Tropical Delights: A Guide to New York’s Remaining Papaya Outposts

Still the King.
Still the King. Photo: Courtesy of Papaya King

In New York, the word papaya does not immediately conjure up images of the fruit, but instead memories of crisp-griddled dogs washed down with overly sweet tropical drinks. (Usually at, like, two in the morning.) (Also usually drunk.) The 80-plus-year-old pairing is unique to New York and justifiably beloved by all but the most dull city residents. So it’s no surprise that an outpouring of grief met this week’s revelation that the downtown location of Gray’s Papaya is now closed forever: It’s tough not to feel like a part of real New York is gone now, too. Fortunately, New York traditions tend to die hard and there are still at least a dozen other Papaya outposts around town (including the seven-month-old Papaya King on St. Marks and, of course, the Gray’s Papaya on 72nd and Broadway). They aren’t all the same quality — everyone knows Gray’s is one of the best papaya purveyors in town — but you should still get out there and grab a couple of dogs before another one of these spots closes.

Gray’s Papaya
2090 Broadway (between 72nd St. and 73rd St.)

Papaya King
179 E. 86th St. (between 3rd Ave. and Lexington Ave.)

Papaya King
3 St. Marks Pl. (between Cooper Sq. and Astor Pl.)

Papaya Dog
239 1st Ave. (at E. 14th St.)

Papaya Dog
333 Ave. of the Americas (at W. 4th St.)

Papaya Dog
400 W. 42nd St. (at 9th Ave.)

Papaya Dog
Pennsylvania Station

Papaya Dog
33rd St. and 5th Ave. (Sunset Park)

Len’s Papaya
4 South St. (at Staten Island Ferry Terminal)

Papaya Dog
51 Newark St. (Hoboken)

Chelsea Papaya
171 W 23rd St. (at 7th Ave.)

Mike’s Papaya and Pizza
132 E 23rd St. (between S. Park Ave. and Lexington Ave.)

Earlier: West Village Gray’s Papaya Has Closed