Gray's Papaya

Gray's Papaya

Gray's Papaya is a hot dog restaurant with three locations on the West Side of Manhattan, open 24 hours a day year-round. The three locations of Gray's Papaya in Manhattan are: 539 Eighth Avenue at 37th Street, 402 Sixth Avenue at 8th Street, and 2090 Broadway at 72nd Street. Somewhere between a street vendor and a fast food restaurant, Gray's Papaya is famous for its very inexpensive, high-quality hot dogs. The "papaya" in the name refers to the fruit drinks sold at the establishment, which include orange, grape, piña colada, coconut champagne (non-alcoholic), and banana daiquiri (non-alcoholic) in addition to papaya. As of August 2008, the "Recession Special", (2 hot dogs & a drink) is US$3.50 instead of the previous cost of US$2.75 and a single hot dog is US$1.25, with tax included.

The original Gray's Papaya was started as a spin-off/clone of Papaya King in 1973. [ [ It's All in How the Dog Is Served] "The New York Times", 2005-05-25.]

Popular culture

The branch at West 72nd Street and Broadway is clearly visible behind Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in the scenes just prior to the subway sequence in the movie "Die Hard with a Vengeance". It is also clearly seen in the Baseball Furies sequence of 1979's "The Warriors". Michael J. Fox and Gabrielle Anwar enjoy Gray's Papaya hot dogs while chatting about the piano player on the street corner from the window of the restaurant in 1993's "For Love or Money". This branch is also featured in the movie "You've Got Mail". [ [ You've Got Mail ] ] It is also seen in the film "Down to Earth" staring Chris Rock. A scene in "Crossing Delancey", when Izzy (Amy Irving) has her "birthday dinner (a Gray's hot dog) features a street singer belting out "Some Enchanted Evening" in the restaurant.

The restaurant was featured in the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother", as one of Ted's pre-arranged New Year's celebration stops in the episode "The Limo." Matthew Perry's character in the movie Fools Rush In makes mention of his preference for Gray's Papaya hot dogs, and his wife special-orders them to Nevada.

Gray's Papaya also appeared in "Sex and the City" in the 2002 episode "Plus One is the Loneliest Number". [ [ "Sex and the City" Plus One Is the Loneliest Number (2002) ] ] Anthony Bourdain featured Gray's Papaya on his show in the Travel Channel called "No Reservations".

In the August 1, 2006 issue of "", Gray's Papaya's hot dog was ranked number one over its competitors "Papaya Dog" and "Papaya King". [ [ Time Out New York: Dog fight ] ]

80's/90's New York hardcore/punk band Bugout Society has a song called "Bum Rush at Gray's Papaya" which recalls a fantasy about having one's hot dogs stolen by homeless people hanging around the restaurant.

In the book series "Fearless", main character Gaia Moore has a fetish for the hot dogs of Gray's Papaya.

Gray's Papaya was also referenced at the beginning of an episode of Everwood titled "All the Lonely People". They are referred to by main character Ephram as the best in the country. []

On March 3, 2008, "The New York Times" reported that Gray's Papaya had endorsed Democratic candidate Barack Obama in his campaign for the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election. [ [ Two Hot Dogs, a Drink, and a Nod to Obama ] ]

Gray's Papaya is one of many late-night destinations of several characters in the 2008 film Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.


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