Five Destinations for Late Night Food in NYC


by Chad Thomas

You've been there. You leave the bar, and in spite of the fact that you've been on a calorie-rich beer diet all night, you're somehow starving. You and your friends have to find something that'll satisfy those voracious appetites, but where? Check out our favorite late-night meal spots in the city that never sleeps.

See also: Williamsburg's Best Old Fashioned Cocktails

Daddy-O ($$)


Two words: Tots (pictured). And wings (also pictured). When you emerge from a cramped West Village speakeasy and all you really want is some comfort to settle that one-past-your-limit Old Fashioned in your stomach, Daddy-O's got you covered...Daddy-O! The typical clientele is far from the chic artsy types you probably spent most of your night with, which, like the food, will be a welcome reprieve from any semblance of snootiness. Sit on down, grab your tots, and get your grub on.

Katz's Delicatessen ($$)

Katz's Delicatessen

“Katz's made the list? That's random.” Hey, it's not random just because everybody knows about Katz's! What they might not know is that Katz's is that they are serving up their delicious reubens, corned beef sandwiches, pastrami on rye (oh yes, that's pictured), and all their other freshly sliced and liberally applied cold cuts for the entire night of Friday. That's right: Katz's pulls an all-nighter on Friday nights, and stays open for the entirety of the following Saturday, too. You might want to visit Katz's late-night just based on their commitment alone—though definitely don't leave without a sandwich. As I'm sure you know, they're as good as it gets.

Cafeteria ($$)


While the name itself might not be the most original or the most appetizing, this Chelsea establishment has made a name for itself by serving up original twists on classic American comfort food at all hours of the night. Unlike the communal school lunchroom of yore that the restaurant's name derives from, Cafeteria is open at all hours, both day and night; and, also unlike those soggy waffles you used to get in the mornings before class began, Cafeteria has a chicken and waffles dish that's as good as they come. Best of all? That grease serves to sop up those toxins that would have caused a hangover in the morning. Instead, all you have to deal with is a little dehydration—and maybe a slight bellyache.

Blue Ribbon Brasserie ($$$)

Blue Ribbon Brasserie

It isn't often that you think of a gourmet meal when your mind envisions what your 2:30 AM indulgence is going to consist of, and honestly, the food at Blue Ribbon Brasserie doesn't come with a typical, cheap late-night-snack price tag. If you've already blown a fair amount of cash at the bar, you may want to steer clear of this spot; however, if you have that money to blow, and are looking for the ultimate late-night culinary experience, Blue Ribbon is the spot for you. Whether you're angling for hanger steak and onion rings, or some fresh oysters and a nightcap, Blue Ribbon keeps its doors open 'til 4 AM, so you can take your time as you ingest and imbibe some of the best food and drink New York has to offer any time of the day.

Halal Guys ($)

Halal Guys

Though the last destination on our list did recently open a brick-and-mortar location in the Upper West Side, the original Halal Bros consists of a mere food cart in Midtown. Granted, that single food cart has now turned into a fleet, but you'll still get the same delicious, hot, fresh, filling, and cheap meal that made Halal Guys famous. Lamb, chicken, or falafel, all hot and fresh, all drenched with their signature white sauce, and—if you're feeling bold—a dollop or two of the firey red stuff as well. Halal Guys needs minimal description, because it's almost a rite of passage for New Yorkers. If you haven't had it, you can't call yourself a true member of Gotham City. So get on it!