Best After-Hours Restaurants
You’ve probably experienced this scenario before—your flight’s been delayed or an important meeting ran later than expected, and you never got a chance to eat dinner. Now your stomach is growling, but most restaurants have already closed their kitchens. Where can you get a good meal at this late hour? It’s a common problem for business travelers, especially in unfamiliar cities. Sure, there’s the local greasy spoon that any cabbie can drop you in front of—but if you’re looking for more sophisticated fare (especially if you happen to be with a client), you’ll be pleased to know that many upscale restaurants have begun offering late-night dining, often serving until 1 or 2 a.m., or even later in larger cities. Hold off on that midnight chili and a soda; you just may have duck confit and a glass of merlot in your future.
San Francisco, California
1330 Fillmore St., 415-655-5600, yoshis.com
Everyone in the Bay Area knows Yoshi’s, the famed jazz club and Japanese restaurant in Oakland where everyone from Branford Marsalis to Diana Krall has performed—and now there’s a sister branch in San Francisco’s Fillmore district. The two-story complex, decorated with delicate shoji screens and silk accents, features an expansive dining room with an exhibition kitchen where chef Shotaro Kamio can be seen creating his modern Japanese dishes. The upstairs lounge, with sleek yet comfy chairs and chaises, serves food until 1 a.m. In addition to sushi and sashimi, the menu features softshell crab with a jalapeño-lime sauce, organic vegetable tempura and seasonal sakes.
New York, New York
99 Stanton St., 212-995-0099, thestantonsocial.com
No matter what time you arrive at this Lower East Side hot spot, expect it to be buzzing—the kitchen is open until 3 a.m. on weekends and 2 a.m. on weeknights. Have a cocktail (try the blood orange–jalapeno margarita) in the upstairs bar, then settle into a meal in the main dining room with its sexy semicircular, chocolate-colored booths. Chef-owner Chris Santos excels with his multiethnic small-plates menu designed for sharing—there are more than 50 items to choose from. Signature dishes include French-onion-soup dumplings, red snapper tacos with mango-and-avocado salsa, Peking duck empanadas and melt-in-your-mouth Kobe beef sliders served atop brioche.
339 North Dearborn St., 312-755-9463, bin36.com
This popular Windy City restaurant, serving contemporary American cuisine, is divided into several sections, two of which are open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. In the café-style tavern with a zinc-topped oval bar, diners can order small plates like Prince Edward Island mussels, charcuterie plates and Maine lobster salads, as well as sirloin burgers and gourmet pizzas. In the Cheese Bar, more than 50 artisanal cheeses are offered, including Buttermilk Blue from Wisconsin and Nancy’s Camembert from the Hudson Valley. There’s also a four-course cheese tasting menu, complete with wine pairings.
560 Harrison Ave., 617-422-0224, gaslight560.com
At this brasserie, which serves until 1:30 a.m., you’ll feel like you just stepped into Paris. Gaslight is located in the hip South End, which has become the epicenter of Boston’s booming art scene in the last few years. It’s part of Aquitaine Group, which owns several trendy restaurants around town. Design accents include a hand-crafted zinc bar, mosaic tiles, beamed wood ceilings and antique mirrors. Chef de cuisine Christopher Robins’ menu features classic French bistro dishes like oysters on the half shell and steak frites, as well as nightly specials like rotisserie pork shoulder and swordfish roti au poivre. The all-French wine list features 20 wines by the glass.
Las Vegas, Nevada
3770 South Las Vegas Blvd., 702-730-7979, lightgroup.com Located at the Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino on the famous Strip, this casual Mexican restaurant has a fun, festive vibe. After your meeting or convention, join the throngs at this multilevel space decorated with hand-painted murals and Mexican tiles. The menu is loaded with south-of-the-border faves like steak quesadillas, Baja fish tacos, bean-and-cheese burritos and spicy grilled shrimp in garlic cilantro sauce. The kitchen is open until 3 a.m. on weekends, 2 a.m. weeknights. Of course, the margaritas and other frozen concoctions are recommended, but beware of staff roaming the room offering “tequilashooters.”
Also try these restaurants for late-night dining.
2030 5th Ave., 206-448-2001 tomdouglas.com
Owned by local chef Tom Douglas, this longtime favorite, with a horseshoe-shaped bar, serves dishes like curried pork short ribs, butternut squash ravioli and wood-grilled burgers until 1 a.m.
188 East Bay St., 843-577-5665 socialwinebar.com
Seemingly straight out of New York or L.A., this sophisticated wine bar offers 70 wines by the glass, as well as small plates and wood-fired pizzas, all served until 1 a.m., courtesy of chef Matthew Dibble.
2165 West Burnside St. 503-223-1513 ringsidesteakhouse.com
This traditional steakhouse, with dark wood and an inviting fireplace, has been serving delicious filet mignon, ribeye and porterhouse steaks and seafood since 1944. It’s open until midnight, except on Sundays.
775 G St. NW, 202-737-7663 proofdc.com
The latest addition to the Penn Quarter scene is this elegant wine bar with a Mediterranean themed menu. It’s open Thursday to Saturday until 2 a.m., and late-night diners in the always bustling bar and lounge area can order cheese and charcuterie selections.
1733 North Vine St., 323-462-3000 avalonhollywood.com
This late-night bistro (open until 4 a.m.) from the owners of Avalon and Spider Club is decked out with leather banquettes and crystal chandeliers. Refuel with comfort food like crab cakes, burgers and artichoke-and-spinach dip.
JILL FERGUS is a freelance writer in New York.