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

KATZ'S DELICATESSEN, 205 East Houston Street (at Ludlow Street), Lower East Side

At this point, I’ve been to most of the Jewish delis in town during my corned beef/pastrami search. I was so focused on the cured meat sandwiches, that I never thought too much about the other offerings. But as I continue to search for NYC’s most iconic foods, it’s possible that I’ll be returning again and again to these classic spots. These all could potentially be in the running for best knish, best matzo ball soup, best pickle, best cheesecake, best black and white cookie, the list goes on. But first, the hot dog.

If I don’t get to try the frank at any of the other classic Jewish delis, Katz’s is the one that I knew I couldn’t miss. Their link gets mentioned in most of the articles written about the best hot dogs in the city. And as long as I choose my timing wisely (the crowds at this spot get to be quite obnoxious), I can’t resist an excuse to return to my favorite deli in the city.

Step Right Up!

The line for hot dogs and sausages is the first one you come to after grabbing your very valuable ticket. The wieners here are more expensive then they probably should be ($3.45), but they’re totally worth it.

Prepping the Links

The secret here is that the dogs are grilled long enough that they have that beautiful crisp exterior. It even took a few minutes after I ordered the dog with sauerkraut and mustard to have it in my hands because it wasn’t blistered enough yet.

Frankfurter at KATZ'S DELICATESSEN

You can tell the Sabrett dog features a natural casing since the link is tied at both ends. When I bit into the taut browned skin, I realized this was the classic NY hot dog I had been searching for. Charred and crisp on the outside, it gave a soft snap to reveal lots of salty juicy meat on the inside.

Snap, Crackle, Pop

The addition of mustard and sauerkraut added a tangy contrast to the savoriness of the dog. It doesn’t get more classically NY than this specimen.

Hold the Pastrami

As good as the hot dog was, I looked around the room at all the folks eating the best pastrami sandwich in town and I got insanely jealous. Good thing I’ll be taking up residence at Katz’s soon enough, since there is a long list of iconic NY foods for me to conquer. And they’re all right here.

Does Katz’s Delicatessen have the best hot dog in NY? Perhaps. This is all you want from a NY hot dog (except for maybe the price) and you can taste the salty, smoky pleasure of what has made these tubed meats so iconic. 9 out of 10.

KATZ’S DELICATESSEN
205 East Houston Street (at Ludlow Street),
Lower East Side
(212) 254-2246
katzsdelicatessen.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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