Where to Eat the Best Late-Night Food in NYC

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The scene at the Long Island Bar.
The scene at the Long Island Bar.

It’s a fact: Some food is just better after midnight. New York City has a surplus of places that serve long into the night, but as high-level chefs continue to open more and more casual places, the quality of late-night food has only improved. Here are the best spots — both relatively new arrivals and all-night institutions — to find late-night food in New York City. And, please note, only places that serve food after midnight were considered here.

Downtown

Bar Sardine (Greenwich Village)
Closing Time: The kitchen is open until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Gabe Stulman’s classic, compact American bar sports a drink rail made for gazing out into the picturesque West Village streets. The "something for everybody" attitude that informs the menu, a nice mix of healthy and hearty, pervades into the early morning, when you’ll find light fare like an arctic char tartare with tobiko alongside a booze-absorbing grilled cheese with eggplant-tomato tapenade.

Birds and Bubbles (Lower East Side)
Closing Time: A late-night menu is served from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, when the restaurant closes at 2 a.m.
Fried chicken and Champagne make for an excellent weekend brunch, yes, but the food here is excellent for any time of day. The late-night menu is more limited but still offers the kind of fatty, hearty options you’d expect, like a chicken-tenders basket, pimento cheese with crackers, and a crispy potato salad.

Blue Ribbon Brasserie (Soho)
Closing Time: The restaurant and kitchen close at 4 a.m. daily.
You can’t mention late-night dining in New York without discussing this cozy, friendly, and always accommodating two-decades-old, empire-spawning brasserie, a place to go whether you want a hanger steak with onion rings or just some oysters from the raw bar. The nearby Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar is a great place to stop by, as is Blue Ribbon Sushi when you’re in the mood for a sashimi spectacle, but the original is still the one to beat.

Daddy-O (West Village)
Closing Time: The bar and kitchen close at 4 a.m.
Deceptively unassuming, this West Village bar is a destination for restaurant workers — the kind of crowd you’ll have the most fun hanging out with this late at night. The kitchen is open until four — all the better for hungry servers and bartenders whose only other options are turkey clubs and greasy slices — and, keeping in line with their neighborhood-bar ambitions, the food is simple and solid, if not spectacular.

Dell’anima (Greenwich Village)
Closing Time: Sunday through Thursday the last seating is at midnight, while Friday and Saturday it is at 1 a.m.
The first restaurant from Batali protégés Joe Campanale and Gabriel and Katherine Thompson is still as loose and lively as ever with the same top-notch Italian cooking that’s not always easy to find past midnight even in this city that, supposedly, never sleeps. There’s a full menu, too, ranging from five kinds of bruschetta to a whole roster of inventive antipasti (a seasonal sweetbreads item), pastas, and substantial entrées.

Empellón Al Pastor (East Village)
Closing Time: On Friday and Saturday the kitchen closes at 2 a.m.
Alex Stupak’s third Empellón is really a bar — there are some excellent margaritas and micheladas that you should be sipping all night long — and the namesake taco has been honed to the point where it’s now worthy of the attention the chef has showered on it. Use the mostly excellent sides to round out your meal while you order a second (and third) round of drinks.

Gottino (West Village)
Closing Time: The kitchen closes at 2 a.m. daily.
The rustically decorated space at this Italian-accented spot is as cozy as it gets. It’s all about wine at the bar, and the menu is made less for late-night gorging than for nighttime nibbling. Dishes like oxtail and bitter orange marmalade; crostini; and seasonal vegetables are pleasant enough, but they mostly allow you to focus on your conversation (and your wine).

Katz’s Delicatessen (Lower East Side)
Closing Time: The deli closes at 2:45 a.m. on Thursday, is open all night Friday, and all day on Saturday.
Perhaps New York’s most famous deli, Katz’s becomes a window into the city’s less savory past when it stays open all day and night on Friday and Saturday. Not that you need another reason to come when fatty, peppery, properly hand sliced pastrami is this good.

Dining at Minetta Tavern.
Dining at Minetta Tavern. Photo: Hannah Whitaker/New York Magazine

Minetta Tavern (Greenwich Village)
Closing Time: Thursday through Saturday the restaurant serves a late-night menu from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m. and stays open until 2 a.m. or until “all the guests have left.”
Keith McNally’s reimagined boîte is no secret — there’s a bouncer, mind you, and the restaurant remains a go-to for power players — but it only gets better as the night goes on. It’s a place where you can roll in at 1 a.m, post up at the bar, and get a hefty steak. There’s nothing quite like wolfing down a dry-aged burger, the famous Black Label, and while there’s no côte de boeuf after 11 p.m. you can still get a classic steak-frites and — why the hell not? — some roasted bone marrow.

Momofuku Ssäm Bar (East Village)
Closing Time: On Friday and Saturday the kitchen and restaurant close at 1 a.m.
The large-format dishes, like the classic whole rotisserie duck with chive pancakes and the dry-aged rib eye, get all the attention, but don’t let that distract from the still solid, regularly evolving à la carte menu at Dave Chang’s second restaurant. And for those looking to emphasize drinks, there’s Dave Arnold’s conveniently attached Booker and Dax, where they serve snacks like beef jerky and octopus escabeche.

Prince Street Pizza (Soho)
Closing Time: The pizzeria closes at 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The location is New York City pizza history — it was home to the original original Rays — and the square slices are inarguably some of the finest in town. There are only a few stools to be had, and the tiny space tends to get crushed with revelers late at night, but don’t let that get between you and the truly excellent pepperoni square slice.

Raoul’s (Soho)
Closing Time: On Fridays and Saturdays food is served until 1 a.m with the last reservation taken at 12:45.
It’s a family-run throwback to Soho’s bohemian past, and the crowd — an eclectic mix of locals, tourists, and fashionistas — makes for excellent scenery in the restaurant’s two dining rooms. You’re here for the relaxed vibe, really, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to eat. Just keep your plan of attack simple and stick to the more classic bistro dishes.

The Spotted Pig (Greenwich Village)
Closing Time: The restaurant serves dinner daily until 2 a.m., and the bar closes at 4 a.m.
Managing to get a table here can often be the main event of the night, but the restaurant is a modern classic for good reason. As the restaurant that kicked off the gastropub craze, the Pig’s menu has many reliable Bloomfield classics like the chargrilled burger with Roquefort (no substitutions, thank you) and sheep’s-milk ricotta gnudi. It’s the kind of rich, comforting, and often offal-heavy food that’s great for sopping up a night of imbibing.

Takashi's late night is all beef.
Takashi's late night is all beef. Photo: Carolyn Griffin/New York Magazine

Takashi (West Village)
Closing Time: On Friday and Saturday only there are 12 a.m. and 1 a.m. seatings for late-night ramen.
The Japanese-Korean house of meats is best known for serving four kinds of cow stomach and other lesser-appreciated delicacies to its devoutly carnivorous following, but on Friday and Saturday nights Takashi Inoue does away with the offal and instead breaks out the noodles to serve some of the best midnight ramen, an atypical beef, in town.

Veselka (East Village)
Closing Time: The diner is open 24 hours a day.
There’s no one thing that has made this Ukrainian diner the end-all and be-all of really late night dining in New York, but it is. There’s the charming old-school setting; the mix-and-match crowd of old-school New Yorkers, students, and young partiers; and the menu of hearty, filling Eastern European fare that’s restorative in whatever way you need.

Waverly Restaurant (West Village)
Closing Time: The restaurant serves food 24 hours a day.
Though it looks like a diner from before the era when dark-wood paneling and cozy, vinyl-cladded booths prevailed, Waverly’s menu will be instantly familiar. There are malted milk shakes, chicken fingers, buttermilk pancakes (both super and silver dollar), various Greek specials and Italian-American sandwiches, and just about anything — or, more aptly, everything — you’d want from this kind of polyglot establishment.

Midtown and Uptown

Bar Jamon (Gramercy)
Closing Time: The restaurant closes at 2 a.m. daily.
During prime time the battle for elbow room can be constant at this sister bar to Mario Batali’s still-excellent tapas spot Casa Mono. But when you’re in the mood for a more refined, lighter kind of meal, where you can share a few things and have a little of a lot while sipping on sherry, this is the spot to go.

The right kind of late-night feast, waiting for you.
The right kind of late-night feast, waiting for you. Photo: Melissa Hom

Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong (Koreatown)
Closing Time: The restaurant serves food and stays open until 2 a.m Sunday through Thursday and until 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
It’s not all that often — ever, really — that there’s a fine-dining chef in the kitchen when you go out for Korean barbecue. But the man at the helm here, Deuki Hong, trained at Jean Georges, and while they don’t overcomplicate things (it’s still, thankfully, all about the meat) there is a whole roster of banchan, appetizers, and side dishes, including a pretty top-notch beef tartare.

Hide-chan (Midtown East)
Closing Time: The restaurant serves food and stays open until 1 a.m. on Thursday and 4 a.m. on Friday.
Besides pizza, just maybe, there is no midnight snack so satisfying as ramen. At this out-of-sight noodle house, the bowls are satisfying and well-executed, especially the garlicky and rich signature soup. Even better, service is quick, so you won’t have to wait for your noodles, and the bowls are affordable.

The NoMad Bar (NoMad)
Closing Time: Wednesday through Saturday the restaurant serves food until an hour before last call, and the bar stays open until 2 a.m.
The crowd can be overwhelming at the companion bar to Daniel Humm’s posh pub, but if you and your guests can retreat to the solitude of a table, or inexplicably find yourself here on a quieter night, the expertly made drinks and gussied-up bar food — like fried chicken with chili-lime yogurt, a bacon-wrapped hot dog with black truffle, and one of the best chef burgers in the city — is worth it.

Sushi Seki (Upper East Side)
Closing Time: The restaurant serves food and stays open until 2:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday.
There’s nothing sophisticated about the dimly lit space, something that separates this spot from the city’s other sushi shrines, but its dedicated, in-the-know following, which includes chefs like Le Bernardin’s Eric Ripert (no slouch when it comes to seafood), speaks volumes. The chef-owner, who goes only by Mr. Seki, prepares his dishes with an inventive flair, and a meal at the bar here is one of the more dignified ways to eat deliciously well past midnight.

Tsukushi (Midtown East)
Closing Time: The restaurant and kitchen close at 2:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and at 12:30 on Saturday.
This restaurant has long been popular with New York’s Japanese chefs, who come after long shifts to seek the comforts of home, and for good reason. After 10 p.m. the kitchen abandons its delicate omakase fare in favor of heartier dishes like fried rice and shoyu ramen.

Central and South Brooklyn

Brennan & Carr (Sheepshead Bay)
Closing Time: The restaurant and kitchen closes at 1 a.m Sunday through Thursday and at 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
This almost-eight-decades-old, all-American vestige is deep in the borough’s southern reaches. It’s also a temple to that most Anglo of sandwiches: roast beef piled high on a soft Kaiser roll and soused with salty pan drippings. There are also well-charred hot dogs and excellent blueberry pie, which you’ll gladly scarf down like you’re one of the locals who’s had it all a hundred times before.

Leyenda (Carroll Gardens)
Closing Time: The kitchen closes at 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, when the bar is open until 3 a.m.
To match the focus and firepower of the drinks at their pan-Latin cocktail bar, business partners Julie Reiner and Ivy Mix brought in acclaimed chef Sue Torres (of the dearly and recently departed Sueños) to consult on a menu of pan-Latin snacks to match the drinks. Think potatoes stuffed with braised beef, chipotle, and Chihuahua cheese (Colombian papas rellenas), "Grandma Torres’s pernil and mofongo" (Puerto Rican–style roast pork with a mound of mashed, fried plantains), and tacos with an excellent goat picadillo.

Outside Long Island Bar.
Outside Long Island Bar. Photo: Melissa Hom

Long Island Bar (Cobble Hill)
Closing Time: The bar closes at 2 a.m. and the kitchen at 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
A Brooklyn landmark taken over by a team including the legendary Toby Cecchini, inventor of the Cosmopolitan, some may argue that this is the perfect New York watering hole. It’s also an ideal place for late-night dining, thanks to a menu of surprisingly ambitious, often delicious cooking from Uchi and Alinea alum Gabriel Martinez, who whips up a textbook version of fried cheese curds, killer trout dip, and — because this is a bar, after all — a great double-patty burger with some of the most impressive French fries in town.

Pork Slope (Park Slope)
Closing Time: The bar closes at 4 a.m. every night, while the kitchen closes at 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Decorated with pork imagery and featuring an impressive collection of canned beer and whiskey, this down-home honky-tonk bar from the team behind Talde serves true bar food. Think wings way better than the ones you’re used to, smarter takes on fast-food staples like spicy chicken nuggets, a porky melt with cheddarwurst, and other meaty sandwiches.

Roll-n-Roaster (Sheepshead Bay)
Closing Time: The restaurant closes at 1 a.m Sunday through Thursday and at 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The iconic, retro roast-beef palace is perhaps Brooklyn’s most enduring fast-food joint, a rollicking place where they’ve been serving oversize sandwiches and fries blanketed in cheese for nearly half a century. There is nothing artisanal and nothing gourmet about it, but don’t think that makes it any less delicious — and few things will sate your hunger better than a freshly baked roll piled with beef and dipped in au jus paired with cheap, old-fashioned beer.

Diner's beloved dry-aged burger, available until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Diner's beloved dry-aged burger, available until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Photo: Melissa Hom

North Brooklyn

Brooklyn Star (Williamsburg)
Closing Time: The restaurant closes at 2 a.m. every night, with the kitchen open until 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Williamsburg is flush with fried chicken and cheeseburgers, but few can compare to those at Joaquin Baca and Simon Gibson’s upscale comfort-food spot. The country-store-like room is filled with gray booths and a long bar, and the menu of Southern dishes is built for sharing — which is a great way to keep the night going.

The Commodore (Williamsburg)
Closing Time: The bar is open until 4 a.m. every night, while the kitchen is open until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Chris Young and Stephen Tanner’s nautically themed, barely lit dive is not the place you go for sophisticated bar snacks. It is where you go when you want to drink piña coladas spiked with amaretto while you dig into a pile of cheesy nachos in a loud, perpetually crowded, and never-self-serious bar that is, somehow, even better than the sum of its parts.

Diner at night.
Diner at night. Photo: Melissa Hom

Diner (Williamsburg)
Closing Time: On Friday and Saturday the restaurant and kitchen close at 1 a.m.
Cool and stylish without being loud about it, Andrew Tarlow’s original spot was a trailblazer that helped create the mold for the new Brooklyn restaurant. Housed in a refurbished diner car, the restaurant is as satisfying as ever: serving a simple menu written on a piece of paper at each table that changes daily, but it reliably includes a very good burger, along with a strong drinks list.

Motorino (East Village and Williamsburg)
Closing Time: On Friday and Saturday both locations serve and stay open until 1 a.m.
The Belgium-born, classically trained Mathieu Palombino makes some of the finest Neapolitan pies in the city, with expertly constructed puffy crusts and an emphasis on high-quality toppings like stracciatella, cherrystone clams, and San Benedetto anchovies. What’s special about this pizzeria, though, is that appetizers are both varied and actually worth ordering, from the meatballs to the octopus salad, so you can get a real meal while still appeasing your need for a cheesy (albeit classier) carbo-load.

Williamsburg Pizza (Williamsburg and Lower East Side)
Closing Time: At the Brooklyn location they stay open until 2 a.m. on Thursday and 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. On the Lower East Side they are open Wednesday and Thursday until 2 a.m. and Friday and Saturday until 5 a.m.
There aren’t a lot of seats at either location, but the pies are well worth it. Grandma slices are crisp, and plain slices will more than satisfy, but the toppings-happy crew here creates inventive, delicious original pizzas (like the Messina with goat cheese, ricotta, artichoke, sopressata, and imported black olives) that are worth the premium.

Queens

Arepa Lady 2 (Elmhurst)
Closing Time: The restaurant closes at 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Started by the sons of New York’s reigning queen of corn cakes — Colombian or otherwise — and First Lady of street food, Maria Piedad Cano, this restaurant offers a permanent, reliable place to indulge in Cano’s legendary arepas. Whether sweeter and stuffed with mozzarella, as in an arepa de queso, or sturdier and savory, as in the arepa rellena, it’s soul-satisfying, hearty food.

El Chivito D’Oro (Jackson Heights)
Closing Time: The restaurant is open until 1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Not all steakhouses have their roots in chops: Named for the overstuffed steak sandwich that is Uruguay’s national dish, it’s all about the parrilla (or grill) here. The space is diner-esque, and seasoning never takes precedence over the natural flavor of the well-charred meats, but for a real late-night feast the secret to success is the parrillada para 1, or mixed grill, a platter featuring skirt steak, short ribs, mild chorizo, veal steak, sweetbreads, and blood sausage.

Sik Gaek (Flushing and Woodside)
Closing Time: Both locations take orders until 12:30 a.m. and close at 1:30 a.m. Monday through Sunday, while on Friday and Saturday they take orders until 2:30 a.m. and close at 4 a.m. The Woodside location is closed on Sundays; Flushing maintains weekday hours.
This seafood-centric restaurant may be best known as a place where a not-yet-famous Momofuku chef David Chang took Anthony Bourdain to eat live octopus. But it’s a great place to learn the many virtues of octopus, and as varied as New York’s late-night-dining options are, no other will let you battle with a still-squirming, it-can’t-be-fresher cephalopod.

More Restaurant Suggestions From Grub Street
Where to Eat the Best Ramen in NYC
Where to Eat the Best Brunch in NYC
Where to Find the Best Tacos in NYC
Where to Eat the Best Sushi in NYC
These Are the Best Date Restaurants in New York
The Best NYC Restaurants for Groups
Where To Drink the Best Coffee in NYC
These Are New York’s Best Bars for Cocktails
Where to Eat the Best Steaks in NYC

This post is updated regularly.

The Best Late-Night Food in NYC