When your normal working hours share a time slot with the waking hours of the notorious NYC rats, you become rapidly familiar with the various dining options in the hours before someone tries to shove an AM New York or Metro in your face. I have come to love several East Village establishments that manage to put delicious food on the table with a smile for the residents of a city that only sleeps when it’s not on a deadline.
Veselka (SW Corner of 9th Street and 2nd Ave)
A Ukranian restaurant that will serve you homemade pierogi beside mac and cheese with challah bread and kutya for dessert. Service slows around traditional mealtimes, but at 4am they get delicious food on the table before you have time to hazily squint at the Picasso-esque mural on the back wall. This is by far my favorite way to avoid my kitchen after a long day.
Odessa Café and Restaurant (Below St. Mark’s Place on Avenue A)
A great place to go with raucous friends who want to make noise, gorge themselves, and stay within budget. Food is traditional diner-style and you can try to spot the bread display that looks like ancient, phallic art while you chatter over your drinks.
Café Orlin (just East of 2nd Ave on St. Mark’s Place)
Forget airfare to Italy, their gelato (particularly hazelnut or mint) sends you strait to Venice dining on a gondola. I don’t know if dining on a gondola is possible, but I wouldn’t put anything past this dish. Also try their chocolate cake and espresso drinks for more mouthwatering experiences by flickering candlelight. Unfortuantely, these delicacies are only available 24-hour on Fridays and Saturdays… yeah, you knew there was a catch.
More 24/7 Gnoshings:
Yaffa Café (Between 1st and A on St. Mark’s Place)
7A Cafe (SW Corner of 7th Street and Ave A)
Around the Clock Diner (SE Corner of 9th Street and 3rd Ave)