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America's Best 24-Hour Hot Spots

America's Best 24-Hour Hot Spots
L.L. Bean's flagship store in Freeport, ME
Courtesy of L.L. Bean

Whether you’re an insomniac or an early riser, the beauty of a 24/7 spot is you can go—literally—whenever you want. Urban diners that catered to workers on the graveyard shift coming and going from nearby factories at the turn of the 20th century were some of the first establishments in America to stay open around the clock. Since then, all-hours businesses have grown beyond the greasy spoon, providing locals and visitors with a much-needed place to rest, drink, or even go shopping at any hour of the day or night.

With an antidote to restless nights in mind, searched out 10 of America’s best 24-hour spots. Take the Wilshire Spa in Los Angeles’s Koreatown. This full-service spa keeps its doors open for those who are looking for relaxation, detox, or a full-body scrub at any hour.

The next time you find yourself awake in the wee hours of the morning, don’t get stuck in front of the TV channel-surfing through reruns of The Golden Girls. Instead, celebrate your inner night owl and head out to one of these cool all-hours haunts.

L. L. Bean Flagship Store
Freeport, ME

Located on Main Street since 1917, this popular outdoor sporting goods store went 24/7 in 1951 in order to accommodate hunters who needed to pick up supplies before heading out at dawn. Even if you’re not the outdoors type, the store hours are convenient—especially if you forgot it was Father’s Day.

What to Do at 3 a.m.: Grab a free cup of coffee the staff puts out for late-night shoppers, and relax in peace by the trout-stocked indoor pond.

Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, OR
Voodoo Too, Portland, OR
Cat Daddy

Voodoo Doughnut
Portland, OR

Open round-the-clock since 2003, this offbeat doughnut shop has a treat for every hour of the day. Snack on a Diablos Rex (chocolate cake doughnut with red sprinkles and a vanilla frosting pentagram) during the witching hour, or try a new take on breakfast and order The Loop (raised yeast doughnut topped with Froot Loops). Its sister stores, Voodoo Too (Portland) and Tres (Eugene), recently went 24/7, adding to the nonstop sugar high.

What to Do at 3 a.m.Take the Texas Challenge: if you eat a giant doughnut equal in size to six regular ones within 80 seconds, you get your money back ($3.95).

Mr. Lucky’s 24/7 in Las Vegas
Mr. Lucky’s 24/7, Las Vegas
Courtesy of Mr. Lucky's 24/7

Mr. Lucky’s 24/7
Las Vegas

In a nonstop city like Vegas, even the hardiest of partiers have to eat. The never-ending menu at this round-the-clock spot in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has first-rate diner fare. While standards like French toast and burgers are sure bets, Mr. Lucky’s is famous for its “steak, shrimp and salad special,” only $7.77 (gambler’s luck) and available by request only.

What to Do at 3 a.m.: Even though the food is first-rate, the people-watching alone at this hour is memorable entertainment.

Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, FL
Ron Jon Surf Shop, Cocoa Beach, FL
Courtesy of Ron Jon Surf Shop

Ron Jon Surf Shop
Cocoa Beach, FL

After catching an early morning rocket launch at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, don’t go back to sleep. Instead, head down the road to this 52,000-square-foot sand-castle-shaped surf emporium to rent a surfboard and beat the crowds to the beach.

What to Do at 3 a.m.: Buy your bikini now; this place is a tourist magnet during daylight hours, when privacy is limited.

Wilshire Spa in Los Angeles
Wilshire Spa, Los Angeles

Wilshire Spa
Los Angeles

Before entering this traditional Korean spa in K-Town, patrons must check their self-consciousness at the door. While some may balk at the thought of baring it all in front of strangers, the rejuvenating effects of the spa’s baths and signature Korean full-body scrub are worth the embarrassment. (It has separate facilities for men and women.)

What to Do at 3 a.m.: Go now if you want to avoid crowds.

Hound Dog’s Three Degree Pizza in Columbus, OH
Hound Dog’s Three Degree Pizza, Columbus, OH
Janelle Huelsman

Hound Dog’s Three Degree Pizza
Columbus, OH

The atmosphere of this pizza joint may not be for everyone—it’s attached to the Ravari Room, a punk rock music venue and bar. Still, make the trip for the pizza and find out why locals revere it. Try a specialty pie like the Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza, or build your own by choosing from two crusts (Smokin’ Joes, a thick crust coated with garlic butter, or regular thin crust), three sauces (regular, spicy, and howlin’ hot), and more than 25 toppings from sauerkraut to hot Cajun links.

What to Do at 3 a.m.: Order a pizza and rock out to whatever jams are on the jukebox.

Gem Spa in New York City
Gem Spa, New York City

Gem Spa
New York City

Though it may not look like much, this tiny newsstand—located on the corner of St. Mark’s and Second Avenue—is an East Village institution. Gem is a go-to stop for newspapers and magazines, but its true draw is the classic egg creams—made with chocolate or vanilla syrup, seltzer, and milk—served from the old-fashioned soda fountain behind the counter.

What to Do at 3 a.m.: Accidentally poured too much hot sauce on your falafel from Mamoun’s down the street? Rush here for a refreshing vanilla egg cream to cool the burn.

Booths inside of La Mexicana Bakery, Austin
La Mexicana Bakery, Austin

La Mexicana Bakery

This family-owned bakery serves some of the best authentic Mexican pastries in Austin, like pan de huevo, marranitos, and empanadas, alongside sweets like pecan pralines. Don’t have a sweet tooth? There’s also an all-day breakfast and lunch menu, featuring breakfast tacos and torta sandwiches.

What to Do at 3 a.m.: While most anything on the menu will satisfy late-night munchies, order the specialty: the tres leches, a moist cake soaked in a blend of three kinds of milk.

Jim's Original in Chicago
Jim's Original, Chicago
Ei-Lun Tsai

Jim’s Original

Chicago may not be the City That Never Sleeps, but that doesn’t mean Windy City residents don’t need a late-night food fix. Fortunately, Jim’s has been perfecting its founder’s creation, the Maxwell Street Polish Sausage Sandwich, since 1943 (though the original location has moved to Union Avenue). It’s one-third pound smoked pork and beef polish sausage with mustard, onions, and peppers on a hot dog bun. And while it may not sway hard-core Chicago hot dog lovers, the sausage is still a delicious, cheap treat served any time of day.

What to Do at 3 a.m.: Pull up and grab one; there’s no need even to turn off the car.

Fuel City Tacos in Dallas
Fuel City Tacos, Dallas
Parker Benda

Fuel City Tacos

Considering it’s attached to a gas station located off Interstate 35E, this humble 24-hour taco stand gets plenty of hype. Back in 2006, Texas Monthly magazine even deemed Fuel City’s picadillo taco the “best taco in Texas.” The affordable street-style tacos are as close to eating authentic Mexican as you can get.

What to Do at 3 a.m.: Order one of each kind of taco it serves—beef and chicken fajita, picadillo, barbacoa, and al pastor—and join in the stand’s perennial late-night party.

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