The 'Weird' Hot Dog Combo Martha Stewart Loves To Grab While In NYC

Martha Stewart is known for her good taste, especially when it comes to all things food and entertaining related. She's a perfectionist who elevates even "casual" meals, where lunch with an old friend can involve four courses, including fettuccine with caviar. How many other people can casually serve a kilo of Osetra caviar on social media and make it look effortless?

Martha Stewart is also incredibly busy running her vast empire and sometimes needs to grab food while rushing around from place to place. And her favorite quick bite when she's running around NYC, as she related to Town & Country, is a hot dog with lots of sauerkraut and mustard from Papaya King, adding that, "You might think it's weird but it's delicious." Although a hot dog doesn't sound like something Martha Stewart would be a fan of, to be fair, it's a Papaya King hot dog, which is an iconic NYC culinary experience. Stewart also balances things out by pairing her hot dog with some fresh squeezed juice, something else that Papaya King pioneered.

Papaya King is a NYC staple for hot dogs

Founded in the Upper East Side in 1932 by Greek immigrant Gus Poulos, Papaya King was New York's first juice bar, selling tropical juices, and especially papaya, which Poulus discovered while on vacation to Cuba. Tropical fruit juice was a hard sell in the largely German and Polish neighborhood, even when hawked by waitresses in hula skirts. It wasn't until Poulos started offering hot dogs as well that business started taking off. 

Papaya King also offers other fruit juices, like the orange juice that Martha Stewart prefers. As hot dog historian Bruce Kraig notes to NPR, while the combination of "an oily hot dog topped with sauerkraut and chest-clearing mustard" paired with tropical fruit juice may seem odd, it clearly worked as it inspired a whole slew of imitators around the city. That combo clearly works as well for Martha Stewart, doyenne of deluxe domesticity. Anthony Bourdain was also a fan, while Julia Childs once called Papaya King's hot dogs "the best hot dog in New York" (via the LA Times).

However, Martha Stewart and other fans will have to venture to a different location to get their hot dog and juice combo from now on, as the original Papaya King shop at 179 East 86th Street, on the corner of Third Avenue, is slated for demolition. Luckily Papaya King's new home is practically across the street, at 1535 Third Avenue, between East 86th Street and East 87th Street.