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24-hour food joints in Manhattan

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Greasy all-night diners are a dime a dozen in the city. Anyone have some picks for the best alternative 24-hour spots?

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  1. There's some haters out there, but I love L'Express.

    1. Florent

      1. Cafe Orlin on St Marks has lots of good bistro food. And there is always French Roast Cafe.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Calliope1

          Cafe Orlin Is 24 hours on fri and sat only.

        2. Koreantown on 32nd street!

          This gets hated on but I also like coffeeshop on union sq. They're closed between 5am-6am(cleanup for the next day).

          1. Some might dismiss it away into diner oblivion, but Veselka is a late-night lifesaver in the East Village. Forget the back and forth arguments over slow service, pirogi preferences, and Ukranian homestyle specialties: their burger is a thing of beauty, day or night. Flame broiled deliciousness, pure and simple.

            1. Florent
              Odessa (I like it more than Veselka)
              Yaffa Café
              7A
              Big Nick's

              If I'm really desperate, I'll go to Tom's Restaurant, but sometimes it's just better to hit Duane Reade for a late-night fix.

              1. i will second the "odessa better than veselka" notion. the food at veselka has always been kind of bland to me. the $9 "chef's special" of kielbasa, four pierogies, potato pancakes, stuffed cabbage, and sauerkraut at odessa always blows my (drunk OR sober) mind.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ginagee

                  Agreed about Odessa's excellence in the areas you've listed, but when it comes to Veselka I'm talking about the burger and the burger alone. If anyone can tell me there's a better place in all of New York to sit and eat a burger after 4am, then please guide me to it.

                  And if someone suggests Corner Bistro, even at prime dinner hours (they close at 4am anyway), then that is their overbroiled, underflavoured loss. Royale would be a respectable alternative if it didn't also close at 4am. Big Nick's is fair game if you're above 59th street, but the novelty there is all in the hulking size and crazy games of dress-up you get to play with their burgers; flavor and craftmanship tend to be sacrificed, in my experience.

                  Sorry to range a bit off topic here, but if we're talking about 24-hour places, I feel that burgers should be addressed both respectfully and discerningly.

                  1. re: CalJack

                    Is the burger better at Veselka better than Cozys(24hr diner) on Broadway and 8th?

                    1. re: DarthEater

                      In my opinion most definitely - each time I've ordered it, they've managed a nice, smoky char-broiled exterior and kept things pleasingly medium rare within. It's like a slightly more manageable version of what you get at Molly's.
                      Cozy's might be a brighter environment for latenight dining (Veselka does feel like a bit of a vacuum for warmth and good cheer), but the burger I've at Cozy's barely rose above standard diner fare.

                      I know everyone's burger tastes are different, so to give you some perspective, the only NY burgers that've seen more mileage in my belly than Veselka's over the past few years have been those from Dumont, Shake Shack, Molly's, and Royale. This doesn't mean there aren't better burgers out there, but I've yet to find another one available in the wee hours that lures me back during the daytime as well.

                2. Bereket!! On Houston and Orchard. Turkish food. This is one of my favorite places to eat in all of NYC. Excellent doner kebab, great falafel, wonderful grape leaves...and don't forget a piece of baklava for the road.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: ballulah

                    french roast - uws and the village

                    1. re: nativeNYer

                      Is Cafeteria still open in Chelsea? I haven't been there for a while but I loved that place.

                      1. re: doona

                        Yes--Cafeteria is still open. I don't care for the attitude--not worth putting up with for the food quality.

                  2. Big Nick's
                    Diner 24 (now Tour)
                    Waverly Diner

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JungMann

                      Tour is not open 24 hrs.

                    2. Manhattan's a big place. Though I doubt the OP would be interested in going so far, Malecon at Bway and 175 is open 24 hours. Very good roast chicken-- actually the majority of their meat-based dishes are worth ordering.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: platypus

                        i agree with the malecon reference. i work up in the area. there's also one on amsterdam and w97 but it closes at 11pm. we need more 24 hr places (non-diner).