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Danish (= hot dog lover) in search of best hot dog

I have a friend in town from Denmark. And (like many Danish) she looooves hot dogs.

So where is the best place to go?

Is it really Gray's Papaya? That all this board seemed be coming up with?

Thanks a ton

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  1. Oddly enough the best hot dog I've ever tried is Emborg's Spicy kind (they're Danish I believe.) If someone can tell me where to find them in the States, they'll be my hero.

    1. Yes, gray's papaya. Or coney island, it's more fun, but probably too late in the season...

      1 Reply
      1. re: prunefeet

        nathan's is open all year, and if your friend has an interest in seeing coney island in its strange depopulated state, i think it is a great trip and the hot dogs are fantastic, especially if you are bundled up enough to sit on a boardwalk bench and look out on the atlantic.

      2. try dash dogs on rivington between essex and norfolk. crif dogs (on st. mark's place bewteen 1st and a) is pretty tasty as well, though not as succulent as dash.

        1. Brooklyn diner on w 57th street serves a tremendous hot dog with onion rings on a platter. It is huge and cost is definitely double digits. But it's good...

          This article should help your quest:


          1. Do a hot dog tour of Manhattan. A good route would be to start at Katz's to try a classic grilled/griddled dog (and some pastrami) and walk it off on your way to Crif Dogs to get a deep fried dog. Then walk across 8th street to Gray's Papaya for a recession special.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ESNY

              second the katz dog- get one and then eat it while in line for pastrami. And at crif have it bacon-wrapped - one of my favorite gilded lilies, next to roast pork formed into a puck-shaped cake and browned in duck fat(at Lucques in LA).
              And Gray's can be a great place to witness true democracy in new york - everyone, regardless of social class, is equal on that line. and they're snappy. ask for well-done and don't forget to read the claims on those ridiculous signs.

            2. They serve Danish style dogs at F&B but it's not my favorite place. Try Dash Dogs or Katz's.

              1. Crif serves a northern New Jersey style deep-fried hot dog (the "Crif Dog") and will wrap it in bacon for you, or put chili on it. Katz's, Grey's, and Papaya King all use the same tasty Sabrett's natural casing frank (although Katz's uses a larger size) cooked on a griddle. Nathan's Coney Island uses its own dog, which is pretty flavorful and one of the best in NYC in my opinion. However, the other Nathan's you see around town use a much inferior skinless version. There is a street vendor who is usually at 49th St. and 6th Ave. called the "hot dog king" who serves a very interesting grilled kosher Shofar dog.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Woodside Al

                  Are you sure, I thought Nathan's also used the Sabrett dog...

                2. Chelsea Papaya on 23rd and 7th is the best of the papaya dog places.

                    1. re: junglekitte

                      F&B is a hot dog place in chelsea on 23rd near 8th ave. They play brit pop and have an international assortment of hot dog styles. As one who typically hates hot dogs and doesnt see the appeal...I actually enjoyed the one I had here. And I think it was even the one that was Danish style.

                      Cute, cheap, clean as I remember it (been a while).

                      http://gudtfood.com/ is their website

                      1. re: Nehna

                        F&B cheap? I thought they were laughably overpriced dogs for people who don't like hot dogs the New York way.

                    2. AGree on f&b, not a nyc type dog but delicious euro style fixins'!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: fschil

                        I gave F&B a couple of chances and thought it was awful both times.

                      2. The New York Times had a piece a couple of months ago about NYC hot dogs. It stated that the hot dogs served at 3 of the favorite hot dog spots -Gray's Papaya, Katz's and Nathan's - are all made by the same company with very similar specifications. I really like the Gray's Papaya dogs, but for my money the Nathan's dog is a little better, because it's skin is crispier (and it's larger?). It's been awhile since I had one at Katz's, but I remember it being virtually identical to Nathan's.

                        Nathan's aren't everywhere anymore. But at the Nathan's at the South Street Seaport you can get an excellent Nathan's Dog AND walk over to the food court bar and get a good draft beer to drink with it. Even better, you can take them both outside and sit at a bench or table and enjoy the NICE view of the water.

                        1. What? No one's mentioned the German-style dogs around the city. Certainly a visit to Hallo Berlin (or its street cart) is in order.

                          Also, I'm not a fan, but Mandler's must be mentioned. They have an all-beef dog, though I've only tried a couple of the sausages. Didn't love'em but they make their own (I think) so it's worth a visit.

                          Last but not least, there are a number of organic homemade hot dogs available at Union Square Greenmarket (to take home, not ready-made). Flying Pigs has a pork and beef one with natural sheep casing, Violet Hills has a juicy one and even the buffalo vendor has buffalo hot dogs if that's to your liking. I'm fond of the Violet Hills dog, but they are pricey.

                          PS. True dog connossieurs should head out to northern New Jersey after reading the extensive reports from hounder John Fox (and others).

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: dippedberry

                            I honestly think Mandler's tastes awful and is even more over-priced than F&B. I do, however, agree wholeheartedly that Hallo Berlin does some tasty sausages.

                            1. re: a_and_w

                              Mandler's sausage is bad. The corn fries are great, though.

                          2. I've never found anything that comes close to Danish polser (which I ate when I lived in Copenhagen). Go with something from the excellent suggestions above, something that's not so easy to find in Denmark.


                            NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                            1. yeah definitely show them a good american dog! can hardly top a danish hot dog though......

                              nosher, if you want to order danish hot dogs SIMILAR but not exactly (you can't get the real deal here because of the red dye) go to www.nordichouse.com. my family orders them all the time and make the cucumbers, fried onions, etc. yummmmmmmmmm!

                              1. there is another F&B's on 52nd Street btw 3rd & Lex... I just walked past it on my way back from lunch at Houston's-sat at the bar and wolfed down a french dip w/fries...
                                F&B's are tasty for the most part-but pricey for a hot dog-$3.75 each I think. They do have a Great Dane Dog on their menu for the original poster...Shake Shack makes a couple of nice dogs w/Chicago Dog & one w/sauteed onions for less $'s than F&B's...
                                The Papaya joint on 86th & 3rd is pretty good-better than the one on 72nd & B'way imho...Never been to the one in Chelsea...
                                Haven't been to Crif or Dash Dogs yet so no comment.

                                1. I now only go to Chinatown for the Jumbo hot dog take out window on Canal at between Bowery and Christy, where Fun Wah buses pick up passengers. For one the buns are better than most, two it's tasty but not too salty, three it's only a dollar, four they have their own special cooked onion, five the hot dog has great texture, six the extra thickness of the hot dog makes better bread-meat proportion, seven they are grilled on the rollers....

                                  1. I'm John Fox (hotdoglover on this forum) and I would suggest going to F&B for a Danish style Polser dog since that is probably what your friend grew up on. But I would also recommend a few places in New York as well as North Jersey. I was contacted by Ed Levine for his article, although he did not mention or credit me. I gave him the information that Katz's, Papaya King, and Gray's use the same recipe Sabrett natural casing all beef dog. This was confirmed to me by many sources, including the person in charge of private label at Sabrett (Marathon Enterprises). I have written extensively on this in the past.

                                    I was to New York recently reviewing hot dogs for the Star Ledger of New Jersey. It's been awhile since I've been there, and it was nice to return. Gray's and Papaya King (new location, not 86th & 3rd) were identical. Same size, same dog, although the bun was old at Papaya King. Katz's the same recipe dog, but slightly bigger. All three great dogs. Nathan's is not made by Sabrett, although they were for a time, but according to the Nathans recipe. It's a great dog as well, but slightly different in taste and spicing than the other 3. By a slim margin, I prefer the Sabrett dog. Crif's is a Rutt's Hut knockoff. They use a Thumanns beef and pork dog made specifically for deep frying. It's milder, and may be an aquired taste, especially for those raised on spicy all beef dogs. For a great grilled German style dog, try Hallo Berlin.

                                    If you feel like making the trip across the river, there are great places in N.J. Most people do not know that Sabrett was originally from Jersey. Cole and Henderson streets in Jersey City is where the company began. And where the dogs were made for years. Later sold to Marathon of East Rutherford, although the dogs are made at the Stahl Meyer plant in the Bronx. Boulevard Drinks in Journal Square, Jersey City uses the same dog that Papaya King and Gray's do. The Star Ledger panel (including me) actually preferred this dog to Gray's, Papaya King, and Katz's. It seemed fresher, and was grilled just the right amount of time (Katz's sometimes undercooks the dogs) and was hot coming off the griddle. An excellent hot dog. But the best all beef dog I've had, and one voted the best grilled dog in Jersey, is from Syd's in Union. A nice sized 5 to a lb dog that is simmerred in water and then charbroiled. The brand is Best, which I prefer to Sabrett. In Chinatown, the 1/4 lb dog is served in a few places. Ed Levine liked the Syd's dog so much that he went to the plant and bought a few pounds.

                                    If you like Crif's, you'll love Rutt's Hut. Crif's was based on Rutt's. The owner admitted as much to me in an e-mail. Rutt's also has the best relish I've ever tasted and the only one I'll put on a hot dog. The Galloping Hill Inn, Max's, and the Windmill are 3 places that serve a very good German style beef and pork dog. Unfortunately, New York does not serve Italian Stle hot dogs or a decent Texas Weiner. For those you have to make the trip across the river. Contact me if you need directions or more info. Here is a summary of what our panel decided about the dogs we sampled this summer.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: hotdoglover

                                      hotdoglover, aka John Fox, Great to see your input on this board (since I don't get to New Jersey too often). Your expertise and general houndy-ness is needed around here.

                                      I wanted to ask you your thoughts on the recent phenomenon of expensively priced so-called Kobe dogs. I see them popping up around town these days, including at the foul David Burke outpost at Bloomingdale's. Have you been taste testing these suckers?

                                    2. dippedberry,

                                      I haven't yet sampled a kobe beef or wagyu hot dog. I'm sure it's not worth the high price, but I would be willing to try it once. I've read the opinions of those who have tried them, and most of the time the dog was found to be underwhelming. In Ed Levine's New York Times article (link posted above) he refers to the dog as mushy and bland. In my opinion, the particular spicing of a beef dog is just as, if not more important than the quality of beef used. I'm not saying that quality isn't important. The better beef dogs use a good grade of beef. Vienna uses bull meat, kosher dogs use the meat from the hind quarters, Sabrett uses choice beef, Best uses a mix of choice and lean.

                                      A few years ago I bought some Lobel franks and Niman Ranch franks. Both are considereed top of the line. Lobel's uses prime beef and is priced at $15.00 per pound. I compared them to a Nathan's natural casing dog. I actually preferred the Nathan's. A better spicing in my opinion, although the other dogs were top quality. Both straightforward New York style dogs. For those who like Lobel's, I would suggest trying Boar's Head. Similar spicing and flavor, but $4.99 per lb as opposed to $14.99.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: hotdoglover

                                        Do you have an opinion on the Dietz & Watson New York Franks made in PA and being sold in D'Agostino's these days? They're $5.99 for a package of 8 and so far we like them. They tend to split when slow grilled which turned out to not be a bad thing.

                                        We also tried Zabar's house brand and they are terrible, at least when slow grilled.

                                        1. re: Brian W

                                          I've had the Dietz & Watson franks. The New York franks are all beef and are also the exact same franks sold at Shop Rite under the Black Bear name. I was told by someone at Dietz and Watson that the entire Black Bear Line is made by them for Shop Rite under a private label agreement. These dogs are very good; flavorful but a little less spicy/garlicky than a Sabrett's or Nathan's. Black Bear usually has these on sale during the summer months.

                                      2. I'm probably either too late, or too far down this thread, but - and this is no joke -
                                        I had what might be my favorite New York City dog in Chinatown today, at a window crawlspace by the mouth of the Manhattan bridge, where Canal curves into Bowery, name of:

                                        JUMBO HOT DOGS

                                        For just .92 cents, you can have a 1/4 pound bad boy that explodes with juicy flavor. This place can stand up to any doggery in this dog-challenged metropolis, including Crif, Nathan's, Papaya King, Shake Shack, Shnack, et al.

                                        Crazy, say you? Outlandish? Outrageous? Check it out, first. Then, fire away if you must.
                                        Me? I'm going back for another.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Polecat

                                          I'm pretty sure that the dog you are referring to is a natural casing 1/4 lb dog from Best Provisions in Newark. It is indeed an excellent dog, and one that I prefer to the Sabrett dog served at the Papaya places and Katz's as well as the Nathan's dog. Do you know how it is prepared? On a griddle or grill? Boiled? Best Provisions is the company that makes the 5 to a lb dog served at Syd's in Union, my favorite all beef dog anywhere.

                                          1. re: hotdoglover

                                            I'm pretty sure it's on the griddle, HDLover. I definitely recommend checking it out - it's like the hot dog party in your mouth this city needs more of. Like the kind I hear about from Jersey or Chicago.

                                            1. re: Polecat

                                              I thought they used the rollers at that little place, but in any case I agree it is a fantastic dog - perfect Chinatown Bus line dining. And the woman who is there whenever I have been is very nice.

                                              1. re: ghbrooklyn

                                                Yes...the rollers...you're right. And, yes, she's very nice, always with a smile. It's always good to see people who enjoy serving up great cheap chow.

                                        2. Actually you have to try the pub Swift on 4th and bowery. The have "dollar dogs" that are great... best I've had

                                          1. We are now producing them in Brooklyn! See our website at www.revolvingdansk.com