Our 10 Best Late Night Eats in New York City, 2012


New York is the city that never sleeps and never stops eating, no matter what hour of the day — or night as the case may be. While it’s true that a lot of the foods consumed after midnight are of the drunk-pizza variety, the city boasts many 24-hour restaurants that serve some damn fine fare. Here are our picks for the 10 Best Late Night Eats. And if you can’t wait until tonight to go stuff your face with them, you’re in luck. You can chow down on all of them, oh, right now.

10. Seafood Pancake at Kum Gang San: Although it’s not our favorite K-Town eatery in terms of grub, this sprawling Korean restaurant offers some of the choicest décor, including a two-story-tall artificial rock wall and balcony featuring a pianist belting out ditties on a white baby grand. Which is really all you want at 1 a.m., anyway. You can’t go wrong with fried food at that hour, either, so why not lap up a pancake studded with shrimp, octopus, and scallions, and munch on it along with the generous banchan sides you’ll be offered. 49 West 32nd Street, 212-967-0909

9. Ukrainian Meatball Hero at Veselka: Veselka’s an East Village standby for late-night dining, and while most kids are sopping up in their booze-filled bellies varenyky and potato pancakes, a better bet — really, the best thing we’ve ever sampled on the menu — is the Ukrainian meatball hero. Fluffy pork and beef meatballs canoodle with carrot-and-cabbage sauerkraut on a chewy challah baguette, all under a mountain of thick mushroom gravy. Messy and delicious. 144 Second Avenue, 212-228-9682

8. Ground Beef Empanada at Empanada Mama: You’ll find all kinds of savory stuffings at this Hell’s Kitchen empanada shop, ranging from classic (shredded chicken, chorizo) to quirky (beef and broccoli teriyaki). We like to play it safe, though, opting for the simple ground-beef filling in the Colombian-style empanada made with corn, or we’ll pick the shredded beef in the classic wheat empanada. And after a night out, we’ll most certainly get both … and then some. 763 Ninth Avenue, 212-698-9008

7. Green Chile and Cheese Tamales at Grand Morelos: Not to be confused with the 24-hour cart Tacos Morelos (which is also very tasty), this Mexican spot in East Williamsburg offers up a roster of American diner staples like pancakes and omelets, but skip all those for the south-of-the-border fare. What to order: the green chile and cheese tamale plus a chicken tinga torta. Maybe chilaquiles if you like ’em soggy. Wash it down with some cerveza, and continue the party, with a full and happy belly. 727 Grand Street, Brooklyn, 718-218-9441

6. Jerk Chicken at Peppa’s Jerk Chicken: As the cheery Flatbush takeout shop’s name would suggest, Peppa’s is all about the bird. Heavily spiced and cooked till nearly black, this is moist and tender chicken that sings of the Caribbean. Sprinkle on some Scotch bonnet pepper sauce and wait for your mouth to start tingling. 738 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, 347-406-2515

5. Griddle Breakfast at Bubby’s: Bubby’s lures the brunch crowd to Tribeca with its beloved pancakes, pies, and breakfast platters. But brunch doesn’t just occur between the hours of 11 and 3 — you’ll also find midnight brunch at this all-night spot (save only for Mondays, when it closes at midnight). You can’t beat the griddle breakfast of ultra-fluffy pancakes, eggs, and bacon: Sweet, greasy, hearty, and meaty, it hits all the food groups you want after knocking back a few too many cocktails. The only downside is that it’s, like, 100 percent more expensive than any corner-diner equivalent. But, admittedly, the pancakes are 100 percent better. 120 Hudson Street, 212-219-0666

4. Hot Dog at Gray’s Papaya: Chomping down on a Gray’s Papaya hot dog is a New York tradition, and a mighty fine bargain at that. One dollar and 50 cents gets you a griddle-fried frank, which you’ll want with mustard and cooked-onion sauce. Wash it all down with one of the tropical fruit drinks, then go back and order one more hot dog for the road. 402 Avenue of the Americas, 212-260-3532

3. Frita Cubana Burger at Coppelia: How can you go wrong with a burger topped with pulled pork and fried pork skins? Julian Medina’s upscale pan-Latin diner is open all night, meaning you can get your porky, beefy fix whenever the craving strikes. 207 West 14th Street, 212-858-5001

2. French Onion Soup at French Roast: Both the Upper West Side and Greenwich Village locations of this cozy French bistro are open 24 hours a day, and there’s no better time than 3 a.m. to dive into a crock of piping-hot French onion soup. The thyme-flecked broth is hearty and rich, loaded with caramelized onions. The crowning jewel of the soup, though, is certainly the thick slice of toast shrouded by a layer of gratinéed cheese that melts into long gooey strands. 2340 Broadway, 212-799-1533

1. Pastrami Sandwich at Sarge’s Delicatessen: This classic deli was founded in the 1960s by a policeman known as Sarge and never shuts down, ever, even on major holidays. The corned beef hash is a winner, especially during the day, but come sunset, our top pick goes to the towering, super smoky pastrami sandwiches. Just make sure to ask that the meat be sliced extra thick! 548 Third Avenue, 212-679-044