5. Empanada Mama
Empanada Mama boldly claims to serve the best empanadas in New York City, and the night owls who frequent the restaurant seem to agree. With two locations that are open 24/7 — 765 9th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen and 95 Allen Street in the Lower East Side — it’s a reliable pit stop for anyone who needs to refuel. Although Empanada Mama mostly focuses on Colombian-inspired dishes, it also offers menu items from all of Latin America.
As for its claim to fame — the empanada — the restaurant offers over 40 flavors, ranging from the classic chorizo to the American-inspired hot dog and cheese. A crowd favorite is the Viagra (stuffed with shrimp, scallops and crabmeat) and the Brasil (ground beef and olive). For those with a sweet tooth, there’s also a smattering of dessert empanadas like the Belgian & Banana (Belgian milk chocolate) and Sweet Plantains (with mozzarella cheese).