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.

Hotels as the New Nightlife: 60 Thompson vs. the Standard

Not long ago (just a few days ago actually), the place to be in the city was a speakeasy, a dark and dank basement bar. The kids stayed far away from “the man” — in nightlife’s case, bottle-servicing mega clubs, huge corporate-type hangs, slick bistros, or slick anything. With the recent opening of the now beloved Standard Hotel, we seem to be getting back to the well-rounded Manhattanites we once were. These days you’ll find us venturing out from the West Village; some are even crossing over from the Lower East Side to experience the multifaceted Standard properties: the Boom Boom Room, The Standard Grill, and The Standard Beer Garden. Like a family caravan-ing to a Six Flags, we make the pilgrimage and usually end up staying all day at this adult playground. It works to our benefit, since we get the advantage of changing scenery without paying cab fare. As Steve Lewis asked, will most or all new nightlife construction be in the hotels? With that question in mind, it was time to revisit another of the city’s package deals: the all-inclusive 60 Thompson, the understated, elegant, and trendy Soho hotel which houses the undeniably chic Kittichai, Thom Bar, and A60. Can other hotels stand up to the new Standard?

Kittichai Thai stunner brings luck with goldfish, gold coins, and, at these prices, hopefully your date as well. Very slick but I wouldn’t want a Thai resto any other way. Despite the glamour of the place, the food is richly authentic. Once we checked in with the host, we took our time lingering at the shimmering front bar, built a little too close to the waiting area, but great for a first look at the design aesthetic. Dark wood is complimented by rich jewel colors and fireside lighting. While the restaurant has recently received mixed reviews on service and presentation (disposable chopsticks, slow waitstaff), my guests and I had an above-average experience that finished perfectly with the most beautiful desert fondue presentation. Atmosphere: Atmosphere is everything, with a focus . A reflecting pool explodes with orchids, which are also contained in illuminated, water-filled bottles. The fire burns hot — at least, that’s what the lighting suggests. You feel very grown-up in this sensual atmosphere. Perfect for: A corporate dinner, entertaining a wide-eyed out-of-towner, or the girls for ladies’ night; the cosmopolitan feel sets the tone. Menu Picks: ● Kittichai fish cake with cucumber and red onion chutney, $11. ● Northern Thai beef salad Chinese long beans and roasted sticky rice powder, $14. ● Crispy whole fish in lesser ginger curry, $29. ● Steamed jasmine rice, $3. ●”Sankaya” Pandan-Valrhona white chocolate sauce with seasonal fruit, $8.

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Thom Bar Follow the staircase one floor up and find another welcoming nook to start off the night. Comfy club chairs and all manner of throw pillows for lounging louchely about. Class act in the hotel; not as exclusive as the members-only rooftop, but on point in all other respects. Fireplace makes for cozy winter nights, though on the particular night I went, it was a great end-of-summer spot to grab drinks with a date. Later on it turned into hipster madness of the Thursday-night party on the reg. It was a nice sight amid the lush backdrop. Atmosphere: Cozy lounge with a hint of debauchery. Beautiful decor and warm lighting. Perfect for: Visiting friends who aren’t so wide-eyed but more in the know. First date drinks; your complexion will glow in the good lighting. Early on: Cougar central, which is not a bad deal at all. Drink Menu Picks: ● Lychee martini. ● Pineapple caipirinha. ● Classic mojito.

A60 You need a VIP card or a room at the hotel in order to access one of the most beautiful views in the city. Trendy without being too obnoxious. Moneyed and attractive guests sip champagne on ice and muddled fruit concoctions. You tab will be big, but it’s worth it just to feel the breeze up here. Atmosphere: Relaxed and elegant; wooden benches and luxe outdoor furniture adorn the deck. Tea lights compliment the glittery skyline. You automatically feel like you’re on vacation. Perfect for: Absolutely everything. I’m hard pressed to find a more impressive view, more attentive bartenders, and a more mixed crowd. Drink Menu Picks: ● Champagne. ● House mojitos with Pyrat rum.

New York: Top 10 Places to Celebrate Oktoberfest

Zum Schneider (East Village) – New-school Teutonic brings Oktoberfest in July. And also October! Live oompah and DJ four nights a week, with Mösl Franzi and the Ja Ja Jas. Oktoberfest specials to wet your whistle. ● Loreley (Lower East Side) – Industrial entrance on Rivington backwater leads to rollicking little biergarten. Pours ‘em like they do in Cologne, knock back a few Gaffel Kölsch or Reissdorf Kölsch and you’ll be wondering where you left your backpack with the hostel address in it. Seasonal brews and food specials mark the Oktoberfest season. ● Blaue Gans (Tribeca) – The Gutenbrunner Austrian Empire creeps further downtown via charming “Blue Goose.” Celebrate the season with heavy-duty special brews from Munich, plus sauerbraten, sausages, and ginormous pretzels.

The Standard Beer Garden (Meatpacking District) – White plastic furniture keeps pretense in check, as does menu’s focus on draughts and sausages. Serving wenches dressed in the dirndl equivalent of a tuxedo t-shirt. ● Radegast Hall & Biergarten (Williamsburg) – Sit at a picnic table with some well-scrubbed hops hounds, knocking back liters of the German, Czech, and Austrian good stuff. Full menu includes Murray’s cheese and charcuterie, but bratwurst is pretty hard to resist. Go plan your next putsch. ● Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden (Astoria) – Czech your liver at best beer garden in the US of A. Not quite Bavaria, but close enough. Sprawling throwback to a forgotten era makes for an awesome afternoon, sippin’ Spaten under the branches. ● Studio Square (Astoria) – Modernist deconstruction of Bohemian Hall. The biggest in the city, with monster cobblestone patio softened by birch trees and vines. Queens: it’s all about the biergartens. ● Heidelberg (Upper East Side) – Yorkville-circa-1936 holdover with schnitzel, potato pancakes, lederhosen, wood paneling, and enough hefeweizen to make you smell like the inside of a stein for days. ● Der Schwarze Kölner (Fort Greene) – Friendly new biergarten will have you calling the neighborhood Fort Grün. German-only tap and bottle list, plus kraut bites like brats and brezels. Checkerboard black and white floors, communal tables for cool-weather coziness. ● Bia Garden (Lower East Side) – Celebrating Oktoberfest in a Vietnamese beer garden? Why the hell not, it’s New York City! And when your holiday is about drinking beer to excess, does it really matter so much if the suds come from Laos and not Munich?

New York: All the Week’s Parties

Just heard a very realistic rumor that East Village hipster standby The Annex has been sold and will become, of all things, a sports bar. In honor of the decline of yet another club kid landmark, the infamous electro-nu-rave Ruff Club party will be throwing a final hurrah for the sweat den it made popular on September 11, bringing out some underground all-stars: the Misshapes, Spencer Product, and the Ruff Kids. Another fond farewell to a Friday night hotspot that many called home.

It’s been interesting keeping tabs on this moody teenager we know as NYC nightlife. As staple bars close, the beloved Beatrice for one, patrons react as like displaced persons, leading a moveable feast in search of their next home. Keeping a regular weeknight schedule has been futile, as flash-in-the-pan venues like Chloe 81, which used to rule Wednesdays, cool down after losing a place in the rotation. These changes, however, open up the field for some new players. Thursday is becoming a great New York night, with two parties on opposite sides of Manhattan drawing their respective crowds. Likewise, people are turning to venues with solidarity, places that have stood the test of time (if not just a few months) to become sleeper hits. While many spend more of their evening arguing about where to go than actually going anywhere, here are some suggestions for parties on the verge — and old favorites rising to the occasion — for every night of the week.

MondayLit (East Village) – With Le Royale creeping out of the picture, Lit now has a refreshed patronage and a fresh outlook. ● Le Souk (East Village) – It will take a little while to regain the status their Monday party once enjoyed, but this mischievous restaurant is poised for a steady comeback thanks to a loyal following. ● Stanton Social (East Village) – In the spirit of restaurants shape shifting into nightlife, this table-hopping joint has been a mainstay on Mondays, though it may seem a left-field choice. The mounting interest in doubling your fun at dinner attracts a diverse crowd.

TuesdayAvenue (Chelsea) – Beatrice reggies rejoice! Todd and Angelo bring their special brand of refusal to the plush doors of this slick lounge — with Wass! It’s an all-star door, meaning you’ll find a mix of Beatrice groupies dressed up in nostalgia, seated next to high rollers and genuinely pretty people. It’s like a temporary shelter built for nightlife refugees, though this could prove to be long term. ● Rose Bar (Gramercy) – Indeed, the beautiful people have been planted here for a while now. So what? It isn’t any less of a party just because it has been around the block. It’s comforting to know that whenever you might desire being near to big art, Lily Donaldson, a mixed crowd, and a rope you might not get past on a Tuesday night, this is your go-to. ● Above Allen (Lower East Side) – Promoters? Bottle models? Hipsters? Ballers? Promoting hipster bottle models with money? All here on this diverse, overstimulating Tuesday night. Go, dance, get drunk — especially if you and your group are at a loss on Tuesday night.

WednesdayMinetta Tavern (Greenwich Village) – For once, go to this ubiquitous restaurant for the bar. Indeed, the bar lives in the shadow of the food, but the cocktails and bartenders really round out the celebrated establishment. Wednesdays are particularly wonderful here because those on a trendy feeding frenzy are less inclined to stick it out through the night. This means a better crowd, and a better chance to actually get seated — even if it isn’t your main concern. ● 1Oak (Chelsea) – The Koch twins once did a bang-up job on Thursday nights, but the shared sentiment about this golden child is that Wednesdays are now bringing the crowd. “It’s organic, a phenomenal mix of people, and there are usually surprise performances,” one faithful patron says. Indeed, the midweek party hits its stride, and even celebs like Rhianna — who showed face here just last Wednesday — have been known to drop in. “The best part is,” the patron continues, “the B&T crowd isn’t in full force and you actually get to enjoy the surroundings.”

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ThursdayJane Hotel and Ballroom (West Village) – Steve Lewis calls the Jane the Obi Wan Kenobi of nightlife. “It is proving to be the savior,” he says, and really, the Jane is something to get excited about. Though some nights showcase bland party princesses better served for the Meatpacking District, we both agree there are enough pockets of poise on their Thursday night to negate the posturing — a feat Lewis says makes this fete a new staple in a nightlifer’s diet. “Any day of the week could be a good night to go to the Jane.” ● BEast (Chinatown) – Ryan McGinley’s Thursday party proved to be a hit with the gays, then came the girls, and now Thursday night is just a mecca of mess (in a good way).

FridayWhite Slab Palace (Lower East Side) – While some things should be kept a secret, this must be said: the decrepit oyster bar throws a pretty great party on Fridays. Known as the Swede Party the music is satisfying, the crowd is fashionable and extremely drunk, and the bartenders seem to be having just as much fun as everyone else. The front seems like a quiet pub, and just like all fronts, appearances are not as they seem. Though the place has caused rumors to fly about questionable activity, it all seems like good, clean fun, aside from the sweaty, dirty dance floor that is. ● The Standard Beer Garden and The Standard Grill (Meatpacking District) – The property is an all inclusive playland. Start off in the garden, if you can stand the crowded atmosphere. Great for a leisurely cocktail to begin the night, especially since you won’t be able to spend your entire night here. After you’re unceremoniously booted around 12am (though the fun sometimes ends around 11pm because of “neighborhood concerns”) gather ’round the friendly front tables and make friends with the rest of the drunks. Sometimes it boasts an unsavory crowd, but the property must be savored in the summer as a premier adult playground.

SaturdayVon (NoHo) – We’ve done everything a person could do on a Saturday night, and we’ve found that staying in or hiding from the masses are usually our best bet. Hiding counts for something at Von, because it isn’t the upstairs bar we’re after, but what’s hidden below it. Try to find it while it’s still mythical.

SundayGreenhouse (Soho) – For those that need their dance fix on Sunday night, Kenny Kenny and Susanne Bartsch bring them great happiness. Though Sundays aren’t at a loss for dance parties, the Vandam party is particularly worthy to check out. ● Goldbar (Nolita) – You can carry the party from brunch to Broome Street, where you’ll probably run into fellow brunchers still carrying on. Very much the Cheers of nightlife, thanks in part to the work of doorman Jon Lennon. ● Sway (Soho) – Sway is still around, and it is still a place to house the freaks and friends of Sunday night. Last time I casually dropped in for a drink, the bartenders were randomly handing out shots, and a colleague of mine was caught crawling around on the dance floor.

Photos by Frank Horvat