While it’s no secret that late-night eating can derail any healthy eating plan, even the best of us succumb to post-dinner cravings occasionally. These days it is so easy to indulge the munchies at all hours of the night without leaving the comfort of your home, thanks to online ordering apps and websites willing to deliver whatever you want, whenever you want it.
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If you’ve wondered what other people are noshing on in the privacy of their own homes (and dorm rooms) during those post-dinner hours, GrubHub and personal finance site GOBankingRates have figured out the most popular late-night takeout orders around the nation. Surprisingly, pizza isn’t as popular as you would imagine. Unsurprisingly, almost everything ordered late at night is just as unhealthy.
First, GrubHub narrowed down the list of cities to the 20 in which most of the after-dinner-hour ordering was taking place. And —big shock — most of them happened to be college towns. Because after all the late-night partying and those grueling study sessions, a student’s gotta eat, right? According to GrubHub, college coeds are 79 percent more likely than the average diner to order late-night grub.
People in East Lansing, Michigan, order more late-night takeout than anywhere in the country — by 392 percent. The most popular order in the hometown of Michigan State University is good ol’ mac and cheese. Tater tots and loaded fries were also popular orders.
New Brunswick, New Jersey, came in at No. 2, ordering 280 percent more takeout than average with its most popular orders being boneless buffalo wings, chicken Caesar wraps and falafel sandwiches. In Columbus, Ohio, people apparently have late-night hankerings for tromboli, while folks in Allston, Massachusetts (a neighborhood of Boston close to Harvard and Boston University), prefer buffalo chicken pizza. (Coincidentally, Delish and Slice recently compiled a list of the most popular pizza toppings by state, and buffalo chicken was nowhere to be found.)
In Syracuse, New York (the fifth most popular late-night takeout city in the country), stuffed cheesy bread is the jam, while those in Providence, Rhode Island, order tater tots. Pork egg rolls are the most popular in Champaign, Illinois, while those in Ithaca, New York (not far from Syracuse), are also into stuffed cheesy bread. Rounding out the top 10 is Brighton, Massachusetts (another Boston neighborhood), where the top order is a little more sophisticated: spicy tuna rolls. All of the top 20 cities and their top three most popular orders are available on the GOBankingRates website, in case you want to check out the rest.
The moral of the story? Rarely do late-night grubfests include food that is remotely healthy. Just one piece of Domino’s Stuffed Cheesy Bread will set you back 140 calories and contains six grams of fat, while a slice of Papa John’s Buffalo Chicken Pizza boasts a whopping 400 calories and 18 grams fat. And — let’s be totally honest — who eats just one in the middle of the night?
If you’re looking for a healthy option when the munchies threaten after dinner, check out our list of 16 snacks that are OK to eat at night. And if you are in the mood for fast food, know that some choices are better than others: Here are the 14 healthiest foods at fast-food restaurants.
What Do YOU Think?
Are you surprised by the most popular late-night orders? What is your favorite thing to eat late at night? What healthy items do you order?