Gray's Papaya

402 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10014
Best Of


  • Daily 24 Hours
  • $
  • Kid Friendly, Takeout, Wheelchair accessible
  • Open 24 Hours, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch
  • No Alcohol
  • Street Parking
  • Reservations Accepted, Reservations Not Necessary
An institution for cheap (but reliable) hot dogs, Gray's Papaya is the everyman liaison to downtown NYC. Located above the West 4th metro stop, it's the garish gateway to the posh West Village, and the receptacle of Washington Park riff-raff, cheapskate students, and after hours snackers. Neat rows of buns and franks are always crisping on the flattop (24/7), awash in red neon. The glaring, yellow decor and kitschy signage make an appropriate home for the perennial, under 5 buck "recession special." There are various "papaya" establishments dotting the City, and for many--residents and tourists alike--these frank-and-fruit-juice joints come to mind as the archetypal NY wiener just as quickly as Sabrett carts and ballpark franks. But in this city, most of the hot dogs come from the same New Jersey factory anyways, and Gray's Papaya's griddled doggies are unarguably tastier than any dirty water dog. Soggy and bland? Gray's are not. The $1.50 hot dogs absorb enough grill flavor to pique the tastebuds, while the saucy onions bring tang that cuts through the griddle grease. The fruit juices are of a similarly satisfying caliber, with flavors like "coconut champagne" and, of course, papaya. --Alex Spoto

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