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May 20, 2000 08:56 PM

Boston All Night

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I had an absolutely horrific experience last night looking for a place to eat after 2am. There seem to be a sum total of five all-night eateries in the metro Boston area (two of which are IHOPs), all of which are crammed with long lines after the bars close at two. Hasn't anyone in this town heard of all-night diners? I mean, isn't this why people choose to live in cities? Why aren't there more all night places to eat? There would seem to be a market for it. Can anyone recommend any all-night places to grab a bite, especially those with under a 45-minute wait on Friday nights after 2am?

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  1. Yikes! I sympathize with you on this one. After living in Miami, where it's the norm to see Cuban families (and others following suit) beginning a meal post-midnight and finishing up well after 1/2 a.m., Boston was a major culture shock. I am guessing that the conservative closing hours harken back to the archaic laws that prevent bars from staying open past 2 and liquor from being sold in Grocery stores and on Sundays.

    At any rate, we too have been a little more than peeved when stumbling home after a late night or yearning for a noctural treat. Our best finds have been in Chinatown, and although I am not entirely sure of names, peruse Washington, Kneeland, and other crossstreets in the area for late night eats. names The Blue Diner on 150 Kneeland St. and Buzzy's Fabulous Roast Beef on 327 Cambridge St. in Boston as 24 hour haunts. (IHOP is mentioned in addition, but I sympathize with your loathing). They are not exactly the quintessential diner that you find in most "cities", but perhaps they will suffice to satisfy your hunger in a pinch.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Anisha

      I haven't lived in Boston for a while, but I visit frequently. My late-night places included:

      -- Chow-Chau's (the small original one) in Chinatown
      -- Hi-Fi Pizza (Central Square)
      -- Pat's Diner (Watertown -- still there?)
      -- The Tasty (Harvard Sq., closed down alas)
      -- Buzzy's Roast Beef (Audubon Circle, is it called? anyway, it's been totally remade and I don't know if it's as good as it used to be)
      -- Blue Diner (Leather District -- I've heard it's under new ownership and not as good)

      and that's all I can think of.


      1. re: Patrick A.

        If Blue Diner has a long wait, The South Street Diner around the corner is open all night too. If you're up early or late (depending on how you look at it), Joanie's Kitchen on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge is open at 4 a.m. Great breakfast!

        1. re: Joel Lowden

          What's the cross-street for Joanie's?

    2. The Cafe Pompeii on Hanover St in the North End is open til three most days and 4am weeknights and is usually not that crowded during the late hours. And Bova's bakery on Prince/Salem is 24hrs.

      In a section of the Boston Phoenix a few months ago, I discovered that the rule governing late night closings actually states that it is illegal to play music after 2am, but you can serve drinks until 4. It also showed all of the spots after two and it totaled about 12. No much choice and with many setbacks at the statehouse it does look like it''ll change anytime soon.


      1. Totally rought town late-night. Being a Jersey boy by upbringing, I cna't quite do the diner thing here. And does anyone else miss the shady Somerville charm of Dolly's? For greasy pizza: Little Stevie's near Boylston and Mass. Ave. Slices the size of Shaq's shoes, just greasy enough, little tangy, dead-on for beer-soaking. Budweiser and Snapple in the fridge. Falling-apart decor. Beatutiful. Otherwise, Chinatown's the ticket, at least half the places stay open until the 2-4 a.m. range. Ginza for Sushi. apollo for Korean/Japanese. All the Chau Chow's are open, the dingy original knows its way around Chinese Seafood. Peach Farm is one of the best -- ask for the salt/pepper squid and pork chop combo. East OCean City for from-the-tanks seafood. Penang, if open, ask for the Malaysian menu. Excellent Muslim curries, killer squid dishes, best roti in town. Very authentic if you're persistent.