Hot dogs are anything but boring in New York. From Manhattan’s upscale hot dog joints with decadent toppings and hidden speakeasy entrances to unique regional specialties like Albany’s three-inch mini dogs slathered in chili, the state’s diversity of choice is enough to make any meat-lover’s mouth water.
Here are 8 of the best hot dog joints across New York State.
Famous for their charcoal-broiled foot long hot dogs, Louie’s has earned a reputation as a must-see pit stop for those near Niagara Falls. The impressive dogs are topped with everything from mustard and onions to meat sauce, and can be accompanied with greasy comfort food like curly fries.
The Albany area has a unique tradition of Greek mini hot dogs, each with it’s own tiny three-inch bun. One of the best places to get them is Gus’s a little red shack in Watervliet, where you can eat as many meat-sauce smothered hot dogs as your heart desires.
This late-night establishment on St. Mark’s Place serves up greasy-good hot dogs smothered in all kinds on unique toppings, like cream cheese and avocado. The hot dog joint is also the entrance of the popular speakeasy, PDT.
This New York City staple is open 24 hours a day and serves only inexpensive, no-frills, high-quality hot dogs. The restaurant is famous for its recession special—two frankfurters and a drink for less than $5. Wash it down with a famous papaya drink.
This German-butcher-run establishment on New York City’s Upper East Side takes meat seriously, and its hot dogs are no exception. The hot dog meat, which is actually a kielbasa sausage, takes center stage, drenched in all manner of delectable, unique condiments like chocolate and jam.
Started by Greek immigrant Theodore Spiro Llaros in 1913, Ted’s has grown into a beloved Buffalo hot dog chain. Offering both regular and foot-long “awesome dogs” covered in chili, bacon, cheese, and more, Ted’s has a loyal following in Western New York.
Serving up the Albany-area specialty mini-dogs, Famous Lunch has been faithfully serving the public since 1932. The hot dog joint is distinguished by its cumin-and-paprika-infused “zippy sauce,” which was raved about in a Serious Eats article.
There are few hot dogs more iconic than those from Nathan’s, an international food chain with roots in Brooklyn’s Coney Island. The original location still stands today! If you can brave the lines, head down to the boardwalk, grab a famous ‘dog, and move on to the beach or the amusement park.