When one sense is dialed down, all of the others sharpen up. This is why food tastes better the darker it gets; perhaps you’ve noticed that in many restaurants, the dining area is as dimly lit as possible.
However, there exists another kind of eatery that doesn’t strive for darkness, but blossoms in the darkest times of the night when other establishments have closed their doors, Uber pricing goes back down from peak rate and people walk in zigzags on their way back home.
At this hour of the night, many businesses serving food keep it hot and ready to eat so that patrons can devour their it right when hunger strikes, because when it’s late, who among us would ignore the perennial beast inside his or her belly?
In a series of drunken, munchies-driven, after-hours nights, we’ve explored the neighborhood’s best options for people who can’t stand restrictions on food and who rarely if ever eat an early dinner.
In a city that doesn’t sleep with the best dining scene in the world, food after hours is exciting; moreover, in a neighborhood like Bushwick, where night shenanigans are as diverse as the spectrum of sexual orientation, late night eat options run the gamut and are nothing if not seductive.
At the hours when vampires lunch (or maybe brunch with bloody marys, like so many other night owls) we’ve found are way to these two cool restaurants with great bars, two bars with great food, and an enduring diner.
Archies’ Dimitri Blackstone-Karapanos says he has no concept for his joint Archie’s, and there are no modifiers or adjectives on the menu characterizing its pizza. The spot’s objective is simply to serve well crafted pies topped with both classic and unfamiliar ingredients in a comfortable environment complete with an ample bar that makes this restaurant a great gathering spot. There is no best time to be at Archie’s, it’s always appropriate to be there. There are always people there, there’s always pizza baking, and it feels like everybody is a part of the neighborhood. Start your night here, end it, or even carry on with it with a piece of pizza or some meatballs in one hand and a glass of ouzo on the other.
King Noodle is a place that really shines in the nighttime, literally and figuratively. Its neon lights and colorful lamps make it a special place, transporting you to an underground futuristic east Asian eatery, the kind might find in Blade Runner. The food is equally flashy and transcendent: Rich green flat noodles with the right ratio of sauce and vegetables, and peppered-up wings with a sauce that gives them a kick. The food is centered around Korean street BBQ and gathers a good late night crowd.
Alphaville is a loud bar, and the food complements the noise. The Texas nachos are not just rocking but punking, and the burger with fries is as good as Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence”, which played during our gin-heavy meal. Libations and food are gracefully supplied by Michelle Sour; and when a diner was uncertain about which topping to choose for the nachos, she directed firmly to the chicken. On the pitch black bar, under the musical influence of 80’s New Age and a couple of rounds of gin and tonics, the arrival of one’s meal feels like a god-given gift. Slight loss of motor skills won’t affect the consumption of the nachos, since the toppings are perfectly proportioned and evenly spread making it a breeze for even someone who has had five drinks.
The diner is the basis of the American diet. It is omnipresent and the menu contains consistent elements across the fifty states. Tina’s, which has been around for almost 47 years, does what a good diner should. It is the place to go after all after-hour food places close. Tina’s finds itself at the intersection of late-night to early-morning food, catering to both people with very long nights and very early mornings. It is the restaurant equivalent of the MTA, connecting patrons who share a love and the longing for classic, old-fashioned morning food. Eggs, waffles, and apple pie are served in a space perfumed by the sweet smell of bacon, which is both invigorating and comforting, much like Tina’s itself. It’s a Bushwick staple offering invigoration for the morning-goers and comfort to the late-night drinkers.
Bon appetit, children of the night.