No trip to NYC is complete without a hotdog or two. Gray’s Papaya is not unheard of and it seems to be a pilgrimage of some sort for most visitors. It was the first thing we ate in NYC. Years ago when we still in Singapore, we watched Anthony Bourdain go on and on about the hotdogs and famous papaya drink at Gray’s Papaya on travel documentries. You can see why we were in such a rush.
We got a recession deal each, a meal consisting of two hotdogs and a drink of our choice for only US$4.95. Naturally we went for the papaya drink, which is actually a concoction of papaya, orange, grape, piña colada, non-alcoholic coconut champagne and banana daiquiri. I was skeptical about the papaya drink; I usually stay away from that fruit as much as possible, but this famous beverage was a delicious and refreshing tropical delight. The hotdogs were small-ish but bouncy (not chewy or rubbery, which would have been bad) in texture. I do apologise for the lack of a better word. The bread was fragrant and soft (I hate crusty hard breads, especially when they hurt my gums as I chew on them) and this is saying something because I abhor bread in general (no thanks to London’s ubiquitous sandwiches).
Having said that, the hotdogs were not out of this world, but for the price (compared to US$6 for two mediocre hotdogs from a random street vendor) and quality, it is as good as it gets. I went away a satisfied diner and I think the hotdogs and papaya drink warrant a fair visit, especially if you’re loitering around Madison Square Garden.
There are a couple of branches, we visited the one on:
539 8th Avenue at 37th St
Opening hours: 24/7