I usually try to write about inspirational topics. Or educational topics. Or topics of special interest. This time, none of those, unless your hobby is eating; or you sometimes drink a bit too much when out on a weekend night with friends; or you just feel like being a little but bad sometimes. I am writing today about late night food. Here are some “awards” I can hand out, sticking largely to chains so they apply to all of us:
Food most likely to taste good late night that really is terrible
Jack in the Box tacos. Bonus points for a great value at 2 for $0.99. Also a great accompaniment to one of the many decadent Jack in the Box burgers. But seriously, have you ever eaten these things during the day? They appear to be custom made to be a late night, post-drinking snack. IN know you can get these 24 hours a day, but stick to Midnight to 4 am and you will never go wrong.
Best overall/Most reliable
Taco Bell. Full menu variety is available, often open all night, always consistent, many items are easy to eat on the go. If I’m close to home, the order is simple, nacho cheese doritos locos tacos. If we are driving, soft tacos, or the recently added grillers work well. A quesadilla is always a solid choice too.
OK, let’s get away from Mexican food. For late night eats, I prefer something basic – quick eats, easy to eat on the go. So a couple of choices would be McDonalds Quarter Pounder or Double Cheeseburger, Jack in the Box Ultimate Cheeseburger, or Carl’s Jr/Hardees Western Bacon Cheeseburger. All hearty, will help you wake up better, and the lack of accessories like lettuce and tomato mean less mess in the car.
And please know that I am aware none of these are really the best burgers. But the burgers I love like Shake Shack and Inn-n-Out burger aren’t as easy to eat, often take longer to get, etc. Plus they taste so good I prefer to splurge on them when I’m totally focused on the food – that means lunchtime for me.
Best “healthy” option
Spicy chicken sandwich at Wendy’s – it was the first chain to really do this sandwich well and it is still among the best. And simple. Probably not really healthy though.
Best thing I can’t get/not available late night
Unfortunately, Chick-fil-A is not in Las Vegas yet, but even when I travel I notice they usually close by 10 pm – that doesn’t qualify for late night, sorry. But it is, by far, the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had.
Best local options
Again without being too specific, if your city has ramen places open late (we have a few in Las Vegas), that is always a solid choice. Of course you have to sit down and eat it, the better to recap the night’s fun times with your friends.
One thing we don’t have a lot of in Las Vegas that are good are “greasy spoon” diners. If you are in Las Vegas and know of one, please let me know. But many cities have some great ones, so that’s a fabulous option for many of you.