The Saint Austere
When get a craving for late-night food, you generally want something hearty that’ll soak up whatever beer or cocktails you’ve been swilling and tide you over until breakfast or brunch. That doesn’t mean that you should settle for anything, and in New York City, you don’t have to. A few blocks along Williamsburg’s Grand Street hold some particularly delicious edibles served well past 10pm.
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You have a lot of snacking to do, so start simple: Post up at the bar and pair your tipple of choice with the kale salad ($6), which tempers the greens’ bite with chunks of Red Delicious apple and a citrus vinaigrette, or the roasted beets ($8), delicately dressed with Greek yogurt, balsamic vinegar and fresh tarragon. For a more shareable option, try a few orders of the deviled duck eggs (two halves for $4). Tue–Wed, Sun until 2am, Thu–Sat until 4am.
Co-owners and siblings Jacqueline and Fabrizio Pirolo drew on European influences as much as their Italian heritage to craft a menu that offering something for every palate. You can’t go wrong with any of the affordable small plates at this sibling-run establishment, but we find ourselves most often returning to the creamy polenta with spicy sausage ($10), warm butternut squash ($11) and homemade cavatelli with pork sugo ($15). The kitchen’s rendition of patatas bravas ($7), supremely crispy fingerlings served with sriracha and mayo, is also compulsively craveable. Mon‑Thu until midnight; Fri, Sat until 1am.
We hope you saved room for grilled cheese, because this whiskeycentric tavern serves seven different varieties. The Karen ($7) pairs fromage blanc, Gruyère, sharp cheddar and Havarti on sourdough; the rich Maefred ($6) combines gooey double-crème Brie with local mushrooms, diced onions and fresh rosemary on ciabatta. Nightly until 4am.
Forgo the usual meat-and-cheese plates and turn your attention to the Vittles section of the menu at this chic but low-key neighborhood spot. Pigs-in-a-blanket get punched up with large hunks of spicy Italian sausage ($7), and bacon-wrapped dates swap out standard blue or Gorgonzola cheese for melty Gouda ($7). If you’re craving something sweet and haven’t yet had your fill of cheese-and-toasted–bread combos, the pressed sandwich with Nutella and goat’s-milk ricotta ($6) balances its fillings just right. Otherwise, go for the chocolate panna cotta ($6), an enhanced riff on the creamy, puddingesque dessert that tops the custard with house-made huckleberry jam and a sprinkling of sea salt. Nightly until 4am.
Billyburg brunchers turn this cash-only bistro into Wait Central on weekends, but the after-hours atmosphere tends to be more manageable. The best spots to perch are at the polished wooden bar and in the back room, where friends can gather around an old-timey hearth in winter. You can sample classic hors d’oeuvres regardless of when you’re there or where you sit, including house-made duck pâté ($11) and escargots ($9). And if you ask us, a side of thin, parsley-speckled pommes frites ($4.50) is always a good idea. Those who’ve managed to work off some of the earlier nibbles might have room for one of Le Barricou’s French classics, such as a rib-sticking version of coq au vin ($15), but we’d recommend saving that for another day—or night. Mon–Thu, Sun until midnight; Fri, Sat until 2am.
The simple tavern—outfitted with patterned wallpaper and a massive, seven-foot-long crystal chandelier—sports a traditional menu of tapas and shareable plates. Expect 16 house-made salsas and dishes like tostada de pulpo (octopus with spicy chipotle sauce on a crispy shell) and corneta pato (a long crispy taco stuffed with duck confit). Serious sippers, take note: Twenty-five artisanal, small-batch tequilas and mescals (including Pierde Almas and Antiguo Herradura) are on display behind the large oak bar, which also features six South of the Border beers on tap.
Venue says: “Tacos & Ladies first. Live every day like it's #TacoTuesday, with our new Happy Hour special, $2.50 tacos and beer cans M-F, 4-7pm”