Where to Find Late-Night Eats on the Lower East Side

Any night of clubbing or bar-hopping will probably include a spell of ravenous hunger. In the Lower East Side, where the nightlife stays active even on weekdays, many kitchens are sympathetic to the partier’s plight, providing food into the wee hours. Stop by a classic deli, a pie shop, or a place with pizza in a cone for filling food to keep you going strong all night long.

Late-Night Eats on the Lower East Side: Katz’s Delicatessen

Katz Delicatessen

Katz’s Delicatessen is a must-visit in the Lower East Side, but it’s a bonus if you can visit this classic New York deli in the middle of the night. Famously featured in the film When Harry Met Sally (with the ultimate one-liner, “I’ll have what she’s having”), the large counter and seating area will be packed with other late-night patrons trying to figure out how to order, but that’s part of the fun. Order a pastrami sandwich or steak fries, and you’ll understand what all the fuss is about. Open till 2:45 am Thursday, all night Friday, all day Saturday, and till 10:45pm Sunday. 205 E. Houston St., 1-800-4HOTDOG,

Late-Night Eats on the Lower East Side: La Contenta

A popular pick for 1am guac, La Contenta might be small, but it’s mighty. From the nachos to shrimp enchiladas, these large portions will fill you up (i.e. soak up all the alcohol in your system) and taste pitch-perfect. If you’d like a cocktail with your eats, try a michelada, a spicy beer-based cocktail out of Mexico that’s made with fruits like tamarind and blackberry. Open till 2am Thursday through Sunday. 102 Norfolk St., 212-432-4182,

Late-Night Eats on the Lower East Side: The Meatball Shop

The Meatball Shop

A restaurant this keen on the word “balls” is perfect for a crowd of nighttime revelers. The Meatball Shop makes plates and bowls of meatballs (chicken, beef, pork, veggie, and a daily special). You choose the preparation and the sauce. A favorite option is The Kitchen Sink: three meatballs and sauce over greens and veggies. For more protein, add the Family Jewel, or a fried egg, to your balls. You can also have a meatball hero, smashed meatballs on brioche with cheese, or a plate of pasta. Open til 4am Friday and Saturday, Late night happy hour 11pm-2am Sunday through Thursday. 84 Stanton St., 212-982-8895,

Late-Night Eats on the Lower East Side: Sweet Chick

If you dream of gourmet chicken and waffles, get out of bed and go eat at Sweet Chick! Their fried chicken comes on top of a variety of flavored waffles such as bacon-cheddar, spiced pecan, and walnut-parmesan. Other Southern delicacies, fried and fabulous, include the crawfish hush puppies and buffalo fried chicken with celery-carrot waffle. And reader, that’s not even the end of the waffle varieties! Visit Sweet Chick to see (and taste) for yourself. Open till 2am every night. 178 Ludlow St., 646-657-0233,

Late-Night Eats on the Lower East Side: Petee’s Pies

Petee's Pies

If you’re like us, you care way less about late-night savory than late-night sweet. Enter Petee’s, an adorable pie shop on Delancey Street that stays open past midnight on weekends. Come by Petee’s for undeniable slices of cherry, key lime, and black bottom almond chess pie. Right now, they’re also serving “slice cream,” or chunks of pie mixed with ice cream (!). There aren’t many seats at the small counter, but you’ll devour your slice in no time—sitting or standing. Open till midnight Sunday through Thursday and till 1am Friday and Saturday. 61 Delancey St., 646-494-3630,

Late-Night Eats on the Lower East Side: Congee Village

Congee is a Chinese porridge made with rice, vegetables, and meat. For your late-night starches, you can’t do much better than Congee Village, a restaurant with every iteration of congee imaginable (one with snails and frogs!). There are also Chinese noodle dishes like beef chow fun and seafood lo mein, just filling enough to refuel for the rest of the night but not too much to put you to sleep. Open till 2am Friday and Saturday and till 12:30am Sunday through Thursday. 100 Allen St., 212-941-1818, 

Late-Night Eats on the Lower East Side: Wolfnights


Wolfnights stays in its lane by perfecting the art of late-night food. But make no mistake: this is fare for foodies as well as partiers. The wraps at Wolfnights come in diverse flavor combinations, and their names are all wolf-related. The Mowgli is a vegan cauliflower with crushed BBQ chips inside, while the Dire Wolf is fried chicken with lamb bacon, cheddar, and papaya slaw in ginger dough. They also deliver, PS. Open till 5am Friday and Saturday, 12:30am Sunday through Tuesday, 1am Wednesday, and 2am Thursday. 99 Rivington St., 646-669-8070,

Late-Night Eats on the Lower East Side: Trapizzino

Pizza in a cone? That’s how they do it in Rome. At Trapizzino, try the heritage pork shoulder or oxtail ragu trapizzino, plus the fried rice balls (suppli) filled with risotto, cheese, and other ingredients. Only certain flavors of the trapizzino and suppli will be available each evening, so come back the next time you’re out and about in the Lower East Side! Open till 3am Friday and Saturday, till 10pm Sunday, till 11pm Monday through Wednesday, and midnight Thursday. 144 Orchard St., 212-475-2555,

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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