Despite being known as “The City That Never Sleeps,” finding late-night food in NYC past 10 PM isn’t as easy as you’d think. The pandemic exacerbated the issue, making it challenging for businesses to bounce back. As a local, I made it my post-pandemic mission to find reliable late-night food gems in the city.
After many sleepless nights and pleas to Google for updated hours, here’s a short list of the best late-night food spots in NYC. If this helps even one person curb their late-night cravings or prevents a hangry lovers’ quarrel, the hard work was worth it! Now, without further ado, here are the top late-night food spots in New York City.
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Where to Grab Late-Night Food in NYC
Table of Contents: New York City Late-Night Eats
Table of Contents: Where to Eat at Night in NYC
- Where to Grab Late-Night Food in NYC
- Quick Recap of Best Late-Night Restaurants in New York City
- Late Night Food NYC (Helpful Map)
JG Melon, a New York City icon since 1972, is famous for its delectable burgers and extended hours, making it a top choice for late-night dining in NYC. 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.
Since 1954, Veselka has been an East Village staple, surviving as “Little Ukraine” faded. It remains a popular spot, embodying the area’s Ukrainian heritage. This diner has introduced Eastern European cuisine to generations of New Yorkers, catering to diverse clientele.
Whether it’s a quick bite for a businessman or a late-night meal for college students, Veselka delivers the best late-night food in NYC without breaking the bank. Affordable options include homemade soups like Ukrainian borscht, a renowned beet soup, and pierogis, Ukrainian-style dumplings served with sautéed onions and sour cream.
Website: Corner Bistro
Neighborhood: West Village
Address: 331 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 8:30AM to 2AM | Friday: 8:30AM to 4AM | Saturday: 10AM to 4AM & Sunday: 10AM to 2AM
Corner Bistro, a West Village institution for 50 years, is celebrated by locals for its iconic burgers. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff make it an easy-going spot, offering some of the best late-night food in NYC. Open until 4:00 AM on Thursdays to Saturdays, it’s the perfect spot for a midnight craving, especially with their renowned Bistro Burger – a 1/2 lb patty topped with bacon, lettuce, and tomato, embodying the classic American guilty pleasure.
Fun Fact: In the TV show How I Met Your Mother, Marshall is searching for a burger he tried years ago (back in his glory day) and has a whole scene talking about Corner Bistro. The episode is called “The Best Burger in New York” Season 4, Episode 2.
Since their humble beginnings with carts in 1990, The Halal Guys have rapidly expanded, now with brick-and-mortar restaurants scattered everywhere. With most locations open until midnight, they’re a top choice for late-night bites in NYC.
Offering straightforward yet tasty options like gyros or platters with rice, chicken or beef, lettuce, tomato, and their renowned white sauce, they adhere to Halal dietary guidelines. A quintessential cheap eat in the city, I can’t envision NYC without them. In fact, they’re my go-to late-night food spot and never disappoint.
Undoubtedly, the ultimate late-night food in NYC is a classic, greasy slice of pizza, and luckily, exceptional pies are abundant across the city. The enticing aroma from pizza joints is practically unavoidable, with a tempting slice never more than a few blocks away. Naturally, it deserves a spot on our list of the 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
- 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
For late-night adventures in the East Village, Ray’s Candystore is a must-visit. Open 24/7 since 1974, this tiny shop offers a variety of treats, but its fame lies in its delicious egg creams and fried Oreos.
Celebrities like the Kardashians and Anthony Bourdain have enjoyed the exceptional service Ray’s provides, embodying the quintessential “only in New York” experience where everyone feels like family. At 90 years old, Ray himself still serves customers behind the counter, ensuring a memorable visit. Don’t miss out on one of the best late-night eats in NYC, especially if you have a sweet tooth.
Adel’s Famous Halal Food
Adel’s Famous Halal, a food cart open since 1987, serves some of the best late-night food in NYC. The hour long line, even at midnight, attests to its deliciousness. Known for generously sized, expertly seasoned rice and meat dishes, the menu offers gyros or platters, both under $10.
Located at 49th Street and 6th Avenue, the cart opens at 6 PM and stays busy until 4 or 5 AM. Waiting in a 45+ minute line is all but guaranteed, consider bringing snack…I wish I was joking.
Leaving Katz Deli off a best late-night NYC food list is unforgivable. Since 1888, this iconic cafeteria-style deli has been delighting New Yorkers. Adorned with celebrity photos, it’s famous for its mile-high thick-cut pastrami on rye. 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:
Upon entering Katz, you’ll receive a ticket; keep it safe and proceed to the ordering line. A counter attendant will take your order and record it on your ticket. Once your sandwich masterpiece is ready, choose between finding a table or ordering drinks/sides from the left counter, where they’ll also ask for your ticket. After dining, settle your bill at the cashier counter by the door, using your ticket. Finally, hand over your paid ticket at the front to exit. Sounds complicated, but there are folks all around who can help — so don’t sweat it!
Empanadas are a staple in Latin American cuisine, known for their convenience and deliciousness. For those unfamiliar with the dish, an empanada is essentially a pastry made of fried dough and filled with a variety of ingredients.
Offering over 40 flavors, including plant-based options, there’s something for everyone at Empanada Mama. With four locations, two open 24/7 and the others until 4AM, it’s a go-to for late-night bites in NYC. Plus, all locations have full bars, perfect for pairing your empanadas with a drink.
Coppelia in Chelsea stands out as one of NYC’s best late-night food spots, open 24/7 since 2011. Serving mouthwatering Cuban and American dishes like Huevos Rancheros and steak & eggs, their all-day breakfast menu caters to every taste. With prices ranging from $5 to under $30 and cocktails at $12-$15, it’s an affordable and delicious option for a late-night NYC dinner.
Blue Ribbon Brasserie
Since 1992, Blue Ribbon has been a popular late-night food choice in NYC for locals and, ironically, chefs. The Bromberg Brothers designed it as a space for chefs to enjoy a meal after closing their own kitchens. With a distinctive atmosphere, highlighted by red velvet banquettes, and a diverse menu offering everything from burgers to elaborate shellfish platters, this late-night eatery is open seven nights a week, making it the ideal spot to grab a late-night meal in New York City.
Quick Recap of Best Late-Night Restaurants in New York City
In sum, these are the best late-night food spots in NYC to grab a meal.
- JG Melon
- Katz Deli
- Empanada Mama
- Adel’s Famous Halal Food
- Ray’s Candystore
- Halal Guys
- Blue Ribbon Brasserie
- Corner Bistro
Further Reading for Fun Things to Do in New York City
Things to Do at Night: 15 Things to Do in New York City at Night
Romantic Things to Do: 19 (Non-Cheesy) Romantic Things to Do in New York City
Free Things to Do: 20 Unique Free Things to Do in New York City to Keep Your Wallet Happy!
Best Things to Do in NYC: 30 Best Things to Do in New York City
Iconic Spots in NYC Everyone Needs to Try
Best Pizza in NYC: 15 Best Pizza Joints in New York City
Iconic Restaurants in NYC: 10 Iconic New York City Restaurants Every Local Needs to Try
Mouthwatering Bagels in NYC: 15 BEST Bagels in New York City
Unbelievable Brunch Spots in NYC: 18 Prime Brunch Spots in New York City Worth the (Inevitable) Wait
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!