Attention, night owls, barhoppers and midnight snackers: We've compiled the best after-hour eats in your favorite party 'hoods, to keep you full and happy around the clock.
Fri Jan 7 2011
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl
Cubanito at El Cobre
You're in the East Village, and it's...
Midnight: El Cobre
This new retro-tropical hang cranks out Cuban-inflected food until 1:30am on weekends. An expertly constructed Cubanito sandwich, layered with crackly roasted pork, thinly sliced ham and garlicky mustard sauce ($10), is a savory sponge for rumcentric drinks like the fragrant Everything You Know Is Wrong (dark rum, apple, cinnamon, champagne and bitters; $11). There's table service up front, but the choicest seats are at the three-tiered bleachers opposite the bar, where a rowdier crowd congregates. 95 Ave A between 6th and 7th Sts (212-614-6818). Kitchen open until 1:30am on weekends.
2am: Momofuku Ssm Bar
Serious grub is available well into the wee hours at David Chang's perpetually buzzy restaurant. The mood is fashionable but never fussy, and the late-night crowd sees local celebs bashing elbows with causal barhoppers at the long communal table. Before the kitchen closes at 2am, get in an order of creamy fingerling potato soup with silky Hama Hama oysters, crispy kale and slivers of salumi ($16), or a heaping bowl of hearty, chewy Korean rice cakes tossed with chunks of spicy pork sausage and Szechuan peppercorns ($18). 207 Second Ave at 13th St (212-254-3500). Kitchen open until 2am on weekends.
This long-standing neighborhood favorite offers classic Polish comfort food, heavy on the grease, 24 hours a day. After last call at the bars, the restaurant fills up with large groups of eyeliner-clad girls and their rowdy dates. They jostle for space with the gruff old-school locals for bowls of neon-pink borscht ($3.50) or gut-busting meat plates, with fried pierogi, stuffed cabbage and grilled kielbasa ($14.75). Bonus: The oversize windows overlooking one of the area's busiest intersections are perfect for late-night and early-morning people-watching. 144 Second Ave at 9th St (212-228-9682). Kitchen open 24hrs.