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Midtown & Fort Greene
The refreshing burst of an over air-conditioned food hall is just a bonus at this fast food spot located in both UrbanSpace Vanderbilt and DeKalb Market Hall. Soggy meat is never an option here -- “Brooklyn style” hot dogs are served deep-fried, wrapped in crisp bacon if you so desire, and tucked into a toasted, buttered potato roll. Sauerkraut, onions, pickles, jalapeño, diced onion, grilled onion, tomato and mushrooms are all free add-ons, and a scoop of chili is $1 more, if you’re not worried about staining your shirt.
Modeled off the old school delis on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, this Millennial-run blast from the past serves a classic Kosher-style all-beef dog, wrapped in foil for easy transport to McCarren Park. Pack a cooler, grab a recession special ($10 for two dogs with sauerkraut and mustard, plus a drink) and enjoy a day in the park. BYO ketchup if that’s your thing, though true Kosher dog enthusiasts would find the addition sacrilege.
East Village & Williamsburg
New Yorkers may poke fun at California-style ordering -- customizing every last detail down to how you and only you want to eat it -- but there’s something to be said for menus that calibrate to your specific tastes. Crif Dogs offers its classic creations, like the slaw-topped Spicy Redneck and stoners’ delight Lil Ma with peanut butter, pickles and crushed potato chips, but nothing quite hits the spot like creating your own over-the-top dog. Choose between all beef, beef and pork blend, or a veggie dog to top with avocado, egg, pineapple, American cheese, or whatever your tube meat loving heart desires, and always op to wrap it in a swirl of bacon.
Spinning hot dogs from 10:30 in the morning until 4:00am (Thursday-Saturday; 11pm Sunday-Wednesday), Chelsea Papaya is solid when you need an early lunch or well, whatever will sop up some of the mistakes you’ve made long past midnight. All-beef hot dogs, which have that perfectly satisfying snap when you bite in, are the move here, though sausage and turkey dogs are also spinning on the dog heaters. Get your dog covered with chili and liquid cheese, you deserve it.
Honestly, there may be nothing better on a hot summer night than a $3 pint of beer and a basic hot dog. It’s even better when that hot dog is on the house. This dive bar offers a free frank with every drink purchase, and the complimentary Hebrew National bar snack served on a white bread bun with ketchup and mustard is as delightful as the decor in the historic bar itself.