The club might be closed, but you don’t want to go home. Yes, it’s time to grab a bite. To help steer you right, we present our very favorite late-night eats, culled from the hungry night owls of the extended Flavorpill family and divided up by city. We’re sure you have faves of your own too, so go ahead and share them in the comments. Or better yet: Armani Code Sport is running a Foursquare competition, where the person with the coolest late-night itinerary each day wins a free bottle of Code Sport — and a grand prize winner gets flown to NYC for a shopping spree at the Armani store. In the meantime, nosh on this and Dive into the Night.
Tried and true, this East Village Ukrainian diner was suggested by multiple Flavorpillers. Soma Roy put it succinctly: “Their goat cheese and arugula (boiled not fried) pierogies are the ultimate in late-night dining: they’re delicious and they’ll prevent hangovers. Double whammy!” The place has been dishing up borscht, blintzes, and other Eastern European fare for over 50 years and was even featured in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. It’s got to be doing something right!
Click through the links below for all our nighttime dining picks.
This hole-in-the-wall joint (there are two of them, actually) gets points for being delectable and even slightly healthy. Michael Rosen adds: “Not only are the tacos real tacos (and real delicious), but they also have a quote from Allen Ginsberg’s Howl posted right above the counter addressing all of us angel-headed hipsters. Also, it’s usually a great place to meet folks, as most customers mingle around outside.”
For a slightly more refined environment (and eats), it’s tough to beat Blue Ribbon. Whether stumbling into the original Soho location for late-night noshing with city chefs, grabbing the signature Asian fried chicken at their newer Columbus Circle location, or shoveling “rock ‘n roll fries” into your maw at Brooklyn Bowl (where the brothers Bromberg also run the food program), if you’re hungry past midnight, Blue Ribbon has your back. Most locations are open until at least 2am, with the flagship restaurant (and often Brooklyn Bowl) open until 4am.
Those making their way to or from Williamsburg recommended Middle Eastern falafel king Oasis, situated right outside the Bedford L train stop. Gabby Filasky says, “Nothing like stumbling off the Bedford train into the mirage-turned-Oasis. Best location. Best late-night impromptu Middle-Eastern dance parties. Best $3 falafel sandwich ever. Yes, $3!” Like Snack Dragon, Oasis gets a few extra points for using fresh, high-quality ingredients that lower the guilt factor, a little.
Because sometimes, you just can’t outdo a classic. As former Atlantan Russ Marshalek puts it, “This greasy spoon completely ups the ante. You’ll see everything from kids nursing cups of coffee to a couple sharing the baklava sundae for four. Anything you can get with their fresh veggies, the feta and spinach omelette especially, is good for counting calories, but if you’ve been at one of the bars nearby in Virgina Highlands, that’s not gonna matter, so just order something and make sure it comes with fries.”
According to our Miami team, there’s a Colombian perro craze sweeping the city. We’re talking hot dogs (and burgers) with some toppings most gringos would find pretty unusual: potato chips, pineapple, egg, cheese, garlic, fries, ham, and a pink sauce we’re guessing is that ever-enduring ketchup-and-mayo combo. It’s a gut bomb, but a delicious one. There are dozens of Colombian perro spots around Miami, and users over on Yelp make it a nightly battle to bestow the contested perro crown on their favorite.
FYI, that’s a single slice, cut in two, with iPhone for reference. Photo by Y P.
Asha Saluja got straight to the point on her recommendation for this South Florida standby: “Can’t go wrong with slices twice the size of your face.” Pro tip: honest-to-goodness free samples while you wait. When’s the last time you had a free sample that wasn’t kombucha from Whole Foods?
This mini-chain of classic delicatessens got its start in Southern California, but has been a South Florida institution since the ’70s. While they’ve now got everything from hummus to pizza on the menu, we recommend sticking to deli classics like matzo-ball soup, pastrami sandwiches, or the lox and cream-cheese bagel.
LA editor Karin E. Baker knows her late-night eats, and says Fred 62 is great for both people-watching and dining. “It features traditional diner food like tuna melts (but tends to be less greasy than most diners, with healthy choices too), and numerous breakfast dishes like waffles with dulce de leche, along with vegetarian and vegan offerings. Outdoor tables are good for people watching.”
For excellent street eats, Karin also recommends the Taco Zone Truck in Echo Park. They’re open until 3am on weekends, and boast “great horchata and very good $1.25 tacos with carne asada, al pastor, carnitas, suedero, and lengua (tongue) for the truly adventurous.”
Famous for being featured in Swingers, the 101 Coffee Shop has really good burgers, good soyrizo for the vegans in your group, and a great Tandoori salmon sandwich. The jukebox also has awesome picks.
Jeff Squires says Mission burrito joint Cancun can’t be beat for a “wet burrito” — that’d be a burrito smothered in enchilada sauce. (And yes, we realize that San Francisco folks will draw blood defending their favorite taqueria. But let’s just keep it to the comments section, shall we?)
If you’re in the Mission but not feeling like a gut-busting burrito at 4am, your next best bet is the Bacon Dog Cart. The cart won’t pile quite as much onto to your hot dog as the perro guys in Miami, but you’ll still get a bacon-wrapped dog, topped with jalapenos, mayo, onions, ketchup, and mustard.
Former Texan (and still a Lone Star at heart) Ashley Waghorne recommends Velvet Taco if you’re out late in Dallas. They’re open until 2am and have 20 different types of tacos, including her fave, the slow-roasted pork. And lest you think the local/organic/slow food movement is only found on either coast, all the ingredients are Texas-raised and produced, and everything is made from scratch, in-house. Oh, and they have killer sangria, too.