Mon-Sat, 2am-10pm; Sun, closed
A, C, E at 14th St.; L at Eighth Ave.
Bank St. to 17th St., Seventh Ave. to West Side Hwy.
Its gritty brick exterior has earned this diner location gigs onmany Law & Order episodes, and despite the scene that swirls around it, Hector’s remains a haven for quirky characters who’ve been coming by since 1962. Old-school meatpackers, truckers, and trannies sit side by side with Johnny-come-lately club kids and construction workers all looking for cheap, solid eats at odd hours. The interior is brighter, cheerier, and roomier than you’d expect, furnished in snazzy black-and-white tiled walls, shiny stainless steel, cushioned counter stools, and spotless Formica tabletops. Though there’s not a greasy spoon in sight, the menu holds the usual truck-stop fare: Eggs, burgers, sandwiches, gyros, and hearty homespun entrées. Sandwiches are all assembled with fresh meat, thanks to meatpacking-district neighbors. Meatloaf tastes especially comforting drowned with thick brown gravy, and fries make a great companion to fountain treats such as the espresso shake, a smooth, creamy eye-opener.Recommended Dishes
Espresso shake, $4.50; French fries, $3; turkey club, $8.75