What's America's favorite comfort food? The answer depends on the context, says new research.


In a recent Harris Poll, Americans revealed their favorite classic comfort foods (eaten when sad or stressed), celebratory comfort foods (eaten when happy or during a special occasion) and curative comfort foods (eaten when sick).

Unsurprisingly, the overall winner was pizza. Only those over 70 years old didn't love it unconditionally (they preferred ice cream). Also in the top picks: chocolate, mac and cheese (especially for those on the west coast) and chips. The rankings changed when illness became a factor. When Americans don't feel well, they eschew pizza for tried-and-true soup—specifically chicken in many cases. Though pizza still comes up in the top five, joined by ice cream and toast.

The poll also suggests that a good portion of the population doesn’t need to be sick, sad or stressed to reward themselves with something indulgent. Nearly 40% of the participants said they opt for comfort foods when they’re having a really good day or on their birthday. Steak tops that list followed by cake, pizza (again), lobster and seafood.

The clear takeaway from the poll is that Americans will never turn down a piece of pizza. Happy, sad or sick—we'll always want a slice. Here, our guide for where to find the best pizza in the country. Keep it handy for whenever you’re feeling anything at all.

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