New York hot dogs are judged, horribly, by the nasty "dirty water" dogs served by cart vendors to befuddled tourists. But our city has some truly magnificent hot dogs that put them to the shame and ignominy they deserve.
Sometimes called the Mecca of deli, Katz's is more accurately the Dome of the Rock of Deli: the sanctum sanctorum, the source and shrine of all that deli means in America. Go for the mystique -- but stay for the pastami.
Ancient, rowdy, and run by a truculent old right-winger, this old-school bar is home to whiskey straight up and one of the city's best chili dogs.
The final word for all forms of sausage in the NYC, this is the place you want to go for hot dogs, knockwurst, bacon, and other cured pork products. It wouldn't be going too far to call it the Best of the Wurst. (thank you.)
Considered the best of the city's hot dog and juice stands, but I could never figure out why: they serve the exact same Sabrett hot dogs on the exact same toasty hot squishy buns, as all the other good ones. Maybe it's the atmosphere -- or the sign, which just looks so right.
Everyone loves Crif Dogs, both for their vast and eclectic hot dog menu, the rowdy vibe, and the mysterious phone booth on the side that leads to the city's greatest and most secretive speakeasy. The hamburgers here are underrated, IMO.
This brooklyn barbecue does a decent job with its pulled pork, ribs, and etc. -- but the real draw here is an out-of-control hot dog that is easily the borough's best.
Everything here is good, and comes in laughably large portions -- but the crown jewel is the gigantic hebrew national hot dog, which is the size of a small tenderloin. It's awesome though.
No hot dog restaurant has a bigger panoply of choices than Willie's, I'll say that for them. There are three kinds of dog, three kinds of bun, and a rotating list of specialty dogs. They're all pretty good except the vegetarian one, which is vile.
An interesting concept: gourmet hot dogs baked into their buns. They come in multiple varieties and are surprisingly good -- even to those of us who aren't generally delighted by novelty.
The burgers and hot dogs at this trendy meatpacking joint are all pretty good, but look out for the Fat Cat, a specialty burger served nowhere else in time. With two small crisp patties of LaFrieda beef, two slices of cheese, caramalized onions, and butter on a crisp english muffin, it's really something special.
Yes, you've had them at the highway rest stop, and these are technically the same, but they bother to warm the buns here, and anyway, don't you want to be a part of history. Plus, there's nothing like eating these hot dogs, breathing the salt air, and then regurgitating them after a ride on the Cyclone.
Known best for its Montreal version of pastrami, "smoked meat," I like Mile End even better for its fabulous charcuterie board and an even better hot dog. Just make sure to get it without all the gunk on it.