Popcorn with Sesame-Glazed Pistachios
Mixing popcorn with glazed pistachios creates a sweet-salty snack that's fantastic with cocktails.
Fried Pickles with Spicy Mayonnaise
German Soft Pretzel Sticks
"I've always been a fan of any food high in salt and starch," Grant Achatz says, "and soft pretzels right out of the oven are awesome." You can eat these slightly sweet, chewy, dark pretzel sticks plain or with mustard; Achatz goes for ranch dressing.
Spicy Apricot Wings
An apricot-based sauce brushed on chicken wings before grilling gives them plenty of flavor; extra sauce is good for dipping.
These spicy olives are infused with fennel, a favorite flavoring of chef Trey Foshee. "The licorice flavor always makes me hungry," he says.
Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings
Most of us think of Buffalo wings as bar food, but with their accompaniment of celery sticks and creamy blue-cheese dressing, they make a fine casual meal. These wings are hot, but if you like them incendiary, pass extra Tabasco sauce at the table.
Maple-Glazed Peanuts & Bacon
Chopped pieces of bacon and pure maple syrup are combined with peanuts in this perfectly sweet and salty snack.
Hand-Cut Fries with Smoked Aioli
These ultra-crispy fries pair perfectly with smoky aioli. Use very firm potatoes to ensure optimum crispness
Mini Burgers & Crispy Onion Rings
These mini burgers are extra juicy because they're made with a mixture of meats, including ground chuck and short rib. The accompanying onion rings are unbelievably crispy, thanks to the club soda in the batter.
Gouda, Pancetta and Onion Fondue with Pretzels
Leyden, a Dutch cheese flecked with cumin seeds, inspired Laura Werlin to create this cumin-spiced Gouda fondue. Serve it with soft, warm pretzels or pickled vegetables for dipping.
Fried Peanuts with Asian Flavors
To make these addictive peanuts extra-tangy, Chris Yeo soaks them in lime juice before frying them and tossing them with tart shredded lime leaves. He served them at the Atlanta party because Georgia is the peanut capital of the country.
Sloppy Joe Dip
This hearty dip is an homage to an all-American classic, served with house-made tortilla chips in place of the usual bun.
Natchitoches Meat Pies with Spicy Buttermilk Dip
Natchitoches, Louisiana, is renowned for its meat pies. Kelly English serves his mini version with a dipping sauce that combines two quintessential Southern ingredients: buttermilk and hot sauce.
Crab Quesadillas with Pickled Jalapeños
Add jumbo lump crab meat and pickled jalapeños to a quesadilla for a refined version of this classic snack food.
These little sliders are lush, miniature takes on classic New England lobster rolls.
Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs with Avocado
Crif Dogs, a late-night hot dog spot, is locally famous for its franks. This one, which goes by the name The Chihuahua, is wrapped in bacon and topped with sour cream and avocado.
Black Pepper Jerky
This classic jerky gets a double dose of peppery flavor from both cracked peppercorns in the marinade and coarsely ground peppercorns on top.
Bayless's Queso Fundido al Tequila
This simple, 20-minute dip of melted cheese flavored with tomatoes, chiles, onion and a hit of tequila is just the thing to satisfy a sudden craving for something warm, salty and gooey.
Potato Crisps with Chive-Sour Cream Dip
Grace Parisi makes brilliant use of throw-away potato peels: She deep-fries them until they're crispy, then sprinkles them with Parmesan. An utterly addictive snack, they're great with cocktails, beer or wine.
Deconstructed nachos were the inspiration behind this fun pizza. Made with chili-spiced black-bean puree, tomatoes, olives, shredded lettuce and low-fat Jack cheese on a whole-wheat crust, the pie also gets a little low-fat sour cream (that nacho staple) on top.
Soy-Glazed Chicken Yakitori
Walking into a yakitori bar in Tokyo, chef Dean Fearing was startled by the thick grill smoke filling the room, then delighted by the delicious flavor of the skewered meats. "These chicken skewers are as close to the food from that grill as I can remember," he says.
Peppery Chicken Wings
Toss chicken wings in a hot pepper sauce and sprinkle with some additional black pepper for a quick and easy chicken wing recipe.
This all-American, over-the-top, cheese-smothered dip is a real comfort food.
Jalapeño and Rye Whiskey Chicken Nuggets
To make these crispy bites, chef Zoe Schor employs the French technique for making mousseline. Double-breaded and fried, these are the ultimate homemade chicken nuggets—juicy and insanely crisp.
Charred Shishito Peppers with Garlic-Herb Oil
At his sleek Houston bar, chef Justin Yu pairs blistered shishito peppers with bright green, zesty garlic-herb oil, a take on persillade. You’ll want to keep this stuff around—it’s fantastic drizzled on salads or tossed with hot pasta.
Chickpea Fritters with Salsa Verde
These addictive little chickpea flour morsels (called panelle in Sicily, where they’re a popular street snack) are even better when paired with the pickled shallot–flecked salsa verde in this recipe. They are the perfect post-work nosh.
Carnitas and Chutney Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Pork, three cheeses—blue, cheddar, and Parmesan—and tart spiced apple chutney make up this delicious grilled sandwich from Santa Monica chef Raphael Lunetta. The carnitas recipe makes enough shredded pork for 12 sandwiches, though you may find other delicious uses for it. If you like, substitute leftover pulled pork for the carnitas for a quick sandwich fix.