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Cajun-style breakfast with grits and eggs at BB's Cafe

Our favorite nocturnal haunts, both stalwarts and hip new hangouts, are all the reason you need to unleash your inner night owl.

BB’s Cafe

Though this Crescent City–inspired eatery has multiple locations, it’s the neon-lit Montrose one that has become an after-hours mecca. The fan favorite is open 24/7, cranking out a craveable mess of po’ boys and Cajun-style plates that somehow taste even better after midnight. Locals follow one cardinal rule: An order of Tex-Cajun Virgin fries smothered with roast beef, gravy and chile con queso is mandatory.

Conservatory Food Hall & Beer Garden

Houston’s first underground dining hall and beer garden is a late-night dream for the downtown bar-hopping crowd. Diners can make their way around the globe, sampling Myth Kafe’s tzatziki-slathered lamb gyros, build-your-own poke bowls at Moku Bar, El Burro & the Bull’s smoky brisket plates and pulled pork tacos, and Melange Creperie’s crispy crêpes. The 60-tap wall of craft brews and wines add to the revelry until midnight most weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends (food is available until 3 a.m.).

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The Thai PB&J wings at Max's Wine Dive are a perfect sweet-and-savory blend.

Image: Megha Tejpal

Max’s Wine Dive

There’s nothing quite like digging into a plate of fried chicken after a long night, especially when it’s soaked in jalapeño buttermilk before being dredged in seasoned flour and deep-fried low and slow to achieve an enviable crunch. Craving late-night breakfast? Until 2 a.m. on weekends, Max’s colossal fried egg sandwich is the way to go; the buttery sandwich boasts three yolky eggs, a hefty amount of bacon, a quartet of melted cheeses and a generous slather of black truffle aioli.

Katz’s Deli

Say it with us: Katz’s never kloses. At absolutely any time of day, you can load up on a corned beef and pastrami sandwich with Russian dressing that is roughly eight times the size of your mouth. Start by soaking up the evening’s poorer decisions with a Nosh Basket—a hodgepodge of deep-fried-everything—and save room for a velvety slice of New York–style cheesecake.

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Ramen at Ninja Ramen

Image: Andrea Weir

Ninja Ramen

This homegrown noodle joint doubles as an industry hangout thanks to its post-midnight hours (close is 2 a.m. Sun–Thur, 3 a.m. Fri–Sat), playful vibe, strong selection of Asian whiskeys, and, of course, soul-satisfying ramen. The straightforward menu has three choices: traditional shoyu, with an oily soy sauce–based seafood-and-pork broth; mazeman, or brothless “ramen”; and aburamen, or spicy garlic oil noodles. Really hungry? Add pork belly and extra noodles.

Pho Binh By Night

Pho is an essential Houston dish, and this cult classic makes one of the most sought-after versions around. Stir some twilight hours (until midnight weekdays, 3 a.m. weekends) into the already impressive pot, and an icon is born. Get the aromatic noodle soup loaded with rare steak, fatty brisket, tendon and tripe. Then throw in unctuous, rich bone marrow—because it’s nighttime, and nobody’s watching.

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The burgers at Rico's are bigger than your face.

Rico’s Morning + Noon + Night

Revelers will want to top the night off at this cool little stand anchoring Bagby Park. Popular offerings include breakfast tacos, the queso-and-jalapeño-packed burger, and the bacon-wrapped all-beef hot dog, blanketed with onion jam and nestled lovingly into a pretzel bun. Open until midnight on Thursdays and 3 a.m. weekends, the spot’s a welcome addition to the area bar scene.

Spanish Flowers

Fact: You’re not a Houstonian until you’ve feasted on a middle-of-the-night plate of cheese enchiladas at this Heights stalwart, which has been keeping locals well fed since 1979. Tucking into a bowl of midnight menudo will cure what ails you, while rich mole poblano, chiles rellenos and classic Tex-Mex breakfast plates hit the spot no matter the time of day, ideal since on Fridays and Saturdays, the spot’s open 24 hours.

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It's never too late (or too early) for a breakfast taco from Tacos A Go-Go.

Tacos A Go-Go

The Midtown location of this taco temple is the perfect destination for an after-hours snack. Breakfast tacos are available all day and night—that’s until 2 a.m. on the weekends—and the kitchen’s slow-cooked lamb barbacoa and tangy pork pastor tacos rival those of the best taco trucks in town. There’s even a taco stuffed with “Mexican” tater tots, which might not be authentic but is fantastic, nonetheless.

YoYo’s Hot Dog

Yes, there will be a line outside this hot dog stand once the bars close. And yes, you want to be in that line. After a surprisingly short wait, you’ll be treated to an impossibly good, game-changing frankfurter. Order it “fully loaded,” and that pup comes fully stacked with cream cheese, both grilled and crunchy fried onions, spicy mustard, curry ketchup, honey mayo, and a splash of Sriracha—because this is Houston, and Houston loves hot sauce.

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Editor’s Pick

YoYo's Hot Dog

$ American/New American Multiple Locations

Why is there always a line 50-people deep at this hot dog stand in Rice Village? The “All the Way,” a hot dog loaded with warm cream cheese, spicy mustard, g...

Editor’s Pick

Tacos A Go-Go

$ Mexican/Tex-Mex Multiple Locations

Tacos a Go-Go acts as an anchor for “The Best Block in Houston,” situated between some of the city’s most colorful attractions: the Continental Club and Shoe...

Spanish Flowers

$$ Mexican/Tex-Mex 4701 N. Main St.

This nearly 24-hour joint (it closes at 10 p.m. on Tuesday nights to clean and restock, before opening again at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning) is the place to ...

Rico’s Morning + Noon + Night

$ American/New American, Hamburgers 401 Gray St.

From breakfast tacos and fresh-squeezed OJ for breakfast to Tex-Mex-inspired burgers and hot dogs at lunch and dinner, Rico's Morning + Noon + Night knows wh...

Editor’s Pick

Pho Binh

$ Vietnamese Multiple Locations

Pho Binh’s south Houston location on Beamer is said to be the oldest pho restaurant in the city. The cramped seating and long lines on Saturday mornings has ...

Editor’s Pick

Ninja Ramen

$$ Japanese, Sushi 4219 Washington Ave

The beauty of this dive bar–cum–restaurant is in its straightforwardness: ramen is basically all they sell. Which is not to say that there aren’t choices—e.g...

Katz’s Deli

$$ Deli, Diner, Sandwiches 616 Westheimer Rd.

You know the saying by now: Katz’s never kloses. That means you can get a deli sandwich roughly the same height as the two-story brick building that houses K...

Editor’s Pick

Max’s Wine Dive

$$ American/New American, Cajun, Creole, Southern Multiple Locations

Max’s Wine Dive sells 150 wines by the glass—the bartender will open any bottle in the house if you order at least two glasses. Along with champagne and frie...

Editor’s Pick

Conservatory Food Hall & Beer Garden

$$ American/New American, Barbecue, Greek, Japanese 1010 Prairie St.

A chic underground beer garden boasting 60 taps—plus a ramen bar, ’cue joint, crêperie, coffee shop, Greek café and paleta cart—may sound like the stuff of d...

Editor’s Pick

BB’s Café

$$ Cajun Multiple Locations

Don’t miss such Big Easy favorites as grillades and grits, po’boys dressed and loaded with roast beef, or anything else served with BB’s lip-smacking brown g...