Listen, up, Pally.
Whether you drink like a fish or like a sponge, whether your ideal drinking buddy is Dean Martin or Freddie the Freeloader, and whether you partake of the Glenfiddich or of Guzzler’s Gin, you’re going to need to need to eat something soon.
I’m saying this because you aren’t going to go out for drinks, then pass around that flask during the show, then go catch a nightcap, and then go home. You want to party all night, doncha? Well, unless your definition of “party all night” involves projectile vomiting on the L train, you’re also going to want to eat something.
Of course you could stash a bag of Pirate’s Booty or a loaf of white bread under your pea coat and munch on it during the concert. You could stop at an underfunded bodega to pick up a dusty Three Musketeers bar on the way home. But I’m going to assume that you’d like to take your buds (or your date, better) to a pleasant little joint where you can eat good food, talk about the show, and prepare yourself for the next fun step in the evening—be it a good night’s rest or something a lot better than that.
Sarge’s Delicatessen, in the mostly-residential Midtown East, has been open since 1964, 24/7 except when recovering from a fire several years ago. Now it’s back and better than ever—a big gaudy palace of brass, glass and class, with pickles and coleslaw on every table and a menu stretching from hot dogs to roasts. It’s a Jewish deli, so don’t look for pork chops, but it’s not kosher, so you can put real cream in your coffee and enjoy pie a la mode after your roast beef triple-decker. Prices are real-meal, not snack size, but if you think any post-concert stop should include your next meal after you wake up, this is the place that will send you home with a doggie bag and great taste-memories.
Veselka is a 24/7 resto in the East Village. It has been open since shortly before New Amsterdam was discovered in the 16th century and—okay, slightly later than that; the early 1950’s, maybe. It’s a charming place, but the great thing about Veselka is that it serves Ukrainian food, meant to be eaten after downing a bottle of vodka whilst listening to an all-girl tuba jam in the broiling sun of an Odessan August. Much of life in the Ukraine is, itself, a bodybuilding exercise, and each meal is expected to pack at least 6,000 calories. All right, your girlfriend can have a salad and a nice glass of tea while you wolf down the famous pierogies and potato pancakes.
Blue Ribbon in Soho and Blue Ribbon Brooklyn are only open until 4 AM, but you can hustle your bustle to get over there in time, can’t you? This food is expensive, but it would be worth eating at any hour: raw bar, roasted marrow bones, steaks, seafood, just about anything good to eat. The Bromberg Bros started their restaurant empire with the NYC Blue Ribbon in 1994, and they’ve never looked back; Bourdain might not hang there anymore, but the food quality has always been high enough for chefs to drop by and enjoy themselves after service. That makes it good enough for you too.
Gray’s Papaya is open 24/7, all over town (hit the link for locations), and New Yorkers wouldn’t have it any other way. A couple of snappy healthful dogs and a fruity drink are way under $10, and the brightly-lit shops are welcoming on a cold or even just a lonely night.
Coppelia is a great stop after a concert downtown. A Cuban restaurant on West 14th, it’s open 24/7 and offers good food and a nice, not dive-like, atmosphere. If you would like to eat your hot-pressed sandwich or Ropa Viejo with roaches tap-dancing on your shoes, go somewhere else. This is simply a good and satisfying restaurant at any time of day.
Empire Biscuit has been described in all kinds of hallucinatory terms, mostly by people who grew up in the south—and, if they love these biscuits, that ought to be good enough for you. All kinds of fillings, savory to sweet, or tell the nice people what you want. Conveniently located on Avenue A, which I tend to think of as Late Drunk Central.
Finally, there are six locations of The Meatball Shop—Lower East Side, Williamsburg, West Village, Chelsea, Upper West Side, and Upper East Side—which makes them a kind of universal donor to late-night munchies and drunchies. Oh, what a donor! The meatballs themselves are of primo quality, and can be served just about any way short of having the staff roll them down your gullet while crying “rim shot!” We know, we know, there are times when that too seems like a good idea.
Article by: Annie Berrol
Annie Berrol remember when the late-night stop was the old Delmonico’s, with Teddy Roosevelt and Henry James and them. She writes for her own blog, eatwithannie.com, and also for just about any blog with any food activity whatsoever. Follow her as eatwithannie on Instagram and Twitter!