For the "city that never sleeps," NYC can sure feel like a snooze-fest when a late-night food craving sets in. Wee-hour revelers, post-theater/concert crowds, non-standard shift workers, and insomniacs alike all share in their hunger for standout after-hours cuisine. For life — and appetites — that stretch well beyond the standard 10pm or 11pm close time of many NYC kitchens, we've rounded up the 8 best late-night food options in Manhattan where you can have a quality bite after midnight. After all, the early bird only catches the worm that the night owl didn't already eat!
This much-hyped, Michelin-starred, European-inspired gastropub keeps West Village-area crowds well-fed till the early hours of the morning, with dinner served till 2am nightly. If you're lucky enough to nab a table (it's no reservations), prepare to tuck into mouthwatering plates sourced from seasonal local ingredients — best bets include crowd favorites like the char-grilled Roquefort burger, served with shoestring fries, or sheep's milk ricotta gnudi. Don't be surprised if your late-night bite comes paired with a celebrity sighting: The Spotted Pig is known for them.
Empellón Al Pastor
This tasty East Village taqueria — a more casual, counter-order offshoot to chef/restaurateur Alex Stupak's Empellón eatery — serves up inspired Mexican late-night bites. Choose from a solid selection of tacos touting inventive fillings or the namesake al pastor made with pork and pineapple. The menu also features classic sharing plates like nachos or guacamole, along with sides like drunken black beans or spicy coleslaw. Wash it all down with a pick from the generous bar menu, spilling over with margarita and cocktail options, plenty of tequila and mezcal, and beer on draft or by the bottle. The kitchen's open till midnight from Sunday through Thursday, and till 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.
This old-school East Village mainstay has been catering to NYC's late-night palates since 1954. An affordable, no-frills Ukrainian diner, the menu here is available around-the-clock to fulfill every 3am pierogi or borscht hankering that may emerge. Dig in on more traditional Ukrainian comfort food dishes like goulash, potato pancakes, kielbasa, beef stroganoff, and stuffed cabbage — if you've really got the munchies, don't miss the meat-lovers combo platter, spilling over with meat and potato pierogi and meat-stuffed cabbage, all smothered in mushroom gravy and paired with sour cream, beets, and horseradish salad. Beer and wine are on offer, too, as is more standard diner fare (e.g., burgers, pancakes, cheesecake). Veselka is open 24 hours.
While the kitchen at this Japanese-Korean yakiniku restaurant (serving an all-beef menu grilled table-side) closes at 11pm on most nights, in-the-know, late-night crowds venture in on weekends for Takashi's tasty after-hours beef-broth ramen menu. Available on Friday and Saturday nights (for seatings at midnight and 1am), the tasty ramen dish is made with a stock that's simmered for 24 hours with beef bones, garlic, ginger, and herbs, and paired with house-made noodles, braised beef belly, deep-fried small intestines, and a soft-boiled egg. You can also order it "grandma"-style, which adds in an extra kick of spicy red pepper.
The Koreatown branch of a popular South Korea-based chained, lively Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong is the perfect spot to fulfill all of your late-night Korean-inspired cravings, featuring Korean BBQ cooked on tabletop grills, noodles, and plenty of banchan (traditional Korean side dishes), too, along with a specialty cocktail menu. Located in bustling Koreatown, it's the perfect spot to pop into following a night out at one of the area's many karaoke bars. The kitchen is open till 1am on weekends, or until a whopping 5am on Friday and Saturday nights.
This classic Greenwich Village tavern has had staying power since 1937 — no small feat in ever-changing NYC. It's little wonder, though, given the historic eatery's standout French bistro fare (that's earned it a Michelin star), cozy vintage decor, late-night menu, and celebrity-magnet appeal that's attracted the likes of Ernest Hemingway and E. E. Cummings in its day. The kitchen closes at midnight from Sunday through Wednesday, but remains open till 1am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Pair the tavern's famed Black Label burger, made with dry-aged beef and caramelized onions, or a starter like roasted bone marrow, with a classic cocktail or whiskey selection from the robust bar menu.
Sushi at 2am? No problem at the casual Sushi Seki eatery on the Upper East Side, where the kitchen is open till 2:30am from Monday through Saturday. The restaurant chain also has an outpost in Times Square, with a late-night menu on offer, it's open till midnight from Tuesday through Saturday, and in Chelsea, where the late-night dining is on tap till 1am, Monday through Saturday. Wherever you head, you'll be privy to a Japanese menu spilling over with satisfying and fresh fish dishes via sushi and sashimi plates.
Set on the fringes of the West Village and SoHo neighborhoods, this happening little bistro has been a neighborhood go-to for late-night dining — with a kitchen open till 4am nightly — since '92. A popular after-work dining scene for chefs finishing shifts at their own restaurants, this classic brasserie — complete with red velvet banquettes and soft lighting — dishes out classic French-American fare and cocktails. Order up favorites like burgers, steaks, shellfish platters, rack of lamb, bone marrow, and more.