2. Hector’s Cafe & Diner
Sitting under the High Line in the Meatpacking District, Hector’s Cafe & Diner is the go-to spot for all-day breakfast and Italian dishes. Located at 44 Little W 12th St., the stand-alone diner first opened in its doors in 1949, where it served employees coming to work in the meatpacking plants. To cater to the clientele at the time, Hector’s would open at 2 a.m. in preparation for the 4 a.m. wave.
Although the remaining meatpacking plants have since closed – only to be replaced by expensive new restaurants and chic stores – the establishment has remained opened because the physical building is owned by the city, which means the rent is more moderately priced. To this day, it still opens at 2 a.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays.