Barnard College's Monthly Magazine
By Liza Darvin
It’s like a scene straight from The Godfather: you wake up, bleary eyed and more than a little hung-over, finding your hands covered in a mysterious gooey sludge. The feeling of horror sets in and you whip back the covers, only to find an array of snack packs and empty candy wrappers cluttering the bedspread. Okay, it is hardly as terrifying as discovering a horse’s head stuffed between your sheets, but the melted chocolate and crumbled Pop-Tarts make an equally unpleasant mess to find. These are the remnants of last night’s drunken munchies attack (“drunchies,” if you will), but there are far better options to quell spontaneous cravings than storming the dorm’s pitiful vending machines.
Within the Morningside bubble, the options are both fairly limited and uninspired. All the best joints for drunchies stop serving food unreasonably early, with Five Guys and Chipotle each shutting their doors by 10pm. Late night food cravings must then be relegated to the stale and soggy pre-made foods from Westside Market and Morton Williams, luke-warm diner staples at Tom’s, or a greasy jumbo slice of pizza from the fluorescently lit Koronet Pizzeria. We know what poor options await us at home, but what about elsewhere in Manhattan? Surely, in the city of little sleep, someone has to be making delicious food at all hours of the night.
Provided is list of such delectable restaurants that will serve up food worth visiting even in sobering daylight. And because the number one rule for a successful drunchies hangout is convenience, we have paired each restaurant with corresponding bars worthy for pre-gaming your late-night pig-out session.
French Roast (Upper West Side location)
2340 Broadway (at the corner of 85th St)
Open 24 hours, daily
When campus hangouts feel just a little too claustrophobic but a trip downtown is daunting, the 80s are a suitable compromise filled with low-key bars and good eateries. Prime among them for savory delights is the Upper West Side location of French Roast. Though hardly a trendy or exclusive restaurant, this local chain is a safe bet for consistently tasty bistro fare. Best of all, it is open 24 hours, and the quality does not diminish with the hours. This restaurant is not ideal for a quick grab-andgo, but rather offers a chance to sit down and relax with dim lighting and soft music.
Steak frites is a hearty meal just right to combat the beginnings of a hangover. Mop up the au jus with their crunchy fries for a satisfying finish, and chase the meal with a dessert wine if you are feeling particularly classy. Vegetarians will be happy to enjoy an equally filling meat-free option with the veggie burger. Their patty is made from bright green edamame and topped with avocado mayo (or whole avocado for the devoted vegan). These dishes are not exactly cheap or light, but are a great solution for when your last meal is but a distant memory.
Pairs well with… Upper West Side hangouts,
such as Prohibition and The Sunburnt Calf
Artichoke (East Village location)
328 East 14th Street
Open 10am-5am, daily
This tiny pizzeria is comprised of barely more than a register and a display case, but don’t let the sparse atmosphere and lack of seating deter you from grabbing a slice of what is easily one of the best pizzas around, day or night. For first timers, the store’s namesake pie is preferable even to a classic like the margherita. Gooey cheese mixes with sweet artichokes, perfectly broiled to a golden brown finish in the oven. Essentially, it is artichoke dip pilled on tasty pizza dough, transforming this fancy party favorite from appetizer size to a downand-dirty late night snack.
A return visit certainly warrants a sample of the crab pizza, a dish that even to an inebriated mind might sound questionable. But just as with the artichoke pizza, this slice manages to make an unusual topping work by keeping the other ingredients simple and sparse. Zesty peppers and cheese meld nicely with the surprisingly fresh-tasting crab. The result is a bite that is satisfyingly rich but not heavy. Grab a slice of any of their pizzas to keep you company in a cab ride back home, or just as a primer for round two of drinks with the friends.
Pairs well with… Lower East Side dives, such as Beauty Bar, and higher-end lounges like Winebar.
144 2nd Ave (between St Marks Pl & 9th St)
Open 24 hours, daily
Veselka puts an Eastern European spin on the classic diner setting, offering both authentic Ukrainian food and Westernized favorites at all hours. Borscht and pierogies are the clear favorites for people looking for a decidedly unAmerican yet homemade taste. Substantial but not overpowering, these dishes are the reason Veselka has been able to exist for over 50 years in the harsh restaurant landscape of NYC. If you should find yourself still out and about as the sun comes up, this diner doubles as a great breakfast spot. Though the waffle, pancake, and French toast plates are fairly typical, 100% pure Vermont maple syrup, batters not from a mix, and challah bread add a little something extra to put Veselka one peg above the competition. Leave happy and satisfied at any hour with both a full belly and an intact wallet.
Pairs well with… The Blind Barber, a bar that functions as a barbershop by day and serves up 1920s inspired drinks by night.
(between Kenmare & Lafayette)
Taqueria: Unt il 2am, daily
Brasserie: Until 2am, daily
Café: Until 1 am, Fri/Sat
After a drink or two, the idea of typical American dishes might seem utterly dull. La Esquina therefore becomes a delightful alterative, as it is true that the only thing better than a juicy burger after a bit of imbibing is quality Mexican food. Equipped with both a formal café and the more causal taqueria, La Esquina provides options for how to indulge in Mexican cuisine. The taqueria is easily the best deal, offering delectable soft corn tortilla tacos for only $3. A single small-sized taco is great for a light bite before hitting the dance floor; buy several for a more complete meal and a chance to sample the different fillings that use ingredients like chorizo and queso fresco.
Part of what makes La Esquina so great is that it also comes complete with a secluded nightclub hidden downstairs. Though not exactly a secret, their brasserie is somewhat selective and certainly trendy in its obscurity. Channeling the recent popularity of speakeasies, this club requires patrons to through the kitchen to get to the bar. A live DJ plays music and the drinks are predictably pricey but good. The best part? Once you have had your posh fix for the night, simply head back upstairs and take a taco for the road. The only downside to this unique restaurant complex is that everything shuts down by 2am at the latest, leaving enthusiastic partiers to find a secondary location to finish up the night.
Pairs well with… itself—this place is a one-stop shop for food, drinks, and a good time.