At Shake Shack, our own approximation of the Chicago dog.
Whether you call them frankfurters, wieners, tube steaks, or floaters, New York City is the hot-dog capital of the world. And here are five favorite local evocations of the silky sausage that came here from Frankfurt or Vienna, depending on whom you believe.
5. Chicago Dog at Shake Shack (above) — Those of us who crave the Windy City’s Red Hots will have to make do with the rendition featured at Shake Shack, which is damn good but a few degrees short of authentic. The frank is all wrong, but who cares when this assemblage of peppers, pickles, onions, relish, mustard, etc., is so damn good? Various locations
4. Chili Cheese Classic at Papaya King — This is the trashy queen of Upper East eats, a combo so bad for you, you don’t dare tweet it, but so salty, wet, and delicious, you’ll wish you had two. And where else can you find something as opposed to today’s “pure” and “natural” aesthetic? 179 East 86th Street, 212-369-0648
3. Spicy Redneck at Crif Dogs — Yeeh hah! Here’s how they do it: Take a smoky, natural skinned link, wrap a piece of bacon around it, deep-fry, then add chili con carne, jalapeños, and cooling coleslaw. The menu suggests wrestling someone afterward. 113 St. Marks Place, 212-614-2728; 555 Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-302-3200
2. Pickle Dog at Bark Hot Dogs — The combo of multiple pickles plus relish, accentuated with a squirt of mayo and another of yellow ballpark mustard, is unforgettable. And the natural skin frank is not the usual New Jersey-made dog either, but a proprietary link imported from somewhere near Syracuse. 474 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, 718-789-1939
1. World Famous Beef Hot Dog at Nathan’s Famous — Stretching back nearly 100 years, all the way to 1916, Nathan’s is the most pedigreed frank in the city, fit to lead the hot-dog ruling class of the entire country. Bite down, and you get a wonderful pop, and the briny air of Coney Island only adds to the delight. 1310 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-946-2202