From 24-hour diners to nightclubs and lounges, a night owl’s work is cut out for him when venturing into the big bad city. So here’s a helpful guide to late night for some of the most exciting cities in America so you can indulge your inner Jack Bauer all over the country.

Schiller’s Liquor Bar, New York City

New York City is even fuller of late-night spots than most big cities. But Schiller’s Liquor Bar in the Lower East Side is a favorite of many fashionable New York night owls. And, like all decent bars, it’s got a cool menu (they serve food until 2 AM, another late-night plus), with bar snacks like garlic shrimp, mussels, and, of course, steak fries. There are definitely worse places to stagger out of in the middle of the night.

The Golden Apple, Chicago

In some areas of Chicago, the city seems to shut down after dark. And nestled in one of those areas is The Golden Apple, a 24-hour diner (their tagline is “We Never Close”) straight out of an Edward Hopper painting. The menu is full of classics too, like the club sandwich, steak, liver & onions, and much, much more – in fact the menus at The Golden Apple seem to go on forever. It’s definitely a cool spot – cool enough to be featured on an episode of This American Life, in fact.


Canter’s Deli, Los Angeles

A good late-night spot with a comfortable vibe is hard enough to find, but a deli? Almost unheard of. Unless you’re a regular at Canter’s Deli, which combines deli staples (their Reuben sandwich is supposed to be great) with a late-night ambiance, as they’re open 24 hours a day. Best of all, their dining room is right next to the Kibitz Room, where you can hear some of L.A.’s best (and worst) local bands as you chow down on a chicken salad sandwich.

Family Karaoke, Dallas

Once it gets to be a certain hour, sometimes you want an unorthodox hang-out option. Enter Family Karaoke in Dallas, which contrary to its name offers private karaoke rooms until the non-family-friendly hour of 4 AM. Their song catalog includes both hits and deep cuts, and they also have tambourines. Even if you hate the tambourine during the day, it might be a different story in the middle of the night.


Khon’s Wine Darts Coffee Art, Houston

You have to give it up to Khon, who put a lot of what makes this late-night hangout in Houston special right up there in the name of the place. And not only do they have wine, darts, coffee, and art, but the occasional poker night and a great juke box. And, of course, it’s all open until 2 AM. All in all, it’s definitely better than your average Starbucks.

Uni, Boston

The city of Boston isn’t known for its thriving late-night scene. But Uni is a spot to make people in New York jealous. Nestled within the Eliot Hotel, this nocturnal sushi spot includes classic sushi items but also unorthodox choices like the deep-fried hot dog topped with miso-mustard sauce and pickled vegetables. If you can think of a better post-party drunk meal than that, more power to you.

Joseph Gibson