The New York City Late-Night Chow Guide

Visitors to the Big Apple (and residents too) depend on 3am pizza and anytime delivery like nowhere else in the world. But our idea of late-night eats extends far beyond drunk snacking. After all, in one of the great food cities of the world, why settle for anything less than the best? Here is our roundup of the best late-night eats, divided into street food, restaurants, and special late-night menu additions worth staying up for.

Food Trucks: We’ll take breakfast food any time of the day (or night), and Wafels & Dinges, the Belgian waffle truck, is indulgent enough that you might have trouble justifying it the following morning. The best way to find them is on Twitter at @waffletruck. Hungry Brooklynites and those who’ve crossed the river for a night of revelry on Bedford Ave, fortify their stomach linings for the subway ride home at the Endless Summer taco truck. Located at North 6th St and Bedford, it’s open until midnight during the week and until 2am on weekends. But we can’t end our night without something sweet, and the Dessert Truck has stepped up our post-bar sugar game significantly. Find them on Twitter (@desserttruck) and pick up their rich, sweet cakes until 11pm.

24 Hours: Visitors to Chelsea’s Cafeteria love the trendy vibe and modern take on comfort food, not to mention a chance to continue the party with a cocktail list any time of the day or night. You can’t talk about late-night eats in New York without mentioning an old-school, greasy-spoon diner, and the Moonstruck Diner in Chelsea is our favorite. Expect to be comforted with fry grease and you won’t be disappointed. An East Village institution, Veselka’s pierogies, hot meaty stews, and burgers have been stuffing late-night partyers for decades. Hot coffee and cold borscht will set you right any night of the week.

Late-Night Specials: Gabe Stulman’s restaurants have quickly become neighborhood institutions in the West Village, and he likes to hide late-night specials on the menu for those in the know. At Joseph Leonard, the burger that’s only available at lunch (with tomato jam and ricotta cheese) reappears late-night, while at Fedora, it’s the pressed pork sandwich making an incredibly savory guest appearance. The Dutch in Soho has as lively late-night scene as any restaurant in New York, and top-notch, incredibly high quality food at all hours of the day and night. While it’s definitely worth it to try to get in for dinner, don’t fret if you happen to arrive closer to last call. That means you have a chance at the cheeseburger that’s kept off the dinner menu, as well as adorably delicious baby pancakes, and a few other surprises as well. And from the tip-top of the Boom Boom Room to the depths of the Beer Garden, locals and visitors alike quickly embraced the Standard Hotel, and the Standard Grill is a delicious part of its appeal. There’s an extensive late-night menu of delicious, stomach-friendly basics, like fish and chips, spaghetti, and their famed “end of the night” omelette.

Where Celebs Go Out: Mario Batali, Mayor Bloomberg, Danielle Staub

Mario Batali at the opening of Eataly: My favorite places to eat are generally downtown in the Village: Pearl Oyster Bar, Spotted Pig, Grand Sichuan. My favorite thing to eat is anything anyone else makes! Da Silvano has an octopus salad and octopus grill that’s really beautiful. ● Mayor Mike Bloomberg at the opening of Eataly: There are 20,000 restaurants in New York City, and I try to eat at every single one of them. ● Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen at GLAAD Summer Rooftop Party: wd-50, and in Brooklyn, Pacifico, the Mexican restaurant on Pacific St.

Drew Nieporent at Travel + Leisure‘s World’s Best Awards party: Restaurants that are owned my friends—Jean Georges, Daniel, Mario Batali, the usual suspects. And El Bulli in Barcelona. My favorite dish is anything that Mark Ladner makes at Del Posto. ● Bethenny Frankel at GLAAD Summer Rooftop Party: Trump Soho, Abe & Arthur’s, STK. ● Johnny Weir at GLAAD Summer Rooftop Party: Cipriani Downtown has the most amazing vanilla meringue cake. ● Tinsley Mortimer at her handbag launch party at Samantha Thavasa: Avenue and the Biergarten at the StandardBryan Greenberg at G-Shock’s Shock the World launch party: The corn, the tacos, and the margaritas at La Esquina. ● Danielle Staub at G-Shock’s Shock the World launch party: Cafeteria for the little sliders, the mac and cheese. For dessert, their Everything But the Kitchen Sink. ● Lamar Odom at G-Shock’s Shock the World launch party: Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles. ● Mick Rock at the Marc Ecko Cut & Sew fall collection launch party: Kenmare. ● Richie Rich at the Marc Ecko Cut & Sew fall collection launch party: At the The Lion, the champagne’s my favorite. I like the atmosphere and the food’s amazing. The energy’s amazing at the Boom Room Room.

Where Celebs Go Out: America Ferrera, Harvey Keitel, Hope Davis

At the premiere of Our Family Wedding:

● AMERICA FERRERA – “My favorite restaurant of the moment is Broadway East, on the Lower East Side.” ● CHARLIE MURPHY – “I’ve been going to this Mexican restaurant in New Jersey. I think it’s called El Torito, whatever. That’s one of them. I go to so many restaurants. This is what I want to explain, so no one’s insulted. I’m on the road 48 weeks of the year in different towns, and I go to a lot of restaurants, so to ask me what my favorite restaurant is, is kind of a hard question to answer. I like going to Baja Fresh in L.A.” ● GRETCHEN ROSSI – “In Newport Beach, it’s Flemings. It’s a steakhouse, and I eat the steak and potatoes and everything that you can imagine on the menu. But I just eat small portions, so that you get a taste of everything.”

● LANCE GROSS – “I love Tao here in New York. I don’t get to New York a lot, but the Cafeteria. I love the Cafeteria. I do all the nightclubs. I don’t even know the names. I just go into them.” ● REGINA KING – “Right now, I’m really loving Osteria Mozza in L.A., Mario Batali’s restaurant. It’s so funny because where he opened was a place in L.A. that there’s been four restaurants that tried to make it there; came; spent a lot of money; closed down. And he has been booming, banging with business, and rightfully so. So, if you go and get the oxtail ragu — oh, my God! Hah! It is so good, and mmmm, the pizza next door is even better, because it’s Nancy Silverton from La Brea Bakery making the dough. I love to eat, clearly.” ● PRAS – “Geez! Right now it’s gotta be Dylan Prime. That’s in my neighborhood. Every time I’m out of town, I always take a trip back to Dylan. I feel like I’ve landed back home. Do you like steak? I love — I’m a big meat eater, despite all the things they tell you about eating charred beef.”

At the opening of A Behanding in Spokane on Broadway:

● HARVEY KEITEL – “A candy store in Brighton Beach, in Brooklyn. It was called Ali Baba & the 40 Thieves.” ● ANTHONY MACKIE – “Hey, book that is black! I love to go down to STK. One of my very favorite restaurants is Three Sisters, on Madison and 124th — the best Caribbean food you can find in New York. ● JENNIFER MORRISON – “I have had no chance to discover that yet because we just opened last night. Where in L.A.? I love Madeo restaurant. We eat there all the time. Dan Tana’s, some of the usual spots. I’m a huge fan of spaghetti and meat sauce. It’s my weakness, anywhere I go.” ● ZOE KAZAN – “I love your magazine! I haven’t been going to a lot of bars or clubs lately. I’ve been going to theater hangouts, like the West Bank Cafe or Bar Centrale. In my neighborhood, I love Buttermilk Channel, which is a restaurant in Cobble Hill or Frankie’s 457. I like the fried chicken at Buttermilk Channel.” ● MARTIN MCDONAGH – “Angus McIndoe.” ● HUGH JACKMAN – “Oh, c’mon!”

● DANA IVEY – “I don’t want to give it away ’cause too many people will go there. I don’t want to say because it’ll be infiltrated by everybody, and I won’t get a seat! No, but Joe Allen’s is always good. That’s one of my faves. Oh, they have this great, great salad that I really, really like — trevisano, something, I can’t remember, but that’s what I get every time.” ● HOPE DAVIS –Buttermilk Channel in Brooklyn.” ● JOAN HAMBURG – “You mean in this neighborhood? I love to go to Orso’s. Oh, I like a lot of places. I like Blue Hill downtown. I got a list!” ● SARAH PAULSON – “One of them is a secret. I don’t want anybody else to know about it, so I won’t talk about that place. I love a place called Café Cluny, on 12th Street and West 4th Street, down in the Village. Any favorite dish? The burger and the Cluny. It’s a giant martini, which is always really good. I’m, kind of, like a person who only goes to places that are in the neighborhood I happen to be standing in, in the moment, which is what’s so great about New York — you’re bound to turn around and hit something great.” ● MARCIA GAY HARDEN – “Oh, God, we never go out. Honestly, we don’t go out. Our living room, our kitchen, our dining room. What about in L.A.? Oh, God, I wouldn’t say L.A. before New York! I couldn’t possibly say L.A. before New York. Okay, wait! We like Settepani in Harlem. We love Orso. We love Orso.” ● STACY KEACH – “It’s a tough one, isn’t it? There’s so many. Joe’s restaurant in Venice. Everything is good, but I, particularly, like steak ‘n eggs, yeah. In New York, there’s so many wonderful restaurants, and we just got here. And every time I come back to New York, I discover new places, so I’m hesitant to give you names of places.” ● PABLO SCHREIBER – “The old standards are the — what’s the place over here on 46th where we go after the show? It’s right above Joe Allen’s. Yeah, I, always forget the name of it ’cause they have no sign. [That would be Bar Centrale. -ed] That’s my favorite place for after-dinner drinks. I went to a great Greek restaurant last night, called Molyvos, on 7th Avenue between 55th and 56th. That place was pretty delicious. I had the whole fish. It was a black sea bass, and they did it perfectly. I’m a father of a 16th-month-old kid, so I don’t get out much these days.” ● DAVID HYDE PIERCE – “No, I don’t have any. I don’t have a lot of places to talk about like that.” ● LILY RABE – “I love Maialino. It’s in the Gramercy Park Hotel. It just opened. It’s amazing. Yes, it’s really good. And I love Café Cluny. Morandi. Those are my favorite places to eat. And the Breslin is also really incredible. The Breslin has this pork belly that’s one of the most memorable things I’ve ever eaten in the city.” ● JULIE TAYMORE –Craft, Maialino, Bobby Flay’s restaurant Mesa Grill.” ● TOM WAITS – “Oh, gee, I eat at home. I eat at home.” ● PAUL DANO – “Eton’s — it’s a dumpling place in Brooklyn. Po. Franny’s — all Brooklyn.” ● ANTHONY ANDERSON – “I really don’t hang out much in New York because of the work schedule that we have. But when I do, I find myself having a drink at Tillman’s. My favorite eatery would have to be Abe & Arthur’s.” ● GRIFFIN DUNNE – “I’m mostly upstate these days, so I’ve got little holes up there that I hit, in Duchess County. What do I want to plug? Gigi’s, an Italian restaurant — very, very good. I think that’s in Rhinebeck, yeah.”

New York: Top 10 Late-Night Dining Destinations

imageBecause sometimes a diner just won’t do.

10. Rusty Knot (West Village) – For those butter and salt cravings. 9. The Box (Lower East Side) – A memorable meal for sure; whether you trust what’s on your plate and/or feel like eating after watching the show is another story.

8. Pink Pony (Lower East Side) – Always an interesting crowd at the perpetual hipster-cum-starving-artist hangout, where you can order reliable French-Moroccan bistro grub or just linger with a book and coffee. 7. Henry’s (Upper West Side) – A Columbia University fave, this American bistro’s walls are decked out with culinary poster art from Herman Miller Company’s Summer Picnic Series — a relaxing backdrop for some late-night comfort food fare (mac & cheese, warm goat cheese salad, and pressed sandwiches). 6. Delicatessen (Soho) – Rejected from GoldBar? Shunned at Southside? Retreat to this bi-level spot’s subterranean bar, where you can nosh on artichoke dip while a DJ spins (midnight-2 a.m., Tuesday-Saturday) in the background. 5. 718 (Astoria) – I’ve learned that tipsiness and taking the subway aren’t always a good match. Besides lost cell phones, dropped money, and falling down an escalator, there’s a heightened likelihood of missing your stop and ending up in another borough. N or W train-takers, don’t fret; if you accidentally end up in Astoria, sober up with surprisingly affordable tapas at 718 before giving public transportation another shot. 4. Pastis (Meatpacking District): No matter the hour/day, this eatery is so perpetually packed that there’s often a doorkeeper to control the crowd vying to indulge in good eats with a side of people watching. 3. Elizabeth (Noho) – A fireplace for when it’s cold, a back garden for when it’s warm, a cozy front bar, and a whole lot of black give this spot its sexy, late-night, Carine Roitfeld-esque vibe. 2. Jadis (Lower East Side) – Like ‘inoteca only better, because your panino won’t come with an hour-long wait for a table. 1. Cafeteria (Chelsea) – This oldie but goodie keeps reeling in the Chelsea revelers with spot-on comfort food (yet more mac & cheese, fried chicken & waffles), a downstairs bar, and unbeatable 24/7 hours.

Industry Insiders: Darryl Robinson, Dr. Mixologist

Over on our Mixology site in the Pros section, we asked the hottest bartenders in New York and Los Angeles to whip up a specialty cocktail while describing their perfect New Year’s Eve. Check out Darryl Robinson — a.k.a. “Dr. Mixologist” — as he creates the Hudson Pear at his home base of NYC’s Hudson Bar. Here he tells us about cruising the NYC bar scene and his preference for beautiful people, clothes, and cocktails in combination.

What do you do? What do you drink? I’m a bartender and also the in-house mixologist, so I helped create the cocktail list that you’ll see at the Hudson Bar. I also entertain the guests at the bar with my wonderful bartending skills. I am by nature a vodka drinker. I realized earlier on that it was probably one of those things that didn’t give me a hangover. Vodka is simple, it’s easy, and it’s clean. I like vodka martinis and vodka on the rocks with a squeeze of lemon, vodka on the rocks with a splash of cranberry. I don’t really like to put too much in there, so anything I add is usually a splash. I never want to cover up the taste of vodka too much.

How did you get your start? It goes back to days when I wasn’t even bartending. At home we had a full-sized bar. My parents would entertain an awful lot, and to keep me out of trouble, they would let me actually mix the drinks behind the bar for their guests. I wasn’t going to go to sleep; I was just going to get into trouble anyway, so they figured behind the bar, they knew where I was. I was 10 or 11 years old.

Name three restaurants/bars/clubs you frequent when you’re not working. I prefer lounges. I’m not the club type. One of my favorite lounges right now is Apothéke, down in Chinatown. I like it because of its ambience and atmosphere. They don’t necessarily have name-brand liquors. They make and infuse their own in-house versions, so I like their creativity. You know you may not like everything, but that’s OK. What I do like is that they take a risk and a chance, and they serve a fickle New York City market items that they cannot recognize. I love Bar 89, which is often a spot I will hit before I go to Apothéke. It’s only a couple of blocks away. I go to Cafeteria late at night after I get off work because it’s still open. And most of the people are coming there after they clubbed — and I don’t want to sound shallow, but I do like beautiful people, so I love going where people are dressed, and they’re beautiful to look at, and they have style.

What is your guiltiest pleasure? When I get home at 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning, I generally keep anywhere from around 12-14 pints of Haagen Dazs ice cream in my freezer. I’ll sit there at 6 o’clock in the morning and eat that, and maybe pour a little Baileys Irish Cream on top of it for that extra little decadent kick.

What is the worst (most disgusting, worst request, etc.) cocktail you’ve ever had to make? I think it’s a sacrilege to mix Johnnie Walker Blue or Louis XIII with Coke. I won’t do it. I’ll put your Coke and Louis XII bottle in front of you and ask you to do it yourself. I will not physically mix a $200-a-shot cognac with Coke. What’s the worst pick up line you’ve ever heard while tending bar? Ever witness any amazing hook ups? There are so many. I’ve made a cosmopolitan for a lady, and a guy comes up to her and says, “Your lips are as pretty and pink as that cosmopolitan.” I didn’t know where that was going to get him.

What celebrity (dead or alive) would you like to share a drink with at your bar? Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Clinton.

What’s your ideal barhopping night in New York/LA? It probably gets started around 9 o’clock, so I’ve had a really nice dinner first. I probably hydrated with a lot of water. Now I’m really ready to go out, spending no more than an hour at each bar. I would probably want to be in a more trendy area, so I’m probably going to go to the Meatpacking District, Soho, or Tribeca. I want them to be loungey bars. Intimate lighting. Not necessarily romantic but intimate. I love candles. I’m probably going to be with three or four friends. Then we have a table, but not necessarily bottle service, but with the option to walk between the bar and the table. And just enjoy really nice music. And I want to be looking at beautiful people enjoying wonderful drinks.

What are you doing tonight? I’m bartending at the Hudson Bar. Using 3 out of 5 of the following ingredients make me a dream cocktail: grenadine, pepper, tequila, avocado, lemongrass. I’m going to take the tequila, take the avocado, and take the pepper. I’m going to add lemon and lime to that. I’m going to add simple syrup, which is basically your sugar solution to sweeten the cocktail, and I’m also going to add pineapple juice. With that we’re going to make an avocado margarita, and the pepper would only be a dash because I want it to have a little bit of a kick. We’re going to muddle the avocado, add the syrup, lime, and lemon juice, and a dash of pepper. The pineapple is going to help smooth it out … put it on ice, shake that bad boy up, and put it into a margarita glass.