Only one place to be in NYC on 4th of July if you're a hot dog lover. The original Nathan's on Stillwell Ave on Coney Island for the hot dog eating contest!
I love hot dogs but no way could I ever do this contest. I think the most I've eaten at one time was 5, when I was an athlete in high school, could eat like 9000 calories a day like Michael Phelps and get away with it.
In fact, here's a picture of me eating a hot dog (that I most likely microwaved then put on white bread with a Kraft single and mustard) in my kitchen with Julie Moore Venn before a softball game in high school. I have on red nail polish for some reason, I weigh like 90 pounds and I'm wearing a Chicago T-shirt un-ironically...
Okay, back to Nathan's. Other than the original location on Stillwell, I never really ate Nathan's hot dogs in NYC. The fast food places are kind of filthy and the grilled hot dogs mediocre. I'm not a big fan of New York-style hot dogs with the brown spicy mustard, sauerkraut and onion saucey mixture.
But if you're at Coney Island, you have two have at least two. Then go see the bearded lady in a creepy tent and go on a wooden roller coaster if you don't value your life.
Nathan's hot dogs in general: *
Coney Island Nathan's overall vibe: ***