Post Overview: Late night food NYC
Ironically, New York City is known as “The City That Never Sleeps” but it sure as hell feels like the food scene didn’t get the memo. It’s not as easy as you’d think to find late-night food joints in NYC that are open past 10 PM.
Prior to the pandemic this wasn’t as big of an issue as it is nowadays. As business’ slowly find their footing and attempt to bounce back it can be difficult finding a place to eat in the late hours of the night.
As a local I knew I couldn’t rest until I found reliable gems that I could count on when my hunger gets the best of me at 2 AM. In fact, finding the best late-night food in NYC became my post-pandemic mission.
After many (many) sleepless nights and too many emails to Google telling them to update the hours on local businesses (I’m tired of the lies!) I’ve rounded up a short list of late-night food spots in New York City.
If this post can help even just one person cure their late-night munchies or stop a fight between lovers at the hands of hanger, I’ll know that the hard-work was well worth it!
Now for the real reason you’ve come, here are the best late-night food spots in NYC.
Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +2 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.
Where to grab late-night food in NYC
#15. Corner Bistro
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 8:30AM to 2AM | Friday: 8:30AM to 4AM | Saturday: 10AM to 4AM
Sunday: 10AM to 2AM
Corner Bistro is a classic West Village joint that has been a staple (some nights even a necessity) to many New Yorkers for 50 years. Many locals proclaim them to have the best burger in New York City.
The restaurant feels casual and you quickly find comfort from the easy-going staff and tasty food. This is one of the best places to visit in the West Village regardless of the hour, they make some of the best late night food in NYC!
Corner Bistro is open as late as 4:00 AM from Thursday to Saturday, meaning your late night munchies just found their match. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a juicy burger at midnight?
They have plain hamburgers and cheeseburgers, but their crown jewel is their Bistro Burger. A 1/2 lb patty finds itself at home among bacon, lettuce and tomato. It’s a classic American burger that’s served as a guilty pleasure for locals for years. It’s not hard to see why Corner Bistro’s burgers crack our list of the best late night food in NYC.
Address: 331 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
#14. Blue Ribbon Brasserie
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 5PM to 2AM
Threading the needle between the West Village and SoHo is a restaurant worthy of being among the best late-night eats in NYC. Blue Ribbon Brasserie has been a long standing favorite, opening up shop in 1992.
They make everything from steak to salmon to a rack of lamb, the food is hearty to say the least. The menu is small but focused towards meats so my vegan friends would be better served elsewhere.
The beef marrow & oxtail marmalade appetizer is a crowd favorite. For those who haven’t tried it, it’s a mouthwatering spread that tastes so good it will make you see the stars.
And since they’re open until 2AM Blue Ribbon Brasserie makes some of the best late-night food NYC has to offer. If you know you’ll be out late consider making reservations ahead of time.
Address: 97 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012
#13. Halal Guys
Hours: Hours vary by location
It goes without saying, the Halal Guys have stands everywhere.
They started their business out of carts in 1990, and have continued expanding to now include brick and mortar restaurants.
With so many locations the popular NYC cheap eats destination is rarely far from from wherever you might be. Since most of their locations are (at least) open until midnight they make some of the best late night food in NYC.
The word halal is Arabic for “lawful,” meaning in line with the practices of the Quran and Islam. Similar to how a Jewish person must keep Kosher, a Muslim person must follow Halal guidelines.
The menu is simple, either a gyro or a platter. Inside each you’ll get rice, a choice of either chicken or beef (you can also order a combination) lettuce, tomato, and their famous white sauce.
I can’t envision my life in New York City without the Halal Guys. As a matter of fact it’s my go-to late night food in NYC since I’m lucky enough to have a location down the street from my apartment.
Address: Multiple locations in NYC
#12. A Pizza Shop
The best late-night food in NYC is unquestionably a simple, greasy, reliable slice of pizza. Fortunately, fantastic pies can be found all across the Big Apple.
In fact, you can’t walk more than a few blocks without being tempted by the aromas emanating from a greasy pizza joint. It only makes sense to add it to our list of best late-night food in NYC.
The hard part can be knowing which shops are open late, but don’t worry I did the heavy lifting.
Here is a quick round-up of a popular pizza shops to enjoy some of the best late-night food in NYC:
Little Italy Pizza | Multiple locations | Open until 3AM or later depending on the location
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza | Multiple locations | Open until 2AM or later depending on the location
Lil Frankie’s Pizza | East Village | Open until 2AM
Joe’s Pizza | Multiple locations | Open until 2AM or later depending on the location
99 Cents Fresh Pizza | Multiple locations | Open until 4AM or later depending on the location
Famous Original Ray’s Pizza | Multiple locations | Open until 12AM or later depending on the location
#11. Ray’s Candystore
Hours: Open 24 hours
If you’re looking for things to do in the East Village late at night, Ray’s Candystore might be the place to go. Open 24 hours a day, Ray’s has been serving the community with late-night treats since 1974.
The shop is tiny and sells a little bit of everything but Ray’s claim to fame comes from the delicious egg cream (similar to an ice cream float) and fried Oreos.
Many different people from all walks of life have stepped up to Ray’s counters over the years, including celebrities like the Kardashians and Anthony Bourdain. The type of service here is exceptional and an “only in New York” kind of way — where everyone feels like family.
In fact, Ray (the legend himself) is still serving customers from behind the counter at 90 years old! If you’re lucky he’ll make you one of his famous egg creams and you’ll leave with a memorable experience.
Make sure to come hungry and ready for just about anything since this is one of the best late night eats in NYC, especially if you have a sweet tooth.
Address: 113 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
#10. Adel’s Famous Halal Food
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 6PM to 4AM | Friday – Saturday: 6PM to 5AM
If people are willing to wait in line you know the food is good, if people are willing to wait an hour or more at midnight you better hop in line too.
Adel’s Famous Halal is a food cart cooking up some of the best late-night food NYC has to offer. Open since 1987 they’ve made their fame with generous servings of expertly seasoned rice and meats. You can either order a gyro or a platter, both clocking in at less than $10.
You’ll find Adel’s Famous Halal on the corner of 49th Street and 6th Avenue, if you’re lost just look for the crowd. They’ll occasionally move up or down a block but tend to stay on 6th Ave.
They don’t open until 6PM which is a drag for folks in the area during the day. Fortunately they’re open until 4 or 5AM each night so it’s well qualified to be the best late-night food NYC can provide.
Address: 1221 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020
#9. Crif Dogs
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11:30AM to 2AM | Friday – Saturday: 11:30AM to 4AM
As we all know, hotdogs play a significant role in the diet of New York City. But not all hotdogs are created equal, and Crif Dogs, a creative hotdog shop, is one of the best late-night food spots in NYC.
Sure you can order your classic ketchup and mustard dogs here but true foodies know that one topping is never enough. At Crif Dogs expect to find combos like bacon-wrapped hotdogs with fried eggs and cheese or with pineapple, teriyaki and scallions.
The best part is that the hotdog itself is actually good! It’s definitely a step up from your typical Central Park food cart and always hits the spot late at night.
If hotdogs don’t cut it there is also a small menu of burgers and tots that can be ordered instead. Regardless of what you order Crif Dogs is a great place to swing by if you’re looking for late-night food joints in NYC.
Fun fact: There is a speakeasy attached to this unassuming hotdog shop called Please Don’t Tell. Step inside the phone booth and call the number on the sign and enjoy a fun night of cocktails and hotdogs!
Address: 113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
#8. Dutch Fred’s
Hours: Monday – Friday: 4PM to 1AM | Saturday – Sunday: 11AM to 2AM
Conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan, Dutch Fred’s makes some of the best late night food in NYC. They’re open until 2AM every night and since technically it’s a cocktail bar you can drink and eat the night away.
The restaurant’s name comes from the legend of how Hell’s Kitchen got its name. The tale goes that Dutch Fred was a veteran policeman that saw a riot on 10th Ave. and West 39th St. His rookie partner said “this place is hell” to which Dutch Fred replied “Hell’s a mild climate. This is Hell’s Kitchen.”
The bar’s name pays homage to the man who first gave the neighborhood its name.
And although it’s a bar, don’t let the drinks be the focal point, the food at Dutch Fred’s tastes amazing at midnight. Their late night bites menu features small meals like wings, empanadas, and flatbreads. It won’t be a five course meal, but it’s enough to satiate those late night tummy-growls.
Address: 307 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
#7. Glass House Tavern
Hours: Monday: Closed | Tuesday – Wednesday: 3PM to 12AM | Thursday – Saturday: 3PM to 1AM | Sunday: 3PM to 11PM
A stone’s throw away from Dutch Fred’s is Glass House Tavern, a quiet and charming restaurant that makes some of the best late night food in NYC.
Open until 1AM, Glass House Tavern isn’t open as late as other restaurants on this list but it’s still worth mentioning. It’s in a convenient location, serves a variety of quality dishes and has a full bar to satisfy your thirst.
I don’t recommend Glass House Tavern as a place you bring a rowdy group of friends after a night of drinking. Rather this is the kind of restaurant you visit with a significant other for a bite before heading home.
Unlike a lot of restaurants that make delicious late night food in NYC, Glass House Tavern does take reservations. I’d consider booking your table if you’re able to plan ahead.
Address: 252 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 8AM to 12AM | Sunday: 8AM to 11PM
This Ukranian Diner has been a staple of the East Village since 1954. Even as “Little Ukraine” dwindled, Veselka remained a popular destinations and has served as a reminder of the abundance of Ukrainians that once called the neighborhood home.
The restaurant has helped introduce Eastern European cuisine to generations of New Yorkers. And whether it’s a businessman catching a bite before work or college students stopping by for a sobering meal, enjoying the best late night food NYC has to offer, Veselka always delivers.
You won’t have to break the bank swinging by this popular NYC late night food destination. There’s homemade soups for $6 per cup or $11 for a large bowl. Those looking for a traditional meal should order the Ukrainian borscht. It’s a beet soup that is perhaps the best known slavic dish.
Another popular and authentic dish is the pierogis. They’re Ukrainian-style dumplings that can either be boiled or fried, and served with sautéed onions and sour cream.
With affordable dishes and the welcoming atmosphere, Veselka is home away from home for a late night dinner in NYC.
Address: 144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
#5. Empanada Mama
Hours: Open 24 hours
Empanadas are a heavy hitter in the Latin American food scene. They’re bread-wrapped filling like a turnover that are quick, convenient and tasty to eat.
I’ll be honest and say Empanada Mama isn’t going to be winning any Michelin Stars anytime soon but boy their empanadas are good. With four location, two of which are open 24/7, the other two open until 4AM, Empanada Mama makes some of the best late night food in NYC.
The empanadas come in a variety of flavors (more than 40!) so the hard part is choosing what to order, not finding something you like. They even have plant-based meats, so everyone can enjoy the delicacy regardless of diet.
And if you stumble in late one night looking for the best late night food in NYC and want a drink to go with it, Empanada Mama has you covered. The restaurants all have full bars!
Address: Multiple locations in New York City
#4. Sunset Diner
Hours: Open 24 hours
Have you ever had one of those nights with your friends where the energy is just right and you don’t want the night to end? Desperate to keep the vibes going you find yourself aimlessly scrolling the Internet to find the next spot.
Well if that ever happens to you (again) look no further than Sunset Diner in Brooklyn. Serving some of the best late-night food in NYC you’ll find the menu full of classic diner fare. Which let’s be honest always tastes better at two in the morning for some reason!
Serving the neighborhood of Greenpoint for over 20 years now, it’s the spot you go to no matter the time of day for a delicious “home cooked” meal. The menu is heavily focused on breakfast foods but also offers staples like burgers, sandwiches and Greek specials.
When the midnight munchies strike, sometimes grab-and-go food just isn’t sufficient. That is what makes Sunset Diner’s 24-hour availability so fantastic. It’s one of the best late-night food spots in NYC to sit down at let the hours melt away.
Address: 593 Meeker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Hours: Open 24 hours
Coppelia is one of the best brunch restaurants in Chelsea, but it’s also one of the best late night food spots in NYC since they’re open 24/7!
Established in 2011, Coppelia has been serving the neighborhood mouthwatering Cuban food since.
They offer popular Latin dishes like Huevos Rancheros and Chilaquiles or classic American fare like steak & eggs, the all-day breakfast menu has something for everyone.
If diner food isn’t your favorite, no worries! The extensive menu at Coppelia has anything your heart desires. I strongly recommend trying the Cubano Sandwich, one of the best in New York City.
Coppelia is also one of the more affordable spots for a late night NYC dinner with options on the menu ranging anywhere from $5 to less than $30. There’s also cocktails ringing around $12-$15, what a steal!
Address: 207 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
#2. Katz Deli
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 8AM to 11PM | Friday: 8AM to 12AM | Saturday: 24 Hours
Sunday: 11AM to 11PM
Omitting Katz Deli from a list of the best late night NYC food joints is an unforgivable offense. This cafeteria-style deli has been serving New Yorkers since 1888 and is one of the most iconic restaurants in NYC.
The interior walls are adorned with photos of celebrities that can’t resist the mile high thick-cut pastrami sandwiched between rye. The exterior walls are adorned with long lines of locals and tourists, eager to try one of the most popular restaurants in the Lower East Side.
The biggest challenge while visiting Katz Deli (apart from the long lines and crowds) is knowing how to navigate the ordering system, but I’m here to help.
How to order a (life-changing) pastrami sandwich at Katz Deli
You will be handed a ticket upon entering Katz, put it in your pocket and head to the ordering line. One of the folks behind the counter will call you over and ask you what you’d like. Tell them your order and hand them your ticket (they’ll write down what you ordered).
When your masterpiece of a sandwich is completed you’ll have two options: find a table or order drinks/sides. If you’d like to order drinks and sides (like fries) head to the left-most counter and place your order (they’ll also ask for your ticket).
After finishing your meal you will need to pay (using the ticket) at the counter by the door with the large “cashier” sign. When your bill is settled you can make your way out by handing your paid ticket over to the person working the front. This is how you can enjoy one of the best restaurants in the Lower East Side.
Address: 205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
#1. JG Melon
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:30AM to 3AM
JG Melon has been around since 1972, becoming one of the most famous New York City restaurants and an Upper East Side icon. It’s generous opening times and delectable burgers also qualifies it as the best late night NYC food spot.
Think perfectly juicy and flavorful patties sandwiched between buttery buns, it simply doesn’t get better than this. The fries are worth an order and the decor alone warrants a visit.
The interior is tightly packed and full of watermelon-themed paintings and posters, which offer a great distraction as you fight off the hunger intensified by the delicious smells of burgers being delivered to tables around you.
It’s a cash-only establishment frequented by prominent New Yorkers, like former mayor Michael Bloomberg who calls these the best hamburgers in the world.
But apparently he’s not the only one, Gigi Hadid and Bobby Flay have also shared similar sentiments. With all the (well deserved) fanfare it’s safe to call JG Melon one of the best late night food destinations in NYC.
Address: 1291 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021
Quick Recap of best late night food in New York City
- JG Melon
- Katz Deli
- Sunset Diner
- Empanada Mama
- Glass House Tavern
- Dutch Fred’s
- Crif Dogs
- Adel’s Famous Halal Food
- Ray’s Candystore
- Halal Guys
- Blue Ribbon Brasserie
- Corner Bistro
Late Night Food NYC (Helpful Map)
And there you have it, our list of the best late-night food in NYC. As always, don’t hesitate to let us know if we missed anything. Cheers!