My search for the best hot dogs in New York continues….

Everybody goes to Shake Shack and orders the burger or a shake. I like being a little different. And so I got a thrill out of getting to the front of the line and not even considering their beef patties.

The burgers are┬áthe star attraction here, of course, and I have been hot and cold about them over the years. I certainly don’t think they’re the best in the city, but there have been times that they’ve been charred, juicy, and just right.

The hot dog on the other hand (at least for my first taste) was pretty spectacular. The first dog choice on the menu is the Shack-cago, which is clearly a Mid-western style dog served in a poppy seeded bun with the integral Chicago ingredient of celery salt. I almost ordered that until I looked closer at the menu.

Nothing against Chicago hot dogs (I actually quite like those!), but the Frisky Dog is more representative of how we do things here in NYC. The griddled and sliced link is hidden below a mound of sauerkraut and spicy, stewed onions.

The first thing I noticed was the soggy bun. Wet bread is never fun unless you’re eating French onion soup or making beer. The heavy ingredients weighed down the sandwich aspect and I ended up with a soggy mess.

Fortunately the flavors were spot-on. The onions start off sweet, but a persistent heat snuck up slowly. The bite from the kraut played off the smoky and charred dog beneath. The peppery sausage was cooked to the edge of burntness but was somehow not dried out and still exuded plenty of juicy flavors and contrasting textures.

The only other problem for me was the overwhelming salinity. The dog itself was at a good level, but I got so much access salt from the onion mixture that I needed buckets of water to find my equilibrium. A bit heavy-handed, if you ask me.

But these are minor quibbles because I found the hot dog to be pretty stellar and a good representation of NYC’s best. You should be a rebel like me, ignore the burgers and shakes, and order a wiener instead. You’ll thank me!

Does Shake Shack have the best hot dogs in NY? I tend to think they’re better than the burgers here, if a tad salty with soggy bread. If it wasn’t for those concerns, it would get much higher than an 8 out of 10.

SHAKE SHACK
215 Murray Street (between West Street and North End Avenue),
Battery Park City
(646) 545-4600
691 Eighth Avenue (between 43rd and 44th Street)
Theater District
(646) 435-0135
Madison Square Park (at East 23rd Street and Madison Avenue),
Flatiron District
(212) 889-6600
366 Columbus Avenue (between 77th and 78th Street),
Upper West Side
(646) 747-8770
691 Eighth Avenue (between 43rd and 44th Street)
Theater District
(646) 435-0135
154 East 86th Street (between Lexington and Third Avenue),
Upper East Side
646) 237-5035
409 Fulton Street (between Willoughby Street and Adams Street),
Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
(718) 307-7590
shakeshack.com
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Category: Hot Dogs

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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