Quality late-night eats across the Peninsula
Tasty options for hungry night owls with standards
You know the feeling: It’s late, you’re hungry, the party’s over, the fridge is empty. And this isn’t high school, so Taco Bell or Denny’s won’t cut it. What now?
The news is good. There’s hope for the peckish but picky night owl searching the wilds of the Peninsula for a late-night bite. You just have to know where to look.
Because you’re hungry and in: The heart of Downtown Palo Alto
Perfect for: Late-night steak frites and a whiskey sour
Rocks the full menu until: 1amCK Friday and Saturday; 11pm Sunday; midnight on other nights
Don’t come here if: You hate French food.
While there is no shortage of burgers and pizza around these parts, if you’re craving more sophisticated late-night fare and don’t mind shelling out a few clams for it, then Gravity is your place. Offerings from the French- and Italian-inspired menu range from burrata, oysters and charcuterie to fancier meals like duck confit and filet. With a good wine list, plus beer and a full bar, Gravity brings the evening to a fine finish.
Because you can’t decide: What you want to eat
But you’re in the mood for: Convenient cuisine in a chill setting (with plenty of options to choose from!)
Serving snacks until: 11pm nightly
Pass on this place if: Wifi-seeking laptop users annoy you (in which case, what are you doing in downtown Palo Alto anyway?!)
Though certainly a popular spot for students, Coupa Café on bustling Ramona Street is more than just a hangout for the Stanford crowd. The café, which serves beer and wine, has the kind of variety that food lovers dream of. From traditional Venezuelan dishes like carne mechada and arepas to the more typical California spread of paninis, wraps and salads, Coupa’s got you covered, and at a fairly budget-friendly price. Save room for a delectable sweet crepe for dessert.
Because you’re starving: And only Mexican food will do
You want something: Tasty and filling without breaking the bank
Get your taco fill till: Midnight
You want fries with that? Then order: The California burrito. The addition of fries takes this standard-issue burrito to the next level.
The jury is technically still out on the official comfort food of California, but I’d bet many would vote for Mexican cuisine. And really, who hasn’t had a late-night taco craving? Tacos El Grullense #1 doles out classic, no-frills tacos that hit the spot for the after-party crowd. Serving up the best of the magical trifecta — good, cheap and filling — El Grullense sees locals and visitors alike lining up on the regular. There are several locations across Redwood City (with even more throughout the Bay Area), but this one is the OG. With such rave reviews, you can’t go wrong.
Because you just had to have: Deep-fried baby octopus and sake for a surprisingly good price
And didn’t mind driving to: An obscure address in Burlingame
The kitchen stays open until: 2am nightly
We dare you to try: The silkworm platter
If exotic meat nights and tasty Japanese cuisine are your jam, look no further than Mokutanya Charcoal Grill. Here the menu features everything from lobster tail and beef tataki to more unique choices (to put it lightly) like silkworm and iguana. The exotic meat night menu rotates each week, so a new dining adventure always awaits. Though tucked away unassumingly near a gas station, this place is open way late (2am daily!), so there’s plenty of time to order up a sake, sit back and enjoy the savory late night eats (insect larvae optional).
Because you want some: Reasonably priced, generous portions of good Asian food
If you want to save some dough: Order online for a 10 percent discount
If meat isn’t your thing: Rest assured you won’t be stuck with the side salad — the menu has a wide assortment of veggie specialties
Know before you go: Order online till midnight, dine in till 10:30pm daily
Feeling famished and thinking of some late night Thai? With an abundant menu featuring Cambodian and Thai cuisine — from classic pad thai to curry specialties and Cambodian stew and stir fry — Tommy Thai fits the bill. Bonus: the kitchen is open till midnight Monday-Saturday (pickup and delivery only after 10:30pm), a rare find in Mountain View. Next time you’ve got a hankering for some late night Thai in the area, you know who to call.
Because you’re longing for: Comfort food with a twist
But also want: Some refreshing, made-in-the-U.S.A. brews to wash it down
Pay a visit if: Mac ’n’ cheese balls and lollipop corn dogs sound like your childhood dreams come true
Order your food till: Midnight Thursday-Sunday; 11pm the rest of the week
If traditional comfort food (think mac and cheese, truffle fries, fried chicken sliders… you see where I’m going with this) is what you’re craving, then look no further than Eureka. Burgers more your thing? Well, fear not, because there are nine varieties to choose from. So whether you’re feeling the bone marrow burger, the bison or maybe sticking to the basics with a traditional cheeseburger, Eureka has got you covered. Wash down those late-night munchies with the perfect beverage: the restaurant features innovative brews and whiskeys all made in the U.S. of A.