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A hot dog in a bun with a streak of yellow mustard.
New York’s classic street frank, available from carts all over town.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

28 Snappy, Standout Hot Dogs Around NYC

From kosher-style beef franks to newfangled Korean corn dogs to a footlong that’s actually a foot long

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New York’s classic street frank, available from carts all over town.
| Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Frankfurters, wieners, red hots, floaters, tube steaks, or hot dogs — call them what you will, weenies are perfect summer fare, perhaps because they’re so affordable (even the gourmet ones). Eat them in their streamlined perfection while walking on the beach or relaxing in a park. And vegetarians can enjoy them, too, since meatless versions don’t always taste that different, especially when heaped with luscious toppings. After a lull in popularity that happened in the years right before the pandemic, hot dogs are back and stronger than ever, as more cuisines make use of them in innovative ways. Nothing proves this more than the current surge of Korean corn dogs, the most welcome recent addition to New York’s hot dog landscape.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it also poses a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Liebman's Kosher Deli

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The franks at this Jewish deli, open since 1953, are some of the best in town. Sit in the retro dining room and feel like your own grandparent. Even when cole slaw or potato salad top the wiener, the salty and beefy flavor still shines. Current owner of Liebman’s Yuval Dekel was once the drummer in a metal band called Irate.

Liebman’s Deli Bronx hot dog frankfurter with potato salad
Frankfurter with potato salad.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Rutt's Hut

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Yes, this picturesque roadhouse is a little ways out of town in Clifton, New Jersey, but it deserves to be mentioned here because it tenders the best hot dog in New York City and its suburbs (if Clifton can be called a suburb.) In the northern New Jersey style, the mixed-meat sausage is deep fried until a rip develops up the side of its artificial skin. You can request other levels of doneness, and the mustardy relish made on the premises is a further delight.

Three hot dogs in buns with a couple of small American flags.
Three hot dogs, the left one with the house relish, at Rutt’s Hut.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bo's Bagels

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Hot dogs have turned up in unexpected places. One in Harlem is at experimental bagel bakery Bo’s, via owners Andrew Martinez and Ashley Dikos. No, the hot dog is not circular, but linear, thrust into a tube of bagel dough, and then boiled and baked. The result is a frank with an added chew factor, a workout for the jaws. Get it on a “sandwich” and find it paired with cheese, chili, and raw onions.

The bagel dog sandwich at Bo’s Bagels
Hot dog bagel at Bo’s Bagel’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Las Delicias Mexicanas

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One of the best ways to eat a hot dog in East Harlem is by having it (actually, several of them) put in a Mexican torta, a bullet-shaped sandwich dressed with guac, refried beans, mayo, jalapeños, and cheese. These are supermarket franks pulled from the refrigerator case, but they taste great in this context.

A round sandwich oozing guacamole with many hot dogs inside.
Salchicha cemita at Las Delicias Mexicanas.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Papaya King

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This Upper East Side stalwart, open till midnight seven days, has lingered since 1932, and numbers among the city’s favorite hot dog spots. In the last decade or so, it has departed from the basic menu by offering freakish inventions featuring tiny onion rings, barbecue sauce, and processed cheese but stick with basics and have a very fine frank experience.

Papaya King Upper East Side hot dogs
Papaya King offers onions or kraut as toppings.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Gray's Papaya

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You can’t get any more fundamental than Gray’s Papaya when it comes to New York hot dogs: slender, natural-skinned, all-beef franks made in New Jersey; a puffy white bun; and your choice of sauerkraut, mustard, and stewed onions, washed down with chalky fruit drinks. Open till 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. each evening at the prime Upper West Side corner of Broadway and 72nd Street.

A pair of hot dogs on a red counter with an orange drink.
Two franks with signature papaya drink at Gray’s Papaya.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pastrami Queen

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Pastrami Queen recently hopped across Central Park and established a larger branch on the Upper West Side. The pastrami is distinguished, and so is the classic Jewish-deli frank. It has deli mustard smeared on it, and the all-beef frank has heft, length, and a natural skin, which more than fills the rather less-distinguished bun. The epitome of the deli frank.

Hot dog on a long bun slathered with yellow mustard.
Mustard-slathered frankfurter at Pastrami Queen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Schaller's Stube Sausage Bar

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Among the bravura display of sausages from the Schaller & Weber German market and deposited in a variety of buns at this affiliated sausage window, this weenie is distinctive as the longest. Slid into a pretzel bun and garnished with stewed onions and barbecue sauce, it becomes the Pitmaster, intended to evoke American barbecue. Despite failing to do so in a fundamental way, it matters not, since this hot dog is delicious, and the sweet oniony flavor is a welcome addition to the perfect salty and savory frank.

A hot dog smothered in onions so long it sticks out of both ends of the bun.
The Pitmaster at Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Kings of Kobe

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The hot dogs here, made from Wagyu beef, are giant and juicy, and you should really just buy one and eat it by itself to fully appreciate the flavor, rather than ordering one of the featured configurations, which often obscure the meat under a heavy layer of toppings. The relatively simple king’s classic is the one to get, accessorized with sauerkraut, pickled purple onions, and mustard.

A bulbous dark reddish brown frank in a yellowish bun with purple onion and white sauerkraut smothering it.
King’s classic at Kings of Kobe.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Ugly Donuts & Corn Dogs

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This unusual stall in the midst of downtown Flushing’s transportation hub peddles doughnuts that look like misshapen bows and Korean corn dogs (really, hot dogs fried in a rice batter). The latter have the usual flourishes, but fewer sauces: you can have part of the hot dog replaced with mozzarella, a coating laden with Korean umami powder, or an embedding of the rice batter with potato cubes. A meal consisting of a hot dog on a stick and a powdered sugar doughnut is killer.

A pair of coated franks, one squiggled with yellow mustard, held aloft in a V against a very sunny background.
Korean corn dogs from Ugly Donuts & Corn Dogs.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Followsoshi

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Followsoshi caused a sensation when it opened as a stall in the Corner 28 food court. It principally sold Beijing style street food, including jianbing — a rolled-up pancake with all sorts of ingredients inside — and “roasted cold noodles,” which were like a crepe, only softer, with the noodle material on the outside. Jianbing selection B, called sausage king, features a pair of hot dogs wrapped up with crunchy wafers, chile oil, and other goodies, and the result will please frank lovers immensely.

A pancake on a griddle with all sorts of things dribbled on it and a couple of hot dogs.
A jianbing version of the sausage king at Followsohi.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Prontito

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We envy Los Angeles for its under-the-highway, bacon-wrapped Sonoran hot dogs with a shifting roster of toppings, and this Colombian snack shop in Elmhurst comes as close to emulating them as any other place I know of in NYC. There are a few unusual twists: Ask for “super perro a la Mexicana,” which comes with a strip of bacon on top, guacamole, coleslaw, jalapeños, cheese, potato chips, Russian dressing, pico de gallo, and — perhaps strangest of all — a quail egg impaled on a toothpick.

A giant heap of a hot dog smeared with sauces and a small boiled egg on the end.
Los Angeles-style bacon-wrapped dog at Prontito.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Los Chuzos y Algo Mas

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Arepas and chorizos-on-a-stick are the specialties of this green-awninged Colombian snack shop, which has been located on this corner of Roosevelt in Jackson Heights as long as anyone can remember. Its Colombian hot dog is a triumph, an unremarkable frank memorably smothered in sauces, including mustard, pineapple, and one that tastes like Russian dressing. Crunchy potato straws complete the picture.

A hot dog in a bun on a metallic counter with yellow and pink sauces.
Colombian dressed wiener at Los Chuzos y Algo Mas.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

New York Burger Co.

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I can’t tell you how many reputed foot-long hot dogs I’ve tried, only to whip out my ruler and find they’re eight inches or less. So, when I stepped into Chelsea’s New York Burger Co. and saw a foot long on the menu I immediately ordered it. Well, imagine my surprise to discover exactly 12 inches of weenie, succulent and salty and every bit as good as the best examples of regular dogs in town, too. Chili and grated cheddar are part of the package, making a meal one can barely finish. Burgers here are pretty good, as well.

A long hot dog in a short bun on a checked paper with french fries in the background.
New York Burger Co.’s foot long.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Chelsea Papaya

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This brightly tiled space channels old-time hot dog joints perfectly, with its grab-and-go demeanor and no-nonsense uniformed personnel. The menu goes way beyond just franks and fries, but the chili cheese dog is still the thing to get. And yes, the chili con carne has beans — this ain’t Texas!

A hot dog in a bun smothered in yellow and with beans sticking out.
Chili cheese dog at Chelsea Papaya.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Yi Mei Fung Bakery

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When looking for a hot dog in any neighborhood, keep the Chinese bakery in mind. These wonderful places don’t only sell pastries and coffee, but a range of savory snacks and meals that run to inexpensive sandwiches using bakery bread and pastries that contain frankfurters, often cut up to distribute them over the face of the roll, as in this case in which the pastry resembles a flower with a sweetish dough and a bit of crumbled cheese on top for extra flavor.

A pastry with five petals, with a hot dog segment in the middle of each one.
Hot dog flower at Yi Mei Fung Bakery.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Dickson's Farmstand Meats

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This boutique butcher in Chelsea Market puts its weenies right in the window, and two sizes are available. We recommend the Big Fred — the larger of the two — even though it qualifies as one of the most expensive in town. The garlicky tang of the stuffing mixed with the pungent raw onions and sharp grainy mustard really puts the thing across.

A thick frank in a bun with grainy yellow mustard and coarsely chopped white onions.
The Big Fred at Dickson’s Farmstand Meats.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pane Pasta

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This Sicilian bakery and snack shop in the Village offers a range of savory and sweet pastries, and personal-size focaccias topped with a variety of ingredients. Among them, and fit for a snack, is the hot dog rollo — a decent frank pinned inside a bouncy, slightly sweet roll sprinkled on top with sesame seeds. Let them put it in the convection oven before you scarf it down.

A hot dog sticking out the end of a long roll.
The hot dog rollo at Pane Pasta.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Boulevard Drinks

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Jersey City institution Boulevard Drinks — showing every one of its years since 1962 — is a narrow stall just south of the spectacular Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Journal Square. All it serves are hot dogs and the sorts of drinks seen at Gray’s Papaya. In addition to mustard, ketchup, and “cheese,” the preferred topping is a chili sauce incorporating finely minced onions.

A hot dog in a bun with ground meat topping on a yellow counter.
Jersey chili dog at Boulevard Drinks.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Crif Dogs

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A petulant old-timer — which also spawned cocktail lounge PDT’s popularity — Crif Dogs is famous for deep-frying its franks, Jersey-style, sometimes after wrapping them in bacon. One favorite is the Good Morning, featuring a fried egg and melted processed cheese in addition to its snuggly blanket of bacon. Tater tots are another plus. The newer Williamsburg location over the L train exit at Driggs is now sadly closed.

Morning Jersey hot dog at Crif Dogs
Bacon-wrapped frankfurter at Crif Dogs.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Frankel's Delicatessen

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While Jewish deli franks are generally a predictable commodity — great but unfussy — this Greenpoint joint offers a designer frank more juicy and squirty than usual, though with the usual spare toppings. Plus, the mirrored sleeve it comes in is an added delight. Spoon on the kraut.

A hot dog with heaped kraut sticking out of a metallic sleeve.
Frankfurter with sauerkraut at Frankel’s Delicatessen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Katz's Delicatessen

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Most people probably go to Katz’s prepared to stand in long lines for pastrami or corned beef, but you can usually step right up to the hot dog counter and your tube steaks right away. These are all beef, natural-skinned franks with a nice salty forcemeat inside and juicy enough so they ooze after you bite into them. One of our favorite unfussy hot dogs in town.

Katz’s hot dog counter Lower East Side, a man in a white paper campaign hat looking at you across the glass counterl.
The hot dog counter at Katz’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Mr. Cow

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New York City has recently seen a profusion of places that specialize in Korean corn dogs — which might properly be called rice dogs since the wiener-engulfing batter is made with rice flour rather than corn meal. Mr. Cow, one of the newest, is also one of the craziest, pushing the envelope where embedded ingredients are concerned. Thus we have the yam-yam, caramel puff, and fruity pop, the latter coated in a rainbox colored puffed rice breakfast cereal, before being squirted with mustard and dipped in granulated sugar.

A hand holds a colorful corn dog with a bit taken out of the end.
Fruity pop “Kcorn dog” at Mr. Cow.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Dominic’s Italian Sausage Truck

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Most weekdays days this white van parks at the southwest corner of Bridge and Whitehall streets, steps away from the Eater NY headquarters on Broad Street. It specializes in Philly cheesesteaks and Italian sausage heros — both inexpensive and tasty. But a subspecialty are Jersey-style Italian hot dogs, a dog, or double dog on a regular bun with profuse onions and peppers sautéed on the flat top as you watch. The franks are all beef, and this treat is several steps above what you get at a hot dog cart.

A beautiful hot dog held in a hand and cradled in aluminum foil.
Jersey style Italian dog at Dominic’s FiDi truck.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Fulton Hot Dog King

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Skip the pizza and hamburgers here, but the slender, old-fashioned franks are just fine at this downtown Brooklyn stand. It manages to look decades old, while being around only a few years. There is no seating to speak of, so go to nearby Albee Square to get comfortable with your bargain-priced hot dogs.

Fulton Hot Dog King Brooklyn, with a giant sign that says Frankfurters and open sides on the corner.
Fulton Hot Dog King is located right on the downtown Fulton Mall in Brooklyn.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Dog Day Afternoon

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The Chicago dog has the strictest set of invariable dressing rules in all of frankdom: kosher pickles spear, dash of celery salt, yellow mustard, sport peppers, green “neon” relish, chopped raw onions, and tomatoes on a poppy seed bun. Most NYC frank stands — including Shake Shack — have tried and failed. But this narrow shop, named after a movie shot on the same Brooklyn block, does it up right. Vegan version available, too (shown here).

A hot dog with the prescribed toppings held in front of a green bush in Prospect Park.
A true Chicago dog from Dog Day Afternoon.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Dragon Bay Bakery

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This combination bakery, lunch counter, and coffee shop in Sunset Park’s Chinatown bakes hot dogs in pastries, including the gloppy and wonderful “golden hot dog.” The melted topping is slightly sweet, and one of these gut bombs constitutes a full meal — well, almost.

A hot dog in a bun smothered in baked-on cheese.
Cheese dog at Dragon Bay Bakery.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Nathan's Famous

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With the bracing scent of sea air in your nostrils, what culinary experience at a New York beach can best Nathan’s franks? Smeared with mustard and heaped with sauerkraut, the skins pop when you bite into them. This institution’s pedigree extends to the early days of Brooklyn frankfurter history over a century ago.

Aa hand holds two hot dogs in buns in paper containers about to apply mustard.
A pair of franks at Nathan’s Famous.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

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Liebman's Kosher Deli

The franks at this Jewish deli, open since 1953, are some of the best in town. Sit in the retro dining room and feel like your own grandparent. Even when cole slaw or potato salad top the wiener, the salty and beefy flavor still shines. Current owner of Liebman’s Yuval Dekel was once the drummer in a metal band called Irate.

Liebman’s Deli Bronx hot dog frankfurter with potato salad
Frankfurter with potato salad.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Rutt's Hut

Yes, this picturesque roadhouse is a little ways out of town in Clifton, New Jersey, but it deserves to be mentioned here because it tenders the best hot dog in New York City and its suburbs (if Clifton can be called a suburb.) In the northern New Jersey style, the mixed-meat sausage is deep fried until a rip develops up the side of its artificial skin. You can request other levels of doneness, and the mustardy relish made on the premises is a further delight.

Three hot dogs in buns with a couple of small American flags.
Three hot dogs, the left one with the house relish, at Rutt’s Hut.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bo's Bagels

Hot dogs have turned up in unexpected places. One in Harlem is at experimental bagel bakery Bo’s, via owners Andrew Martinez and Ashley Dikos. No, the hot dog is not circular, but linear, thrust into a tube of bagel dough, and then boiled and baked. The result is a frank with an added chew factor, a workout for the jaws. Get it on a “sandwich” and find it paired with cheese, chili, and raw onions.

The bagel dog sandwich at Bo’s Bagels
Hot dog bagel at Bo’s Bagel’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Las Delicias Mexicanas

One of the best ways to eat a hot dog in East Harlem is by having it (actually, several of them) put in a Mexican torta, a bullet-shaped sandwich dressed with guac, refried beans, mayo, jalapeños, and cheese. These are supermarket franks pulled from the refrigerator case, but they taste great in this context.

A round sandwich oozing guacamole with many hot dogs inside.
Salchicha cemita at Las Delicias Mexicanas.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Papaya King

This Upper East Side stalwart, open till midnight seven days, has lingered since 1932, and numbers among the city’s favorite hot dog spots. In the last decade or so, it has departed from the basic menu by offering freakish inventions featuring tiny onion rings, barbecue sauce, and processed cheese but stick with basics and have a very fine frank experience.

Papaya King Upper East Side hot dogs
Papaya King offers onions or kraut as toppings.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Gray's Papaya

You can’t get any more fundamental than Gray’s Papaya when it comes to New York hot dogs: slender, natural-skinned, all-beef franks made in New Jersey; a puffy white bun; and your choice of sauerkraut, mustard, and stewed onions, washed down with chalky fruit drinks. Open till 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. each evening at the prime Upper West Side corner of Broadway and 72nd Street.

A pair of hot dogs on a red counter with an orange drink.
Two franks with signature papaya drink at Gray’s Papaya.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pastrami Queen

Pastrami Queen recently hopped across Central Park and established a larger branch on the Upper West Side. The pastrami is distinguished, and so is the classic Jewish-deli frank. It has deli mustard smeared on it, and the all-beef frank has heft, length, and a natural skin, which more than fills the rather less-distinguished bun. The epitome of the deli frank.

Hot dog on a long bun slathered with yellow mustard.
Mustard-slathered frankfurter at Pastrami Queen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Schaller's Stube Sausage Bar

Among the bravura display of sausages from the Schaller & Weber German market and deposited in a variety of buns at this affiliated sausage window, this weenie is distinctive as the longest. Slid into a pretzel bun and garnished with stewed onions and barbecue sauce, it becomes the Pitmaster, intended to evoke American barbecue. Despite failing to do so in a fundamental way, it matters not, since this hot dog is delicious, and the sweet oniony flavor is a welcome addition to the perfect salty and savory frank.

A hot dog smothered in onions so long it sticks out of both ends of the bun.
The Pitmaster at Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Kings of Kobe

The hot dogs here, made from Wagyu beef, are giant and juicy, and you should really just buy one and eat it by itself to fully appreciate the flavor, rather than ordering one of the featured configurations, which often obscure the meat under a heavy layer of toppings. The relatively simple king’s classic is the one to get, accessorized with sauerkraut, pickled purple onions, and mustard.

A bulbous dark reddish brown frank in a yellowish bun with purple onion and white sauerkraut smothering it.
King’s classic at Kings of Kobe.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Ugly Donuts & Corn Dogs

This unusual stall in the midst of downtown Flushing’s transportation hub peddles doughnuts that look like misshapen bows and Korean corn dogs (really, hot dogs fried in a rice batter). The latter have the usual flourishes, but fewer sauces: you can have part of the hot dog replaced with mozzarella, a coating laden with Korean umami powder, or an embedding of the rice batter with potato cubes. A meal consisting of a hot dog on a stick and a powdered sugar doughnut is killer.

A pair of coated franks, one squiggled with yellow mustard, held aloft in a V against a very sunny background.
Korean corn dogs from Ugly Donuts & Corn Dogs.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Followsoshi

Followsoshi caused a sensation when it opened as a stall in the Corner 28 food court. It principally sold Beijing style street food, including jianbing — a rolled-up pancake with all sorts of ingredients inside — and “roasted cold noodles,” which were like a crepe, only softer, with the noodle material on the outside. Jianbing selection B, called sausage king, features a pair of hot dogs wrapped up with crunchy wafers, chile oil, and other goodies, and the result will please frank lovers immensely.

A pancake on a griddle with all sorts of things dribbled on it and a couple of hot dogs.
A jianbing version of the sausage king at Followsohi.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Prontito

We envy Los Angeles for its under-the-highway, bacon-wrapped Sonoran hot dogs with a shifting roster of toppings, and this Colombian snack shop in Elmhurst comes as close to emulating them as any other place I know of in NYC. There are a few unusual twists: Ask for “super perro a la Mexicana,” which comes with a strip of bacon on top, guacamole, coleslaw, jalapeños, cheese, potato chips, Russian dressing, pico de gallo, and — perhaps strangest of all — a quail egg impaled on a toothpick.