NYCGuide

The Best Late Night Food In NYC

Where to eat dumplings, shellfish towers, and deep-fried hot dogs after midnight.
A hot dog from Crif Dogs.

photo credit: Ashley Sears

As a New Yorker, there are a few things you should know how to do. You should be able to do a pretty good impression of that PA voice on the subway, for example, and you should also be capable of finding a good late-night meal. If you need a little help with that, here’s a guide for you. It has everything from burgers and tacos to shellfish towers and yakitori, and it will be one of the single most valuable resources for your life in NYC.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Korean

Koreatown

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsLate Night EatsBirthdays

Is it lame to say that the name of this Koreatown restaurant is exactly how we feel about it? Yeah, but it’s too late now. Open until 4am on Friday and Saturday, this fun three-story place has spinning rainbow-colored lights, a bar in the basement, and DJs every weekend after 6pm. They have several combos ($109 to $229) to choose from, which come with a cornucopia of vegetables to throw on the grill. Our favorite is the one with both beef and pork. Add some smoky, peppery japchae and their custardy truffled steamed egg—we’d come here just for those two things.

photo credit: Will Hartman

Let’s face it, there are a lot of factors that might make your vision worse than normal late at night. You might wonder if you’re seeing double when you spot Katz Deli and Datz Deli on the map, because they’re not too far from each other on the Lower East Side. Worse mistakes have been made. But on most nights, the Datz is open later, and instead of pastrami on rye, you can get an indulgent oxtail and mac patty, shoved between two slices of coco bread. They’re open until 3am on the weekends, and 1am during the week, and their hearty Guyanese Caribbean food should send you into a blissful sleep.

This dark, smallish basement restaurant in Midtown East feels more like a sake den in the East Village, and it’s open until at least 1am every night. You can get small plates like chicken karaage and gyoza, but the main reason to come here is the yakitori. Most of it costs around $4, and you can specify how you want each skewer seasoned (with salt or tare). Our favorites are the straightforward chicken thigh with scallions, and the roe-filled smelt, but save some room for the scallop and quail egg kushikatsu.

photo credit: Willa Moore

$$$$Perfect For:LunchQuick Eats

This is New York, which means you don’t have to settle for a mediocre slice of pizza late at night—instead, you can get one of the best slices. Lucia Pizza's Soho location is open until 3am, Thursday through Saturday (1am during the winter months), and even if you're stumbling and bleary-eyed, you’ll appreciate the moment they take to shower your pizza with basil and parm. There are a lot of standout slices here, so we recommend getting a few—something with red sauce, then also the vodka sauce slice, or the creamed spinach one. It's 350 feet from the A/C at Canal Street, in case that's your next move.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

If you–like us—dream of using a lazy susan at 1am, head to Taiwanese Gourmet in Elmhurst. It's open until 2am, seven days a week, and it's where you should come for a big, sit-down meal with a group who appreciates late-night flies' head and fried rice more than going out on the town. Order as much as you can fit on your table, and then make plans to come back here at a more regular hour, when you are not almost asleep, so that you can truly do justice to that crispy fried cuttlefish. They also have a late night deal: from 10pm to 2am, get two dishes and sweet yam congee for $23.95.

At Itaewon Pocha, you’ll drink a bunch of cocktails that taste like they’re equal parts sugar and soju. That might sound reckless, but this neon-lit Korean gastropub in K-Town serves exactly the kind of food you need to soak up a ton of booze. Get some kimchi dumplings smothered in a cream sauce, an order of cheesy rice cakes mixed with a ton of seafood, and don’t skip the bulgogi fries. It's open until 4am on weekends and 2am on other day—bring a few friends after 10pm for the full experience, and try not to fall off your little plastic stool.

There are only four items on the menu at 7th Street Burger in the East Village, and this simplicity works in your favor when you want to do minimal thinking after a long night of chasing whiskey with Miller Lights. Your options are: a cheeseburger, a double cheeseburger, an Impossible burger, and fries—and they're available until 3am on Thursday to Saturday. Get one of the city's best cheeseburgers and grab a chair in their outdoor structure, or just stand around and block the sidewalk like everyone else. 7th Street Burger has 11 other locations throughout the city—hours vary. 

photo credit: Will Hartman

When the line at 7th Street Burger looks like a KithXSupreme collab mobscene circa 2017, don’t worry: you can still get your late-night munchies at Hen House, which is no more than 30 steps away. The Lebanese spot has lamb shawarma and grilled chicken pitas with extremely garlicky pickles and toum, and a pretty good chicken sandwich that’s even better when you’ve drunk all the cheap beer the East Village has to offer. Their menu often has specials, so you might find a shawarma crunchwrap one night, or smoked lamb ribs with a pomegranate molasses bbq sauce on another. They’re open until 1am on the weekends.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

There are very few times of day we would say no to a handmade tortilla wrapped around a fistful of meat and cheese, and thanks to this Mexican street food joint in East Harlem, we’ll never need to. Quesadillas Doña Maty is open 24 hours, and you’ll see people come through at all times for to-go orders of tacos, gorditas, and unpressed quesadillas that look more like extra long tacos. On weeknights, this colorful little love shack is a peaceful place to eat tacos and stare at the TV after a late shift. But on weekends, all bets are off. At peak post-bar hours, it’s everyone’s first pit-stop before the walk home. They also have a second location on 110th that closes at 10pm.

photo credit: Emily Schindler

One night, we were pretending to have fun at a bar in the East Village, and then we remembered we could just go to Katz’s instead. On weekdays, the Lower East Side pastrami institution is open until 11pm. But on Friday, they open their doors at 8am, and don't close them until 11pm on Sunday. The late-night scene at Katz’s is still crowded and tourist-heavy, and you will need to pull it together for an interaction with the deli bouncer, but once you make it inside, all the pastrami and potato salad you need are right at your fingertips. And after a few drinks, forking over $27.45 for a sandwich feels like a fine idea.

We'd eat a burger and cottage fries at this Upper East Side institution at any time, any day of the week. But we have a soft spot for the 2am visit, when you order a martini even though you certainly don't need it, and forget, for the thousandth time, that this place is cash-only. (The ATM is across the street, towards 75th Street.) The restaurant is open every day until 3am, except Sunday when it closes at 1am. A cup of chili has life-saving powers at this hour, especially followed by a tart slice of key lime pie. We don’t make the rules.

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

The fried chicken at this Williamsburg spot is crispy, juicy, and very hard to put down. Their biscuits are pretty great too. We’re not the only ones who think these things, so you’re going to have to deal with some crowds here. If you come on a weekend, when this place stays open until 2am, expect a lot of drunk people in a small, dark, and packed room. The backyard is even smaller, so don’t pin your hopes on that. Just loosen your definition of personal space, and you’ll be fine.

From its early days as a food cart, Taco Mix has deep roots in late-night eating. These days, its Harlem location is open until 4am (they also have an outpost in Industry City), and it's where you go when you want to stand at a narrow counter and eat a quick bite of meat piled on top of tortillas after dancing for three hours straight. Your focus should be the al pastor tacos—you’ll need at least four of them—but they have all kinds of filling foods here.

photo credit: Atif Ali

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This Park Slope restaurant is a neon-lit party where you can order from a menu that has over 100 options on it, from gyros to full platters of biftekia. It’s hard not to be skeptical of a menu that large, especially when the kitchen is open until 2am four nights a week, but Medusa holds itself up to a high standard. Come for a midnight order of branzino, or stop by for some late-night beet hummus and beef-stuffed grape leaves that will make for great leftovers the following morning.

For kathi rolls and chaats at 3am on a Friday night, head to Thelewala on MacDougal Street. This Greenwich Vilalge counter-service spot serves a variety of portable items, which works well because it only has a small ledge and a few stools, so there’s a good chance you’ll have to take your food to go. Try the bhel puri and jaal muri, or if you're looking for something spicy enough to give you the same thrill as the latest Blumhouse flick, get the chicken phall roll slathered in habanero chutney.

Crif Dogs looks like it was put on this earth to host a bunch of drunken college kids looking for something to eat after six straight hours of drinking at multiple bars. That’s exactly what happens at this East Village spot, so congratulations to Crif Dogs for fulfilling their destiny. Depending on the night, it's open until 2am or 3am and you may find a mass of people, but join the line anyway. Order anything bacon-wrapped with cheesy tots, and you’ll be good. If you want craft cocktails with your hot dogs, snag a reservation at PDT (the speakeasy accessed via phone booth).

Coppelia is a Latin diner in Chelsea and it may not be your first choice in the neighborhood at 8pm—but when it’s super late and everything is closed, this spot suddenly feels like one of the best restaurants in the city. Grab a stool at the long counter or a booth if you’re with a group, and have some early-morning arroz con pollo, ropa vieja, or huevos rancheros. The Cubano—with the ideal ratio of roasted pork, ham, and swiss—is another solid choice. You can get one at 5am, because this place is open 24 hours.

photo credit: Roti Roll

$$$$Perfect For:Late Night Eats

Some neighborhoods are known for their late night food options. Others—looking at you, Upper West Side—are not. But it doesn't matter all that much, because Roti Roll exists. This takeout spot is open until 2am during the week, and 4am on weekends, and they churn out mini burrito-sized roti rolls stuffed with tender chunks of saucy lamb or channa masala. Options range from $4 to $8, and there's a door inside the tiny storefront that connects them to Suite, the gay bar next door. You can order roti from inside the bar—if you'd like a nightcap with your palak paneer roll—or just listen to the bar’s soundtrack while you wait for your order next door.

photo credit: Blue Ribbon Brasserie

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This Soho restaurant is an undisputed NYC classic, and it's one of the first places we think of when we want a sit-down meal at a table with white tablecloths at 11pm. (It’s open until 2am every day.) The beef marrow with oxtail marmalade, rack of lamb, and anything from the extensive raw bar are still go-to items after all these years. But don’t overlook the garlicky strips of sautéed calamari and the buttery collard greens. Every time we come here, it feels like reconnecting with an old friend and picking up right where we last left off.

On Fridays and Saturdays, the Inwood location of Cachapas Y Mas is open until 4am. This means that when everybody else in NYC is asleep, you could be eating crispy arepas, and cachapas stuffed to the brim with shredded beef and cheese. Most definitely get the sweet plantain yoyo with chorizo, but there's actually nothing we wouldn't recommend at this counter-service Venezuelan spot on Dyckman, so bring a few friends, grab a table, and round out your order with some tequeños and patacones. They have another location in Ridgewood, but it closes earlier.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

$$$$Perfect For:LunchCheap Eats

Chinatown used to be one of the best places to get a late night meal. But recently some of our all time favorites—like Wo Hop and Hop Kee—have reduced their hours, and the worst thing you could do for yourself is to show up to one of them late at night, and find it closed. Enter Sanmiwago. The Taiwanese dumpling spot is open seven days a week until 2am, and has electronic ordering kiosks, in case you’ve consumed tons of liquor and cannot imagine conversing with a human. An order of eight dumplings here ranges from $9 to $12. Grab a table in the all-white space, or take your order to go—we recently ate the signature fried pork with yellow chive dumplings on the subway, and it was awesome.

There aren’t many places in NYC where tourists and hungover New Yorkers come face to face. But that’s exactly what happens at this 24-hour Latin spot in Hell’s Kitchen. (Their locations in Times Square and LES are also open late.) Unsurprisingly, this place specializes in empanadas with flavors like cheesesteak, pernil, and Buffalo chicken. If you can’t decide what to get, go for the simple corn empanada filled with ground beef. We like the Colombian breakfast plate too with an arepa. Make sure to add some Colombian sausage.

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