Grub Guides

After Hours: Seventeen Sit-Down Options for Outstanding Late-Night Food

Defy slumber at Fatty ‘Cue. Photo: Danny Kim

For all the talk of New York being the city that never sleeps, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find good things to eat much past midnight. There are the not-great diners, and some good taco stands, but almost gone are the nights when you could roll in somewhere at 1 a.m. and know you could spend the next two or three hours having a first-rate meal. That’s where this arsenal of late-night joints will come in handy: These are all places where you can still sit, talk, eat, and yes — have another drink or two. These places are Grub Street’s favorites, but feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

Defy slumber at Fatty ‘Cue. Photo: Danny Kim

Bar Jamon It’s usually tough to get a seat at Mario Batali’s diminutive pig-themed tapas bar, but try it late at night and you might just waltz right in. Kitchen open til: 2 a.m. nightly

Blue Ribbon Brasserie Its luster as a hot spot may have faded, but the original Blue Ribbon still has a reputation among night owls, chefs, and other wee-hours aficionados, who know they can count on oysters and bone marrow until 4 a.m. Kitchen open til: 4 a.m. nightly

Buvette Dainty Buvette is so charming we would live there dining on miniature cassoulet if our apartment were closer. And since it’s open straight through from breakfast until 2 a.m., we actually kind of could. Kitchen open til: 2 a.m. nightly

Coppelia Julio Medina’s (Toloache) 24-hour Cuban diner seems pretty brilliant if you happen to be a bit sauced, particularly when the lomo saltado arrives — basically a Central American version of disco fries, heaped with short ribs and more. Anyone know how to say “drunk food” in Spanish? Kitchen open: 24 hours, daily

dell’anima Somehow it always feel a little bit late-night at dell’anima — probably the ambient lighting and free-flowing wine. The good news is that when it’s actually the end of the evening, your chances of nabbing a perch at the counter or one of the couches and nibbling the excellent bruschette and the like are vastly better. Kitchen open til: midnight during the week; 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Fatty ‘Cue The menu at the all Fatties, but especially Fatty ‘Cue, seems expressly designed for the wee-hours reveler. Somehow deep-fried bacon seems absolutely ingenious when your inhibitions are down, and the fatty, salty flavors are ideal when paired with a beer or whiskey buzz. Kitchen open til: 12:30 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; midnight Sundays through Wednesdays

Great N.Y. Noodletown Ask a chef where he heads post-shift and there’s a really good chance the answer is Noodletown. The Chinatown standby slings roast duck and salt-baked seafood — washed down with Tsing Tao beers of course — in a fluorescent-lit utilitarian setting that conjures an older, grittier New York. Kitchen open til: 3 a.m. during the week; 4 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays

M Noodle Shop It’s easy to find a late meal near Williamsburg’s Bedford Avenue, but less so farther afield. File away M Noodle, which serves pretty good dumplings, and, of course, Chinese noodle soups, until 6 a.m., every day. Kitchen open til: 6 a.m. daily

The Meatball Shop The rapidly proliferating mini-chain is tasty, stylish, cheap … and always jammed. Which makes odd hours the best time to get your pork-meatball-in-spicy-sauce fix, anyway. Kitchen open til: 2 a.m. during the week; 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Minetta Tavern Oh to be a fly perched nightly on Minetta’s walls when the power brokers and scenesters let their guard down late at night. The abbreviated post-midnight “supper menu” is short the famous côte de boeuf for two, but that would probably induce nightmares anyway. Kitchen open til: 1 a.m. nightly

Nicoletta Regardless what you think of Michael White’s “Wiscopolitan” pies, there’s no denying they’re the perfect vehicle for soaking up a night of drinking. Kitchen open til: 2:45 a.m. nightly

Sake Bar Hagi If you ever somehow find yourself hungry late at night in Times Square (shudder), decamp immediately to Sake Bar Hagi. There, amid crowds of salarymen, you can eat Japanese bar snacks like bacon-wrapped asparagus or chicken skewers and cap the night with sake. Trust us, it’s perfection. Kitchen open til: 3 a.m. nightly

Schiller’s It’s not the hot new place anymore, but Keith McNally’s Lower East Side brasserie is still hopping night and day. It’s good to know you can hit up the stylish subway-tiled eatery for decent Frenchy food, and even better drinks (try the Pimm’s cup) until past midnight the whole week. Kitchen open til: 1 a.m. during the week; 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays; midnight Sundays

Smith & Mills This sweet little restaurant housed in a former Tribeca garage is smaller than most New York apartments, which says a lot. But the swaddled-in feel only stokes the desire to disregard the hour as you tuck into the brief yet tasty seasonal menu. Kitchen open til: 2 a.m. nightly (or 1 a.m. if it’s slow)

The Spotted Pig If you ever wonder where everybody’s gone when the streets are empty late at night, check the Spotted Pig. There, New York seems like the city from the movies and books — wakeful and sophisticated. Plus you can walk right in and order April Bloomfield’s gnudi and lamb burger without waiting for hours. Kitchen open til: 2 a.m. nightly

Walter Foods This craft-cocktail and oyster joint is quintessential Brooklyn, and since it’s in Williamsburg, it stays up late. After about 11 p.m., there’s much less risk of a tattooed elbow in the face as you clamor for a tufted green leather booth. Kitchen open til: 1 a.m. during the week; 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Wonjo If there’s a neighborhood that never sleeps, it must be Koreatown, particularly at this 24-hour barbecue joint. The knobs-to-eleven flavors of the smoky meat, pickled vegetables, and funky gochujang sauce will keep your tastebuds alert, and probably the rest of you too. Kitchen open: 24 hours, daily

After Hours: Seventeen Sit-Down Options for Outstanding Late-Night Food