Late-night bites

It's dark. You're tired and hungry. You've come to the right place.
By ASHLEY RIGAZIO  |  August 26, 2009

beckys main

Yes, there are places in Portland to get something to eat after 10 pm — even as late as 3 am. From pizza and wings to pancakes and homemade apps, this city has your appetite covered, whether it's been a long night of Beirut or studying (ha!). We wouldn't want you to starve.

Down on the waterfront, the late-night pick-up window at BECKY'S DINER (390 Commercial St., 207.773.7070, beckysdiner.com) is now in its second year of serving up chili-cheese fries, hot dogs, pancakes, and more from 11 pm to 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays. "Our most popular thing is the homemade shake. We sell a ton of those," says owner Becky Rand, who can often be found working at the window into the wee hours. And, she adds, if the late-night cook can make your request, it's on the menu. While Becky's doesn't have a license for live music, it is able to play oldies albums out the window for patrons pigging out at the picnic tables. "I think it makes it festive out there," says Rand. "People are talking to people they don't know. It's really fun out there on a summer night." It's a quieter alternative to the loud pizza joints of the Old Port, and Rand says the regulars are a mix of teens, college students, and local restaurant employees just getting off work — "a nice group of people" who don't cause any trouble. If you pop in, Becky's is offering $1-off coupons at the register through September; it's a fabulous deal considering that everything offered at the late-night window that doesn't contain lobster is under $5. The diner closes at 10 pm on weekdays.

Binga's is back bigger than ever after a fire destroyed its Bramhall Square location nearly a year ago. BINGA'S STADIUM SMOKEHOUSE AND SPORTS BAR (504 Congress St., bingaswingas.com) is set to open to the public in mid-September, offering seating for 175 on the first floor, a lobby bar, a fully equipped game room, and a downstairs function room. According to owner Alec Altman, Binga's Stadium will be open until at least 1 am on every day but Sunday, and the owners are mulling a 2 am closing time on Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday (ladies' night). They've also constructed a take-out pick-up area for really late nights, serving food even after the inside is closed. The wings (breaded or smoked, traditional or tenders) come in more than 20 varieties at an assortment of heat levels, and comforting side orders of mashed potatoes, fried pickle chips, fries, slaw, barbecue baked beans, and mac n' cheese are all priced under $6. Drink specials include $3 microbrew pints daily. As for entertainment, Binga's Stadium has retained all of the games of its predecessor — pinball, pool, shooting baskets, Golden Tee, and Big Buck Hunter. If you just can't wait, Altman says tickets for "a series of soft-opening private parties" will soon be available at Binga's Yarmouth location, online, and possibly at Binga's Stadium.

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