Late-Nights Eats and 24-Hour Restaurants in NYC
It’s 1am in New York City and after a night out on the town, you’re ready to hop in a cab and head home. There’s just one thing standing in your way: you’re hungry. Fortunately you’re in NYC, the city that never sleeps and, subsequently, never stops eating either. You’re never more than a few blocks away from a late-night eatery or 24-hour restaurant, whether you’re craving hot dogs and fries or pierogis and cabbage soup. Calories don’t count after midnight anyway, right?
Here are 10 of the best spots for late-night eats in NYC.
1. Cafeteria, in Chelsea
This swanky take on the classic diner is open 24 hours a day, attracting people-watchers by day and club-goers by night. Cafeteria serves American comfort food with a modern twist, like mac and cheese spring rolls with smoked gouda dipping sauce. Breakfast is available all day, allowing you to enjoy eggs, waffles, pancakes and more whether it’s 2pm or 2am. The “Mac Attack,” a sampling of all three of Cafeteria’s gourmet mac and cheeses, is a popular menu item.
119 Seventh Avenue
Open 24 hours
2. Empellón Al Pastor, in St. Marks Place
A member of the acclaimed Empellón restaurant group, Al Pastor is a wildly popular taco spot serving hungry patrons after they hit the East Village bar scene. The tacos, served on paper plates, are just $5 to $8 apiece, while other bites like nachos, chips and guacamole, jalapeno poppers, ceviche and chicken wings start at just $6. Try the original al pastor tacos — warm tortillas filled with spit-roasted pork, chile and pineapple.
132 St. Marks Place
Open until 2am Fridays and Saturdays
3. Veselka, in the East Village
When you think of late-night eats, you probably don’t think of pierogis, stuffed cabbage, beef stroganoff or veal goulash. At 24-hour Ukrainian restaurant Veselka, you can order all of those things and more until the wee hours. The cabbage soup is a favorite, as are the legendary pierogis filled with your choice of potato, cheese, meat, sweet potato, sauerkraut and mushroom or arugula and goat cheese.
144 Second Avenue
Open 24 hours
4. Katz’s Deli, on the Lower East Side
You probably know Katz’s Deli as a big NYC tourist attraction and the place where Harry met Sally, but it’s also a great spot for late-night pastrami, corned beef and other Jewish deli classics. The hot pastrami, served on rye bread with mustard and a pickle on the side, is a must-have.
205 East Houston Street
Open until 2:45am Thursdays; all night Fridays
5. Great NY Noodletown, in Chinatown
This spot may not look like much from the outside, but inside is a Chinatown institution and some of the best late-night eats in NYC. Despite the restaurant’s name, Great NY Noodletown is known for its roast duck served over rice. The pan-fried noodles, wonton soup and soft shell crab also come highly recommended.
Open until 4am every night
6. Williamsburg Pizza, in Brooklyn
Of all the late-night eats in NYC, nothing hits the spot quite like pizza. If your night ends up taking you to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Williamsburg Pizza’s unique pies will satisfy your wacky 2am cravings. Although you’ll find fancy pies like the Tartufo with fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, rosemary, crimini mushrooms and white truffle oil, the Brooklyn with just mozzarella and tomato sauce is a fan favorite.
265 Union Avenue
Open until 2am Thursdays; 3am Fridays and Saturdays
7. Insomnia Cookies
Late-night eats don’t have to be savory. If your sweet tooth is aching past midnight, stop by one of Insomnia Cookies’ 10 NYC locations, from Morningside Heights to Wall Street. Their famously warm, melty, fresh-from-the-oven cookies range from traditional, like white chocolate macadamia, to deluxe, like s’mores or chocolate peanut butter cup. They deliver late, too!
Open until 3am every night
8. J.G. Melon, on the Upper East Side
Who knew that one of NYC’s best burgers could be enjoyed as late as 4am? Classic Upper East Side joint J.G. Melon’s famous cheeseburger is simple, juicy and delicious, matching the restaurant’s old-school décor and no-frills atmosphere. It’s a cash-only establishment, so plan accordingly or hit the ATM.
1291 Third Avenue
Open until 3am Mondays through Wednesdays; 4am Thursdays through Saturdays
9. Sticky’s. The Finger Joint, in Murray Hill
This Murray Hill late-night eatery claims to be New York’s first variety gourmet chicken finger restaurant. The space is casual, but Sticky’s takes its chicken fingers quite seriously, using locally-sourced ingredients and farm-raised, antibiotic-free, hormone-free poultry. Several creative varieties are on the menu, but the salted caramel pretzel — pretzel-breaded chicken topped with salted caramel sauce and pretzel salt — has become a staple. Sticky’s has also become legendary for its s’mores fries — French fries topped with chocolate sauce, marshmallow and graham cracker crumbs. Don’t knock them ‘til you try them!
484 Third Avenue
Open until 3:30am Fridays and Saturdays
10. The Meatball Shop, on the Lower East Side
Craving home-cooked Italian food after a night out on the Lower East Side? It may not be your grandmother’s cooking, but The Meatball Shop’s comforting fare comes pretty close. Every Sunday through Thursday from midnight to 2am, all sandwiches, house wine, draft beer, jello shots and off-menu “dunker sandwiches” (hot sandwiches served with special dips) are half-priced. Of course, be sure to try their meatballs, available served in a variety of ways with your choice of sauces and sides.
84 Stanton Street
Open until 2am every night
Late-night eats call for late-night accommodations
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