At the end of a night out, the goal of most normal people is: to find something – anything – to eat. But where? Ask any thriving musician in Brooklyn and more often than not, regardless of genre, they’ll be able to help you out. Often keeping irregular hours, and in constant need of refueling, these guys have played shows all over Brooklyn, and in turn, have scoped out the best places to grab a bite to eat.
We caught up with five Brooklyn music makers— Jeff Rosenstock, No Nets, Aaron Frazer, LOVER and DJ Run P—who shared their favorite late-night spots to eat, drink, and hang all over the borough. Take their tips on where to find your next late-night or post-show meal, and let the local celebrity-stalking stakeouts begin.
Hailing from Bloomington, Indiana, best known for Charlie Patton’s War, Frazer is a drummer, guitarist, banjo player, producer and generally multi-hyphenate musician in New York’s folk music scene. He currently resides in Park Slope and is usually found causing a ruckus on Wednesday nights at the Jalopy Theater in Red Hook, or drumming for Beverly all over the city.
Favorite post-show eats: “If you’re smashed and need something to keep you from dying, go to Country House Diner (887 Fulton St.). Fuck everything else, just go to Country House Diner. They’ve got $2.75 for eggs, hash browns, and toast – they serve this for breakfast and it might just go up to $3.75 at night. No frills, no artisan bullshit, it’s just greasy American food.”
Place to spot him in the off-hours: “This may come as a shock, but I of course like drinking at the Jalopy (315 Columbia St.). Sunny’s (253 Conover St.) is definitely a beloved spot after shows.”
Based in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg area, Jeff Rosenstock is a singer-songwriter, musician, founder of Quote Unquote Records and producer of artists like Smith Street Band. I first heard about Jeff Rosenstock while he was touring with PUP, and a year or so later I saw him twice in one week, including live in a Bushwick basement where he riled up the crowd with a very impromptu cover of Weezer’s “My Name Is Jonas.” He’s currently in the studio recording, but you can stay tuned on Twitter for upcoming gigs.
Favorite post-show eats: “I always cross my fingers that Vinnie’s (148 Bedford Ave.) or Calexico (645 Manhattan Ave.) will be open so we can eat pizzas or burritos at my apartment, and also so that whoever wants to can smoke and drink without worrying about the price or the cops. Calexico’s late night happy hour is also pretty choice. Hana Food (534 Metropolitan Ave.) in Williamsburg is always open and they have tasty cheap-ish vegetarian sandwiches — the fake meatball parm and veggie burger cheesesteak thing that are both under $7. Shit yeah.
“In the rare circumstances these days when I’m actually home [working on music] in Brooklyn, I’ll pop out for Xi’an Famous Foods (648 Manhattan Ave.) a few times a week – their cold skin noodles are cheap and perfect. The best thing ever was late night at Foodswings, I think a lot of Brooklyners miss that place a lot. The only upside to the condominification of the waterfront in Williamsburg is that now there is a park behind the Edge condos which stays open 24 hours a day. That’s a great place to go late at night and drink beers covertly and eat some Oasis falafel (161 N. 7th St.). There is also that bar you can sneak jumbo to-go beers or margaritas out of, but I don’t wanna put them on blast on the internet. Find me at a show and I’ll tell ya.”
Typical pre-and-post-show eating rituals: “I try to eat in that sweet spot two to three hours before we play, so I don’t feel like I’m going to vomit all over the kids as I’m singing or shit my pants while jumping up and down. Post-show, it’s just a matter of convincing myself that I truly deserve to eat a full meal at 2 AM, that I didn’t drink too much at the show and that I probably, y’know, like, got a workout by playing music for 25 minutes. I’ll get one of the things I mentioned above and feel dead inside, but not too dead inside to get a bagel in the mornin’ and keep on truckin’.”
SAL MASTROCOLA, AND NO NETS
Sal Mastrocola is a Bronx native turned Park Slope resident – influenced by artists like Elliott Smith, he describes his music as “loud, expansive, punk inflected indie rock.” His music comes to life on stage with the rest of the No Nets crew (drummer Walter Shock, bassist Dave Hauenstein, and guitarist John O’Neill) – you can find them live in spots like St. Vitus and Bushwick Public House, where as Sal says you can expect “lots of movement, lots of shouting into the microphone, and a healthy amount of punk jumps.”
Favorite post-show eats: “Our number one is probably Daisy’s Diner (452 5th Ave.) in Park Slope. Three out of the four of us live in Park Slope, so after we load the gear into an UberXL and drop it off, we usually end up here. John goes with some variation of an avocado turkey bacon egg wrap, I’m a grilled cheese with bacon man. There is almost always a shared order of disco fries. If we’re going for drinks we usually end up at The Gate (321 5th Ave.), which has an awesome patio and more beers on tap than you could possibly imagine. Plus you can bring food in, so guacamole and a variety of tacos from Calexico (278 5th Ave.) is usually in play. Or Lotus Vietnamese Sandwiches (229 5th Ave.). are not uncommon. There’s either guacamole and a variety of tacos in play. Walter is vegan, so he’ll typically bring in some sort of noodle dish from Dao Palate (329 Flatbush Ave) or just have a menagerie of Mojo bars.”
Ethereal and hauntingly dreamy at the same time, 27-year-old Jordan Robin and her guitar form one half of LOVER, self-described as “just a rock and roll band, and nothing other.” Currently residing in Williamsburg and playing all over north Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, Jordan has been working on various solo and group projects and is hard at work on LOVER’s first full length record for release in the fall, Am I Safe.
Favorite post-show eats: “My very favorite thing is when everyone comes back to my house and we can drink champagne and listen to endless Rolling Stones. But we also do a lot of OTB (141 Broadway) after shows. It’s super solid snacks and drinks, and close to our practice space where we usually have to go drop off gear. Plus they have a big table in the front where lots of friends can come meet up. I’m not much of a habitual late-night eater, but I dream constantly of this cherry ice cream, biscotti, pinot noir combo I got once from Marlow & Sons (81 Broadway) after a late practice.”
Pre and post-show eating rituals: “Vegetables and Fernet on both ends. And just, all the time.”
DJ RUN P
Born and bred in Staten Island, Run currently calls Clinton Hill home and is a late night staple all over the city, DJing everywhere (opening for acts such as Cherub, Talib Kweli, and Wale) and creating heaps of mixtapes – most recently “Lemonade: The Samples” inspired by, well, you know. You can usually spot him with a box of cereal in one hand and spinning music with the other, typically in the Williamsburg area.
Favorite post-show eats: “I love going to Rustik Tavern (471 Dekalb Ave.) in Clinton-Hill. Everything at Rustik Tavern is quality. Pops (167 N. 8th St.) is also clutch on the late night tip in Williamsburg, with different grill food that caters to people with different dietary needs. I always get the BBQ Steak Sandwich with an order of fries. It’s really difficult to find a quality place to eat at after DJing, as most places are typically closed after 4AM, so a sandwich can often be the best and only way to go. On that note, Bagelsmith (566 Lorimer St.) has never failed to nurture my hunger pangs right before dawn. You can never go wrong with the fresh lox specialty sandwich.”
Follow @leafaminiano on Twitter for more on food, football (both kinds), and puns (all kinds).