As much as we all love a 3-course, refined dinner out with friends, sometimes we find ourselves out pretty late at night with those same friends — and once the night starts winding down, you just may find yourself getting hungry again. From shabby to chic, here are 12 places from coast to coast that will keep you well fed, well after midnight.
416 Snack Bar (Toronto, ON)
Open ‘til 2 AM every night of the week, this popular eatery serves up all kinds of small plates like Korean-fried chicken, spicy tuna cones, steak tartare and even foie torchon. Start off with a plate of oysters and some bubbly, and then see where the (late) night takes you.
Bar Isabel (Toronto, ON)
It’s pretty rare that you’re able to be served some of the best food in the city after midnight, but Bar Isabel is happy to do so. Their Spanish plates from patatas bravas to their signature grilled octopus will leave you happily full before you decide to turn in for the night.
Blackfoot Truckstop Diner (Calgary, AB)
Probably the most classic diner you’ll find in the prairies, this kitschy Calgary gem serves up classic fare 24/7. For me, it’s hard not to order a simple grilled ham and cheese sandwich, a perfectly greasy after-bar sort of dish, but no one leaves this place without a slice of the lemon meringue pie.
The Diamond (Vancouver, BC)
This upper-level spot in Gastown is a popular go-to for many in the food and beverage industry, as they serve food and well-made cocktails until 1 AM on weekdays and 2 AM on weekends. Sip on a michelada (tequila, mezcal, clamato and lager), while you’re grabbing a late-night bite, to cure that hangover before it even starts.
Freeman’s Pizza (Halifax, NS)
Once the famous Halifax donair shops have closed their doors, you can look to Freeman’s for something tasty to eat. As the name implies, pizza is the highlight of their menu, but there’s no shortage of other options like burgers, all-day breakfast dishes, fish and chips and even salads. Though, I think we can all agree that a salad is not quite as fulfilling as a typical midnight snack. If you’re not in the mood to go out, all three locations offer pizza delivery until 5 AM as well.
Johnny G’s (Winnipeg, MB)
While it may not be the most sophisticated place to eat at in Winnipeg, it’s certainly one that most people flock to once the bars stop serving drinks after last call. The menu is has a little bit of everything, with options like spring rolls or French onion soup to chicken fingers, burgers and barbecue ribs. Don’t overthink it.
La Banquise (Montreal, QC)
If there’s ever a time to bastardize a classic poutine, it’s after midnight. Of course, you can opt for the standard fries, cheese curds and gravy option, but you’ll feel so much more content stepping outside the box and going for a poutine topped with sliced hot dogs or ground beef, pepperoni and bacon or maybe even pulled pork, slaw and sour cream. If only they delivered across the country…
Lucy’s Eastside Diner (Vancouver, BC)
Walking into to Lucy’s, it’s hard not to be transported back to the 1950s with the baby pink and turquoise interior. The diner is a step above other average diners in the country, opting for things like handmade patties for their burgers, fresh baked goods and much more.
Recently, Lucy’s was noted for having some of the best milkshakes in the city, which is great because if a big ol’ milkshake can’t knock you out before bed, nothing will.
St. Viateur Bagel (Montreal, QC)
There’s never a bad time of day for an authentic Montreal-style bagel. St. Viateur’s flagship location is open all day and all night, every day. If you’re stopping by to get your fix of carbs, don’t forget to snag a container of Liberté cream cheese from the cooler to slather on those warm, doughy cirlces of goodness.
Thompson Hotel (Toronto, ON)
This diner inside the Thompson hotel saves Torontonians from fast food binges every day of the week. Start off with their signature poutine, made with peking duck, crispy duck skin and a hoisin gravy, before diving into something even more calorie-ridden, like the grilled cheese burger that’s every bit over-the-top as it sounds.
Tubby Dog (Calgary, AB)
After 10 years of business and still going strong, this establishment has clearly staked its claim in the city’s restaurant scene, with their gourmet (occasionally outrageous) hot dog offerings. You can never go wrong with their namesake dog, topped with chili, bacon, onions, mustard and cheese, but if you’re feeling a little crazy, then the PBJ dog with peanut butter, jelly and captain crunch cereal will surely be a memorable meal. Don’t forget a side order of their gigantic onion rings, either.
Union 613 (Ottawa, ON)
Serving until 2 AM from Wednesday to Sunday, you can always get your fix of Southern-inspired fare here. Fried chicken, cheddar grits and cast iron corn bread are just a few of the dishes you can dig into to calm that early morning appetite. The best part? If you head downstairs, find the right book on the bookshelf to the left and pull on it to enter into their underground speakeasy. It’s pretty darn cool!
Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.