It is 3 a.m., you’re covered in sweat, exhausted after hours of dancing and walking from party to party. Whatever polished look you left your apartment in hours earlier eroded somewhere between the pregame and the postgame. You’re beaten and battered but you are a warrior, and from somewhere deep within your alcohol-soaked body a primal war cry arises calling for one thing: food.
But where to go? From one broke college student to another, here’s a list of the best places to get late night snacks.
Ray’s Candy Store
113 Ave. A
Walk in any hour of the night and expect to see Ray smiling and waiting to take your order. The menu is huge and eclectic featuring anything your intoxicated mind could dream up — from soft serve to mozzarella sticks. It is known for its beignets, which are my personal favorite. There may be a bit of a wait, but try and hold it out. The greasy plate stacked so high with powdered sugar is a sight to behold, and although by the end of the meal, you’ll ineitably end up looking like Paris Hilton leaving a club in 2004, it’s wrth the sacrifice. Ray may even give you more beignets than you ordered — something he does often. Even if you aren’t craving food and just want a precious smiling face to greet you at 4 a.m., Ray’s is the place to go.
East Village Pizza
145 First Ave.
For the times when you want a hot, cheesy slice of pizza, but also want chicken wings, and garlic knots and then maybe some chicken parm, head over to East Village Pizza on First Avenue. The menu is full of all the late night munchies your heart desires.
The Donut Pub
203 W. 14th St.
If you’re a night owl with a sweet tooth, the Donut Pub will satisfy all of your sinful cravings. Open since 1964, the Donut Pub is certainly a well-established West Village institution with the sweets to back it up. Offering a quaint diner aesthetic with creative doughnut creations and a variety of other tempting pastries, you’re bound to find something to take care of your sugary cravings. Open 24 hours, it’s the perfect place to end a night out.
128 Macdougal St.
Open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and until 1 a.m. for the rest of the week, the iconic Pomme Frites has been an NYU late night snack staple for years. Its Belgium cut fries topped with the creamy sauce of your choice has the perfect ratio of crunchy fry to silky sauce. If you want to keep it light, go with the classic, complimentary malt vinegar. The servers also give you a ridiculous amount of fries so you can split with friends, or just eat them alone in your bed and wake up covered in aioli.
McDonald’s is like an old friend who never lets you down. Yes, you may never even dream of biting into a Big Mac during the day, but when the sun goes down and the bar lets out you’ll inevitably realize that nothing less than a crispy McNugget complimented perfectly by the tangy smokiness of the Signature Sauce will satisfy your cravings. 24-hour McDonald’s are the mecca of late night cheap eating, and they have the best fries ever.
You may wake up hating yourself for eating so much the night before, but remember the pure bliss you experienced while mindlessly chewing on whatever greasy snack you couldn’t live without. And remember that you’ll inevitably do the same next weekend; it’s the circle of life.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 5 print edition. Email Scott Hogan at [email protected]