Photo: Manuela Durson/Shutterstock

The Top Drunk-Food Restaurants in 7 Major US Cities

Food + Drink
by Eben Diskin Oct 18, 2018

The best part about going out on Friday isn’t the bar or the dance floor, it’s the late-night snacks you eat before the night ends. Often, that means using a rideshare service to get to said late-night spot. So, when it comes to getting the scoop on what, exactly, America’s favorite drunk food is, who better to ask than Lyft drivers? Yes, the patient, saintly Lyft drivers who cart drunken 20-somethings around town, praying they don’t puke in the car.

Food & Wine asked Lyft for the data on the most popular late-night food destinations in seven cities: Austin, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Diego. The results reveal a lot about American eating habits.

“We identified the late-night bites by looking at the top rides on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights between 11:00 PM and 4:00 AM local time in each city from January-October 2018,” Lyft told Food & Wine. “And from there we pulled out the top restaurants/fast food by total ride volume.”

Plenty of standard fast-food options make the list, but some cities really shine when it comes to late-night drunk food. In Philly and New York, people gravitate toward local fare the city has a reputation for, like classic Philly cheesesteaks and pizza. It might come as no surprise that three of Philadelphia’s top four restaurants are cheesesteak establishments or that In-N-Out is the second most popular spot in Los Angeles. In Austin, people seem to prefer cafes and diners after their nights out while Chicago has an unapologetic love for Taco Bell and McDonald’s. Hey, we’ve all been there before, and we’re not judging.

Note: Just because someone is getting a ride to a restaurant between 11:00 PM and 4:00 AM doesn’t necessarily mean they’re inebriated. The data from some cities, like San Diego, appear to be skewed since the top location is a restaurant-bar. However, it’s fair to say that, for the most part, these are the places people want to eat at after having a few.


burger and fries from Whataburger

Photo: Whataburger/Facebook

1. Whataburger
2. Kerbey Lane Café
3. Magnolia Café
4. 24 Diner
5. Voodoo Doughnut


Beefy crunch burrito from Taco Bell

Photo: Taco Bell/Facebook

1. Taco Bell
2. McDonald’s
3. Velvet Taco
4. Dimo’s Pizza


Lodo's Bar & Grill in Denver

Photo: Lodo’s Bar and Grill/Facebook

1. Lodo’s Bar & Grill
2. ViewHouse Eatery, Bar & Rooftop
3. Avanti Food & Beverage
4. Denver Diner

Los Angeles

Pancakes, eggs, sausages, and hash browns from Denny's

Photo: Denny’s/Facebook

1. Denny’s
2. In-N-Out Burger
3. Clifton’s Republic
4. McDonald’s
5. El Tejano

New York

Outside Joe's Pizza in NYC

Photo: Joe’s Pizza/Facebook

1. Joe’s Pizza
2. Artichoke Pizza
3. The Halal Guys
4. Kellogg’s Diner
5. Katz’s Delicatessen


Sandwiches from Wawa

Photo: Wawa/Facebook

1. Wawa
2. Pat’s King of Steaks
3. Jim’s Steaks
4. Geno’s Steaks
5. Applebee’s Grill + Bar

San Diego

Sandwich from Backyard Kitchen and Tap

Photo: Backyard Kitchen & Tap/Facebook

1. Backyard Kitchen & Tap
2. Denny’s
3. Firehouse American Eatery & Lounge
4. Waterfront Bar & Grill
5. El Chingon

H/T: Food & Wine

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