Gray's Papaya New York

Image by ghdunbar

Gray’s Papaya – Traditional NY hot dogs

This flagship location is one of three (maybe two or four—they open and close) but certainly the most famous, having appeared in The Backup Plan, Die Hard, Down to Earth, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and many other films and TV episodes, including one that was being shot when I walked by last Friday. This place has been here at least 45 years.

What I appreciate is that their wieners have that kind of snappy-bite casing which, even though slathered in their tomato-ized onion concoction and sauerkraut, then given good squirts of two kinds of mustard, dominates the oh-so-important first bite experience.

This is an all-night walk-in, stand-up, stuff-your-face kind of joint usually backed up two or three deep. Great people-watching of the crowds leaving the 72nd Street subway station across the street which, by the way, is original to 1904. Big plate glass windows and an old-fashioned newspaper kiosk stand outside.

Other food is available, but waidaminute — this is a hot dog joint — who would buy an egg sandwich?

I asked the guy behind the counter how many hot dogs they sell each week: “4,000, give or take”. I asked the neighbouring business how much rent he figures they pay: “$25,000 per month”. Do the math.

I confess, this was my go-to spot back in the day. My other was Vinnie’s Pizza which, though it closed maybe twenty (or more) years ago, still gets reviewed on Yelp. Go figure. It was that good.

Gray’s makes the New York Times, again!

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Details about this spot



2090 Broadway, New York

Telephone number


Opening Times

24 hours daily


Recession Spcl: US$ 5


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Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)