in the world! ... Nathan's! And if you want hot dogs from a cart, why try anything other than Sabrett? And what about the great kosher franks at the kosher delis? When it comes to hot dogs, New York has the best! Who on earth did this review?

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  23. I have to agree, this is kind of a weak list. They claim that they weren't going to the higher-end stuff in the intro, that is kind of the idea. However, when you go for a $6 hot dog, you just lost any credibility.

    They should have gone to all of the places listed in the other comments. I buy my dogs from Katzs because they are simply the best dog in my opinion. Failing to list Nathans is equally aggregious. Sorry Zagat, but you must have phoned this one in.

    Oh yeah, why list only the Brooklyn address for Crif Dogs? Either list both or say "multiple locations" like you do for everyone else. At least it made the list though.

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  24. I know this is a NYC dog review, but until someone goes up to Toronto and takes a look at the "clean" street vendor dogs up there with there huge toasted potato roll and assortment of relatively fresh fixins...heeeyyy...I'll be back!

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  25. This reviewer is not qualified to suck the tarnish off a nickel. They confuse the act of informed discrimination and commentary with a self-important whining and rubitude beyond the reach of learning.

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