The list is surprisingly varied but the unhealthiness of the choices is not.
Online restaurant ordering has revolutionized the way many of us eat: not just making takeout more convenient but also putting all the options in one place. Gone are the days of having to worry about “Are they open?” “Do they deliver here?” and “What do they serve?” Now, all of that info is determined with a single search. It’s especially important during late-night hours when cravings can truly run amuck. With this newfound freedom for late-night ordering in mind, the personal finance site GOBankingRates teamed up with online ordering giant GrubHub to figure out the most popular late-night takeout orders around the country—where they happen and what we choose to indulge in.
To create the list, first GrubHub used its data to determine which 20 cities are most likely to order meals after dinner hours. From there, the company looked at what items were most popular in those locations. Looking at the first criteria, the survey discovered that the results skewed heavily towards areas with a high population of college students. East Lansing, Michigan; New Brunswick, New Jersey, Columbus, Ohio; Allston Massachusetts; Syracuse, New York; Providence, Rhode Island; Champaign, Illinois; Ithaca, New York; Brighton, Massachusetts; and Albany, New York, made up the top ten in that order.
GrubHub said that college kids are 79 percent more likely than the average diner to order late-night food.
As far as each city’s favorite late-night food, the answers varied pretty significantly. Stuffed cheesy bread was the only food item that was tops for two of the top ten cities (in the relatively nearby cities of Syracuse and Ithaca in New York). Meanwhile, pizza landed on the list twice, albeit in two different forms: Allston liked its pies buffalo chicken-style, whereas Albany was a fan of chicken bacon ranch. Along similar lines, Columbus preferred the classic pizza shop alternative to a pizza, the stromboli. Other items favored by cities in the top ten were mac and cheese, boneless buffalo wings, tater tots, pork egg rolls and spicy tuna rolls.
In general, one of the biggest takeaways is that late-night food choices are rarely healthy. Not that we didn’t know that already, but one of the other ramifications of the ease of online ordering is that it truly does let us indulge some of our worst eating ideas. Or at least it allows college students to indulge their worst eating idea. The rest of us are clearly above ordering buffalo chicken pizza outside of normal dinner hours. Cough.
You can see GOBankingRates and GrubHub’s entire top 20 cities, with the top three foods for each, on GOBankingRates’ website. There, you can pick up additional tidbits like that Baltimore was the only city to have a dessert as all three of its most popular orders – sweet potato pie, apple pie and strawberry cheesecake. That deserves an equal parts “Congratulations!” and “Gross!”