They say that nothing good happens after 2AM, but we would beg to differ. After a long night of revelry and one too many adult libations, there is probably nothing better than a killer snack. Soak up the booze with some delicious pizza or preemptively cure tomorrow’s hangover with a pastrami reuben. Here, some of our favorite designers, eaters, drinkers, and late-night party people share their expert tips on the best spots to hit after the clock strikes midnight in LA and NY. Whether you go for the greasy grub when you’ve got the drunk munchies or you are one of those healthy late-night eaters (we commend you for that), there’s something here for everyone.
The Standard Guide to Drunchies in New York and Los Angeles
“On Friday and Saturday nights, Lil’ Frankie’s in the East Village is open—and delivers—until 4AM. Their pizza and pasta dishes are delicious any time (our faves are the salame piccante pizza and rigatoni ragu), but it never tastes as good as it does to cap off an epic NYC night out.
“Walter Foods in Williamsburg is a classic neighborhood spot that serves food late-night on the weekend. We are obsessed with the caesar salad, which is the best around, and fried chicken with spicy honey. There’s also yummy bar snacks and a great wine list featuring our rosé, Summer Water.”
“Waverly Restaurant has good food, waiters who wear tuxedos even though it's a shithole, and is filled with WEIRDOS after 2AM. I saw an old woman eating with a doll, like a marionette. It was propped up in the seat across from her with a plate of food in front of it. Stuff like that cannot be unseen.”
“Julius' is the best gay bar in New York, a place where lots of tough men hang out. I've seen two Con Ed workers fight each other after watching a Rangers hockey game and then start tongue-kissing. They have amazing sliders and great fries, but they recently took the jalapeño poppers off the menu, which made me sad.”
“Relax your mouth and stretch out your tongue at Corner Bistro. You've been drinking since lunch, but now it's dinner, and you need to be able to pronounce two words: “Bistro Burger.” Fries? Nod yes. Corner Bistro is old and smelly and open 'til 4AM. Better fries exist. Better places to be at 3AM do not.”
"We like Blue Ribbon Brasserie because it's the only place we know where you can have an unforgettable meal then totally forget about it. Blue Ribbon's open so late that a partial black out you got started at a bar down the street could easily steal some memories of that late-late-night lobster. Check your bank statement in the morning, and fantasize about what you might have eaten. We assure you, it was worth it."
“The hours of Hector's Cafe and Diner are mysterious. It’s supposedly open 24 hours, but the kitchen might be closed at 2AM. When last call is called, however, and you exit the final bar of the night, you'll see their lights on. And they will be calling to you. We order breakfast, because when the sun's rising, and you're pre-hungover at a diner by the Hudson, that's really the only move to make.”
Nicole Winhoffer, Founder of NW Method and Global Ambassador of Women's Training for Adidas by Stella McCartney:
“I like The Standard, East Village's Café Standard for chips and guac or the kale salad with avocado and pumpkin seeds. It’s open late, has a great crowd and outdoor patio. I'm always there since I live in the hood, and I teach and do the majority of my shoots at The Standard.”
“Kiki's. Kiki is a friend of mine and they have the best Greek food at affordable prices. My favorites are the bean spread, roasted chicken with lemon potatoes, and the homemade cheesecake.”
“My late-night eat spot is Canter’s on Fairfax in LA. I grew up in NJ in diner central and I have fond memories of sitting in a diner booth at 1AM with friends munching on grilled cheese sandwiches, french fries, and sipping milkshakes. The vibe at Canter’s is simultaneously nostalgic and timeless, and while I skip the fries and milkshakes now that I'm no longer a teenager and opt instead for the vegetarian omelets and OJ, it's the ideal way to end a late night out in LA.”
“You simply can't beat Canter's Deli, this classic, 24-hour Jewish deli in the heart of Fairfax. Want to preemptively cure tomorrow's hangover? Their pastrami reuben and matzo ball soup are the medicine you need.”
"For my favorite late-night snacks, (which tend to be rare being the mama to a toddler), I'd have to say Night + Market Song in Silverlake. Chef Kris Yenbamroong serves up some of the best Thai food in the city. His dishes are crave-worthy with the right amount of heat to absorb the libations I may have indulged in during my night out. Keep in mind the restaurant closes at 11PM, but that's late for LA! (Sad but true)."