Slideshow: Staff Picks: Best Late Night Eats in Chicago

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza at Dimo's Pizza
Philly Cheesesteak Pizza at Dimo's Pizza
I'll admit it—sometimes I take cabs from bars late at night and instead of having the driver drop me off at home in East Lakeview, I have him bring me to Dimo's Pizza. There are creative weekly specials like crab rangoon or schnitzel and spaetzle, and the place is well-known for its mac and cheese pie (because what else do you crave after lots of beer than tons of carbs?). But I usually go for the Philly cheesesteak pizza ($3.75 for a slice) with thin slices of steak, onions, red and green peppers, and cheese. —Amy Cavanaugh

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

Dimo's Pizza, 3463 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-525-4580; dimospizza.com

Fatboy at Twisted Spoke
Fatboy at Twisted Spoke
Twisted Spoke, with its skeletal motorcyclist beacon, invites all weary travelers running on empty to lower their kickstands and come in for a pit stop of big, burly portions of comfort food with no helmet laws. Sloppy Joes, Foot Longs and Shrimp Po-Boys are all in the gang here, but I always fill up on the Fatboy ($8.75), a full half-pound burger, seasoned with road rash spices and served on a garlic toasted egg bun. It is fully customizable, with no extra tolls for toppings, including bacon, cheddar, or grilled onions. It's cooked fresh and juicy to order and comes with hand-cut fries and a "refreshing" pickle. Top that off with one of their nightly specials, like 1/2 off Whiskey Wednesdays, and you're in hog heaven. —Josh Conley

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Twisted Spoke, 501 North Ogden Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642 (map); 312-666-1500; twistedspoke.com

Large White Pizza with Spinach at Piece Brewery & Pizzeria
Large White Pizza with Spinach at Piece Brewery & Pizzeria
Piece is my go-to place after you go bar hopping or while you're on a casual date; it's an upbeat restaurant where you can come to for any occasion, and in my case, it's for a late night snack. The pizzas come out on huge cookie sheets and are sliced up ready to eat. And, I kid you not, the slices look about ten inches long. When you visit this place, order the large white pizza with spinach and onions ($17.95), it already includes the cheese and loads of garlic to give you that perfect bite. —Chelsea Ross

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

Piece Brewery & Pizzeria, 1927 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622 (map); 773-772-4422; piecechicago.com‎

Pizza at Pie-Eyed Pizzeria
Pizza at Pie-Eyed Pizzeria
If I ever saw it in the (sober) light of day, I might not heap such thankful praise on the culinary output of Pie-Eyed Pizzeria. But never mind that. Because in the wee hours, when the blood-thickening powers of pizza are desperately called for and there's no place else around still holding the goods, Pie-Eyed serves up a slice so mean, you might mistake it for oversized 2D drops of manna from the heavens. Granted, their crusts aren't the crispy-pillowy stuff you might find undergirding today's more swoon-worthy pies, but they spread their milky, tangy cheese and bright, sweet tomato sauce with a generosity that catches the attention and delights the taste buds (not to mention satisfies the hunger) of even the most thin-blooded patron. —Roger Kamholz

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Pie-Eyed Pizzeria, 1111 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642 (map); 312-243-3735; pie-eyedpizzeria.com

Pastries at The Medici on 57th
Pastries at The Medici on 57th
The classic spot to take your parents or an awkward first date to also has a small bakery attached to the main restaurant. After 10 p.m. all the pastries are just $1. For $5, I was able to sample all of their croissants. A little worse for wear after a full day sitting out in the display case, but still buttery and flakey. They were gone in less than a minute when my roommates found them sitting on my desk. —Eric Singerman

[Photograph: Eric Singerman]

Medici on 57th, 1327 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 (map); 773-667-7394; medici57.com‎

Ice Cream Sundae at The Office or Chilaquiles at Au Cheval
Ice Cream Sundae at The Office or Chilaquiles at Au Cheval
Is it wrong of me to crave ice cream late at night? Regardless, I always seem to find the ice cream sundae (for two) at The Office to be calling my name. But when that doesn't fit the bill (pun intended) I can always go for the chilaquiles ($14) and a delightful root beer and absinthe cocktail (not on menu but they will happily oblige; trust me) at Au Cheval. —Huge Galdones

[Photograph: Lindsey Becker]

The Office, 955 West Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 (map); 312-226-0868; theaviary.com‎

Au Cheval, 800 West Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607 (map); 312-929-4580; aucheval.tumblr.com

Dip And Chips at Picante Taqueria
Dip And Chips at Picante Taqueria
My favorite late night eat tends to be Mexican food, because most of the time it's what's still open at the wee hours of the morning. The only other criteria is that it has to be near my home, because once I eat that food, I'm going to fall face first onto the bed and not get up. The place I always go to is called Picante, on Division. It's supremely tiny. Like, you almost can't believe it's there, tiny. I used to order the super steak nachos (cut me some slack, I'm usually drunk off my ass), but lately I'm ordering the Dip And Chips ($5.45), a layered container of refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, tomatoes, and cheese, along with a bag of tortilla chips. It's just what it sounds like, and it's just enough to take the edge off before I fall asleep with sour cream wiped across my face. —Dennis Lee

[Photograph: Dennis Lee]

Picante Taqueria, 2016 West Division Street, Chicago, IL 60622 (map); 773-328-8800; picantechicago.com‎