Midtown Hot Dog Vendor Admits to Charging Based on Looks

Yesterday, Grub Street pointed out a really interesting essay about a Hot Dog Vendor in Midtown. It’s part of a new anthology of New York Stories from the website Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, and a hot dog vendor parked on 34th street who spends the day charging different prices to different people.  It’s like I’ve always said, the price of things at carts (especially drinks) is always negotiable. (I’ve had vendors try to charge me $2+ for water, and $3+ for Snapple.) This is especially the case in Midtown, if a vendor suspects you are tourist.  Of course when you hear the vendor talk about how hard the streets have made him, with daily harassment from the cops that result in $250-$300 tickets, it kind of makes me want to pay the $3. (Although I still probably won’t.)  [Uncle Ayman's Hot Dog Stand via Grub Street]

Photo courtesy of AntyDiluvian


  • Hot dog vendors are always up to bargain. I’ve walked away from many only to be seduced back by a lowered price. The best is when I’m walking around late at night: free dogs. Nice!

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    I brought my 8 year old son to work with me one day and he wanted a hot dog on our way to the ESPN zone. At two bucks I thought it was a little steep. When he fininshed it he wanted another one. I ordered on at the NE corner of B’way and 44th (I think). I haned it to him and he took a bite. Then the guys said “$3″. I had no choice but to pay (after a few words that let him know I was from Brooklyn – not Oshkosh). When we left ESPN we walked east down 43rd and there was a cart advertising $1 hot dogs. I couldn’t apss up a deal so the boy had his third hot dog of the afternoon. Average price $2.

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    I don’t understand why there isn’t a city ordinance requiring the posting of all cart prices. Period. Seems basic.

    The hot dog cart on the corner of Sixth and 51 is egregious. I always aggressively ask “How much for a Coke?” and I can tell they are sizing me up.

    Always get a price first from these crooks.

  • Why do people eat at street carts — most especially at ‘hot dog’ street carts?

    And, why do people eat ‘hot dogs’, whether they are from street carts or from anywhere else?

    And, why don’t people eat at home when doing so is CHEAPER, HEALTHIER, MORE SATISFYING, and SAFER?

  • Some really insecure person is running out to that cart right now to see how much s/he will get charged for a hot dog…

  • “I Eat Too Much” – you bought a dog without determining the price first? And you claim to be from Brooklyn? Maybe so… by way of Iowa!

  • Yvo – how much did they charge you?

  • I say no to dirty water hot dogs. Save your money and go to a Gray’s Papaya or any of the Papaya’s. I rather eat one of those subpar dogs sold at newsstands in Penn Station then throw away $3 on a hot dog vendor.
    Or just boil your own dogs at home.

    When I pass by Murray’s, not only do I check out the cold cuts and cheese, I also look at their nitrate-free dogs. Seems like good stuff.

  • While I really enjoy reading this website, may I mention that another site that I enjoy, “The Paupered Chef” had a really cool post on how to make a “chicago-style hotdog.”

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I would rather live in Siberia than in Chicago, but Royer’s photos make eating a hotdog look almost possible — ALMOST!

    And I give him credit for preparing his “hotdog” at home instead of buying it from a crooked, potentially dirty, disgusting ‘food cart’ in New Yawk City.

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