Coney Island and The Hype of Nathan's Famous

If you googled "Best Hot Dogs in NYC", rest assured that Nathan's Famous will make it to almost any list created by various source on the internet. But how come it's THAT famous? Is it THAT good? I went on a sudden impulsive trip to Coney Island on a fine Monday night to find out.

THE AMUSEMENT PARKS

First, I'll start with Coney Island and its amazing beach and boardwalk. There are over 46 attractions, all of which belong under the Luna Park flagship. Categorized to mainly 5 different levels which is Extreme - High - Moderate - Mild Thrills, and Games; all of the attractions are spread from the oldie Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, to the famous Scream Zone where you can try the extreme "Thunderbolt" ride. If you love that adrenaline rush being pumped to your blood vein every time you hop into challenging ride, I would recommend you to buy unlimited ride pass or Luna Card to save some cash. Or else, prepare to pay a lot of money for individual ride, e.g. $10 for Thunderbolt, $7 for Soaring Eagles, $7 for Wonder Wheel, etc.

THE FOODS

Now, let's go back to our main discussion. Ever since you got off from the Coney Island subway station, it is impossible to miss out Nathan's Famous. It's located right in the intersection of Surf Ave & Stillwell Ave, which also acts as the main entrance to the beach and boardwalk. 

Chili Cheese Hot Dog ($4.79). I'll say it up front: IT WAS A DISAPPOINTMENT. For most part, it was the chili & cheese that ruined the beautiful dog & bun, thus, ruining the whole experience. Here's a suggestion: Go get the Original ones ($3.99) - not only will you save money, but it's kind of the real deal. Do NOT ever get tempted to complicate the dish with chili that tasted like Tac* *ell's mushy-artificial-yuck-mixture; and cheese sauce that's actually not even using real cheese. After all, a really good classic hot dog needs ketchup + mustard and we're so ready to go! But if you really insist on adding topping, maybe try their Pepper & Onions Dog. A little bit of veggies can't hurt as bad as artificial chili cheese, right?

Chili Cheese Hot Dog ($4.79). I'll say it up front: IT WAS A DISAPPOINTMENT. For most part, it was the chili & cheese that ruined the beautiful dog & bun, thus, ruining the whole experience. Here's a suggestion: Go get the Original ones ($3.99) - not only will you save money, but it's kind of the real deal. Do NOT ever get tempted to complicate the dish with chili that tasted like Tac* *ell's mushy-artificial-yuck-mixture; and cheese sauce that's actually not even using real cheese. After all, a really good classic hot dog needs ketchup + mustard and we're so ready to go! But if you really insist on adding topping, maybe try their Pepper & Onions Dog. A little bit of veggies can't hurt as bad as artificial chili cheese, right?

French Fries ($3.25 reg, $3.75 large). Now this, this is probably the BEST thing you can order out of Nathan's Famous. Their crinkle cut fries which comes in quite huge chunks of wedges, is really really good and tasty, especially when it just came straight from the fryer. It's everything that you could ask for in a good fries. Again, don't be tempted to add chili or cheese, remember that Nathan's Famous is actually famous for its original ones!

French Fries ($3.25 reg, $3.75 large). Now this, this is probably the BEST thing you can order out of Nathan's Famous. Their crinkle cut fries which comes in quite huge chunks of wedges, is really really good and tasty, especially when it just came straight from the fryer. It's everything that you could ask for in a good fries. Again, don't be tempted to add chili or cheese, remember that Nathan's Famous is actually famous for its original ones!

Soft Shell Crab Sandwich ($6.49). Yes, looks are important. But no, this was not what I hoped for. We all know how sad it looked like, don't we?

There really isn't much going here. Thick bun, one thin layer of lettuce wilted by mayo spread, and a squeezed soft-shell crab in between. Nope. Do not get this one.

Fried Clams ($4.79). Well this was pretty decent, I guess. But I wish it could be a little more crispy, though. 

Fried Clams ($4.79). Well this was pretty decent, I guess. But I wish it could be a little more crispy, though. 

After a mixed review based on my personal experience, I'll probably say this: Don't go too adventurous at Nathan's Famous. Stick to their specialty which is Original Hot Dogs and Fries, but no more than that. After all, they're famous because they've been there since 1916, and also because they're the annual host of International Hot Dog Eating Contest, which happens every Fourth of July to commemorate America's independence day.

INSTEAD... 

what you should really visit when coming to the Coney Island is probably this: WILLIAM'S CANDY SHOP! Located next to Nathan's Famous, you will find tonsssss of sweets here. Personally, I love love love their Candy Apples ($4), which aren't as sweet as I originally thought. They're using Granny Smith Apple, and there are dozens of toppings to choose from. Original red candied, red candied with nuts, caramel nuts, chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles, and so on. They have the marshmallow-on-a-stick version too. This place will definitely bring you back to your childhood memories, and makes you feel like a kid again. :)

Nathan's Famous
1310 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224
(800) 628-4267

William's Candy Shop
1318 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224
(718) 372-0302

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See you on the next adventure.

Cheers!