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Best All Beef Natural Casing Hot Dog, NYC

  • s

I'm not concerned with low sodium or low fat. Just want natural casing, all beef, perferably not mass produced. Willing to travel.


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  1. I would say that the best all beef natural casing dogs would be at Papaya King. Spicy, tasty, well done, and inexpensive. Gray's Papaya and Katz's get their dogs from the same supplier (Marathon Enterprises; commonly known as Sabrett). Gray's and Papaya King are the same dog, size and all. Katz's is slightly larger in size, but the same recipe dog. I was told this by numerous people including distributors and the person in charge of private label at Marathon. Even though they are the same recipe all beef dog, I prefer Papaya King because they are cooked longer on the griddle and just taste fresher. Katz's are usually undercooked.

    Right behind these would be Nathan's in Coney Island. Since you said that you are willing to travel, let me suggest the best all beef natural casing dog around. That would be at Syd's in Union, N.J. It is a big (5 to a lb) charbroiled dog that is better than those in NYC. The dog comes from Best Provisions in Newark N.J. Just a great taste, with a better blend of spices. This dog is consistently picked as the best in N.J. at least for a kosher style all beef dog. We have many types in Jersey including the German style beef and pork dog. Different in taste and spicing than an all beef. We have the delicious deep fried dog served at Rutt's Hut (which Crif Dogs is a blatant rip off of). Great grilled German style dogs such as at the Galloping Hill Inn, also in Union. Not to mention Italian Hot Dogs and Texas Weiners, both of which are unique to Jersey. Well worth the trip here as Jersey has the best and widest variety of hot dogs anywhere.

    4 Replies
    1. re: John Fox

      Thanks for all that. I was also looking for a good butcher/deli that makes their own.

      I guess Nathan's from the supermarket is ok? Hopefully there are other choices...

      1. re: sixozpatty

        I think Hebrew National are better than Nathan's if you are buying a dog in a supermarket.

        I saw hot dogs at the French Butcher on 2nd just below 23rd they looked homemade. I think he's a bit of a jerk but you can't really argue with his meats. They are good.

        I don't know about the polish butcher shops in the EV or Greenpoint Brooklyn but they might make hot dogs since they obvioulsy make sausages.

        Also, maybe you should ask Mr. Cutlets, www.mrcutlets.com, he is an expert in all things meaty in NY.

        1. re: snot-rock

          I actually like Hebrew Nats better than Nathan's anyway.

          I lived in Greenpoint and don't remember seeing hot dogs specifically but certainly many wonderful types of sausages (and ate many of them too).

          I think I'll ask Mr. Cutlets. Thanks.

      2. re: John Fox

        Doesn't Katz's make their own hot dogs?

        If you just want to eat one, Dawgs on Park (7th and B) make their own beef hot dogs with organic beef and natural casings. very very tasty, esp the chicago dog (celery salt, tomato, onion and a slice of pickle).

      3. d
        Detroit - NYC Al

        Most supermarkets in Manhattan will stock the Best hot dog from New Jersey, which is quite good. Believe it or not, the natural casing Boar's Head dog also sold many places is also pretty good, with the proper "snap" that such a dog should have. I have seen Niman Ranch dogs around in gourmet places at what seem to me outrageous prices, but I understand they're great. All of these are better than packaged Nathan's (the dog they serve in Coney Island seems to different -- spicier -- than the either the ones served at Nathan's elsewhere, or sold packaged under their name), or Hebrew National, which I find very undistinguished.

        My favorite, since I'm from the midwest and more into the German-style hot dog is Usinger's from Milwaukee, which is available a few places in Manhattan. Also along these lines are the weiners sold at the German meats stand in the Grand Central Market. They are expensive, but when they're fresh they're great. Which brings up an interesting question: as someone who grew up in an area full of German butchers who always had great fresh, natural casing hot dogs I am always looking for such a thing. Is there anyplace like that left in NYC? Maybe in once-German areas like Yorkville or Glendale Queens?

        7 Replies
        1. re: Detroit - NYC Al

          For a German meat market try Schaller & Weber. 2nd Av. just south of 86th St. They make all kinds of German sausages very well. Their hot dogs are good but I personally think their Bratwurst is the best. See link.

          For the all beef NYC/kosher dog, try Katz's Deli, Papaya King & Gray's Papaya. Katz's dogs can only be bought at their deli & I'm starting to see Papaya King's dogs being sold pre-packaged at Fairway Market. Have not seen Gray's dogs in the market. Maybe one can buy then in bulk directly from the Gray's stands.

          Link: http://www.schallerweber.com/function...

          1. re: Will

            Most kosher butcher's will have natural casing loose dogs for sale to cook at home.

          2. re: Detroit - NYC Al

            I currently live in Staten Island, N.Y. We are having a barbecue and had the urge for Bratwurst.
            We wanted the good stuff from a German butcher.
            We couldn't locate one anywhere. Maybe someone out there can help


            1. re: Tom Grimes

              Karl Ehmer on Fresh Pond Road in Qns is a good one. Their slogan is "the best of the wurst" or something like that. That's not their only location, and I don't know if they're sold elsewhere. You might want to give them a call.

              1. re: BackyardChef

                Another vote for Karl Ehmer. You can also get them in Fairway and a few other places. Not sure if they are as good as right from the butcher, but boy do the fresh hot dogs taste ooh so good.

                1. re: BackyardChef

                  Karl Ehmer makes my favorite dogs and brats. I go to their shop in Fresh Meadows on Horace Harding Expressway when I can't get to Fresh Pond.

                  For supermarket dogs, I like Boars Head. Thumann's aren't bad either. Hebrew National will also do, but they don't have that snap. I do not like Bests. Blech.

                2. re: Tom Grimes

                  SAUGY'S natural casing Frankfurts also producers of an ole' German Bratwurst serving Rhode Islanders for over 125 years. 866-GO SAUGY

              2. Are Isaac Gellis Kosher Franks still produced?
                Whose farnks are served at Katz's Deli?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Joe Billig

                  I think they are produced by Mogen David Products and the name be have been changed.

                2. my all time favorite is crif dog!
                  one of the only places i can eat a hot dog with no condiments!

                  1. niman dogs from westville. no doubt.

                    1. They serve Best hot dogs at Jumbo Hot Dogs in Chinatown. Very good dogs for $1.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: devil

                        Great dog, great value, great tip. Thanks.

                        1. Someone suggested the Kosher hot dogs from the supermarket as opposed to Nathan's brand. Nathan's brand has the lowest sodium 470g per package of all the supermarket hot dogs. That's still a little high to me - to me, if there is too much salt in the hot dog it burns your tongue. Not pleasant.

                          1. I think that Hebrew National dogs have gone downhill in quality over the years. I used to love them, but now I prefer the natural casing Boar's Head dogs. Nathan's are good to. I didn't really care for the Schaller and Weber dogs...I thought they were kind of taseless.

                            Also, Katz's makes their own dogs...and I like them the best for non-supermarket dogs. they are very good.

                            1. Katz's does not make their own dogs. See above post. They use Sabrett natural casing franks. Same recipe as Papaya King and Grays' although the dog at Katz's is slightly larger.

                              1. Look out for Hoffman hot dogs at your grocery store or order them at www.hoffmanmeats.com waaaaay better than Papaya King, Gray's or Katz's. ..get some coneys too. Trust me on this, you'll love them.

                                1. SAUGY'S Natural Casing Frankfurts serving Rhode Islander for over 125 years... 866-GO SAUGY

                                  1. Karl Ehmers Ridge Wood Queens
                                    Forest Pork Store Ridge Queens

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: FAL

                                      Both are since closed. For german "wiener style" veal & pork dogs try Morschers Pork Store on Catalpa Ave off Forest Ave in Glendale, Queens.

                                      Pork Store
                                      359 Willett Ave, Port Chester, NY 10573

                                    2. Though not available in this area, Saugy franks are very good. They are in the German style, meaning that they are a beef and pork blend, rather than a garlicky all beef frank. Saugies have a nice flavor with a subtle spice profile. Definitely one of the better German franks available. Their mustard is terrific also.

                                      1. We were extremely pleased with the package of KOSHER Nathan's franks we recently purchased

                                        1. Koglin's, the german butcher in the Grand Central Market has excellent beef/pork dogs. Times rated them the best in the city a couple of years ago.

                                          1. Thurmanns natural casing hot dogs are the best, but very hard to find in NYC and especially off season.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: jenniebnyc

                                              Depends on which Thumanns; the all beef or the beef/pork frank. The all beef version is very good. The beef/pork blend in the blue and white package is the best German style dog I've had.

                                              1. re: hotdoglover

                                                yep i like the ones in the blue and white packaging. soooo delicious

                                            2. Black Bear of The Black Forest sold only at Shop Rite

                                              1. Boar's Head Deli Franks, Natural Casing. A bit pricier that a pack of regular hot dogs but well worth it. Delicious with a nice crunchiness to the casing when you take a bite.

                                                1. Thurmann's, Boar's Head are good, but the best I've ever had are from Upstate NY, connected by the Thruway and the Erie (Barge) Canal --Hofmann's (Syracuse), Wardynski's and Sahlens (Buffalo) and Zweigel's (Rochester). Kind of like the "Holy Grail of Hot Dog Trail" that area is........

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: garnermike

                                                    I've had all of the brands mentioned from upstate NY, and all are very good. They are all, with the exception of Boars Head all beef (Boars Head does make a beef/pork dog) a mix of beef and pork. Completely different in style than the spicy, all beef Sabretts, Nathan's, Best's, and Hebrew Nationals.

                                                    Zweigel's makes a white hot that is pork based and almost like a bratwurst in spicing. Sahlen's and Wardynski are similar to each other; very good German style dogs with a slightly peppery taste. Hofmann's are good also, but milder in flavor than Thumann's and the Buffalo franks. They are available in Wegman's and are sold loose in the deli section next to Thumann's. You can also buy a 3 lb package sealed. I have to travel to a different Wegman's for Sahlen's, and they are only available in the warmer months.

                                                    I've compared these franks side by side many times. Hofmann's are good, but as I said, milder. I like Sahlen's and Thumann's better. Out of these two, I can see how someone may prefer one to another, as there is more of a difference between them. Sahlen's are packed a little tighter and are made for the grill. Also good on a griddle. Thumann's have a softer casing and are packed looser. I prefer to prepare these on a griddle. Sahlen's are slightly peppery. Both great, but I like the flavor in a Thumann's better. Just a unique taste. I've been to the plant and can tell you that the meat comes from whole cuts (rather than trimmings) of quality meat. The pork comes right off the hams.

                                                  2. I love Papaya King. As far as store bought dogs go, I serve Best's at my Memorial day extravaganza and get load of compliments about them. They are aptly named.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: ajs42548

                                                      I get Hebre National but not the ones that are prepackaged. Get them loose, they are more expensive but they are much better

                                                      1. re: linsue

                                                        the only way to go. I prefer to boil the dogs than grill

                                                    2. Lobel's on Madison Avenue near 82nd has made-by-us natural casing dogs. If you ask, they will be individually wrapped for your gift-giving pleasure (absolutely no exaggeration). And they are delicious. Casing is a little "thicker" than the popular brands mentioned here. Maybe in the $15 a pound range. Best if you scout out a supermarket in CT (or have some Canadian friends) where you can get the proper toast-on-the-side frank rolls to go with them.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: td252

                                                        $15 a lb for a hot dog? Gimme a break!

                                                      2. The best dogs I've ever had are from Pete's Meats in the Public Market on Arthur Avenue. They are peppery Sabrett style but a better crunchier casing. They are about half what keeps people coming back to my BBQ's year after year. They are a butcher so you have to grill them yourself.