New York is the city that never sleeps. And that’s a good thing for any visitors trying to do it all in a place with infinite opportunities to experience food, theater, shopping, culture and world-class nightlife. Bars generally close at 4am, so if you’re still going strong after last call, where can you eat? We’ve rounded up the ten best restaurants in the city for after-hours dining, in neighborhoods where people stay up–and out–late. Avoid the greasy spoons and pizza slice joints; these restaurants will leave you wanting to linger over dessert or a nightcap, even if it’s the next day. Haven’t you always wanted to see the sun rise over Manhattan?
119 7th Avenue at 18th Street, (212) 414-1717
Cafeteria has a cult following. How many other restaurants are regularly mentioned in Page Six and have thousands of followers on Twitter? Since opening 15 years ago, Cafeteria has kept to their oft imitated but never replicated philosophy of creating an electric, modern and intimate ambiance where people can gather 24 hours a day. The menu features comfort food with a gourmet twist. The lemon ricotta pancakes are delicious, no matter what time of day they’re ordered.
2340 Broadway at 85th Street, (212) 799 1533
78 West 11th Street, (212) 533 2233
Whether you find yourself uptown or downtown with a late-night craving for bistro food and coffee culture, get yourself to French Roast. The most important thing to know about both locations is that the French fries are made the traditional French way: cut into shoestrings, blanched, then cooked to order. The atmosphere is casual in that European way that always feels refined. Stick around at the bar and you might meet some homesick travelers or future friends with an apartment in Paris.
131 Grand Street, Brooklyn, (718) 384 7273
171 Avenue A, Manhattan, (212) 477 7727
Williamsburg is the hipper, slightly less expensive sister neighborhood to the iconic East Village. If you’re bar hopping between the two scenes and your stomach is rumbling, remember that B.A.D. Burger stands for Breakfast/Burgers All Day, and if you’re in the mood for either, you won’t be disappointed. Vegans will appreciate dairy-free milkshakes. Everyone else will love the huevos rancheros or the wake and bake burger, a cheeseburger stuffed with eggs and bacon. Admittedly, you might appreciate this scene more after a few drinks and when with friends who enjoy a party atmosphere.
187 E Houston Street at Orchard, (212) 475 7700
Bereket looks a little out of place on the Lower East Side, nestled in amongst the new highrise condominiums, wine bars, and an American Apparel store, but you’ll know you’re in the right place from the smell of roasting lamb and the yellow octopus painted over the door. The Turkish Kebab House makes everything fresh to order and tops it with tabouli, hummus, and hot sauce. The staff is friendly and the prices are low, making it the perfect pit stop (or one last stop) for a night out on the town.
763 9th Avenue at 52nd Street, (212) 698 9008
We love this Colombian inspired hot spot in the Theater District for a quick bite or a leisurely steak dinner with a bottle of wine after a Broadway play. But 5am works too. Purists will appreciate the empanadas with ham and cheese but should still experiment with the forty other available flavors. Don’t miss dessert empanadas stuffed with figs and caramel. If you make the mistake of coming to Empanada Mamas for happy hour before curtain call, you just might decide to skip the show and order another round of Sangria.
53 W 35th Street, (212) 629 5588
If you find yourself bargain hunting at Macy’s Flagship store in Herald Square on one of the nights it stays open until 11pm, you may emerge from the fluorescent cocoon laden with bags, starving and disoriented. This is the perfect opportunity to walk over to Han Bat and refuel with authentic, homemade Korean BBQ. Bibimbap sandwiches and seafood pancakes are menu highlights, but there are plenty of more adventurous options if you’re in the mood or really know your Korean food.
144 Second Avenue, (212) 228 9682
Since 1954, Veselka has been churning out lovingly prepared Ukranian dishes in the East Village. And though the neighborhood and menu has changed since then—it now features turkey burgers and spinach salad alongside potato pierogis and vegetarian borscht—Veselka is still a beloved New York classic. There’s another Veselka outpost on Bowery, but the original in the East Village is open 24 hours and retains its old-school character with counter service and a bakery case filled with desserts.
207 W 14th Street, (212) 858 5001
Just east of the party scene of the Meatpacking District, you’ll find Coppelia, a 24-hour enclave that can’t decide if it wants to be an authentic Cuban restaurant or a gourmet American diner, so does both to perfection. Chef and owner Julian Medina was raised in Mexico and trained at the French Culinary Institute. The result is a menu that features chicharron calamari, yucca fries and blue corn pancakes.
100 W 23rd Street, (212) 243 0022
In New York, things aren’t always what they seem. It’s part of what keeps the city exciting and why visitors return again and again. Great Burrito is no exception to that rule. Walk past the display case of soggy looking pizza slices to the back counter, where you can order hot off the griddle al pastor tacos and homemade hot sauce with Jarrito sodas in glass bottles.
241 Bowery, (212) 388 0052
Technically, the Bowery Diner is only open 24 hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but those are the nights you’re most likely to be craving late-night diner food anyway. Most diners have enormous menus with every cuisine you can think of, not very well executed. At Bowery Diner, the menu is smaller, simpler, and heavy on handcrafted cocktails like a Pina Colada with jalapeno. Touches like water you can refill yourself, mood lighting, and a hidden jukebox make this the kind of place you’ll want to hang out in after you pay the check.
Discover more of top places to see and things to do while in New York City with our Best of New York series.