NEW YORK CITY NEVER SEEMS TO REST, but funnily enough, you can find yourself struggling to get a rememberable meal after 11 pm. The venues that are great at prime dining time are not always packing a punch at the tail end of kitchen hours. There is no reason why late-night food shouldn’t be bold, exciting and packed with fresh produce and crafted with love. It also helps if it provides comfort, and, ideally, absorbs alcohol.
We’ve rounded up some of the best 24-hour dining spots available in the city. All have stepped up and will challenge your understanding of what late-night dining should be.
Empire Biscuit’s motto reads; “Breakfast, lunch, dinner, drunk.” No matter what time of day, this 24-hour venue turns out fresh southern-style biscuits. We highly recommend the conventional signature combos, Benton’s heritage breed bacon with a runny-yolked egg and Cheddar, in-house smoked ham and egg and the spicy fried chicken biscuit with pickled carrots and sauce a l’orange.
Where: East Village
Colombian-inspired, Empanada Mama is a great spot for a pre-theatre bite, but 5 am works too. It offers more than 40 empanadas, from wheat flour to oven-baked wheat flour to corn flour to dessert. Their fillings range from shredded chicken with sofrito sauce and red peppers to Greek sausage pie to rice and beans to hot dog and cheddar cheese. To wash it all down, try the house-made salpicón and a fig and caramel empanada.
Where: Hell’s Kitchen and LES, Manhattan
Veselka has been an institution in the East Village since 1954, serving traditional diner fare and Eastern European specialties. Veselka has long been a popular stop on the post-bar circuit, drawing crowds with its sweet-and-savory dumplings topped with sour cream as well as applesauce-slathered potato pancakes, bowls of goulash and bigos, a sausage-packed Ukrainian stew.
Where: East Village
Cafeteria is the place you go if you are looking fly and not quite ready to call it a night. The post-party crowd is just as good looking as the food. The three versions of mac ‘n’ cheese and homemade sausage rolls with ketchup are worth the calories and the tiny basement bar is a great hideout if you want to extend the evening.
We are talking 24-hour Latin-American comfort food at Coppelia. With a sprawling menu of tortas, nachos heaped with short ribs, lomo saltado topped with fries, tomato and onion this venue is a perfect balance of well-crafted Latino cuisine and affordable, relaxed-style dining.
Where: West Village
☂Walking down the lane with lox and bagels just singin' in the rain. #breakfastfordinner #foodporn #food #foodie #insyafood #lox #smoked #salmon #smokedsalmon #pastrami #sandwich #pastramisandwich #pickles #pickle #bagel #bagels #yum #rainy #rain #rainyday #les #lowereastside #nyc #deli #katz #katzs #katzdeli #katzsdeli #singingintherain
Katz’s is so intrinsic to NYC that its inclusion on this list almost needs no explanation. But in case you’re a first-timer to the city, Katz’s fame comes largely from their thick-cut pastrami stacked high between slices of rye. It is the stuff of drunken dreams. It will set you back $20, but it’s worth every cent.
Where: Lower East Side
You’ll more than likely walk straight by this venue. But please don’t let the aged fast food shop front fool you. By-pass the display cabinet of soggy, lifeless pizzas and deep-fried empanadas and head to the back counter. There you can order a piping al pastor tacos straight from the griddle. Don’t hold back on the homemade hot sauce.
Where: Flatiron District
Technically, Bowery Diner is only open 24-hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but let’s be honest, those are the days you’ll be craving a Reuben made with house-smoked corned beef and dripping with melted Swiss and tangy kraut and a Pina Colada with jalapeno at 5 am. It’s simple and well-crafted food and cocktail menu pulls away from your typical diner-style experience, but it is very well executed.
Where: Lower East Side
B.A.D. Burger (Breakfast All Day), is a late-night right of passage for all who move to Williamsburg or anyone bar hopping between the Williamsburg and Manhattan. The hours have been cut to 11 am to 5 am on weekends, but that’s still pretty impressive. Try the fried macaroni-and-cheese balls or nachos coated with guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, black beans, and bacon, or “facon” substitute as the entire menu has vegan variations.
Where: Williamsburg and East Village.