Google Upper East Side eats and you will sure to find a joint named Papaya King on 86th street. The legend goes that a Greek immigrant deli owner named Gus Poulos vacationed in Miami and fell in love with Papayas. He searched all over New York and couldn’t find them anywhere. Finally he was able to find them and opened the first juice bar in New York called Hawaiian Tropical Drinks. Gus was then dubbed the “Papaya King: and in 1960 he changed the name of the store. He introduced frankfurters (hot dogs, aka Meat in Tube Form) and boom, a New York institution was born. I visited it the other day and let me tell you, it is THAT good. My fellow “Meat in Tube Form” lover LVD would approve of this joint and we have it on the list for when she comes up to visit us. The original joint (3rd and 86th) is still the original store location and what makes it unique is that it is strictly stand up service and much like the Rendezvous in Memphis who doesn’t have desserts or coffee it is “Come in, Eat and then leave.”
I tried the Onion overload (fried, sautéed and caramelized) and the New Yorker (pastrami, pickle, and Russian dressing) and it was damned good. Much better than those dirty dishwater dogs they sell on the street.
You may recall this Post where I called out my good friend AB. Why am I referencing her you ask? Well CBT is going to break his own mantra and post a bunch of food pics. Feel free to judge away.
Pretty easy to find the joint on East 86th
I opted for a diet coke rather than a Papaya drink but they did look good
Oh I failed to mention that this joint is open till 2AM. I can foresee some late night food runs to 86th street on the 6 train! AJ you taking notes?