Chelsea Papaya


By Dane Feldman

Photo by Dane Feldman.

Chelsea Papaya is located on the corner of 23rd St and 7th Ave in New York City. The hot dog and papaya stop is based on the world-famous Papaya King, but it does well as a so-called copycat.

The food
Chelsea Papaya is best-known for its hot dogs, but the menu is actually rather expansive. The spot offers various specials and combo deals, which makes it great for a cheap and quick lunch. Beyond that, though, Chelsea Papaya serves a perfectly good bacon cheeseburger and crinkle cut fries.

The menu also offers countless other items that I intend to check out in my future visits, like the potato knish, chili cheese sausage, corn dog, fried shrimp, and even breakfast sandwiches.

The drinks
Naturally, Chelsea Papaya’s most popular beverage is the classic papaya drink, much like Papaya King. Yet, the 24-hour spot also offers pina coladas, mango tropical drinks, lemonade, tea, coffee, and soft drinks. Don’t skip out on the papaya drink; it’s as refreshing as it is cheap.

The service/ambience
Chelsea Papaya is meant as a quick take out location, so nothing about it screams “come in and stay awhile,” but it’s entirely functional. The men who work the grill and cash register are friendly, often quick even during the lunch rush, and helpful. There is a $5 credit card minimum, which I usually shy away from, but when the food is so cheap I tend to order more than the minimum anyway.

For New Yorkers in the Chelsea/Flatiron area, this is a great quick spot for any time of day. The food is reliable and the prices are hard to beat.