If New York City never sleeps, what does it do late at night? Along with drinking, working out and getting primped, eating is, unsurprisingly, one of our favorite after-hours activities. From round-the-clock pizza counters to a 24-hour biscuit shop, here are the 10 best places to get your #munchies game on after 2am.
Artichoke Pizza: Lines form early and last until the wee hours at this drunk-slice staple with three Manhattan locations. True to the name, the signature slice is a decadently rich one—slathered in a creamy artichoke sauce.
Empanada Mama: This Hell's Kitchen eatery tenders more than 40 varieties of its namesake frizzled Latin pockets—from basic plain cheese to ham and sweetly addictive banana-and-chocolate.
Empire Biscuit: At this 24/7 counter, Jonathan Price and Yonadav Tsuna dole out lard-laden biscuits stuffed with over a dozen toppings ranging rom pork sausage gravy and fried chicken to house-made jams (rhubarb-pine, plum-port) and compound butters (spiced candy pecan, goat cheese-black pepper).
Extra Fancy: You're hungry, but you don't want something so greasy so late at night? This Williamsburg joint offers a late-night raw bar until 2:30am with options like peel-and-eat shrimp, littleneck clams and oysters—tricked out with optional garnishes like trout roe, sturgeon caviar and quail egg yolk.
Photograph: Liz Clayman
Good Night Sonny: This newcomer may outwardly seem like just another neighborhood bar, but the pub grub here—served along with the drinks until 4am—is anything but ordinary. A standout selection of fresh oysters served on the shell includes a Seahwanhaka variety plucked exclusively from Long Island for owner Robert Ceraso. Also worth ordering are white boquerones spread on toasted pumpernickel and littleneck clams steamed in white wine, garlic and Serrano pepper.
Great N.Y. Noodletown: As the name portends, the draw at this till-4am Chinatown haunt is late night noodles. Slurp strands of rice, flour or egg noodles dunked in steamy broths or panfried with veggies, chicken or roasted pork.
Pocha 32: K-Town karaoke-goers can choose from a wide selection of traditional Asian dishes at this second-floor, chopstick-wrapper–papered gastropub. Most satisfying after a night of guzzling watermelon-infused soju is a pitch-perfect take on budae jigae (Korean "army stew"), with ramen noodles floating in a spicy gochujang-seasoned broth with spam, hot dogs, rice cakes, watercress and gooey melted cheese.
Veselka: A throwback to the artsy East Village of decades past, this Ukrainian diner is famed for such authentic savory grub as soul-warming borscht and boisterous kielbasa. When the cravings hit, go all-out with a gut-busting pierogi platter—varieties include goat cheese-arugula, spinach-and-cream and short rib—served with cream cheese and apple sauce for dipping.
Williamsburg Pizza: Both locations of this slice shop stay open until 2am on Thursday, and 4am on Friday and Saturday. Sink your teeth into tricked-out pies like a Messina—with goat cheese, ricotta, artichoke and soppressata—or an Apple Bacon, snugging smoked mozzarella with parmigiano-reggiano, bacon, gorgonzola and apples.
Wolfnights: Snag hot meat or veggie wraps until 5am on Friday and Saturday at this Lower East Side mainstay. Sure, you might be waiting in line with a horde of sloshed partygoers, but you'll be glad you did once you wolf down a Carnivores Delight—Angus meatballs rolled in a date-pumpkin wrap with fried egg and sumac onions—or a grilled cauliflower-and-fennel dough Mowgli.