Williamsburg is a party neighborhood to be sure, but also more of dining out destination every day. So when it gets late and you're feeling hungry after a drink or two, you don't need to sacrifice good taste to fill your belly.
'in the midnight hour' on Serious Eats
Near the Meatpacking District but with more class, Chelsea has its own share of late night bites worth a trip: pizza, tapas, Japanese bar food...and more tapas, along with some duck noodle soup for good measure.
For a neighborhood so seemingly devoted to the concept of nightlife (and everything that it aspires to be), the Meatpacking District is surprisingly bereft of the kinds of cheap, junky midnight snacks that party animals know and love. But here are ten great ones—everything from burgers and pizza to 24 hour kebabs and high class French pastry—to satisfy your late night urges.
Late nights in East Village never leave you stranded too far from a great midnight snack. Here are 15 late night bites we love in the neighborhood, open until at least midnight and often later.
Somehow the humble meatball has become a breakout star of one of the best food cities in the world, and there's some satisfaction in that. Meatballs just ooze comfort (although really, all ground, bound and formed food items do). On the Upper West Side, several restaurants are doing these soulful spheres justice.
Chances are high that if you're in any semblance of a relationship (real or imaginary), the days ahead are going to be filled with some combination of hand-holding, adoring stares, and breathless whispers. A guy or gal is bound to get hungry after so much endless romance, and one of the sexiest ways to refuel is fondue—or the Swiss art of shared cheese-dipping—and its many cultural counterparts. With a reputation for late nights and a number of different cuisines represented in the 'hood, the East Village offers a convincing argument for getting cheesy with the apple of your eye.
A mix of hospital workers, students, the well-to-do and remnants of the area's immigrant past, Yorkville is far more diverse than the howling hoots and hollers of its local meatheads would imply. There are Irish pubs, British pubs, German beer bars, hookah bars and Hungarian pastry shops-cum-restaurants. Despite all this, the Upper East Side is still fancy-pants burger territory—at least until a certain hour. After other restaurants have donned their wagyu nightcaps and snuffed their truffled candles, the funkier burgers around town let their hair down.
Hyper-specialized Japanese restaurants in New York are nothing new (see: Otafuku, Oms/b) but Hachember, which opened last May in the space that previously housed Patate Fellow, Fat Hippo and (most famously) 71 Clinton Fresh Food, may just be the city's first otsumami bar where "women and gay men can eat and drink in harmony."
That more New Yorkers don't know the name Harrison Mosher, executive chef of Alta in the West Village, is a crying shame, though you wouldn't guess there was a dearth of press trying to push your way through the long, crowded bar and foyer on your way to the main dining area.
National holidays are a great time for culturual self-reflection, and after a long weekend filled with the noble civic duty of eating as much as my body could reasonably handle without risking diabetes, I realized something: this is America (gosh darnit!), and vegans should be just as entitled to ruin their bodies with junk food as their animal-eating kinsfolk (Freegans can shove it). Williamsburg's Foodswings helps make that dream a seitan-filled reality.
April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman just axed The John Dory Oyster Bar's midnight-2am oyster happy hour in favor of a possible new late-night menu at The Breslin, provided management can figure out a way to offer twilight dining without detracting from the restaurant's popular breakfast service. Even with such a loss, The Dory's bar snacks offer a taste of the kitchen's bold flavors at a reduced price and in portions perfect for hazy, postprandial grazing.
As restaurant neighborhoods go, the East Village is the equivalent of a Honduran tilapia farm: packed to the gills and in danger of polluting the ecosystem (in this case, with middling restaurants). But Pata Negra, sandwiched into a narrow space on 12th Street between the takeout and proper restaurant locations of mac-and-cheese stalwart S'MAC, has proven itself as a sleeper in the tradition of Spain's best tapas bars, and the area is better for it. Wallets and waistlines, not so much.
[Photos: Zachary Feldman] Open Late... Open Until: 1:00 am, Sun-Wed; 2:00 am, Thu; 3:00 am, Fri-Sat Drinking Until: close, 7 days Food Until: close, 7 days The best Keith McNally restaurants captivate the neighborhoods in which they reside, and...
By definition, the Japanese izakaya is a place meant for drinking, home cooking, and—most importantly— late nights. Izakaya Ten, on a stretch of 10th Avenue known for its vibrant art gallery scene, does the legacy proud with cramped confines, intimate lighting, and menus as boundless as the amount of shochu and sake its patrons imbibe. Seafood takes center stage, to no surprise, and a number of Japanese cooking techniques are at play: yakitori (grilling), mushimono (steaming), and pitch-perfect deep frying among them. In a neighborhood saturated with ambiguous "Mediterranean" outfits, the restaurant is a welcome distraction, and has been five years running.
On Grand Street's restaurant row in Williamsburg, Walter Foods has the dimly-lit charm of a speakeasy. And though it's a damned fine place to get a nightcap, it's the gentlemanly grub that warrants a twilight visit.
In this age of food trucks and ice cream boats, a bare-bones operation like Super Tacos—which occupies a space near the southwest corner of 96th and Broadway on the Upper West Side—almost seems like an afterthought, a mobile dinosaur waiting to be done in by the asteroid known as "trends". But while we're all being bombarded with the latest fusion-filled tortilla, Super Tacos continues to quietly kill it. You want innovation? Delivery is available. Let the streets of Manhattan come to you.
Orchard Street sweats to the chili-laden beat of fast-casual Thai from Rhong-Tiam Express, and Steve Ells, who is launching a fast-casual Southeast Asian concept of his own, has very good reason to watch his back. Despite minor opening setbacks, these bad boys are ripe for replication.
Sorella, Sara Krathen and Emma Hearst's punchy ode to Piedmont, has remained a mainstay on the restaurant-saturated Lower East Side since opening two and a half years ago in the mist of a middling economy. No doubt, Hearst's deft melding of traditional Piedmontese ingredients and edgy, Loisaida flair played its part, but staying open 'til 2am five days a week along the central vein of a notoriously late-night neighborhood can't have hurt either.
Desnuda's Christian Zammas is a talkative fella—kind of like a best-case scenario of the season 3 finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm, where Larry David invests in a restaurant with an open kitchen and hires a chef with Tourette's. Put gently, dude takes to being center stage, and it becomes instantly clear upon taking a seat at the long 18-seat bar that you are in his house.
Single-food restaurants are nothing new, but more and more of them seem to be sprouting up, and in some cases dominating the culinary landscape they inhabit. Such a fate could easily be in store for the new brick and mortar Bushwick outpost of Arancini Bros., the former Hester Street Fair vendor that specializes in fried risotto balls with fillings as unpredictable as the edgy, industrial neighborhood where they've made their home.