The 13 Best Places To Get A Hot Dog In NYC

It's good, it's cheap, it's easy ... The hot dog is the ultimate classic. Especially in New York City, where you'll find a hot dog cart on almost every block in certain neighborhoods. You might be more inclined to think of the bagel or classic slice of pizza when thinking of NYC, but overlooking the hot dog would be the ultimate mistake.

Hot dogs in the Big Apple date back to 1867 when a German immigrant by the name of Charles Feltman ​​started slicing hot dog buns in Coney Island. He went on to have one the most famous hot dog restaurants in the world serving Frankfurt sausages until the 1950s, when Feltman's went out of business. One of his employees named Nathan Handwerker went on to open Nathan's Famous, arguably the most famous hot dog in the world today.

Now, across all five boroughs of NYC, you'll find every possible kind of hot dog from the classic sausage and bun combo all the way up to the fancy Manhattan twist and the fusion hot dog. So, whether you are a ketchup-and-mustard only or a sauerkraut-and-pickle type of person, maybe even the bacon-wrapped sausage type, New York City has what you're looking for.

1. Feltman's of Coney Island: The original hot dog

Let's start with the OG hot dog. The very first sausage to graze the streets of NYC was down under in Coney Island. Back in the 1860s, Charles Feltman had the idea of selling a Frankfurt sausage in a long bun in a cart. What was then called the Coney Island red hots quickly became the ultimate beach snack. By 1871, Feltman opened his very own restaurant serving hot dogs and more. In the 1920s, Feltman's Ocean Pavilion became the largest restaurant in the world, serving over five million people a year, and selling 40,000 hot dogs a day. 

Unfortunately, in 1954 he went out of business. However, decades later, in 2015, brothers Mike and Joe Quinn opened Feltman's Kitchen. These Brooklyn-raised brothers wanted to bring back an NYC classic as well as honor their brother who died during 9/11, and who had also been a part of the conversation to bring Feltman's back. They started with a kitchen window in the East Village in Manhattan called Feltman's Kitchen, but closed the shop in 2020. Feltman's of Coney Island headquarters, however, is still located at the exact same address where Charles Feltman had opened his restaurant. Today the famous hot dogs are available in supermarkets like Whole Foods and Publix.

2. Katz's Delicatessen: The pastrami and hot dog combo

Since its founding in the 1880s, Katz's Deli has become a hot spot for tourists and locals alike. NYC's oldest deli is quite the experience, with theatrically cranky service. Mostly known for its pastrami sandwich, there is far more you could taste with a menu full of NYC delicacies. Amongst them: the frankfurters. For $4.95 you can get a tasty hot dog with the option of adding ketchup, mustard, relish, sauerkraut, or all four. The hot dog, in addition to being good, is one of the cheapest menu items, which makes it a great option if you want to eat at this iconic Manhattan spot without spending too much money (the pastrami on rye is $25.95). 

Katz's has become a non-negotiable spot for anyone in or passing by NYC. So much so that the Jewish deli now offers catering nationwide and in Canada. This means that if you like what you taste, you can order the ingredients straight to your door.

3. Nathan's Famous: The contest hot dog

In 1916, Nathan Handwerker, a former Feltman's employee, flew out of the nest to create his own hot dog. He named it appropriately since, over a century later, it is in fact, one of the most famous hot dog purveyors in the world. With multiple locations across Manhattan and Brooklyn, the original Nathan's Famous, just like Feltman's, is in Coney Island. The Coney Island location doesn't only serve up delicious hot dogs year-round — once a year it is also home to Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest. Over 35,000 people from around the world still gather to attend the contest on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues.

Today, Nathan's hot dogs have become a staple — so much so that you can find not only its Frankfurt sausages and buns in your grocery store but also its pickles, sauerkraut, and mustard, as well as other snacks.

4. Gray's Papaya: A legendary favorite

Now let's head uptown for a hot dog that might not be as historically significant to hot dog culture but that is certainly just as good. Gray's Papaya was founded 50 years ago exactly by Nicholas Gray. Today, it's being held down by his wife Rachael, and five decades later, it is on the very same corner it first opened on: Broadway and 72nd Street.

On the menu, you'll find the hot dog under "Franks" for only $2.95. Add cheese or onions for 50 cents more each or buy 12 Franks at a time for $30. At Gray's you can wash down your hot dog with a fruity tropical drink, which the restaurant is now known for. Although it is important to give credit where credit is due, since the first restaurant to offer the hot dog and tropical drink combo was the original chain Papaya King, which was founded 40 years prior. These famous drinks, however, include the following flavors: coconut, banana, piña colada, and, obviously, papaya.

5. Kings Of Kobe: The bacon-wrapped hot dog

Now this is where things get a little crazy. Are you tired of the classic hot dog? Do you want to try something new? Kings Of Kobe is the place for you. Made with all-natural American Wagyu beef, hot dogs at Kings Of Kobe are more on the gourmet side of the hot dog spectrum. The original location is right in midtown on West 42nd Street, but they've just opened a new location in Jersey City.

While you might think of hot dogs as street food, at Kings of Kobe, that couldn't be further from the truth. Founder Etai Cinader makes sure every meal is a quality one. He knows no limit when it comes to experimenting with taste as proven by the towering burgers and fun hot dog toppings. However, the ultimate crowd-pleaser is the Frydom Fighter: a bacon-wrapped and fried hot dog. While it doesn't sound like anything you thought you'd ever hear, it's a must-try!

On Trip Advisor, the good reviews come pouring in regularly like one customer that said: "This place has the best hotdogs. The mango and chili dogs are fantastic and massive. One hotdog is enough for a grown adult man." Portion sizes seem to stand out at Kings of Kobe as there is more than one mention of how big the burgers and hot dogs are. If you are especially hungry, forget the classic small cart hot dog and make your way to KoK.

6. Sabrett Hot Dogs: The food cart hot dog

Speaking of hot dog carts, sometimes that's all you really need or want. If you've walked even a couple minutes down the streets of Manhattan, chances are you bumped into a Sabrett cart. They are usually quite recognizable by their bright yellow and blue umbrellas. They are famous worldwide at this point and if you're not convinced of their notoriety, know that Sabrett is the official hot dog of Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In terms of what you can get, the possibilities aren't endless. If you go to a Sabrett cart, you'll be getting the classic hot dog with ketchup and mustard, maybe some relish, pickles, onions, or sauerkraut, but that's about it. No fancy twist. Just classic New York hot dogs like the locals like them. What seems to be a Sabrett hot dog cart regular was kind enough to leave a Yelp review and there isn't really a better way to describe the hot dog cart experience: "Is there anything more quintessentially New York than a dirty water Sabrett hot dog slathered in yellow mustard and drowning in sauerkraut? ... If you truly want to taste New York in full culinary glory, bliss awaits on virtually every street corner. Accept no substitutes, if it's not Sabrett's it's only waterlogged mystery meat. A perfect five stars."

7. Emmett's: The Chicago-style dog

In the heart of Soho in New York City, you'll find Emmett's, a Chicago-style pizza joint. That's right, deep-dish pizza in the land of thin New York-style crust! However, if deep-dish pizza is the line you won't cross, but you are willing to take a chance on a different kind of hot dog ... you might want to grab a seat at this restaurant, where you'll find as many homesick Chicagoans as adventurous New Yorkers willing to try something new.

Right on the first page of the menu, "Chicago style hot dog" with its description: "Vienna Beef hot dog topped with a pickle spear, sliced tomato, diced white onions, neon green relish, sport peppers, celery salt, yellow mustard on a poppy seed bun." Not your classic dog, but we think it sounds delicious nonetheless. On Yelp, take it from a New Yorker: "Stopped by for a quick bite and had my first Chicago style hotdog! It was filling and delicious! Portions are good for the price and it's a great place to chill with a friend."

The Chicago-style hot dog is growing in popularity even in New York City. The use of Vienna Beef has everyone going crazy, so much so that NY Eater is wondering if the Chicago-style hot dog will dethrone the classic NYC hot dog. You might want to try it now before it gets too packed!

8. Crif Dogs: The fancy Manhattan dog

Head to the East Village to pair your hot dog with a cocktail. At Crif, the hot dogs are original, to say the least, and they aren't even out of the price range you would expect. For only a few bucks more than a regular ol' hot dog, order anything from a BLT hot dog to the Everything hot dog with the very popular Everything Bagel seasoning, or even what Crif calls the Tsunami hot dog, which includes a bacon-wrapped sausage, diced pineapple, teriyaki, and scallions. For vegetarians, there is a veggie dog on the menu for you!

Open until 4 a.m. on the weekends and 2 a.m. on weekdays, Crif Dogs caters to the young and drunk party people of NYC. With the speakeasy Please Don't Tell right next door, it can be quite the scene. On Yelp, one customer says, "10/10 if you vibe with dope ass hot dogs and 90s rap, this place is absolutely for you," while an NYC local agrees, "Crif Dogs is a New York institution. For whatever reason, I haven't visited it before now, despite living in the city for about 7 years. Well, I'll be back again and again. The spicy redneck dog was amazing, and the tater tots were absolutely perfect."

9. Two Hands Corn Dogs: The ultimate ... corn dog

While this one is not unique to New York, it is a must. Two Hands was born in Los Angeles in 2019 and has since taken the United States by storm, opening locations in over 20 states — including two in NYC. Two Hands doesn't sell hot dogs, per se, but their corn dogs are so delicious we just had to include them. The unique taste of these corn dogs stems from Korean inspirations. It's the twist on an American classic that has intrigued Americans and tourists.

On the menu, you'll find the classic Two Hands Dog with sweet ranch sauce as well as the Spicy Dog and the Crispy Rice Dog. You can also choose your filling and have anything from half sausage & half mozzarella to half cheddar, or just a spicy dog with no cheese. On Yelp, customers have nothing but good things to say like: "This was my first Korean corn dog experience and I am speechless!" or "It came out super fresh and hot and totally hit the spot. And best of all, it was only ~$5! I'm excited to go back and try some of their more adventurous flavors, such as their spicy options which had hot Cheetos on them!"

10. The Hot Dog King: The Met icon

While you might not have tried this one, you must know of it or have walked by it. You'll recognize The Hot Dog King by its red and white umbrellas, but mostly you'll recognize it by the fact that it's right by the steps of the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art. Chances are you'll also spot it by the line in front. Founder Dan Rossi grew up in the Bronx. After high school, he enlisted in the Vietnam War. Years later he came back to work for a hospital. The years that followed were very hard, and Rossi didn't always have a lucky star follow him around. As a matter of fact, he still doesn't. While he probably has the best vending spot in NYC, if he ever leaves it unattended, the police will take it away. For that reason he has slept in his van for the last six years.

While the classic American hot dogs served up by Dan Rossi are definitely good, you'll want to stop by The Hot Dog King for Dan himself.

11. Rudy's Bar & Grill: The dive bar hot dog

This cozy little pub in Hell's Kitchen in NYC is what you call the real New York City experience. A convenient spot to grab a cold beer and, you guessed it, a hot dog. At a time when inflation is hitting hard, New Yorkers have stayed true to this dive bar and its never wavering prices; Rudy's blond beer is only $3.

Rudy's is hard to miss, and you'll recognize it by its original wooden front, but if that doesn't give it away then the giant pink pig at the front door should. Once you're inside, the ultimate dive bar experience begins, and we haven't even told you the best part yet. What is better than a hot dog? A free hot dog. That's right, with every beer you order, you get a free hot dog. So if you're looking for a good time, cheap beer, and free hot dogs, look no further.

12. Pastrami Queen: The two-for-one deal

On both the Upper East and the Upper West Side, Pastrami Queen, along with other NYC institutions like Katz's, is considered to be one of the best delis in the city. Mostly known for its gigantic pastrami sandwiches, the hot dogs served at Pastrami Queen's are also considered to be one of the best in the city. It grew in popularity in 2021 when it was named by NY Eater as one of the best hot dogs in the city.

When at Pastrami Queen, a deal that's quite popular is two franks with potato salad slapped on top for $10.95. While it's not the cheapest place you'll find, one customer on Yelp does say: "Prices are steep but portions are equally huge. The guy behind the counter was so welcoming, I decided to just sit and eat. It felt like I was having a meal at a friend's home. He's a New York City gem." We're sold!

13. Prontito: The Colombian hot dog

Now for a touch of exoticism, let's finish off this list with the best fusion hot dog you'll find in the city. Amongst some very classic Colombian dishes like arepas and empanadas, on the menu of this Queens restaurant, you'll find hot dogs. But, as you can imagine, they are not just hot dogs. The hot dogs at Prontito, of course, have a Colombian touch. Ask for Perro Mexicano garnished with cheese, chipotle sauce, bacon, chips, salad, pico de gallo, and quail egg — or a Choriperro with chorizo, cheese, salad, piña, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, chips, pink sauce, and quail egg.

On Yelp, bad reviews for this place are far and few between. Most people that go to Prontito fall in love! Reviews include, "One of the top Colombian fast food stops, always has been," and "Best Colombian hot dog around! My boyfriend introduced me and I haven't been the same since. Not to mention, he (Colombian obviously) makes me drive to Queens from Jersey JUST to get his Perros con todo. WORTH IT." If it's approved by a Colombian, you just know it's good.