Food for Thought

24-hour eateries that'll keep you going all night

One right that the founding fathers forgot to put in the Constitution was the Right to Dine, something New Yorkers insist on. And it doesn't end with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Indeed, Gotham is particularly proud of its 24-hour eateries, since they confirm our belief that we inhabit the liveliest city on earth. So whether you're a ribbon-bedecked convention delegate returning from a ritzy party, or an exhausted protester wandering back after a day of dodging nightsticks, this list is for you.

Picture windows look out on the Village's busiest thoroughfare at FRENCH ROAST(78 West 11th Street, 212-533-2233). As the day progresses, the menu shifts from omelets and French toast to steak sandwiches and meal-size salads to more ambitious Gallic fare in the evening. In a similar vein, round-the-clock PIGALLE (790 Eighth Avenue, 212-489-2233) is a facsimile Parisian brasserie, furnishing tasty steak tartare, salade niçoise, and onion soup gratiné.

One of the most hopping Manhattan nabes is Koreatown, where a dozen restaurants are open all day and all night along 32nd and 35th streets just east of Broadway. Longtime fave KANG SUH (1250 Broadway, 212-564-6845) fills a bi-level space where you can barbecue beef ribs tableside or eat a bubbling stew of bean curd. The East Village is another hotbed of 24-hour eats. YAFFA CAFÉ (97 St. Marks Place, 212-674-9302) slings mostly Middle Eastern fare, heavy on vegetarian choices. The decor is a Freudian nightmare. By contrast, normally decorated VESELKA (144 Second Avenue, 212-228-9682) specializes in blintzes, kielbasa, and other Ukrainian rib-stickers.

Long before the meat market was chic, there was FLORENT (69 Gansevoort Street, 212-989-5779), moving into a streamlined diner 15 years ago and immediately becoming a popular spot for homeward-bound clubgoers, offering roast chicken, boudin noir, and excellent fries. A few blocks north and east, newly opened DINER 24(102 Eighth Avenue, 212-242-7773) gourmet-izes the standard diner menu with fish tacos and Caesar salads. Finally, for the budget-wise, get two hot dogs with a forgettable fruit-based beverage at any hour for less than $5 at GRAY'S PAPAYA (402 Sixth Avenue, 212-260-3532), where the juicy franks pop when you bite into 'em.

 
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