With Little Pete’s closing, 10 solid go-to choices for post-bar eats


Sad but true: Philly late-night icon Little Pete’s is slated for demolition. Barring any sudden crash in the hotel real estate market (hey, it’s happened before), a Hudson Hotel tower is slated to go up at 17th and Chancellor Streets, displacing the 24-hour favorite.

The wrecking ball won’t land until sometime in 2015, but even when it does, all will not be lost in the quest for post-bar food. Though possibly not as beloved as the brusquely endearing Center City greasy-spoon, quite a few other round-the-clock food options are scattered around Philadelphia.

So skip the scrappy franchise chains, pass by the sketchy bodegas and avoid the questionable pizzerias. Instead, bookmark this list so you know where to satisfy your early morning cravings as you make your way home.

South Street Diner

As might be expected, the menu at this Greek-owned all-day establishment is seven pages long, with choices that range from pancakes to turkey clubs to spaghetti, all served with a side of free Wi-Fi (140 South St., 215-627-5258).

Midtown II

Before there was such a thing as Midtown Village, there was this long brick facade on the corner of 11th and Sansom, with a menu that includes house-baked pastries and the night-extending option of six packs of beer to go (122 S. 11th St., 215-627-6452).

Midtown III

Thanks to its proximal location, this Rittenhouse automat will likely see the biggest increase in traffic once Little Pete’s closes, and in if you’re wary of this rendition of scrapple with eggs, you can always just opt for a safe $2 bowl of Frosted Flakes or Froot Loops (28 S. 18th St., 215-567-5144).

Darling’s Diner

Get the famous cheesecake or go for a plate of eggs — either way, this fancy eatery in the egg-shaped building at the foot of The Piazza is a step above a regular 24-hour canteen, though it has prices to match (1033 N. 2nd St., 267-239-5775).

Geno’s Steaks

Don your sunglasses so you’ll be able to handle the neon glow as you step up to the orange-tiled counter at this famous joint, where your English-spoken order can now also score you a regular hoagie, in case you’re not in the mood for a cheesesteak (1219 S. 9th St., 215-389-0659).

Pat’s King of Steaks

If politics or fear of bright lights keeps you away from its across-the-street neighbor, hit up the originator of the cheesesteak for your late night fix — just don’t pull a John Kerry and ask for Swiss (1237 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-468-1546).

Melrose Diner

The triangular corner where West Passyunk curves off of Broad has been aglow with the chrome-edged windows of this vintage diner for more than half a century, making this the place to go when you want to finish the night imagining you’re in an Edward Hopper painting (1501 Snyder Ave., 215-467-6644).

The Dining Car

If you’ve got access to a car (and a sober driver), it’s worth a trip out to this Northeast landmark, where the wide-ranging menu and 1980s decor are enhanced by the surprise of a grand piano standing in the middle of the dining area (8826 Frankford Ave., 215-338-5113).

Penrose Diner

Though the kitchen is only open 24 hours on weekends, this grill at the edge of Southwest Philly makes for a convenient pit stop if you’ve spent the evening in the sports complex, whether it’s catching an extra-inning game or dancing at one of the Xfinity Live clubs (2016 Penrose Ave., 215-465-1097).

Mugshot Diner

In Fishtown, Fridays and Saturday provide the all-hours opportunity to experience the rarity that is a brand new diner, albeit one run by a family that has 50-plus years experience in the South Jersey late-night game (2424 E. York St., 215-426-2424).

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