Where to find the best late-night food in NYC

Where to find the best late-night food in NYC
Photo by Philip Warp on Pexels.com

After long days and evenings spent exploring New York City, you’re bound to be hungry. With bars and other attractions open well into the night, grabbing a bite on the way home shouldn’t be too much to ask. Thankfully, this is the city that never sleeps, so tons of great food spots are still open past your bedtime.

No matter where you find yourself, from Astoria to the Upper West Side, there are plenty of options to choose from. In fact, there are almost too many. So, we’ve rounded up some must-try spots for late-night food in NYC.

Vibes (South Jamaica, Queens)

Deep in Queens, Vibes is a restaurant and lounge worth checking out on your way home after a night out. If you have time, be sure to hang out here a while, as it’s also an event venue that features diverse acts.

Its motto is “Good food, good music, good people, good times.” Vibes is known for soul food, so you better show up hungry for interesting dishes like catfish strips and fries, jerk pasta, grits and Hennessy wings.

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight, Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Address: 143-06 Liberty Ave., Queens

Empanada Loca (South Slope, Brooklyn)

Whether you’re going to bed late, waking up super early or not sleeping at all, you can always grab a bite at Empanada Loca, which serves classic American food like pancakes, bagels and burgers but also Latin American favorites or “platos magnificos.”

They’ve got street tacos, arepas and, of course, empanadas. They boast of having around 30 unique recipes for different types of empanadas. Feel like sharing a few things with friends? Order off their tapas menu!

Hours: 24/7

Address: 606 5th Ave., Brooklyn

212 Hisae’s (Ukrainian Village, Manhattan)

This Asian fusion restaurant is iconic in Ukrainian Village. Full of NYU students pretty much every night of the week, this is an excellent place for cheap and delicious cocktails and the best fries in the city. It’s also vegetarian and vegan friendly.

At 212 Hisae’s “Happy Hour is all night long.” So, this is where you want to stop before and after a night on the town. The most expensive drinks here are only US$6, so maybe you’ll even want to spend the whole night here. 212 caters to a younger crowd, but it’s worth all of the commotion and excitement.

Hours: Every day until midnight

Address: 212 E 9th St.

Retro Pizza Cafe (Astoria, Queens)

What is New York City without a decent slice of pizza? Retro Pizza Cafe has everything you could want from a New York pizza joint. Classic cheese, veggie lovers and barbecue chicken pizzas are all on the menu, as are garlic knots, Caprese salad and all kinds of calzones.

However, don’t skip out on some of Retro’s unique creations. Their Tricolor Pizza is absolutely iconic (topped with ricotta, pesto and vodka sauce to resemble the Italian flag). And they’ve got other exciting food fare, like the Cacio e Pepe Pizza and Wild Mushrooms Pizza. We’re willing to be there is no better drunk food than a shared pizza pie.

Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Thursday 11:30-1:30 a.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30-2:30 a.m.

Address: 4102 Broadway, Astoria

Brooklyn Ice House (Red Hook, Brooklyn)

A neighborhood favorite, Brooklyn Ice House isn’t a skating rink but rather a great place for some quick food – especially when you’re hunting late-night food in NYC. A lowkey tavern without the fanfare or pretense that’s becoming more prevalent in an increasingly gentrified Brooklyn, Brooklyn Ice House is unkempt in the most charming way possible.

The restaurant boasts a lot of outdoor space, too, so summer nights spent outside are an option. Mostly, the food on offer is classic American bar food – think onion rings, burgers and buffalo wings. Stick around for a drink since Ice House is known for its selection of international beers.

Hours: Open every day from noon to 4 a.m.

Address: 318 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn

Pugsley Pizza (Bronx, Little Italy)

Who would we be if we only included one pizza place on this list of late-night food in NYC? If you find yourself in or near the Bronx or want some super late-night delivery, grab a slice from Pugsley Pizza.

Deluxe garlic knots, homemade bread and zeppolis are all in store for you. Plus, they’ve got a ton of pizzas to choose from, including gluten-free cheese pizza, spinach pizza, Sicilian pies and pretty much whatever else you could be craving. They even serve burgers here, so whoever you’re eating with is bound to be happy with the varied options.

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11-3 a.m.

Address: 590 E 191st St., Bronx

Malibu Diner (Flatiron District, Manhattan)

What’s more classic than a delightfully unstylish diner? Diners feel like a home with their Bible-sized menus, vinyl booths and the intimate atmosphere of hospitality. There’s a reason “Seinfeld” has all those scenes in a diner – this kind of eatery is New York’s bread and butter. Malibu Diner never closes, offering warmth and accommodation no matter what hour of the night.

This eatery says they’ve “managed to maintain the charm and traditional values that you would expect from a true American diner, in the middle of NYC.” True to form, their menu couldn’t be longer, but that doesn’t mean that their food lacks the homemade quality you’re hungry for. There are also no delivery fees if you decide to order online.

From homemade soups to burgers to Mediterranean specials, there’s something for everyone on the menu. Stop in any time and in whatever condition – they’ll take care of you here.

Hours: 24/7

Address: 163 W 23rd St.

La Isla Cuchifrito (Bushwick, Brooklyn)

La Isla has been in Brooklyn since 1960, and it’s certainly not going anywhere soon. It didn’t come this far with non-authentic food, and you can tell how reliable it is by their many loyal regulars. La Isla offers Latin food served quickly, which sounds like a dream after a long day or night out in the city.

This Latin American restaurant also serves dishes that are a bit unconventional to this part of the United States, such as cuajo (pork stomach), lengua (pork tongue), oreja (pork ears), morcilla (blood sausage), alcapurria (cassava) and bacalau guisado (codfish stew). Trying new foods at a place as legendary as La Isla is an experience that is quintessentially New York.

Hours: Most locations are open 24/7

Address: See the website for locations.

The Hop Shoppe (Stapleton, Staten Island)

Order your table a whole slew of appetizers and sides from this Staten Island gastropub, and you won’t regret it. You can build your own mac and cheese, order wings with one of seven different sauces or choose one of their unique, gourmet burgers. Plus, there are some interesting dessert options if you’ve got a sweet tooth, like cookie dough eggrolls, a toasted S’mores skillet and New York cheesecake.

Anyone from New Jersey will be delighted to find that disco fries are also on their menu! As a gastropub, The Hop Shoppe is also well-versed in beer, wine and cocktails, and the margaritas and mojitos come in 10 flavors. Check out their Live Beer Menu to see what they’ve got in store any day of the week. Plus, there are Skee Ball games to keep the fun going after hours!

Hours: Every day from 11-4 a.m.

Address: 372 Van Duzer St., Staten Island

After a certain hour, when grocery stores have shut down, but you’re still hungry for a snack, these restaurants have your back. What is a food city without something fun to grab while walking home from the bar, anyway? No fear – you’ve got plenty of options for late-night food in NYC.

Have a tip or story? Get in touch with our reporters at tips@themilsource.com