119 Seventh Ave., New York, NY (@ 17th St.)
In terms of menu sophistication, Chelsea’s 24-hour gourmet comfort food hotspot Cafeteria is nothing akin to the school lunchroom of your childhood. In terms of social order, social studies, and socializing, Cafeteria has it all in spades. A late-night nest for the fashionable, fierce and club-going set, this is no place to eat like a bird. While it’s a prime people-watching perch alright, chowing down is the modus operandi here: A mess of cheddar-and-fontina mac ‘n cheese is a showstopper, all gooiness galore and crispy on top – and if that’s not hedonistic enough, there’s an option to add smoked gouda and bacon or truffle oil. For dessert, it’s the Deep Fried Oreos, hands-down. Brunch is also a popular time slot: the silver-dollar pancakes with fresh berries and chantilly cream never disappoints. Forget your lunch box and check out the real hot lunch ticket: Cafeteria.