Are there any good 24 hour places to eat in Boston?
February 28, 2005 11:19 PM   Subscribe

I've been living in Boston for about 2 years now and the only really good place I've found is the South Street Diner, but even that is really small and the wait is long.
posted by vodkadin to Food & Drink (13 answers total)
Response by poster: Sorry it's my first question and if it's not obvious I'm asking whether there are any good 24 hour eateries in Boston.
posted by vodkadin at 11:39 PM on February 28, 2005

The wait is long because there isn't much else out there. Most of the other places (the Tasty, the Kenmore IHOP) all got pushed out by bigger businesses. That said, you can always find some good eats in Chinatown. I'm not sure how late those places are open, but I know they're doing brisk business around 2-3am.
posted by spaghetti at 12:05 AM on March 1, 2005

Also, the Busy Bee on Beacon St. in Brookline (St. Mary's stop on the C line) is probably my favorite diner in Boston. It's not open late, or even much past lunch time, but it's worth a trip some time if you like diner food. Fridays it's mac & cheese for the lunch special, but get there early since they always run out. There's also spaghetti with creole sauce, which isn't on the menu and is a surreal experience. There's nothing retro about the place, it's all original.
posted by spaghetti at 12:10 AM on March 1, 2005

Buzzy's on Cambridge Street (although I heard a rumor that they were bought by the hospital and torn down) provides 24/7 cheap food, no extra charge for a gob in the sandwich, and it's right next to the jail (which may also be closed).
posted by caddis at 12:25 AM on March 1, 2005

Heh, Buzzy's closed over 2 years ago. That one was a real bitch to get over.

Things that's left (none of them actually 24 hours):

New Yorker Diner on Mt. Auburn St, just outside of Watertown Square, is open until 4am on Thursday thru Saturday nights. This place is horribly sketchy-looking (looks like a townie bar from the outside) but it's worth trying.

Redneck's in Allston Village is open until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights, but the food pretty much sucks and the place is full of degenerate drunks and degenerate hipsters and degenerate drunk hipsters.

The IHOP in Brighton on the way to Watertown (down near Staples and McDonald's) is open until 4 or 5am, but it's IHOP and I've seen rats using the front door to access the place. Personal taste, I guess. I think it's overpriced.

As mentioned, just go down to Chinatown, and if the wait is long at South Street, just walk around and you'll bump into some Chinese place that's serving food. Apollo K-BBQ is also open late if you want a different Asian cuisine.

Lucky Wah in Coolidge Corner is officially open until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights, but the guy will often try to stay open later. This place gets a lot of business from hospital workers on their way home.

In conclusion, yes, South Street wins for both quality and lateness. There are a few other options, but basically, after 1-2am on weekends, or after midnight on weekdays, you're screwed.
posted by rxrfrx at 3:45 AM on March 1, 2005

It's not a diner, but Bova's Bakery, in the North End, is open 24 hours. Fresh bread and cannolis. But yes, the Kenmore IHOP, Deli Haus, Buzzy's... All closed. The South Street Diner is what you're stuck with in Boston proper. The wait's not so bad if you go on a weekday rather than a weekend, or if you get there at 3 or 4am [after clubs/bars have been closed for a while but before people start arriving for breakfast.]

A handful of pizza places, such as Sicilia's, deliver until 2 or 3am, but admittedly that's not quite the same.
posted by ubersturm at 4:25 AM on March 1, 2005

South Street is pretty much it except for for Chinatown. But in Chinatown you can often get "cold tea" if you're still up for drinking. Pretty surreal to sit around drinking beer out of a chinese tea set.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:12 AM on March 1, 2005


Have you been to Bova's in the middle of the night within the last couple years? I haven't been recently but there was some buzz online that they've cut back their retail hours (ending around 1-2am) because of neighborhood complaints.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:55 AM on March 1, 2005

I used to go to the New Yorker Diner all the time when I worked late/graveyard shifts. I loved that place - I think they might have closed for a bit, haven't been back since they opened again.
posted by soplerfo at 7:35 AM on March 1, 2005

You will get lots of answers to this question on chowhound or egullet.
posted by casu marzu at 7:52 AM on March 1, 2005

Yeah, South Street is pretty much it. The place next door was OK (it was called The Blue Diner after buying the name "The Blue Diner" from the South Street Diner which was formerly called "The Blue Diner"), but only because it was huge and there usually wasn't a line. It closed a while ago, though.
posted by MarkAnd at 8:05 AM on March 1, 2005

Store 24.
posted by bitpart at 9:02 AM on March 1, 2005

rxrfrx: I myself haven't been there at a ridiculous hour [i.e., 4am] for a year or so - it's a bit of a walk from Cambridge, and currently the snow keeps dissuading me whenever I get the urge - but a friend brought me back some Bova's bread at 2 in the morning a few weeks ago. I really hope they're not cutting back their hours; late night/early morning pastries are a beautiful thing.

Oh, and bitpart - some of them, sure, but there are a lot of Store 24s that, well, aren't. Along similar lines, there's a 24-hour Star Market near Kenmore, but going to a grocery store at 4am doesn't really have the same appeal that greasy diner-food and milkshakes do.
posted by ubersturm at 10:12 AM on March 1, 2005

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