The clock reads 2 am, which doesn’t surprise you cause the bartender just spent the last 15 minutes slowly herding you and your friends like cattle out onto the streets. Your head is swimming with beer and vodka. And maybe there was some tequila in there… ?
Even though it’s only 40 degrees out, you’re wearing a t-shirt and feel great.
Except you’ve got The Hunger.
Not the I’ve-got-to-eat-to-stay-alive hunger, but that drunk, I-need-5000-calories-of-pizza-or-I-might-die-hunger. Or at least something to absorb the booze so you don’t wake up wishing for the cold specter of death.
But this ain’t New York City. There are not thousands of bodegas all willing to make your insane eggs-and-sausage-and-why-not-throw-some-turkey-and-mayo abomination at 4 am. This is New Haven.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to order Domino’s. You’re not a monster. You deserve better than that. Even if you can’t remember precisely what you’ve done. It’s probably not murder.
Luckily, we at Between Two Rocks are more than happy to get drunk and eat all this food so we can provide you the best late night options. Don’t worry about us — this is research. Totally tax deductible, probably.
So enjoy New Haven’s Best Late Night Eats!
Honorable Mention: Louis’ Lunch
You should definitely try it. It sounds insane but distilling a burger down to its simplest ingredients really helps you appreciate the pure taste of the hamburger and they use five different types of beef.
That being said, it’s a burger on white bread without ketchup. So… yeah.
5. Alpha Delta Pizza
First of all, let me say that this would be much higher on the list except it’s on fuckin’ Elm Street. So unless you’re getting drunk at Three Sheets all the time (you know who you are and you’re wearing a leather jacket, don’t even deny it). So it’s not near where I typically drink.
They do have some very solid late night pizza. It’s not Modern or Pepe’s, but it is very good for anything you’re going to get at 3 am.
But you’re not here for the pizza. You’re here for the Wenzel, named after Yale grad Eric Wenzel (’04) who always ordered it special. And we’re all the better for it. What is it? Glad you asked: Chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese, mayo, and hot sauce. Ohhhh yes the hot sauce makes it.
Oh yeah, and the whole thing is toasted. Just like you.
4. Marco Polo Pizzeria
There are few things in this crazy world you can really count on. Death. Taxes.
And Marco Polo having a slice of buffalo chicken pizza ready and waiting for you at 2:30 am. It’s like they know you. And don’t worry, they’re used to your wasted ass wandering in, too. Just take a seat right there, buddy, and your pizza will be there before you know it.
They also have gluten free options if you’re a broken human being.
The location is pretty convenient. Especially if you drink at Firehouse 12 or Cask Republic on the eastern side of downtown.
There are better, cheaper pizzas out there. But not right this minute, not right in front of your drunk face. Sometimes, the hardest part of winning is just showing up.
3. Pitaziki Mediterranean Grill
The new kid on the block, but not messing around. They’re not open quite as late as some of the others (they close at 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays), but if you can catch ’em while they’re open, it’ll be worth it.
If Tikkaway is “like Chipotle but for Indian food,” then this is the next logical step for Mediterranean food. Which means piles and piles of awesome, fresh ingredients and excellent service. They’re almost too friendly.
If you’re looking to maximize your pounds-of-food-per-dollar, try the uninspiringly-named meat combo. You pick two meats and then you can just dump as much crap into a giant container as you want. You could seriously hurt someone with it.
Try the pita chips and hummus, too. They make it themselves and it’s awesome. Just ask for extra hummus cause they don’t give you enough for some reason. Probably cause they hate you, you drunk bastard.
2. Meat and Co.
Another relatively new restaurant, Meat and Co. isn’t your typical sandwich shop. They fancy.
They’ve got a little bit of everything and their window stays open quite late. All the sandwiches have adorable names like Rick Reuben and The Bluto and their sandwiches are so good I actually forgive them.
Try the Steak and Cheese. It has onion frizzles. That’s right, you can get onion frizzles on your sandwiches at 2:30 in the morning. I’ll give you a minute to clean up after yourself.
They also have secret off-menu sandwich, the Bubble & Squeak, but I’m not going to tell you what it is because there are some journeys every person needs to make for themselves.
1. Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant
Come on, you had to know this would be tops. It’s the original. The best.
Sure, it’s not the fastest sometimes. And some of the dishes can be weirdly overpriced.
But man is it good. They don’t mess around with their falafel.
And half of the fun is just the experience of it. Surrounded by your fellow late night revelers. When it’s a beautiful night out, people are sitting outside smoking hookahs. You wait patiently at your table, drinking tiny cups of water when your name is mentioned, finally.
It’s your turn. To devour all of the baba ganoush you can handle. And we both know you.
You can handle a lot of baba ganoush. Everyone says so.
I hope you enjoyed our list! It was cultivated through many drunk nights, experimenting in dark labs at all hours of the night. And so many regrets in the morning.
But we do it for love. And, well, you know. The food.
Pitaziki is tasty, eating it now.