This is the first in a series of late-night city guides supported by The Sexton Irish Whiskey and inspired by the The Sexton Midnight Club, an intimate event series for chefs who want to eat and drink well after a late-night shift.
If New York City never sleeps, what do city-dwellers do at night? Beyond drinking, dancing, and karaoke-ing, many of us are indulging in the pleasures of a nighttime meal. Whether it’s an after-hours dinner, post-drink snack, or a just-because midnight feast, the joys of dining late are many: everyone with kids has long gone home, the distractions of daytime can wait until tomorrow, and the only focus is good food and good company. And in New York, specifically, those options are plentiful. Whether you’re tapping out of the club or just strolling around with the munchies on your mind, the city’s got pizza counters, sushi joints, and even white-tableclothed brasseries open late and waiting for you. Here, we’ve put together the definitive guide to after-hours feasting in New York City.
17 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
Hidden below street level at 17 Mott Street in the heart of Chinatown, Wo Hop has been owned by the Huang family since 1938. It’s one of the last of its kind, a dinosaur of an old-school American Cantonese restaurant that specializes in “chop suey-style food.” Between its loyal clientele, retro menu (go for the egg roll chow mein), and the huge portions, the prices remain a relic of the past: disturbingly low. Plus, it stays open until 7 a.m. to sop up your bad choices at last call at whatever bar you just came from.
The Donut Pub
203 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
Enjoy a very late (or very early?) breakfast at this all-day donut counter hawking classic glazed rounds alongside a selection of croissant donuts like salted caramel and maple bacon, as well as quite possibly the city's best black-and-white cookie. On offer beyond sweets is a variety of bagels, egg sandwiches, and regular sandwiches (grilled cheese, chicken salad).
248 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022
There is no shortage of good ramen in New York City, and Hide-Chan is at the top of the list for its tonkotsu ramen, which is served whichever way you want it: spicy, plain, with extra pork, or miso, but you’d be bummed to miss out on the Hakata kuro ramen, which is served with burned garlic in oil—you’ve got to try it to believe it—that clears your throat and makes you hungrier.
This aptly-named chain with eight locations in New York caters to the late-nighters with reliably decent cookies in tried-and-true flavors like chocolate chip, white chocolate-macadamia, and M&M. Bonus: they offer warm cookie delivery until 3 AM.
534 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
This Williamsburg grocery is secretly the home of the best bodega deli sandwiches in Williamsburg. If you’ve made the mistake of going to Union Pool, Hana Foods might just save your life.
Blue Ribbon Brasserie
97 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012
Sitting at the crossroads of Soho and the West Village, this swanky old-school dining room stays open until 4 a.m. every night of the week. The first restaurant of the now expansive Blue Ribbon empire, the iconic brasserie remains a standby for oyster and seafood platters, dippable bone marrow, and buttoned-up service.
144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
Yes, the legendary 24-hour diner turns out hearty, delicious Ukrainian delicacies—5 a.m. pierogis anyone?—but they’ve got everything you could ever want: exceptional homemade chicken soup, meatball heroes, daily specials, and even pancakes, all served with strong coffee. And don’t sleep on the burgers, which is lowkey one of the best in the city.
331 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
Corner Bistro is the West Village’s worst kept secret, so prepare to stand in line for the biggest, best bacon cheeseburgers in the neighborhood, and don’t forget to order the onion rings unless you want to piss yourself off.
939 8th Ave, New York, NY 10019
It’s Havana by way of Hell’s Kitchen at this nearly 15-year-old, mural-covered Eighth Avenue mainstay that hands out cigars—free, hand-rolled cigars, to be exact—on Saturdays and Sundays. That truly excellent customer service is matched by a menu of comfort staples (Cubano sandwiches, arroz con pollo), pitch-perfect mojitos, and a regular live music show that goes ‘til 1 a.m. on weekends. There’s also a location in Queens too, but it closes at 11 most nights, midnight on the weekends.
Great NY Noodletown
28 Bowery, New York, NY 10013
Tourists, drunks, and New York cops are all in on the secret: Great NY Noodletown is the best choice on Bowery to get all of your Cantonese favorites, from succulent duck to Singapore chow fun and salt-baked squid. Open every day from 9 a.m. to 4 a.m.
113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
Maybe you’ve been enjoying a cocktail at that no-longer-secret speakeasy hidden inside this hot dog joint, or maybe you’re just hungry in the East Village after hours. Either way, stop by Crif Dogs to upgrade from your usual street dog to one of these gourmet links that come in combinations like the Chihuahua Signature (bacon-wrapped dog, avocado, sour cream) and the Morning Jersey (Taylor ham-wrapped dog with cheese and a fried egg).
119 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
This late night—open 24 hours, seven days a week—Eastern European diner is the place to go if you want a late-night pierogis, cheeseburgers, pancakes, or a pitcher of sangria. Also great for eggs and home fries. And French toast. And hot or cold borscht. Blintzes. Disco fries. Oh, and kielbasa. You get the picture.
Butter & Scotch
818 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225
Sweet tooths, take note. This Crown Heights feminist bakery-bar hybrid whips up an array of pies, boozy milkshakes, and more sweet nighttime snacks that you can enjoy alongside your craft cocktails. They’re open till midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends.
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong
1 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016
This Korean barbecue restaurant mini-chain already had a fanatic following at its LA and (now closed) Queens locations, but thanks to the light touch of chef and cookbook author Deuki Hong, who’s cooked under legends like David Chang and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the Manhattan restaurant became the best of the bunch. Now, even though Hong has left to pursue his own venture, Baekjeong in Manhattan still reigns supreme for late-night eats—it only uses high-quality meats for its barbecue, and it shows. Side dishes like the stir-fried squid, noodles, and the fried dumplings also slay.
Brooklyn Ice House
318 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
In the South, old-school ice houses were lowkey places to kick back outdoors with some beers. This Brooklyn take on the genre stays true to that ethos with a back patio, great beer selection, and amped-up pub grub. Open till 4 a.m. every night, naturally.
323 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
This always-down-to-party Mexican theme bar stays crowded with great frozen drinks and an awesome outdoor space complete with a taco truck that turns out tortas and tacos late into the night. Michael Cera is one of Chilos’ co-owners if that’s what you’re looking for in a bar. Open till 1 a.m. weekdays, and 4 on weekends.
112 Reade St, New York, NY 10013
This decked-out BBQ slinger fuses an old-school chophouse motif with some smoky southern realness. On offer till midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on Saturdays: slow-smoked Wagyu brisket, chopped beef sliders, and a burger with white cheddar and a garlic aioli.
189 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Bagels aren’t just for breakfast, and technically, if it’s after midnight it’s the morning anyway. Known for fast, cheap bagels, sandwiches, and pastries, it’s really no surprise Bagelsmith’s egg sandwiches are the secret antidote to Williamsburg’s worst hangovers. It’s open 24 hours, so if you want to test out a social experiment, go stand in here for an entire day and watch what happens.
161 N 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
On your way to the Bedford Avenue station, make a pit stop (around all the construction) at this nondescript Middle Eastern deli. The focus here is falafel, served in a platter or sandwich with hummus and offered until 3 a.m., seven days a week.
The Long Island Bar
110 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
We are so grateful The Long Island Bar exists in all its beautiful, historic, Art Deco diner glory. One of the very most pleasant places to drink in Brooklyn also happens to serve incredible food—the Buffalo-fried cauliflower and Long Island burger are a thing of beauty. We don’t see why we should ever leave. Kitchen’s open until 1 a.m. on weekends.
1143 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10065
With all due respect to our uptown friends, a fancy sushi dinner is pretty much the only cool thing you can do at 2 a.m. on the Upper East Side. Founded in 2002, this location of the city-wide Sushi Seki brand turns out all manner of raw seafood from fatty tuna and amberjack to Kumamoto oyster and flying fish roe. Craving something heartier? They’ve also got a hot food selection with dishes like karaage fried chicken and noodle soup.
205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
Katz’s is legendary and one of the few overexposed, tourist-swamped, and Meg Ryan-approved restaurants that live up to the hype. And yes, it’s still worth waiting in line for. Order the pastrami on rye and a side of latkes while you’re at it.
366 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
If you've ever craved a frozen piña colada, a heaping plate of nachos, and crunchy fried chicken all at once, The Commodore was made for you. The DJ-soundtracked boozy temple of fried delights was wonderfully unpretentious when it first opened back in 2010 and still is today. No matter what hour of night, sidle up to the bar for poboys and cheap beer or post up for a game of pinball.
119 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
MacDougal Street has become one of the rowdiest in Manhattan. Escape the street chaos at Mamoun’s, open until 3 a.m. on weekdays or 5 a.m. on weekends, for their beloved falafel, shawarma, and kebabs. Order your filling of choice in a sandwich with tahineh sauce or on a platter with salad and a side of pita bread.
Prince Street Pizza
27 Prince St A, New York, NY 10012
Of the infinite late-night pizza joints in town, Prince Street reigns supreme among celebrities and common folk alike. The cult-loved pies—which draws lines throughout the day—stays open ‘til 2:30 a.m. on weekends, giving you plenty of time to make it there after throwing back a couple beers at Spring Lounge (yikes).
Empellon Al Pastor
132 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
This East Village outpost of Chef Alex Stupak's Empellón empire serves seriously good tacos and margaritas till midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends. But that's not all, folks: your munchies brain will explode choosing between the likes of Chinese takeout-style spare ribs, bacon cream cheese-filled jalapeño poppers, and a chalupa of red chile short rib.
173 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
This late-night, bare bones slice spot has engendered a cultish following among a certain type of drunk pizza enthusiast. That said, while the clientele might be obnoxious, the pizza's excellence is undeniable. So is the rigatoni, which takes 20 minutes to make, if you can last that long.
249 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10003
Croque madame at 3 a.m.? Steak frites at 5 a.m.? You must be at L’Express. This round-the-clock Park Avenue bistro is a reliable favorite for fancy-pants clubgoers and night owls for whom a hot dog just won’t do. For the full effect, snag a sidewalk seat and light up a cigarette like it’s midnight in Paris. Open 24 hours, seven days a week.
195 Franklin St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
This little Greenpoint restaurant is exactly the kind of place we love: a place that offers strong rum cocktails, oysters, crispy chicken wings, an awesome burger, and some of the best people-watching in Brooklyn. Don’t leave without ordering the pimento cheese fries.
325 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016
While we’re talking chicken: If you’ve been karaoke-ing in K-town, ward off an impending soju-induced hangover by soaking up the booze with some seriously good Korean fried chicken. At this casual chain with a second location on 38th Street, take your pick of wings, strips, or drumsticks doused in a sweet-savory soy garlic or a mouth-searing spicy sauce. bonchon.com
Mad for Chicken
157-18 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY 11354
A restaurant that takes wings seriously for people who take wings seriously. Order yours with the spicy garlic sauce. Eat too much, drink too much, and wipe your fingers on your shirt. Or don’t. Locations in Queens and Brooklyn; the former is open later.