March 22, 2018

Wee Hours, Great Food: Philly's Late-Night Dining Scene

Plenty Of Options For Midnight & After Midnight Eats In Philly

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Rittenhouse Square's The Dandelion, a cozy homage to the British pub. Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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Sushi lovers gravitate to Morimoto, a thrill-a-minute mecca of modern Japanese fare. Photo by B. Krist for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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Barbuzzo serves late-night happy hour along lively 13th Street. Photo by N. Santos for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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Pat’s and its across-the-street rival, Geno’s Steaks, stay open 24/7. People line up outside both establishments at all times of day and night. Photo courtesy of VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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Silk City on Spring Garden Street in Northern Liberties serves Philadelphians brunch, dinner and nightly entertainment. Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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As Philadelphia’s dining scene continues to grow, the city’s bistros, gastropubs, brasseries, eateries, diners and fast-food spots are growing by… hours. By law in Philly, last call at the bar happens at 2 a.m. Last call for food, however, is anywhere from 11 p.m. to never. Check out this list of the hottest, coolest and coziest spots to nibble, nosh, gobble and dine well into the early-morning hours.

Until Midnight On Weekends:

  • Brauhaus Schmitz – Cravings for late-night sausage sandwiches are answered here. The links are house-made at this authentic German restaurant and beer hall, where the lunch menu becomes the late-night menu served until midnight every day. 718 South Street, (267) 909-8814, brauhausschmitz.com
  • Bud & Marilyn’s – Chef Marcie Turney’s and Valerie Safran’s fifth and largest restaurant serves retro-American fare and classic drinks befitting a place named after Turney’s grandparents, who opened a restaurant in 1950 in Wisconsin. 1234 Locust Street, (215) 546-2220, budandmarilyns.com
  • Buddakan – Edamame dumplings and chocolate-filled bento boxes are available until midnight at restaurateur Stephen Starr’s ever popular, always glamorous Old City shrine to modern Asian fare. 325 Chestnut Street, (215) 574-9440, buddakan.com
  • The Dandelion – Stephen Starr’s cozy Center City homage to the great British pub serves its full menu of U.K.-inspired favorites: Welsh rarebit, fish and chips, and bangers and mash. 124 S. 18th Street, (215) 558-2500, thedandelionpub.com
  • El Rey – Tacophiles find plenty of options (and lots of tequila) at Center City’s kitschy Mexi-bar, another Starr venture. The kitchen slings tortillas until midnight, after that, nearby speakeasy The Ranstead Room is the next stop. 2013 Chestnut Street, (215) 563-3330, elreyrestaurant.com
  • El Vez – It’s always a fiesta at Midtown Village’s modern Mexican spot (yet another Starr spot). Servers keep the margaritas flowing, along with freshly prepared guacamole, sea bass tacos and churros. 121 S. 13th Street, (215) 928-9800, elvezrestaurant.com
  • Fergie’s Pub – This stalwart in Philly’s pub scene since ’95 offers a convivial gathering space typical of Dublin. On the menu, available until midnight daily: internationally inflected snacks, burgers and an all-day Irish breakfast that tastes great at night. 1214 Sansom Street, (215) 928-8118, fergies.com
  • Harp & Crown – There are bowling and cocktails in the basement; upstairs, a 24-foot ceiling and glass façade create a more dramatic atmosphere. Chef-owner Michael Schulson’s menu has global leanings, right down to Spanish octopus with Peruvian potato and New York Strip for two. 1525 Sansom Street, (215) 330-2800, harpcrown.com
  • Heritage – Live music and the late-night dinner menu are two reasons to stop by this Northern Liberties spot, where the menu has a locally sourced focus. A 36-tap system pours beer and cocktails. 914 N. 2nd Street, (215) 627-7500, heritage.life
  • Jerry’s Bar – Diners can enjoy plates of meatballs and toast, house-made pierogi, big burgers and the rest of the whole menu until midnight, and, come spring 2018, until 1 a.m. on weekends. 129 W. Laurel Street, (267) 273-1632, jerrysbarphilly.com
  • Lolita – Honoring weekend hankerings for tamales with spring onion crema, fried-chicken tacos with blue cheese crema, and coconut tres leches, Marcie Turney’s eatery serves neo-Mexican fare, plus tequila and mezcal cocktails. 106 S. 13th Street, (215) 546-7100, lolitaphilly.com
  • Lucky’s Last Chance – If ever there were a good time and place to chow down on a hot dog loaded with Cajun chicken, cheese, onion rings and secret sauce, Lucky’s until midnight every night would be it. This hybrid bar/fast-foodery maintains locations in Manayunk and Queen Village. 4421 Main Street, (215) 509-6005; 848 S. 2nd Street, (267) 519-2080, luckyslastchance.com
  • Morimoto – Sushi lovers feast on tofu mixed tableside, yellowtail searing in a sizzling stone bowl and divine toro sashimi, along with sake-infused cocktails at the Iron Chef’s palace of contemporary Japanese cuisine. 723 Chestnut Street, (215) 413-9070, morimotorestaurant.com
  • POD – Color-changing seating and conveyor belt sushi set a futuristic scene for Pan-Asian dining from a menu designed for sharing. 3636 Sansom Street, (215) 387-1803, podrestaurant.com
  • P’unk Burger – For the discerning late-night burger eater, this bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot supplies a conscientious choice. Locally sourced, hormone-free, fair-trade burgers can be topped with any combination of condiments, including vegan and gluten-free trimmings. 1823 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 468-PUNK, punkburger.com
  • Sampan – Chef-restaurateur Michael Schulson and spouse Nina Tinari Schulson offer a glamorous, underground Midtown Village oasis for contemporary Asian small plates and seriously fun drinks. 124 S. 13th Street, (215) 732-3501, sampanphilly.com
  • The Sidecar Bar & Grille – Nestled in Graduate Hospital, this neighborhood favorite accommodates hungry night crawlers until midnight daily with mussels served several ways, build-your-own burgers and rainbow trout BLTs. Creative daily specials warrant a visit too. 2201 Christian Street, (215) 732-3429, thesidecarbar.com
  • Strangelove’s – The clever bar food here runs the gamut from warm pretzel bites to kale salad and coconut lemongrass mussels. 216 S. 11th Street, (215) 873-0404, strangelovesbeerbar.com
  • Tria – Known for its wine, beer and cheese, this popular bar—with locations in Washington Square West and Rittenhouse Square—also offers boutique beverages, prosciutto and broccoli rabe sandwiches, smoked salmon salad and truffled egg toast. New at Wash West, a Sweet Things Happy Hour serves desserts and such after 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 1137 Spruce Street, (215) 629-9200; 123 S. 18th Street, (215) 972-TRIA, triacafe.com
  • Twenty Manning Grill – Casual and sophisticated blend easily at this longtime favorite in Rittenhouse Square serving seasonal, classic fare. 261 S. 20th Street, (215) 731-0900, twentymanning.com
  • Valanni – On Fridays and Saturdays, this modern Medi-Latin restaurant in Washington Square West turns itself into a lounge slinging specialty cocktails and serving Parmesan-truffle fries, lobster and crab mac and cheese, and crispy shiitake polenta. 1229 Spruce Street, (215) 790-9494, valanni.com

Until Midnight & Sometimes Beyond:

  • Barbuzzo – Barbuzzo’s kitchen keeps plating chef Marcie Turney’s famous dishes—truffled egg pizza, pan-seared gnocchi with mushrooms and truffle butter and their signature salted caramel budino—until today turns into tomorrow. It also serves a late-night happy hour menu Sunday through Thursday, 10:30 p.m. until midnight. 110 S. 13th Street, (215) 546-9300, barbuzzo.com
  • Prohibition Taproom – Pub fare that highlights local ingredients and pairs well with beer is served until midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Prohibition’s space has been a pub since the 1800. 501 N. 13th Street, (215) 238-1818, prohibitiontaproom.com
  • Tria Taproom – Part of the Tria restaurant family but with a beer bar emphasis, this spot offers two dozen beers, plus wines and ciders—all on tap. Flatbread pizzas, burgers and wings stand out on a menu of pub fare served until midnight Fridays and Saturdays, then bar snacks until 12:30 p.m. 2005 Walnut Street, (215) 557-8277, triacafe.com
  • Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro – This Midtown Village meeting spot from Vintage Syndicate’s Jason Evenchik puts wines in the forefront, with more than 60 offered by the glass. The French-American bistro menu, from three-course dinner to bar snacks, is served until midnight Sunday through Thursday, 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. 129 S. 13th Street, (215) 922-3095, vintage-philadelphia.com
  • Zavino – During the workweek, the stylish Midtown Village wine bar serves artisan pizza and small plates until midnight and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. 112 S. 13th Street, (215) 732-2400, zavino.com

Until 1 a.m.:

  • American Sardine Bar – Point Breeze’s place to be for unpretentious, crave-inspiring eats attracts night owls with canned beer, 16 drafts, pretzel melts and, naturally, sardines every which way. 1800 Federal Street, (215) 334-2337, americansardinebar.com
  • Cantina Dos Segundos – The Northern Liberties half of a two-cantina operation serves fresh juice margaritas, tacos and plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, always until 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. Their late-night happy hour from 10 p.m. until closing includes half-price bar snacks. 931 N. 2nd Street, (215) 629-0500, cantinadossegundos.com
  • Cantina Los Caballitos – The first of the two cantinas sets a high standard for quality Mexican food with a contemporary approach in the heart of South Philly’s thriving E. Passyunk Avenue. The fun atmosphere, excellent drinks and solid cooking draw patrons past traditional dinnertimes. 1651 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-3550, cantinaloscaballitos.com
  • Charlie was a sinner. – Nicole Marquis’ sophisticated petite restaubar provides a great meatless alternative to diners any time of the evening every day of the week. The kitchen turns out seasonal dishes plus faves like zucchini crab cake sliders and bucatini and meatballs until the witching hour. 131 S. 13th Street, (267) 758-5372, charliewasasinner.com
  • Dim Sum House – Jane G’s West Philly outpost marries Chinese cuisine with cocktail culture. The result is a late-night party with drinks such as sake sangria and Cantonese- and Shanghai- style snacks (buns, dumplings, turnip cakes) until the kitchen closes at 1 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday. 3939 Chestnut Street, (215) 921-5377, dimsum.house
  • Fountain Porter – The formula for this East Passyunk neighborhood bar is quite simple: Serve a wealth of craft beers on tap, plus five-dollar cheeseburgers and a small menu of other eats. Kitchen stops cooking at 1 a.m. 1601 S. 10th Street, fountainporter.com
  • Franky Bradley’s – Midtown Village’s new school/old school tavern dishes out potato skins stuffed with brisket and horseradish crème fraîche, meatballs and marinara, pressed duck Cuban sandwiches and updated spins on classic cocktails. The kitchen closes at midnight on Friday and Saturday and at 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, with $6 appetizers during late-night happy hour, 9 p.m. until closing. 1320 Chancellor Street, (215) 735-0735, frankybradleys.com
  • Good Dog Bar – A major renovation has spruced up this cozy and convivial Center City West tavern, restoring the original roll-top bar without disturbing the neighborhood pub feel. The kitchen is known for its truffled cheesesteak empanadas and white chicken chili and new dishes like seafood potpie. 224 S. 15th Street, (215) 985-9600, gooddogbar.com
  • The Good King Tavern – An urbane French Bella Vista boîte slings platters of socca with ratatouille, steak frites and escargots well into the late hours. 614 S. 7th Street, (215) 625-3700, thegoodkingtavern.com
  • Johnny Brenda’s – Chalkboard specials supplement the regular menu at this corner hangout for Fishtown hipsters—and the live rock acts that entertain them. Think fun but seasonal fare and taps with locally brewed beer only. 1201 N. Frankford Avenue, (215) 739-9684, johnnybrendas.com
  • Khyber Pass Pub – Southern-fried cuisine with vegan options and a superior beer list make this Old City bar a mainstay for late eaters. On any given night, platters of smoked BBQ pork, ribs and brisket and po’boys steadily roll out of its kitchen. 56 S. 2nd Street, (215) 238-5888, khyberpasspub.com
  • Loco Pez – Dinner can be ordered until last call at this River Wards bar. Among the options: the volcano burrito, chorizo quesadillas and bacon-wrapped street dogs. 2401 E. Norris Street, (267) 886-8061, locopez.com
  • Martha – There’s no rush to catch the last call at this Kensington watering hole. The full menu of quirky hoagies, pickled veggies and soba noodles is available through closing. E. York & Martha Streets, (215) 867-8881, marthakensington.com
  • McGillin’s Olde Ale House – At one of the oldest taverns in the country the night is always young. Drop-ins can indulge in straight-up bar food such as fried shrimp, nachos and mile-high meatloaf. 1310 Drury Street, (215) 735-5562, mcgillins.com
  • Moonshine – Craft beer, cocktails and comfort food until 1 a.m.—including bestselling blackened chicken pesto gnocchi and a rice bowl, served veggie-only or with chicken or shrimp—satisfy guests at this friendly, casual Pennsport spot. 1825 E. Moyamensing Avenue, (267) 639-9720, moonshinephilly.com
  • N. 3rdDinner’s for sale until 1 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday and midnight Sunday through Tuesday at this boisterous Northern Liberties spot. Comfort food includes simple but popular roast chicken, Buffalo wings, potato-cheddar pierogi and Moroccan-spiced lamb burgers. 801 N. 3rd Street, (215) 413-3666, norththird.com
  • Pub & Kitchen – The seriously inventive yet equally comforting cuisine deserves notice, with standouts such as the P&K wedge salad, Cape Cod mussels and show-stopping burgers, served until 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday and midnight the rest of the week. 1946 Lombard Street, (215) 545-0350, thepubandkitchen.com
  • Pub on Passyunk East (the P.O.P.E.) – This South Philly beer hall packs eaters (and drinkers) in night after night. Fourteen taps and a mega list of bottles accompany vegan cheesesteaks and nachos, Chesapeake fries with lump crabmeat, cheese and Old Bay Seasoning and four kinds of spicy wings. 1501 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-5125, pubonpassyunkeast.com
  • Royal Boucherie – Chef Nick Elmi’s handsome Old City tavern specializes in house-cured charcuterie, oysters and other raw bar specialties, various terrines and decadent burgers. 52 S. 2nd Street, (267) 606-6313, royalboucherie.com
  • Royal Izakaya – Like a traditional izakaya, the Royal offers convivial Japanese snacks, sushi and sake in a dimly lit setting. It may well be the only place in town to score tsukemono (preserved vegetables), chicken gizzard yakitori (skewered) and chashu (stewed pork) buns until 1 a.m. 780 S. 2nd Street, (267) 909-9002, royalsushiandizakaya.com
  • Royal Tavern – With a jukebox of indie hits, Bella Vista’s original gastropub plays host to a devoted crowd who come for pints of microbrews, meatloaf sandwiches, duck-confit potato skins and multifarious vegan noshes. 937 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 389-6694, royaltavern.com
  • Shiao Lan Kung – This Chinatown eatery hosts the post-bar crowd on a nightly basis. Hot pots, salt-baked squid and pan-fried beef noodles hit the spot. 930 Race Street, (215) 928-0282
  • Silk City – An old stainless steel car houses this always-popular late-night diner where an internationalized menu of Thai chili wings, shrimp burgers with Sriracha aioli, pork belly empanadas and fried chicken wow the hungry crowd. 5th & Spring Garden Streets, (215) 592-8838, silkcityphilly.com
  • South Philadelphia Taproom – This corner bar on the edge of the trendy East Passyunk neighborhood serves its eclectic cuisine—salt-and-vinegar wings, mac and cheese, wild boar tacos and fried PB&J—nearly as late as it serves its fantastic, micro-brew-focused selection of beer. 1509 Mifflin Street, (215) 271-7787, southphiladelphiataproom.com
  • Southwark – When the evening needs go beyond burgers and fries, this handsome Queen Village bistro and bar offers a menu of solutions, including some of the best cocktails around until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 12:30 a.m. the rest of the week. Among the offerings: charred broccoli with spiced sausage and chermoula and potato gnocchi with pork and tomato ragu. 701 S. 4th Street, (267) 930-8538, southwarkrestaurant.com
  • Standard Tap – Having paved the way for decades of gastropubs to follow, Northern Liberties’ senior hangout knows just what its clientele wants. The menu changes often, but guests always find mussels, chicken pie, charcuterie and cheese boards and serious burgers that perfectly complement the noteworthy local beer list. 2nd & Poplar Streets, (215) 238-0630, standardtap.com
  • Time – Going a bit in reverse, Time serves classic pub and seasonal new American dishes until 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The three distinct spaces here are the dining room and bar; Whiskey Bar & Tap Room (with 20-plus beers on draft and more than 100 single malts, small-batch bourbons, whiskeys and ryes); and Absinthe Lounge, for dancing on Fridays and Saturdays. 1315 Sansom Street, (215) 985-4800, timerestaurant.net
  • Tio Flores – This South Street taqueria brings a street-food sensibility to its Mexican fare. Open until 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday, midnight Monday through Thursday, the kitchen concocts beer-battered street corn, poutine à la Mexicana and all kinds of tacos. 1600 South Street, (267) 687-2220, tioflores.com
  • Triangle Tavern – This South Philly institution has been smartly updated to accommodate vegans and hipsters, but the flavors are still rooted in the neighborhood. Beers high and low accompany red sauce mussels, meatless roast beef and Parmesan platters. 1338 S. 10th Street, (215) 800-1992, triangletavernphilly.com
  • Varga Bar – With its pin-up theme and comfort food menu, this corner Washington Square West venue celebrates guilty pleasures. No one minds when orders for crab cheese fries, grilled Caesar salad and duck confit wings come in at midnight Sunday through Wednesday or 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. 941 Spruce Street, (215) 627-5200, vargabar.com
  • Village Whiskey – Burgers and bourbon know no bedtime. Jose Garces’ Rittenhouse gastropub has both on its late-night menu, along with duck-fat fries, fried pickles and Buffalo cheese curds until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. 118 S. 20th Street, (215) 665-1088, villagewhiskey.com

Until 1:30 a.m.:

  • Misconduct Tavern – A nautical theme and upscale bar food apply to both locations of this refined yet fun pub, where approachable comfort dishes include beer-battered pickle chips, seared salmon sliders and design-your-own mac and cheese. 1511 Locust Street, (215) 732-5797; 1801 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, (267) 928-4297, misconduct-tavern.com
  • Bar-Ly – This sports tavern embraces its role in providing late-night entertainment. With 60 taps, dozens of TVs and a menu of Asian-American food—Shanghai wings, a variety of summer rolls and shredded Peking duck pizza—it’s Chinatown’s preeminent after-midnight bar; the kitchen is open until 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 12:30 a.m. the rest of the week. 101 N. 11th Street, (215) 922-2688, bar-ly.com

Until 2 a.m.:

  • Bonchon Chicken – There’s no need to be an early bird to sample the world’s most addictive chicken (Korean fried). Chinatown’s branch of a global chain keeps the buckets coming deep into the dark hours. 1020 Cherry Street, (267) 639-6686, bonchon.com
  • Grace Tavern – The tiny hideaway in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood keeps its focus on a small selection of eats and drinks. The beauty is that passersby can stop in on a whim for a meal until closing. 23rd & South Streets, (215) 893-9580, gracetavern.com
  • Porta – The mozzarella’s house-made, but the flour, tomatoes and pizza ovens are purely Italian in this Neapolitan pizza and pasta spot that serves until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. 1216 Chestnut Street, (267) 534-2135, pizzaporta.com
  • Tony Luke’s – It’s worth ducking out of the pub to get in line at this sandwich vendor deep in South Philadelphia. Just-baked rolls filled with slow-cooked roast beef and broccoli rabe, house-made roast pork slathered in garlicky spinach and sharp provolone, veal or chicken cutlets with marinara—and one of the best cheesesteaks in town—are just a taxi ride from Center City. Open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, midnight Monday through Thursday. 39 E. Oregon Avenue, (215) 551-5725, tonylukes.com

Until 3 a.m.:

  • David’s Mai Lai Wah – Well-known among Philly’s post-shift restaurant workers for years, David’s dishes budget-friendly late-night eats. The experience here is no-frills, but the salt and pepper wings, roast pork noodle bowls and walnut shrimp provide tasty sustenance. 1001 Race Street, (215) 627-2610
  • Dos Tacos – The brainchild of a chef and two nightlife impresarios solves the dilemma of where to go when the bar closes, serving until 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The taco stand dishes up a mix of tacos with traditional and creative flavors. 120 S. 15th Street, (215) 567-8226, dostacosphilly.com
  • Insomnia Cookies – Those in need of a late-night or early-morning sugar fix contact this spot for delivery of fresh-baked cookies in all sorts of varieties—chocolate chunk, peanut butter, oatmeal, sugar, snickerdoodle and more. 135 S. 13th Street, 108 S. 16th Street, 4319 Main Street, 1601 N. Broad Street, 3400 Lancaster Avenue, 3417 Spruce Street, 1084 E. Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, (877) 63-COOKIE, insomniacookies.com
  • Masala Kitchen – There’s no reason to wait until tomorrow for Indian street food. This quick-service kitchen in Center City offers kati rolls and platters laden with curried chicken and lamb. 1211 Walnut Street, (215) 309-3301, masalakitchenphilly.com
  • Shoo Fry – On weekends, the city’s fry emporium in Rittenhouse Square makes for the perfect post-bar stop-off. Poutine topped with scrapple, cheesesteak or truffle salt and egg tastes sublime after midnight. 132 S. 17th Street, (267) 639-2104, shoofry.com
  • Sonny’s Famous Steaks – What Pat’s, Geno’s and Tony Luke’s are to South Philly, this spot is to nightlife-filled Old City. Open until 3 a.m. on weekends, Sonny’s serves up cheesesteaks of all sorts, rib-eye burgers, cheese fries and onion rings to partiers who need to fuel up before going down for the night. 228 Market Street, (215) 629-5760, sonnyscheesesteaks.com
  • Tai Lake – Even the tardiest lovers of Cantonese seafood can get their fix until 3 a.m. weekends and 2 a.m. weeknights with fish maw soup, clams in black bean sauce and steamed fish with ginger and scallions. 134 N. 10th Street, (215) 922-0698, tailakeseafoodrest.com

Until 4 a.m.:

  • Lorenzo and Sons – It’s an all-ages show until 4 a.m. Saturday and Sunday (3 a.m. the rest of the week) at this popular South Street walk-up kiosk. Here, an energized post-concert crowd loads up on $2 slices of oversized, thin-crusted, cheese-loaded pizza, devouring floppy wedges that taste distinctly better the later the hour. 305 South Street, (215) 800-1942, lorenzoandsonspizza.com
  • Prima Pizza Taqueria – With a name that makes sense in South Philly only, Prima actually only offers tacos—and seriously great ones. Wildly accommodating hours and a super affordable price-point make this storefront a late-night must. 1104 S. 9th Street, (215) 339-5000
  • Wishbone – No matter the stage of the party, pretzel-battered chicken is always welcome. At both its West Philly and Center City locations, this fried chicken joint obliges visitors at all hours with sandwiches, platters and hand pies for dessert. Serving until 4 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, 210 S. 13th Street, (215) 309-3667. Serving until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, 4034 Walnut Street, (215) 921-3204, wishbonephilly.com

All Night Long:

  • Broad Street Diner – Not fancy, but certainly friendly, this well-located diner serves as a post-party pit stop for night owls in transit between Center City and South Philly. Best to stick to the basics here: They’re known for their omelets, hash browns and hot coffee. 1135 S. Broad Street, (215) 825-3636, thebroadstreetdiner.com
  • Melrose Diner – The slogan at this 80-plus-year-old South Philly institution, is “Everybody who knows goes to the Melrose.” Some weekend nights, it seems like every Philadelphian does. Counter seats are many; pies are homemade; and the servers are no-nonsense. 1501 Snyder Avenue, (215) 467-6644
  • Midtown III Diner – Center City’s last bastion of all-night diner food attracts all kinds of eaters with feta and spinach omelets, open-faced tuna melts, homemade vanilla shakes and other rib-sticking fare. 28 S. 18th Street, (215) 567-5144
  • Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks – At 2:15 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, these across-the-street rivals get slammed. “Originator” Pat’s, with its notoriously sloppy Cheez Whiz topping, and blindingly neon bright Geno’s, with its fancy provolone, draw crowds that meet in the avenue’s center, often stopping traffic just before dawn. Pat’s, 1237 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 468-1546, patskingofsteaks.com; Geno’s, 1219 S. 9th Street, (215) 389-0659, genosteaks.com

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