When the clock strikes midnight, some of us turn into pumpkins and head for bed while the rest of us turn into ravenously hungry snack-attack monsters. That doesn’t mean we settle for just any old snack, though — baby carrots and hummus, there’s a place for you in this world, but it’s not the pre-dawn hours. We’ve got standards, and when the midnight munchies hit, we’ve only got eyes for the GOATs.
To help you navigate that rumbling stomach, we’ve rounded up a list of the best late-night snacks of all time to see how they snack — er, stack — up.
Pizza: In our book, a late-night slice eaten on the sidewalk is culinary magic, but pizza is nothing if not versatile. You can eat it cold straight outta the fridge, you can pop it in the microwave, you can do the fancy steam-in-the-pan trick that some aficionados swear by — it’s pretty hard to sully pizza’s good name. Besides, anything covered in cheese gets extra points in our book. SNACKABILITY: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Mac and Cheese: What, like we’re biased?? Nah. Our unwavering love for mac is purely objective. Besides, who wouldn’t want to tuck into a bowl of cheesy gooderness at the end of a long day? (That’s a rhetorical question: the answer is, of course, no one.) It’s warm, it’s filling, it’s quick — all the stuff of dreams when it comes to late-night snacking. For maximum effect, we recommend changing into sweats and maybe teeing up some Gilmore Girls while the water boils. SNACKABILITY: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Potato Chips: Sometimes a midnight snack-attack calls for a little salt, and that’s when the bag of potato chips starts beckoning from the pantry with its crispy, crunchy siren song. Sure, the onomatopoeic quotient is high, but can a deli-sandwich side dish ever truly reach GOAT status? Discuss. SNACKABILITY: 🔥🔥
Tacos: A staple of Mexican street food, a warm, fresh-off-the-press taco puts its distant drive-thru cousins to shame. Play it safe with chicken or beans, or go auténtico with tongue or tripe. Guac is an obvious yes, and as for the salsa, the choice is yours: mild, medium, hot or what-have-I-done-to-myself are all viable options. SNACKABILITY: 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Ice Cream: When the late-night sweet tooth hits, there’s only one cure, and that’s a pint of your favorite chunky, loaded-up ice cream. We recommend bypassing the bowl and digging straight in with a spoon, thereby saving time and the earth because now you have fewer dishes to do. So go ahead: pop the top on that Choco-Ripple-Fudge-o-rama Dreams — just watch out for those ice-cream headaches. SNACKABILITY: 🔥🔥🔥
Leftovers: It happens to the best of us: convenience wins out, and we find ourselves standing in the electric glow of the fridge eyeing a container of leftovers that grows increasingly less appetizing by the second. Tuesday’s meatloaf tasted all right, sure, but for late night, we recommend resorting to yesterday’s dinner only in a worst-case scenario. SNACKABILITY: 🔥
French Fries: Eminently munchable, the French fry elevates the humble potato to a serious GOAT contender in the late-night snack category. If you’re lucky enough to score a bag of piping hot, perfectly salted fries, then eat them you must. The only question you need to ask yourself is to dip, or not to dip? (Pro-tip: DIP.) SNACKABILITY: 🔥🔥🔥
Competition is fierce in the land of late-night snacks. Did we get it right, or do you have a bone to pick with our selections? (Which reminds us: chicken wings.) Let us know if we nailed it in the comments, but don’t @ us about those baby carrots.