As the TikTok goes, nothing tastes better than night cheese. But if you’ve ever had Chex Mix after midnight, Checkers fries at sunrise, or instant noodles when you happen to be up at 3 a.m., you haven’t tasted the absolute perfection that is snacks at their finest. Snacks just taste better at non-traditional snacking times. But not all late-night snacks are created equal. Here’s what the Sporked crew recommends when a craving strikes in the wee hours.
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- Samyang Buldak Korean Hot Spicy Chicken Stir-Fried Ramyun Noodles
Ho. Ly. Crap. When I tried Buldak Noodles for the first time in college, everything changed. They are the spiciest, umami-est instant noodles you will ever have, plus they are saucy as all get out and about as chewy and boingy as you can get with instant noodles. No wonder they are Sporked’s fave spicy instant noodles. These are a game changer for that 2 a.m. realization that you have to study for three more hours and the only thing that can possibly keep you awake is a bowl of extremely delicious spicy noods. Try at your own risk, though—I’m a fan of spicy things and I still think these noodles have quite a kick. They are certainly not for the faint of tongue.
Related: College Students Rejoice! It’s the 10 Best Instant Ramens
- Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Flavor Mac‘N Cheese
Oh, what’s this? More spicy? When Cheetos first came out with their own mac & cheese line, I was still in college, so, naturally, as an Easy Mac lover and a Cheeto fan, I had to try it. Which one did I try? Of course, the Flamin’ Hot variety—is that even a question? This stuff is violently red, and as Sporked staff writer Jordan Myrick said, “Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Flavor Mac ‘N Cheese really tastes exactly like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.” Believe me, this mac & cheese truly does taste exactly like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Now imagine coming home after a long night out and instead of a regular old bag of Cheetos, you have a warm, cheesy, microwavable bowl of them awaiting you upon your midnight return. MMMMmmmmm.
Related: Get Ready to Nuke the 5 Best Microwavable Mac & Cheeses
- On the Border Salsa Con Queso + On the Border Café Style Tortilla Chips
If there is one brand Sporked has deemed the king of chips and queso, it’s On the Border. Their chips taste freshly made, with a “fresh out of the fryer” canola oil taste, and the queso “can be eaten hot or cold”. It’s that good. And for those who can’t sleep and have to wake up and find a quick snack at 2:47 a.m., what better snack than the best grocery store chips out there and a queso that you don’t even have to heat up for it to taste good. If there’s one thing I’m not On the Border about, it’s that I will be purchasing some of these chips and a jar of this queso this week.
Related: Get Cheesy with the 5 Best Store-Bought Quesos + 7 Best Tortilla Chips for Dipping in Anything
- Frosted S’mores Pop-Tarts
You may be thinking, “Yeah, I get Pop-Tarts being on this list, but why S’mores specifically? Why not Brown Sugar or Wild Berry?” To which I would say, try a S’mores Pop-Tart warm. According to the Sporked team, the warm S’mores Pop-Tarts “transform into a literal, actual toasted s’more. The marshmallow is gooey. The chocolate is melty. The pastry takes on a roasted aroma.” Perfect for when you’re out in the woods camping—or camping out in the kitchen with friends at all hours of the night. This one is a game changer, whether you take the time to heat it up or just have it at room temp.
Related: The 7 Best Pop-Tart Flavors
- Motor City Detroit Style Supreme Deep Dish Pizza
Sometimes, you need more than a late-night snack. Sometimes you need a whole dang late-night meal. That’s where Motor City Detroit Style Supreme Deep Dish Pizza comes in. Justine calls this pizza “the best thing to happen to pizza since ranch dressing,” and that’s no small claim. Why do she and the Sporked team hold this frozen pie in such high regard? Well, because “with its high, doughy crust and cheesy, crispy edges, it provides a perfect base for a mound of toppings and is just plain satisfying in a way thin crust pizza never is.” That’s some pizza poetry right there. Second dinner, here we come!
Related: The 7 Best Frozen Pizzas When Ordering In Isn’t an Option
- El Monterey Extra Crunchy Southwest Chicken Taquitos
You may have noticed these very taquitos sneaking into multiple of our best snack for___ lists, and that’s simply because we firmly believe these are one of the best snacks, periodt. According to Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart, these taquitos’ shells have a “crispy, bubbly coating that gives them a little more crunch,” as well as a whole lot of fried flavor. Plus, the filling in these things isn’t just meat or beans like a lot of taquitos. No, these bad boys are stuffed to the brim with chicken, cheese, peppers, and beans. Meet your newest 11 p.m. obsession.
- TGI Fridays Mozzarella Sticks
Fewer things scream “Late Night” louder than mozzarella sticks. Well, maybe anything with actual vocal cords. But snack-wise? These fried delights have the title of “most iconic late-night food” pretty much on lock. The crispetty-crunchetty outside, the stretchy, ooey-gooey center—there are very few things not to love about mozzarella sticks. But how do you get them when it’s too late at night for restaurant sticks? Sporked’s pick for the best frozen mozz sticks at the grocery store: TGI Friday’s. Friday’s brand sticks have “good flavor, great quality cheese, and a crispy, crunchy panko breading.” SAY LESS.
Related: The 5 Best Frozen Mozzarella Sticks
- The Original Klondike Bar
Let’s be real. Many of us would stay up late for a Klondike bar. Or at least, that is definitely something I would doOOoo. Sometimes you don’t want the extra frill of a Drumstick, a mint It’s-It, or a frozen Snickers bar. Sometimes all you want is light, fluffy ice cream and thin, shattery chocolate (“like a sheet of chocolate glass” as Jordan so eloquently put it) and that’s it. On these things, Klondike absolutely delivers.
Related: What Would You Do for the 5 Best Klondike Bar Flavors
- Fast Fixin’ Chicken Breast Nuggets
I said earlier there was nothing more late-night than mozzarella sticks…I forgot chicken nuggets existed. Is there anything better than hot, crispy nuggs after a night out at a drive-in movie, followed by boba, followed by car troubles, followed by a long walk home, followed by getting home at 12:36 a.m.? I would argue there is not. To this day, I still believe it was chicken nuggets that fixed my friend’s car. But I digress. Sporked’s pick for the best frozen chicken nuggets you can get at the grocery store are Fast Fixin’ Chicken Breast Nuggets, which Jordan describes as “breathtakingly flavorful.” Have you ever heard a nugget described that way before? I didn’t think so. Definitely give these a try. Jordan even said these (*gasp*) “might not even need sauce”!
Related: The 5 Best Frozen Chicken Nuggets
- Foster Farms Honey Crunchy Corn Dogs
Sometimes all you want at 10 p.m. is to pretend you are in a mall food court or wandering around the county fair. Best way to achieve that? Nope, not dreaming. It’s eating a corndog! And the best frozen corndog for your late-night snacking pleasure is none other than Foster Farms Honey Crunchy Corn Dogs, a classic freezer aisle staple. It may be a chicken dog instead of beef, but “this chicken corn dog is juicy, sweet, and meaty with a delightfully soft, puffy texture,” according to Sporked staff writer Danny Palumbo. As Danny said, a corndog doesn’t have to be all beef to be a stellar product.
- Trader Joe’s Pork Gyoza Potstickers
Lastly but not leastly, late-night dumplings. Hooooooo boi, there are few things in life better than a late-night dumpling. And there are few frozen dumplings better than the Trader Joe’s Pork Gyoza Potstickers. I will sing the praises of these things until eternity, but if you are looking for actual helpful descriptors, Jordan put it best: “They are so juicy, flavorful, and meaty. They’re gingery and, while super savory, have a hint of sweetness that is really pleasant.” YUM. Truly nothing better than late-night dumps with friends (or by yourself at 3:30 a.m. over the sink; any consumption method is acceptable).
Related: The 7 Best Frozen Dumplings
Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!