Sicilian Slice at Artichoke Basille's Pizza
This is the slice ($4.00) your buzzed self has been craving. Oily, crisp, and nearly deep-fried on the bottom with a triple play of cheese—a layer of Polly-O aged mozz on the bottom, dots of fresh mozzarella on top, and a dusting of Pecorino Romano after they leave the oven—they're cooked to a deep char with fresh tomato sauce and plenty of basil, garlic, and olive oil. This is the pizza to get at Artichoke.
Tapas at Tia Pol
With choices like this special-of-the-day Oreja de Cerdo (crispy fried pig ears), Tia Pol draws in more late-nighters than an open can of Mountain Dew does fruit flies. Plus, with small plates, it's easier to grab just a light bite instead of gorging yourself on a pile of greasy food.
Takoyaki (Fried Octopus Balls) at Izakaya Ten
By definition, the Japanese izakaya is a place meant for drinking, home cooking, and—most importantly—late nights. So why would you go anywhere else if you're in Chelsea hankering for some Japanese flavors They've even got some of the best takoyaki (a Japanese street food of octopus-filled pancake balls, $6.50) we've had in the city.
Tapas at Txikito
It's not hard to find a tapas restaurant in Chelsea. but Txikito sets itself apart a bit with a more comfortable, warmer space than the rest and a menu focused on Basque food. What this means for you are small plates and sandwiches of various sizes that are not found in the other tapas places. Like this Arraultza ($8): an open-face Basque breakfast sandwich made with a sofrito (pepper, onions, and garlic) marmalade, chorizo, and a sunny-side up quail egg—good any time of day.
Southern Food at Tipsy Parson
This neighborhood favorite for brunch and dinner is also good for late night bites. Not only does the rich, satisfying (often pork-y) Southern fare coming out of Tipsy Parson's kitchen make a fine pair for your boozing, but they have an awesome grasshopper dessert for your sweet tooth.
Burgers at Bare Burger
When the hankering for a big meaty burger hits, BareBurger steps up reasonably well. Their original burger takes a sear well, and Piedmontese beef delivers on flavor, and the fresh cut fries are crisp on the outside and moist within.
Honey Dip Donut at Donut Pub
On the outskirts of Chelsea but still worth mentioning, you can get your post-dancing/drinking donut fix on no matter what time you stubble out of the club/bar. The 24-hour Donut Pub has a yeast doughnut dipped in a honey glaze ($1.10) that is mouthwatering even hours after coming out of the fryer.
Kamonanban (Broiled Duck & Vegetable Noodle Soup) at Naka Naka
Chelsea has yet to give birth to a mind-altering, slam-the-table moaning ramen joint. But come midnight with a buzz, does that always matter? Naka Naka has a noodle soup ($16.00) that offers a credible rich, salty, savory slurp.
Patatas Bravas at El Quinto Pino
There's a reason why tapas and drinking goes hand in hand. One of those reasons is Nuestras Bravas, fried potatoes ($6.00). At El Quinto Pino, they come topped with a spiced aioli and garnished with scallions. Way too easy to pop away until they're gone.
Pizza at Rocky's 1
Rocky's 1 serves a just-shy-of-great slice ($2.50). Grease abounds, but the cheese isn't overwhelmed, backed by a light, balanced tomato sauce. The crust, although somewhat benign, is thin without becoming flimsy while still maintaining a balance of dough and crunch.
Rocky's 1: 304 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014 (map); Open Until: 4 a.m., Mon-Thurs; 5 a.m., Fri-Sat; 212-242-2345
Adana Kebab Sandwich at Istanbul Grill
Duck into Istanbul Grill after a night out in Southern Chelsea. Order the Adana Kebab pita ($6.50). Savor the thin pita bursting with chunks of tender minced lamb, spiced and mixed with tail fat. Ignore the garden-variety lettuce and tomato, but take note of the cooling yogurt playing against the bracing hot sauce. Stumble home. Pass out.
Burgers at Lucky's Famous Burger
Sometimes your stomach demands attention. NOW. In that case, head to Lucky's for the convenience and decent food. Lucky's Famous Cheddar ($6.50) is made of a six-ounce patty topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles on a soft Martin's Potato Roll with a smear of ketchup and mustard on the bottom bun. Not an amazing burger, but a satisfying one all the same.
Cuban Diner Food (and Beyond) at Coppelia
Fried food, like the empanadas and croquetas above, is just the beginning at Coppelia. Take the Lomo Saltado ($17.95), which may be the ultimate drunk omnivore's dish. It's a Peruvian stir fry with beef short ribs, tomato, rice, soy sauce, spicy sambal and—to top it all off—golden fries. If you still have room after a giant bowl of that, get the Torrejas de Oliva, a soft, custard-like olive oil cake with a caramelized top.