Nothing helps quell the effects of one too many drinks quite like a hearty snack—preferably something deep-fried or dripping with melted cheese. But not all drunchies (drunk munchies, for the uninitiated) are created equal. Whether you’re out on the town or having a chill—but boozy—night in with friends, be prepared with only the best snackage. Here, our definitive ranking of the best drunchies of all time, from absolutely perfect to still pretty darn great.
No. 1: Nachos
There are three things that make pretty much any midnight munchy even better: meat, melted cheese and avocado. Nachos have it all, beautifully spread over a mass of salty tortilla chips. But even if you cut out the meat and avocado and sour cream and salsa and beans, you’re still left with chips and molten queso—and that’s a whole lot of delicious. Really, we’re not that picky. Nachos, even the movie theater kind, can do no wrong.
No. 2: Pizza
The runner-up for the most satisfying post-drinking munchy is, of course, a slice of pie. While everyone has a favorite toppings combo, we’re particularly fond of pepperoni-mushroom-jalapeño, or saucy buffalo chicken dipped in a side of ranch. As long as there’s plenty of cheese, parmesan and crushed red pepper, and more cheese—that’s all that really matters. Because by the time 1 a.m. rolls around, you probably won’t even notice the crust.
No. 3: Cold Fried Chicken
Hot fried chicken, fresh from the fryer, is great, but there’s nothing quite like a drumstick right out of the fridge when those munchies come a-naggin’. You know what we’re talking about.
No. 4: Potatoes
French fries, home fries, sweet potato fries, waffle fries, hash browns, potato wedges, twice baked, potato chips...the possibilities are endless. Truth be told, the potato is as near perfection as any root vegetable can get. Whether you go in for some McDonald’s fries, stop by the diner for some hashers, or pop into a convenience store for a bag of Lay’s, there’s nothing regrettable or unsatisfying about silencing your growling belly with potatoes.
No. 5: Tacos
From Taco Bell to your neighborhood taquería to that sketchy truck on the corner, the ultimate post-midnight order is always a pile of tacos. The only reason everyone’s favorite handheld snack ranks so far down on the list is because of the mess factor—especially after you’ve had a few. Still, whatever makes it to your mouth is worth waking up to a lapful of al pastor.
No. 6: Grilled Cheese
As we may have mentioned before, melty, oozy cheese is a hallmark of all the best drunchies. And the easiest way to deliver a mouthful of gooey goodness to your face is between two slices of buttery bread. You can even slap a slice of tomato, kimchi or some pickles onto your sandwich to make it, you know, “healthy.”
No. 7: Instant Ramen
If you’re feeling together enough to throw a pot of water on the stove, then a nice, salty bowl of instant ramen is only a few minutes away. And who doesn’t have an extra packet on hand for emergencies? If you’re feeling bold, doctor it up with an egg or throw in some extra spices. However you prepare it, ramen is one of the most nourishing drunchies out there. Just be sure to turn the stove off and let your soup cool before diving face first into the bowl.
Honorable Mention: Whatever’s in the Fridge...or Cabinet
When all else fails, it’s time to scavenge. Maybe you’ve got sandwich supplies or—better yet—can track down a bag of Hot Cheetos. Or perhaps all you can find is a jar of peanut butter and a spoon. It might not be loaded nachos, but it will certainly put your drunchies at ease.