New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Gray's Papaya

The ubiquitous New York hot dog chain, this one is at 8th St. and 6th Ave. in the Village. Gray's was started in 1972 by Nicholas Gray. Competitor Papaya King dates back to 1931. Both use the respected Sabrett hot dog and sell a variety of tropical drinks such as papaya, for the supposed health benefits, and each has their loyal followers. The large hot dog greets you at the door. They celebrate yearly - note the colorful hanging paper fruit. These chains have spawned even more copies with similar themes - Papaya Dog etc. Gray's is open 24/7, and serves at a fast New York pace - you eat standing up and are out in minutes. This is one of those old time fast food joints, throwbacks from before the days of big multinational chains like McDonalds, that still exist in Manhattan, similar to the many Ray's Pizzas, who all claim to be the best and the original. You can get a meal for under $2, practically unheard of in Manhattan. Here's another view from the inside.

6 comments:

luminlight said...

Quite an interesting take on selling hot dogs via another food type, papayas!

Brian said...

Yes, it is an interesting take - I've always been somewhat puzzled myself as a New Yorker. If you read the link on Papaya King, there is a fascinating history. Apparently the connection with hot dogs is due to the founder's marriage to a German woman and his subsequent interest in German foods, including frankfurters. And I imagine everyone else, including Gray's, just copied the formula.
Brian

luggi said...

Hey, great! Two new places to visit when I come to New York in June: the Prada store and Papaya King.

Sam said...

I love hotdogs! An undervalued meal, in my opinion!
:-)

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting site... » » »

Julian said...

I had a big trek today, walking up 3rd Ave from 33rd St, heading for what I thought was a Papaya joint around 53rd. Nowhere to be found. I finally ended up at 86th for Papaya King. Is my memory failing or was there one on third near Bloomingdale's. I haven't been in that area for many years but used to stop at one before/after movies in the 80's.