San Francisco is never going to be a 24-hour dining town. We can enjoy fine dining until last call (hello, 1 a.m. dinner at Nopa), but post-2 a.m. dining options are fairly limited if you're searching for something other than a slice of mediocre pizza. When you don't have to go home, but you can stay here: these are our go-to options for dining insomniacs.

Yuet Lee
You'd better not be sensitive to fluorescent lights after a night at the bars, because this diner-style Chinese spot is not going to do you any favors. They're known for their salt-and-pepper fried squid, spare ribs, and barbecue pork chow mein, and everything comes with a good dose of MSG. It's cash only, they're open until 3 a.m. nightly, except Sundays, and they've been featured on The Travel Channel, Martha Stewart, and in Saveur. — Jay Barmann
1300 Stockton (at Broadway)


New Sun Hong Kong Restaurant
Another late-night Chinatown favorite that's even closer to the North Beach shitshow and therefore attracts even more of its drunks post 2 a.m. They serve until 3 a.m. seven days a week, the waitstaff is brusque but efficient, and the Yelp reviews contain a lot phrases like, "Surprisingly, I actually have been here sober once." They honestly do have good food, though, especially the chow fun, the porridge, and this Hong Kong-style "special black-pepper pork chop" that is effing delicious. — Jay Barmann
606 Broadway (at Columbus)

Photo: Thomas Hawk

Orphan Andy's
Named one of Playboy's 10 favorite late-night diners in the country, this Castro mainstay is where to go for a griddle-greasy patty melt or chicken fried steak after dancing all night at the Cafe or Beaux. It's cozy and pretty much constantly crowded, and they serve breakfast 24 hours a day. You can't go wrong with an omelette and fries to soak up all those vodka sodas. — Jay Barmann
3991 17th Street (at Castro)

(Photo: Adam Fagen)

Marcello's Pizza
Another Castro institution, they may not be open more than a minute or two after 2 a.m., but they are far and away the best pizza spot in the neighborhood, with delicious house combos like bacon, potato, and cheddar; and black olive-pepperoni. The slices are thin and crisp up nicely after a few minutes back in the oven, and this place is often a carnival after last call, as you might expect being surrounded by Castro bars, on Castro Street. — Jay Barmann
420 Castro (at Market)

(Photo: Thomas Hawk)

Sam's Pizza and Burgers
This lunch counter hole in the wall does short-order food until 3:30 a.m. or later. Perfect for those times when you need a straightforward burger and a mustard-slathered pile of crinkle cut fries. Made slightly famous after a mai tai-sloshed Anthony Bourdain drunkenly declared the burger to be "Top three in the world" - a quote that now hangs proudly over the window. — Andrew Dalton
618 Broadway (at Grant)

Photo: Grubstake

The Grub Stake
It's a diner inside an old streetcar, which adds a little charm to your late-night experience. It doesn't hurt that the kitchen produces the platonic ideal of a patty melt either. And it's certainly a great place to observe Polk Street bar patrons in their natural habitat. If you're feeling adventurous, try one of the Portuguese menu items. — Andrew Dalton
1525 Pine (at Polk)

(Photo: Thomas Hawk)

El Farolito
El Farolito stays steamy until 3:30 a.m. on Mission street and until 4 a.m. in the Excelsior, for those nights when only a burrito will save you from the rapidly approaching morning. Same great tacos you'll get in the daytime, you just might not remember them. (Pro-tip: if you come before last call and the taqueria line is already spilling out of the restaurant, order next door at El Farolito's soccer bar and enjoy one last round of Tecates.) — Andrew Dalton
2779 Mission (at 24th Street) or 4817 Mission St (at Russia)

(Photo: Damian)

CoCo Bang
Because nothing soaks up a late night quite like big spicy plates of Korean fried chicken wings and kimchi fried rice, CoCo Bang stays open until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Watch out for morning-after kimchi breath. — Andrew Dalton
550 Taylor (at Post)

Chicken sandwich at Pinecrest Diner (photo: Augustine Y./Yelp)

Pinecrest Diner
This 24-hour Geary Street diner has what you would come to expect from any diner: home-cooked food and big portions. After the bars close, patrons spill into the clean booths to order Chicken Fried Steak and Country Gravy, a Bacon Cheese Burger, the Ruben, or a slice of chocolate cake. There's also something very romantic about the place, even if it did play host to a notorious murder (the chef at the time shot a waitress five times at pointblank range over an order of eggs). — Brock Keeling
401 Geary (at Mason)

(Photo: Demetrios Lyras)

All-Star Donuts
Like Happy Donuts' cousin who just can't seem to get his life together, All-Star Donuts is who you want to hangout with late at night. But deep down, he's an alright kinda guy. Sometimes a bit stale around the edges, he's going places and has a good heart. Anyway, the big secret at All Star is that the food is surprisingly good. The asian rice plates and American breakfast burritos soak up any booze that your liver can't grab. Plus, the donuts. They've got donuts. Lots of them. Sometimes fresh, sometimes not-so fresh. Who doesn't like a donut after midnight? Horrible people who lack a soul, that's who. — Brock Keeling
All-Star Donuts locations can be found in the Inner Richmond (901 Clement), SoMa (399 5th Street), Marina/Cow Hollow (2095 Chestnut), and Civic Center (290 Golden Gate)

(Photo: Rich Gibson)

The Jack in the Box on Bayshore
When your foodie friends have called their dealer and you just can't deal, when your pot cookie kicked in too late, when you need to mainline some crispy grease, you go to the Jack in the Box on Bayshore. Any San Franciscan who isn't an asshole has been there. The place stays open until 6 a.m. and hits the spot dead-on when your body demands a Chocolate Overload Cake and monstrous form of chicken. Best of all, late-night fast food is ideal since no one will see you doing it. The perfect crime. — Brock Keeling
366 Bayshore

Honorable Mention: Whatever Mediocre Pizza Is Nearby
Nizario's, Golden Boy, Victor's Pizza, Fresco Pizza Shawarma, Mythic Pizza and the myriad other places that happen to have a pizza oven — any of these will do in a pinch, since your taste buds are probably blasted anyway. Just never walk more than two blocks for it. - Andrew Dalton

(Photo: Daniel Chodusov )