My search for the best hot dog in New York continues….
I went out to the Rockaways a few years ago to try the burgeoning (read: hipster) food scene way out on the beaches of Queens. One of the most talked about places is Rippers which sits right on the recently re-opened boardwalk selling burgers, juices, and hot dogs. I was so excited to try it but when I arrived the Department of Health was conducting their annual inspection and the restaurant decided to stop selling food and give their full attention to the inspector.
Don’t get me started on how asinine it is for the Department of Health to come and inspect a restaurant business that is not running their normal business. Isn’t the point to make sure the restaurant is sanitary when they are actually serving food? I was also quite upset that I had made the 90 minute trek to try the food and no food was available.
This year I returned to the Rockaways for another day of sun, fun, and food. Rippers was thankfully going at full speed and I had a chance to finally taste their hot dogs and burgers.
All their meat products are made by Williamsburg butcher The Meat Hook. The collaboration makes complete sense since in many ways this trendy area feels like a vacation extension of hipster Williamsburg. Also, The Meat Hook knows how to blend meat.
I thought the cheeseburger was ok. It’s designed to be a nostalgic taste of a cheap, thin fast food burger and I’m generally not excited by those.
The hot dog on the other hand is excellent. Meat Hook has always been known for their sausages. This tube of meat has a deep smoky quality and is grilled perfectly. It features a wonderful, consistent snap and a salty, meaty finish.
Despite the boardwalk setting, it doesn’t taste cheap. It feels like good ingredients went into the hot dog (that’s rare when it comes to cheap hot dogs) and the flavor reflected that.
I’m not sure this hot dog alone is worth a trip out to the Rockaways, but if you’re planning a summer excursion to hit the beach and shops, it’s a great option. Just pray that the Department of Health doesn’t foil your food adventures!!
Does Rippers have the best hot dog in NY? It comes close to rivaling that other NYC beach link destination (Nathan’s) by providing a perfectly grilled smoky, salty tube of quality meat. 9 out of 10.
|8601 Shore Front Parkway (on Boardwalk at Beach 86th Street),
Rockaway Beach, Queens