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Papaya King or Gray's Papaya...

...if you had a choice for a dog. Are the hot dogs that amazing; how good can a hot dog be?

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  1. Gray's at 72nd Street
    Hands down the BEST

    1 Reply
    1. I've found Gray's Papaya to be more consistent and better overall. I wouldn't say either are amazing, but it's hard for hot dogs to be amazing (Hot Doug's in Chicago being a notable exception). You might be disappointed if you're treating it as a destination place, but Gray's is among the best cheap hot dogs in Manhattan, and it's hard to complain about paying less than $5 for 2 natural-casing hot dogs and a fruit drink.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hcbk0702

        papaya king has great hot dogs,,, same supplier as katz's

      2. neither. new york hot dog and coffee on bleecker. gotta love those korean dogs.

        1. I prefer Papaya King, but neither is amazing. Despite its reputation, NYC isn't much a hot dog town imo.

          1. Other than the NYC novelty factor, neither are worth going out of your way for.

            1. Strike them off my list. Thanks for the honesty. Not that nuts about hot dogs; will wait until we plan to visit the windy city.

              3 Replies
              1. re: itryalot

                Katz's, Gray's, and Papaya King are all great dogs. As for Papaya King and Gray's, depends on which location you hit and when. They can be inconsistent.


                If you really like Chicago Hot Dogs, let me suggest Shake Shack. Personally I don't like my dogs with salad on top, and I didn't enjoy my dog there as it wasn't served hot enough. But if you like Chicago style, there's really no other place I know of that does it this way. There was a place in N.J. that made a Chicago dog that blew away Shake Shack. The owner was from Chicago, but has since closed to do other things.

                When I was at Shake Shack I had one Chicago dog and one dog (Vienna Beef) plain with mustard. Vienna, while sold at 85% of the stands in Chicago, is milder and not nearly as good in my opinion as the Sabrett dog that is griddled at the above mentioned places. I went to Gray's immediately after Shake Schack and the dog I had was much, much better.

                1. re: hotdoglover

                  Hotdoglover, I've read in some places that Gray's papaya was opened by a former owner of Papaya King. Other places I've read state there is no affiliation. Would you be so kind as to clear this up for us?

                  Papaya King
                  200 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

                  1. re: davisready

                    Nicholas Gray owned a Papaya King franchise. In 1973 he started calling his place Gray's Papaya. I don't know any details aside from that. He opened several other Gray's Papaya restaurants.

                    Papaya King
                    200 W 14th St Frnt 1, New York, NY 10011

              2. i don't agree about striking them off your list.

                i prefer papaya king to gray's. maybe there isn't a huge difference, but there's something about papaya king's salty greasiness i like more than what i find at gray's. Now part of it is probably emotional having grown up on papaya king and seeing gray as a knock off (which they are). i love papaya king. i rarely ever step into gray's

                as to the korean dogs on NY dog andd coffee - i wanted to love them. i love the concept. but the hot dogs themselves seems like a seriously inferior sausage. the bulgogi and other toppings are good, but the hot dog has that nasty taste and texture that is not NY hotdog quality.

                likewise - i don;t really like the dogs in chicago, which to me have always seemed to be more about the toppings tan the hot dog. if you need more than mustard and maybe kraut on the dog, to me, it feels like you are compensating for a lack of something. at any rate 95,000 toppings on one hot seems like real overkill to me.

                anyway - i wouldn't travel out of my way perhaps for either, but if you are on the upper east side, going to a museum or doing something in central park, a stop by papaya king is a good thing t do. (i like to get a mix of papaya and orange juice for my drink)

                1. I am going to the Met, so will put Papaya King down as a possibility. There are jus too many chowworthy places. Some will have to wait until the next visit.

                  1. I see that most people like Gray's or Papaya King. I also just read another thread about the hot dogs at Shake Shack not measuring up (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/653555). What about Nathan's? Not good any more?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Gigi007

                      Nathan's are still good. If you go to Coney Island or one of the other franchises that use a natural casing dog and prepare it on the griddle. There are some Nathan's that use a skinless dog and cook it on a roller grill.

                      1. re: hotdoglover

                        Thanks, hotdoglover. I value your opinion and am glad you weighed in. I really should try Gray's or Papaya King but am more likely to show up at Shake Shack or another burger place...

                        1. re: Gigi007

                          mustard pn dog sauerkraut then mustard again
                          eat very very slowly half close your eyes
                          if this is not heaven on earth nothing else
                          try to do this with a significant other hold hands
                          the folks in the windows at the standard have nothing on this

                          except for a nathan's dog and super hot fries in coney island nothing comes close

                    2. gray's is the better of the two but any street cart can pretty much satisfy that craving. try crif dog if you're looking for something a little bit different.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tkm616

                        did u know that you can negotiate prices at the dirty water carts?
                        demand the local price not the tourist price
                        pay no more than a buck or a buck and a half
                        nothing more than a buck for a can of soda.
                        these are tough times and everybody needs to be considerate of each other.
                        go no lower, it would be insulting.
                        i usually pay 5 bucks for three dogs and a can of soda.

                      2. They are all pretty good. I just go by what neighborhood I'm in and if I'm hungry. If I had to pick one it would be Papaya King b/c its closest to my apt!

                        1. greys papaya on 8th at 38th is the number one must order it well done androll well toasted with a papaya drink
                          yes it is numero uno heads and shoulders above any sabrett place even tho it is i stonglt belive it is a sabrett dog
                          johnny and hanges in glen rock nj is even better for a slaw and relish dog as well as texas weiner

                          remember and repeat after me it is never ever accdeptable to put ketchup on a dog after the age of 13

                            1. In the old days, pre-Poulos being bought out, Papaya King was the best. Snappy dog, great bun & they had the store on 86th & a block or so up Third Ave on the other side of the street. Since the buyout, the dogs have lost a lot of their snap & the buns are not as frsh. Gray's have had a little more continuity and still remain the same and what was a bit below Papaya King is now a bit better.

                              Papaya King
                              200 W 14th St Frnt 1, New York, NY 10011