America's Favorite Drunk Snack Is Very Predictable

After a night of drinking and carousing with friends, the final stop of the evening often involves a place where you can grab food to soak up some of that alcohol and, with any luck, cushion the blow of the following day's impending hangover. This might necessitate an early hours breakfast at a Waffle House or a fourth meal at Taco Bell or a greasy burger at a convenient fast food joint. This is a nationwide — if not worldwide – habit. But just what is the preferred indulgence in the U.S. when our inhibitions and common sense are somewhat impaired?

As you might expect, all of the most popular choices tend toward the salty and oily. And the number one choice in this category won't be a surprise to many. According to a study that analyzed America's favorite drunk snack in all 50 states, the hamburger reigns supreme among intoxicated revelers seeking sustenance. Burgers won the honor in 16 states, spanning the country from coast to coast and north to south, far outpacing any of its competitors. Of the estimated 50 billion burgers that Americans consume per year, quite a few were gobbled up under the influence. Burgers aren't the only popular boozy late-night bites though, and you can probably guess the runners-up.

The runners-up won't shock you either

Coming in a respectable second is that bar staple chicken wings, which earned the top spot in eight states. Not the easiest of foods to consume without making a mess even when your faculties aren't impaired. But they're fried and saucy and you can dip them in ranch, and what's a little sauce on your clothing to those who have imbibed? The bronze medal in the favorite-drunk-snack category ended up a two-way tie, with grilled cheese and nachos each claiming four states. Translation: Inebriated Americans love their gooey melted cheese.

And speaking of cheese, pizza landed in fourth place, being the number one selection in three states. This is a bit of a surprise when you consider that in one 2019 poll, grabbing a late-night slice on the way home from the bar prevailed among drinkers as America's most popular drunken routine. Perhaps the most shocking discovery is that breakfast food only triumphed in a single state. It appears Nevadans enjoy their drunken gambling with a side of eggs and bacon. 

Whether people regret the money spent (33% do) or the food eaten (that would be 57%), whether they even forget that they ate the food (27% admit to that) the next day, the drunken snack is a time-honored ritual that's here to stay. And for now, at least, probably the most iconically American food is also the one we turn to in our time of alcohol-induced hunger.