The 50 most basic foods of all time, ranked

If you've been paying attention to the Internet, you've probably noticed the peculiar metamorphosis of "basic". Used to be, the definition of the word was just... well, basic: simple, connotation-free, and bland. But in 2014, spurred on by zeitgeisters (Vice), pop-crossovers (Iggy Azalea), and millennials (me, probably you, and also white girls named Paige), "basic" became a catch-all term of pseudo-derision & genuine bourgeoisie camaraderie.

BuzzFeed did a thorough job exploring the term's evolution, including its urban origins, suburban appropriation, and lightning-fast 2014 rise. You should read that, but not before you read this: the infallible, totally-unscientific-but-also-totally-true power-ranking of every food & drink on the Thrillist Basic Food-n-Drink-o-Meter. Think we forgot a food, unfairly ranked a drink, or otherwise got something completely wrong? Well, we didn't; that's what "infallible" means. But you can certainly argue your case in the comments, Mr./Ms. Basic. The rankings!:

dark chocolate
Flickr/John Loo<br /> &nbsp;

50. Dark chocolate


49. IPAs

No personal bias went into this pick. None.

48. Bacon

Five years ago, this would've been top 10. Times have changed.

47. Ciabatta bread


46. Energy drinks


45. Frozen yogurt

Another fallen angel from the aughts.

44. Caesar salad, generally


43. Rice cakes


42. Veggie burgers

Your friend Amy is not doing you any favors.

41. Apples picked from an orchard

If the activity is Instagrammed, move 15 spots up.

Flickr/cyclonebill<br /> &nbsp;

40. Edamame

+100 points if eaten in the presence of sake bombs. 

39. Pita chips

See #37.

38. Hot chocolate


37. Hummus

See #39.

36. Artisanal cupcakes

The "totes cute"-er, the basic-er.

35. Cheap wine that's "actually really good, you guys"

Grab a friend and a bottle of this stuff, and you've got yourself a book club (books optional).

34. Pomegranate margaritas


33. Mac & cheese


32. Almond milk

Avoiding dairy is very, very basic.

31. Bagels

Though they're less basic if they're from Montreal.

yogurt pretzels
Flickr/0log6<br /> &nbsp;

30. Yogurt-covered pretzels

If it was candy, it would be labeled "candy". But it's not, so it can't be.

29. Quinoa


28. Pre-cooked chicken & apple sausage

So, so, so good -- and super-easy to make!

27. Goji berries


26. Designer bottled water

Like all this stuff.

25. Mimosas

Automatic ratings bump if consumed at brunch.

24. Greek yogurt

One word, four syllables, zero meaning because it's now used to describe pretty much everything: probiotics.

23. Cheesy bread


22. Pumpkin beer

"Oh-em-gee, it's sweater weather!"

21. Açaí berries


vodka tonic
Flickr/Thomas Hawk<br /> &nbsp;

20. Vodka-soda

"Flavor? Nope, hold the flavor. Thanks."

19. Anything from a Vitamix that's not a drink

Ice cream? Soup? You can make ANYTHING in there!

18. Artisanal donuts

Like all of these. If it were 2010, this pick would've been swapped with #36 -- but these days, cupcakes are de rigeur and dedicated basics go nuts for donuts. 

17. Farmers' market root vegetables

Actually, literally anything from a farmers' market. Ever.

16. Commercially produced "craft" witbier

Definitely, definitely served with fruit in it.

Flickr/Graeme Maclean<br /> &nbsp;

15. Cheese, generally

Remember how avoiding dairy is basic (#32)? Meet the exceptions that prove the rule.

14. String cheese

Don't bite it! You can't bite it!

13. Herbed goat cheese

So amazing, and really not what you'd expect from a cheese, y'know?

12. Extra-sharp cheddar cheese

On everything. All the time. Especially pie.

11. Burrata

"I could live off this. Like, seriously: live off it."

Flickr/HealthAliciousNess<br /> &nbsp;

10. Unsalted almonds


9. Coconut water

Also maple water, watermelon water, cucumber water, and any other type of water that's not water-water.

8. Anything from a music festival

If you can hear a Haim cover, whatever you're eating/drinking is now basic.

7. Truffle oil on anything, especially...

Did you know truffles are actually fungi? Pigs sniff them out of the ground!

6. ... a plate of fries to share!

"Shared plates" are basic as a concept.

green juice
Flickr/Amarand Agasi<br /> &nbsp;

5. Green/raw/cold-pressed juice

Must be consumed on the way to SoulCycle, on the way back from SoulCycle, or while telling your coworker about SoulCycle.

Flickr/Lara604<br /> &nbsp;

4. Caprese salad

According to the Geneva Conventions, no formal "girls' dinner" is complete unless it's held in the presence of mozzarella, tomato, and fresh basil.

pumpkin spice latte
Flickr/I Believe I Can Fry<br /> &nbsp;

3. Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Look, it's been a good run. But PSLs just aren't as basic as they were when they first hit the scene, and despite its legions of loyal boots-with-tights minions Snapchatting each other while drinking them, the once-invincible basic beverage has slipped ever so slightly in the rankings.

Flickr/Guian Bolisay

2. Speculoos

"Oh my God. Stop. Have you seriously never had it? It's amazing. It's beyond amazing. You can eat it with a spoon. I eat it with a spoon. Want to come over, watch New Girl on my Roku, and eat it with a spoon?"

avocado toast
Flickr/Nora Kuby<br /> &nbsp;

1. Avocado toast

Here it is: the most basic food in the known universe. A slice of whole grain, a mash of puke-green 'cado (superfood alert!), and some sprinkled red pepper flakes isn't just a delicious snack. It's a statement to the world/whoever sees you meticulously preparing it in the office kitchen at lunch.

Avocado toast tells everyone, "I may be basic, but this is delicious. And you know what? That's good enough for me". Cheers to that, my fellow basics. 

Dave Infante is a basic senior writer for Thrillist Food & Drink, and eats/drinks all these things. Follow @dinfontayon Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.