Where to Eat in Philly After 11 P.M.
Are you hungry? Good, because it's midnight, you might be drunk, and almost everywhere else is closed.
Late-night eating options have taken a serious hit over the last two years. As a result of the pandemic, many of our go-to spots have shuttered or reduced their hours. But if you’re out after most kitchens have closed and you want to eat something fried, hot, or possibly cheesy, there are still some essential spots that remain. In a city that takes drinking and eating as seriously as Philly does, late-night dining — especially drunken late-night dining — is like an Olympic sport, or at least a very challenging video game level. Here are our favorite places around the city to go after 11 p.m., from taco spots to Chinatown classics and bars serving Ethiopian cheesesteaks.
Kitchen open until 1 a.m. everyday
It’s rare to meet someone who doesn’t like Fountain Porter in East Passyunk. There are reasons for this, not least of which is their perfect, salty-seared $6 burger. Chase it with a glass of natural wine — Fountain Porter has a huge selection of orange, red, and white wines by the glass. 1601 South 10th Street, East Passyunk.
Open until midnight every day
You might not believe it, but Abyssinia will literally seat you (with table service) for some of the best Ethiopian food in the city at 11:30 p.m. If it feels like a miracle, it’s because it is. Once you’re done, head to the cocktail bar upstairs. 229 South 45th Street, West Philly.
Pat’s King of Steaks
Look, this is one of those “you’re-not-a-real-Philadelphian-until-you-do-XYZ” kinds of late-night experiences. We like to call the area at 9th and East Passyunk “Cheesesteak Vegas” since it’s ground zero for last-call dining. Cheap, filling, salty, and greasy — a Pat’s steak is fine when you’re sober, but absolutely better when you’re drunk. You only really need to do this once in your Philadelphia life, but if you come back to get a second cheesesteak the next time you’re out at 3 a.m., we get it. 1237 East Passyunk Avenue, East Passyunk.
Taqueria La Prima
Open until 4 a.m. every day
Taqueria La Prima (formerly Prima Pizza Taqueria) is a mainstay for tacos once the clock says it’s closer to sunrise than it is sunset. While we consider Pat’s the sort of late night spot that’s only okay during the (sober) mid-day hours, we’d happily eat La Prima’s tacos al pastor during any hour (they come three-per-order, for roughly $9). La Prima’s Google hours say the restaurant is only open until 1 a.m. during the week, but in actuality, you can show up here much later any day of the week. 1104 South 9th Street, Bella Vista.
David’s Mai Lai Wah
Open until 3 a.m. every day
There was a time when, if you wanted to hang with Philly’s rising culinary superstars after their shifts, all you had to do was hit David’s Mai Lai Wah in Chinatown. And while Philly’s cooks and chefs have since branched out somewhat — finding new places once the workday is over — David’s remains a kind of Apollonian ideal of late-night Cantonese-American food. The space is straight ’70s with its neon lights, tube chairs, curling dragons, and pink tablecloths, and the late-night crowd typically involves just about every nocturnal creature in the city looking for a seat. When you’re ordering, go for the nostalgic favorites: pan-fried noodles, dumplings, and a couple big plates drenched in sweet-and-sour sauce. We usually order in bulk, since you never know who’s going to be next through the door. You might just end up with a table full of new friends. 1001 Race Street, Chinatown.
Open until midnight on weeknights and 3:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays
Masala Kitchen on Walnut Street serves Indian kati rolls — skewers wrapped in whole wheat roti that’s been made fresh in a tawa pan. These come in a bunch of meat varieties (beef tikka, lamb kebab, chicken masala) but we typically go for the aloo roll when we’re here late-night, made with masala-spiced mashed potatoes and green chutney. It’ll cost you about $4.95 a pop. Heads up: the Chestnut Street location of Masala Kitchen in Rittenhouse closes at midnight on weekends and 11 p.m. on weekdays. 1115 Walnut Street, Midtown Village.
Khyber Pass Pub
Open until 2 a.m. every day
Old City can be a little sleepy after 10 p.m., but Khyber Pass is the exception to that rule. Go for wings, vegan nachos, a great burger, cheddar-gravy fries, and much more. The menu skews Southern/Cajun in theme, and it’s all served until 2 a.m. 56 South 2nd Street, Old City.
Open until 12 a.m. every day except Monday (when they close at 11 p.m.)
If you crave meat when you’re out late, Kabobeesh in West Philly is the place to go. They serve Pakistani and Indian barbecued meats in an old-school dining car, and the lamb kabob roll is a particular favorite of the late-night crowd. You could also get a platter — which comes with rice and naan — for something more filling. 4201 Chestnut Street, West Philly.
Gone are the days of the plentiful 24-hour diners, scattered across the city. Many of those spots have been forced to reduce their hours, but Mayfair has survived, and for that we are grateful. It’s a diner, you know what to do. 7373 Frankford Avenue, Mayfair.
Middle Child Clubhouse
Open until midnight on the weekends
From 10 p.m. ’til close on Fridays and Saturdays, MCC serves a cheeseburger with chips for $10. It’s a good deal, and it will make you feel better tomorrow morning. 1232 North Front Street, Fishtown.
Open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays
In lots of cities, halal is the late-night staple. Sadly, Philly isn’t one of those places (yet?). But if you’re looking for chicken over rice covered hot sauce and cooling white sauce, head to the Halal Guys inside Chinatown Square until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. This chain also serves baklava cheesecake and crinkle-cut fries, for all who were wondering. 1016 Race Street, Chinatown.
American Sardine Bar
Kitchen open until 11 p.m. every day
If you’re looking for something a little beyond classic bar food, head to American Sardine Bar, where the outdoor patio is spacious and full of lawn chairs and twinkle lights. We’re particular fans of the fried chicken sandwich (topped with pimento cheese, no less), the salsa macha chicken wings, and the salt-and-pepper fries with pickle dip. Yes, sure, technically American Sardine Bar stops serving food at 11 p.m., but the fries alone make this place worth a mention on this list (and the bar doesn’t close until 1 a.m.) 1800 Federal Street, Point Breeze.
Kitchen open until 1 a.m. daily
For a city that loves Italian food as much as Philly does, you’d think there would be more late-night mozzarella sticks available. Triangle Tavern gets it. Alongside those mozzarella sticks, get yourself some garlic bread or a meatball sandwich. Or maybe a chicken parm for one. 1338 South 10th Street, East Passyunk.
Open until 2 a.m.
Here’s a list of under appreciated late-night foods that Gojjo in West Philly serves: samosas, Ethiopian cheesesteaks, baklava, injera and tibs. Are you hungry yet? Good — because it’s 2 a.m. and almost everywhere else is closed. 4540 Baltimore Avenue, West Philly.
Kitchen open until 1 a.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends
The kitchen at Franky Bradley’s serves one of the ultimate late-night Philly foods: fries topped with braised short ribs, cheese curds, cheese sauce and scallions. They’ve also got entrees like burgers, sandwiches, and pastas — as well as DJs and dance parties pretty much every weekend. 1320 Chancellor Street, Midtown Village.
Good Dog Bar
Open until 1 a.m. every day
Good Dog is a Center City classic for a reason: their excellent (and surprisingly seasonal) bar menu is served daily until 1 a.m. The offerings here range from empanadas and flatbread pizza, to a meatball sandwich and a roquefort-stuffed burger. 224 South 15th Street, Center City.
Kitchen open until midnight
MilkBoy has two Philly locations, both of which have kitchens that stay open ’til midnight during the week (the one at the Chestnut Street location stays open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, though). Look for shareable stuff like buffalo chicken poppers, popcorn shrimp, and burgers with a list of toppings so long you’ll need a snack just to decide. 401 South Street and 1100 Chestnut Street.