121 Fayetteville Street, #110, Raleigh; 122 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill; bennysva.com
Benny’s oversize pizza by the slice is a lifesaver after a night out, with an ideal cheese-to-sauce ratio and ample crust to soak up the booze. You can’t go wrong with classics like cheese, pepperoni, or Italian sausage, but look for seasonal special slices, too. Even better? Slices are only around five bucks each. Open until 3:00 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
427 West Main Street, Durham, bullmccabesirishpub.com
A popular downtown hang with plenty of Guinness on tap and a large yard to sprawl out in, Bull McCabes’s late-night menu offers a handful of bar-food favorites, including loaded tater tots, wings, and fish and chips, as well as brussels sprouts, until 2:00 a.m.
713 North West Street, Raleigh, facebook.com/TheCardinalBar
Simplicity is the style: beer-braised hot dogs and beers to wash them down. The outdoor deck has one of the best hidden views of the Raleigh skyline, and it’s open until two every morning.
1920 Perry Street, Durham
Cosmic Cantina has a rep for being ideal drunk fare, but in our estimation, the steak nachos work pretty well sober. Of course, they work pretty well inebriated, too. Cosmic is open until 4:00 a.m. every night.
111 North Corcoran Street Durham, countinghousenc.com
For a classier late-night bite, a dish of olives or even the fancy grilled cheese with fries at 21c Museum Hotel’s bar is hard to beat. It’s fun to check out the art exhibits at night, too, as if you’ve broken into a museum. It’s open until 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
914 West Main Street, Durham, thefederal.net
The Fed’s nachos are the stuff of local legend, and like the mountainous servings of garlicky fries, they’re better for ending a night than beginning one. The Fed always has a quality selection of beers and tap and good cocktails just a quick request away, if you’re in the mood to keep going, too. Open until 2:00 a.m. every night.
403 West Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill, thenorthsidedistrict.com
Seeing a noise-music show at Nightlight can really work up an appetite. Next door at Northside District, a lively and diverse menu of late-night bites awaits, from a lovely plantains-rice-and-beans plate to beef sliders seared with the Wu Tang Clan logo. Open nightly until 2:00 a.m.
Parts & Labor
723 Rigsbee Avenue, Durham, motorcomusic.com/eats
You’ll stumble right into this place, with its copious patio seating and warehouse-like interior, when you leave a show at Motorco. It’s the perfect next stop to keep drinking, but hold it down with some falafel or samosas, sliders or poutine.
201 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, timeout247.com
Open, well, always, Time-Out is your last stop before home after the bars kick you out: fried chicken, burgers, breakfast, etc.
201 West Martin Street, Raleigh, whiskey.kitchen
As its name suggests, Whiskey Kitchen has loads of brown liquor, which keeps pouring until 2:00 a.m. It also has a gourmet late-night menu that runs until closing, featuring entrées like lamb burger, muffuletta sandwich, and vegetable chili.