Our birthday trip to New York was going great! We started day two with an amazing breakfast at Cheeky Sandwiches and Cannolis for Bressert (that is Breakfast Dessert). We then lined up to try to get rush tickets for Mean Girls on Broadway. While unable to get rush tickets, we were able to get affordable tickets (more on that later). By the time we bought our tickets, we had a short window before the matinee to grab some lunch. In New York this could mean only one thing…. HOT DOGS! (Okay It could have meant a lot of things, but we wanted hotdogs). So it was off to Gray’s Papaya!.
Gray’s Papaya is the place to go for a cheap hotdog in New York. While there are many other options, Gray’s is by far the most famous. It has been featured on movies like You’ve Got Mail and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and TV shows such as How I Met Your Mother, Sex and the City, Seinfeld and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Most Importantly Gray’s Papaya Sells high quality hot dogs at dirt cheap prices.
Gray’s Papaya, is first and foremost a take out restaurant. You will not find seats and tables at Gray’s just some counter space to eat at. This is mainly because its space is so tiny, that helps it keep its prices down in one of the most expensive areas of the country.
As far as price goes, it depends on the Gray’s location, but they are all extremely cheap. Hot Dogs at the Gray’s Papaya in midtown are the cheapest starting at $1 with ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, and onions. At the broadway location you are looking at $2.95 a dog. The best option is to go with the recession special which is $6.95 for two hot dogs and a drink ($5.50 in midtown). Regardless you will not be out much at Gray’s.
If you have never been there I am sure you are wondering why a hot dog place is called Gray’s Papaya. This name refers to its most popular papaya drink. Other than papaya, you can get coconut, bana, and pina colada flavored drinks.
So How Was It?
Still relatively full from breakfast and cannoli’s, but knowing it would be a while before we would get a chance to eat, Stephanie and I decided to split a recession special. We got our two dogs topped with cheese and onions and got a papaya drink. It was good. There isn’t really much more I can say than that. Nothing about it truly stood out, but I enjoyed it.
It is not the best Hot Dog I ever had. That honor goes to a hot dog I got from a food cart in Denmark.
With the runner up being Bæjarins Beztu in Iceland.
However, it definitely worth a stop if you are looking for a quick cheap bite to eat in New York City. Stephanie and I only spent a little over $7 including tax.
Gray’s Papaya serves a very good hot dog at amazing prices for New York City. If you are looking for a quick bite on the go, look no further.