We've all been there: the clock strikes 2 a.m., the bars start to close their doors and our stomach lets out a long, low growl like Roy Orbison's voice during the second verse of "Pretty Woman." Late-night eatin’ ain’t always an indulgence — sometimes, it's a must. That's why we've put together a list of the best local restaurants that serve food during the wee hours. Craving a midnight snack? Skip the drive-thru and consult this playbook. We guarantee you'll feel better in the morning.
Serving food until 2:30 a.m., Friday and Saturday
This 5 Points eatery specializes in comfort food and high-end cooking, meaning customers can order Frito pie one minute and garlic-chili pork loin the next. We also recommend the bar nuts, which are dusted with chili powder and a hint of lime. Pro-tip: if the weather's nice, grab a seat on the backyard patio, where you may be able to hear live music wafting out of the nearby 5 Spot.
Serving food until 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday
Don't let the fourteen plasma screen TVs fool you into thinking this place is a run-of-the-mill sports bar. With items like lobsters sliders and garlic-parmesan Tuscan fries, the Tavern puts a gourmet spin on game-day eating. It's also one of the only places in town where you can order fresh, cornmeal-fried catfish with jalapeño cornbread at 1 a.m., making the Tavern a prime destination for those late-night hours after the game, too.
Serving dinner until 1 a.m., daily
The restaurant's name may be PM, but this place does some of its best work during the a.m. hours. We're big fans of Executive Chef Arnold Myint's cooking — have you ever had the Asian Wonton Pulled Pork Nachos at Suzy Wong's House of Yum, for crying out loud? Plus, his Asian creations at PM, from the five-spiced strip steak to the sushi pizza, are all available right up until closing time.
Open until 3 a.m. daily
A honky tonk with top-notch comfort food, Paradise Park specializes in Southern staples like grilled spam and cheese. (Don't knock it 'til you've tried it.) They'll also top anything — anything — with a dollop of homemade chili, although we wouldn't recommend doing that with the restaurant's Oreo milkshakes.
Open until 3 a.m., Tuesday through Sunday
When a moderately sized midnight snack just won't do, hit up Mafiaoza's, an Italian joint that serves up mammoth pizzas, pasta dishes and salads until the early hours. If you're feeling picky, we recommend building your own antipasti from the restaurant's selection of cheeses, meats and appetizers.