Late nights and good food: two things New York City never disappoints on. So it only makes sense that the city's thriving food scene extends past midnight for the night owls that take the "city that never sleeps" reputation seriously. Whether you're craving Italian, Asian, Indian, or specifically New American food, there is most likely a hot spot cranking out the goods into the wee hours of the morning. So, after a night of drinks, dancing, or even just dawdling around the city streets, you never have to worry about finding a satisfying midnight (or 3 a.m.) snack. Here, we've rounded up six of our favorite spots for chowing down after lights out.
Best for: Pretending you’re eating a home-cooked meal
Why: Wouldn’t it be nice to end every big night out with a homemade dinner full of comfort food that would cuddle our insides in warmth? Cafeteria provides essentially that experience, minus the fact that the food was actually cooked in your home. The Chelsea hot spot specializes in updated comfort food classics, like fried chicken and mac and cheese, and is open 24 hours a day.
What to Get: The Meatloaf
2. Blue Ribbon Brasserie
Best for: A meaty meal that might hold you over until your next night out
Why: Blue Ribbon Brasserie is one of six other restaurants under the Bromberg Brothers' vast Blue Ribbon restaurant empire. The brasserie is especially good for heavy New American meals—think roast chicken, vegetable kabobs, and a sweet and spicy catfish—that will certainly fill a tired tummy after dancing the night away. The restaurant is famously open until 4 a.m. seven nights a week.
What to Get: Fried Chicken
3. Papaya King
Best for: Getting your hot dog and papaya fix at once
Why: No seriously, Papaya King prides itself on being the first restaurant to mix frankfurters and papaya-based drinks. And, we’ll be honest, it really is a winning late night combination. Trust us and forgo the boiled hot dogs at home for a heavily topped dog from one of the two brightly colored, neon lit Papaya Kings in the city (the St. Marks Place location is open until 5 a.m. Thursday to Saturday)—you can’t miss them!
What to Get: A footlong dog topped with New York onions and a papaya drink (of course!)
4. Great N.Y. Noodletown
Best for: Noodles that don't require a microwave
Why: Skip your usual late night Chinese delivery and make a pit stop in Chinatown for a bowl of noodles at Great N.Y. Noodletown instead. Don’t let the neighborhood mainstay’s inconspicuous exterior turn you away. The food is what late night dreams are made of: quick, delicious, inexpensive, and available until 4 a.m. daily.
What to Get: Roast Pork and Noodles in Soup
5. Artichoke Basille's Pizza
Best for: Not dollar slice pizza
Why: There is no denying the satisfaction of a dollar slice of pizza after a big night out. But, if you're in the market to splurge ($5 will get you a slice), you would be remiss to skip one of the Artichoke Pizza locations in Manhattan. Although famous for its, well, artichoke pizza, the menu runs pretty extensive and if anything goes down well after hours, it's a good old slice of pizza.
What to Get: Staten Island Pie
6. Katz's Delicatessen
Best for: Feeling super “New York” while eating really good pastrami
Why: Google “classic N.Y.C. food spots” and Katz’s will likely fall close to the top of any list. Family run for more 100 years, the legendary deli holds a soft spot in the hearts of many New Yorkers, including some famous faces, who have been coming to the deli for pastrami on rye for years. The Lower East Side staple is open all night on Friday nights, so pop in after a night of bar hopping on Delancey and get your fill of some of the best sandwiches in the city.
What to Get: Hot Open Faced Sandwich Platter