Fried Pizza at Don Antonio
Roberto Caporuscio's newest venture serves our favorite fried pie in the city, with great sweet-fresh tomato sauce and homemade cheese.
Don Antonio's great dough is deep fried, then topped with smoked buffalo mozzarella and fresh tomatoes, and finished off in their wood oven. It's not greasy in the slightest, coming off more as simply an extra-crisp pizza.
Chicken and Lamb Over Rice at Famous Halal Guys
The Famous Halal Guys and their imitators are a legend in New York's street food world, and they're one of the most popular food destinations of any kind in midtown late at night. As we learned in our blind taste test, the 52nd Street location of the Halal Guys cart is the best to visit by day; at night, the Halal Guys occupy the southwest corner of 53rd and 6th.
Famous Halal Guys: 6th Avenue & West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019; 53rdand6th.com; Open Until: 4 a.m., Daily
Hakata Kuro Ramen at Hide-Chan Ramen
The ramen at Hide-Chan is of the rich, porky, tonkotsu variety made famous by the Hakata region. This standard tonkotsu ramen is created with a swirl of puréed charred garlic oil, adding a smoky sweet complexity to the broth. It comes with pickled bamboo shoots, crunchy sliced wood ear mushrooms, bright green scallions, and a sheet of dried nori. Perfect for a late winter night.
Budae Jjigae at Pocha 32
A hearty fusion of Korean and U.S. Army food, budae jjigae incorporates ingredients such as hot dogs and Spam into a spicy gochujang-flavored stew. Pocha 32's version includes ramen, cheese, rice cakes, slices of pork, cabbage, tofu chunks, carrots, and watercress. Served in a giant bowl over a gas flame, one order of budae jjigae is enough to feed three or four people. It's the best way to keep any hangover at bay, or at the very least, a tasty way to treat the one you already have.
Pocha 32: 15 West 32nd Street, Floor 2, New York, NY 10001 (map); 212-279-1876; Open Until: 3 a.m., Mon-Weds, Sun; 5:30 a.m., Thurs-Sat
ShackBurger at Shake Shack
New York's famous Shake Shack serves up their popular ShackBurger as single American-cheesed patty, two slices of Roma tomato, a single piece of green leaf lettuce, and a few squirts of their ShackSauce on a buttered and toasted Martin's Potato Roll.
Soft Serve at Kyotofu
Kyotofu's totally vegan soy milk soft serve is some of our favorite soft serve in the city, dairy or otherwise. Toppings change weekly, and come in small cups for making your own sundae.
Bar Snacks at Ardesia
One of those rare wine bars with carefully crafted food, Ardesia serves up imaginative and well thought out small plates in a chill, comfortable environment. There is a lengthy list of options for late night snacks, but the best plates tend to be of the meatier variety. Some highlights include: house-made charcuterie, pastrami sandwich, duck bahn mi, roasted cauliflower.
Mexican Sandwiches at Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery
An unassuming little taqueria in the back of a bodega, Tehuitzingo satisfies the Mexican food fixes for those left in the clutches of Midtown. At $6 each, these tortas come in the form of soft white rolls stuffed with meat like shredded chicken, creamy avocado, juicy jalapeno strips, and tomato. The ingredients are well-proportioned and not overwhelmed by the mayonnaise, making for a filling late night snack to chase down those drinks.
Pizza at Two Boots
Despite being somewhat of a New York institution, the pizza at Two Boots is not exactly representative of great New York pizza. The slices here are little more than a vehicle for whatever toppings you choose. But toppings seem to be the point at this pizza chain, and you can get some wacky combinations if you're in the mood for it. If it's late at night and you're stumbling around a bit drunk, a slice from Two Boots will make a perfectly acceptably greasy bite.
Assorted Plates at Sake Bar Hagi
Sake Bar Hagi is an underground izakaya gem, largely due to the incongruousness of its Times Square location. But don't be fooled by its location; Hagi's broad menu covers a wide range of Japanese pub-style grub, known for being heavy on smoke and a generous use of the deep fryer. It's a lively and unique place for a nightcap and a few greasy bites to end the evening. Try the mini corn dogs filled with mild melted cheese or the fried baby sardines to go along with your sake.
Burgers and Shakes at The Burger Joint
Hidden behind a red curtain in the hotel Le Parker Meridien, the Burger Joint is a tiny, no-frills, unassuming restaurant that really is a joint in every sense of the word. The menu's simple: a hamburger or cheeseburger topped with any or all choices of lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mustard, ketchup or mayo. For those seeking a meatless option, the grilled cheese offers the same greasy deliciousness, but minus the patty and with added cheese gooeyness. It's also worth trying one of their classic shakes too.
Korean Fried Chicken at Bon Chon Chicken
Who needs one-note buffalo wings when you can have Korean fried chicken coated with spicy gochujang and honey? Or sticky soy and garlic? The wings and drumsticks are Bon Chon Chicken are coated in cornstarch and flour, then double fried to achieve a crisp thick crust and moist meat. Make sure to try side of pickled radish cubes, which add a refreshingly tart and sweet crunch.
Kati Rolls at The Kati Roll Company
Kati Rolls are the Indian burrito: spicy meat and vegetable fillings wrapped around flaky and buttery roti and paratha. The Kati Roll Company makes some very good ones (our favorite is the lamb), and their larger-than-a-taco-smaller-than-a-burrito size makes them perfect for a late night snack with a bit of umph.
Elevated Street Meat at Kwik Meal Cart
Most halal carts in this city use the same ground beef and lamb log for their pita sandwiches and rice plates. But not at Kwik Meal; they use real chunks of juicy lamb with rice and sauces that are less greasy and more intensely flavored than the standard. You'll pay about double the price for one of these lamb dishes, $10 or $11, but for high quality lamb on the street, that's still not bad at all.
Kwik Meal Cart: SW Corner of 45th Street and Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10036 (map); Open Until: 12 a.m. or later, Daily
Burgers at P.J. Clarke's
Even though P.J. Clarke's is a pub, it doesn't serve a "pub burger." Instead of the enormous ten ounce spherical burgers so often found in bars, you get what is closer to a 6 oz patty, well seasoned and cooked to temperature. It has just the right amount of char to give the surface some crunchy, chewy bits to play against the soft, juicy interior. Less is more at P.J. Clarke's, as this burger comes served with nothing but a thin slice of raw onion, a pickle spear, and a square of American cheese, if you so desire.