Gray's Papaya is a hot dog restaurant, open 24 hours a day year-round located at 2090 Broadway at 72nd Street. The 402 Sixth Avenue at 8th Street & the 539 Eighth Avenue at 37th Street locations are no longer in operation.
Gray's Papaya is famous for its inexpensive, high-quality hot dogs. The "papaya" in the name refers to the papaya fruit drink sold at the establishment. They also sell orange, grape, piña colada, coconut champagne (non-alcoholic), and banana daiquiri (non-alcoholic) fruit drinks.
Anthony Bourdain featured Gray's Papaya on his Travel Channel show No Reservations.
Regis Philbin mentioned it numerous times when he hosted "Live with Regis and Kelly" and on other talk shows that he appeared as a guest.
In popular culture
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. Ironically, Fox is shown again outside of the restaurant a few minutes into the first episode of The Michael J. Fox Show which aired in September 2013. Matthew Perry's character in the 1997 movie Fools Rush In makes mention of his preference for Gray's Papaya hot dogs, and his wife "Isabel Fuentes Whitman" Salma Hayek special-orders them to Nevada. Gray's Papaya is also one of many late-night food destinations of several characters in the 2008 romantic comedy film Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Gray's Papaya also features in the 1998 romantic comedy film You've Got Mail.
Gray's Papaya appeared in Sex and the City in the 2002 episode "Plus One is the Loneliest Number." In the episode "The Limo" of the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Ted takes Robin to Gray's Papaya to ease her hunger on New Year's Eve; in the episode "Desperation Day", two of Robin's colleagues leave McLarens because some guys offer them hot dogs at Gray's Papaya. Gray's Papaya hot dogs are 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.
In the fourth season of Castle, Episode 08 (Heartbreak Hotel), Richard Castle mentions Gray's Papaya in order to cheer up his daughter who is trying to get over her break up.
The 1980s/1990s 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 Hardy Boys' Pushed, the brothers, while in New York for the first time since they were little kids, mention that they've "been thinking about those Gray's Papaya hot dogs since we got here". Later in the book, it's mentioned that they were "stuffed with Gray's Papaya hot dogs".
In the book series Fearless, main character Gaia Moore has a fetish for the hot dogs of Gray's Papaya. In William Gibson's 2007 novel Spook Country, chapter 26 is dedicated to (and titled after) the Gray's Papaya on 8th Avenue; the Recession Special is also mentioned as a meal of the characters.
Anthony Bourdain featured his local Gray's Papaya in Season 3, episode 9 of No Reservations. In the 2010 film The Back-up Plan, Stan and Zoe have their "first date" there by Stan and Zoe picking up takeout.
In the Season 4, Episode 3 of Glee (TV Series), "Makeover," the characters Rachel and Kurt had guava juice and hotdogs at Gray's Papaya.
In issue #32 of The Avengers (volume 4) comic book, Spider-man suggests the heroes "swing by" Gray's Papaya, although it is written as "Grey's Papaya."
In the Season 6 episode of How I Met Your Mother, "Desperation Day," two of Robin's friends ditch her, Barney and Nora at the bar in favor of being taken to Grey's Papaya by a couple of "white urkels."
In the song "Frequent Flyer" by Chromeo, a reference to the papaya fruit drink is made with the lyric "Sipping on a Gray's Papaya".
- the Baseball Furies sequence of 1979's The Warriors.
- behind Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson prior to the subway sequence in the 1995 movie Die Hard with a Vengeance.
- the 1998 Tom Hanks–Meg Ryan movie You've Got Mail.
- the 2001 Chris Rock film Down to Earth.
- Fools Rush In starring Matthew Perry, Salma Hayek
- The Back-up Plan starring Jennifer Lopez
- Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
- How I Met Your Mother Season 1 Episode 11 'The Limo'
- 2006 - "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" featuring Robert Downey Jr, Rosario Dawson Channing Tatum Shia LaBeouf
- Levine, Ed (May 25, 2005). "It's All in How the Dog Is Served". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
- Pushkar, Katherine; Guest, Jocelyn (June 1, 2006). "Dog Fight". Time Out New York. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
- Mainland, Alexis (March 3, 2008). "Two Hot Dogs, a Drink, and a Nod to Obama". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
- "Sex and the City" Plus One Is the Loneliest Number (2002)
- You've Got Mail