Late-Night Delivery: Which City Orders the Most Food?

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Late-Night Delivery: Which City Orders the Most Food?

Seamless, the online delivery ordering service, just released some numbers on how Americans eat late at night, and there are some surprising little factoids in there. Read on to discover which American city orders the most late-night delivery and more.

Image Credit: Getty Images

First, Chicago is the country's number one late-night delivery city, with 14 percent of the city's total orders happening between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. New York and San Francisco are tied for second, and then Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., are tied for third, with 10 percent of their orders happening outside normal business hours.

We could just chalk this up to Chicagoans' famous laziness (a joke!), but it probably has more to do with the fact that it's the coldest of the major cities that Seamless serves. Nothing like below-zero wind chill to make you never want to leave your house.

Seamless wouldn't tell us how many people those percentages actually amount to (they said it's part of their "secret sauce"), but they did give us some more information on what kinds of food everyone's ordering in the wee hours, and how that's different from their normal dinner orders.

Image Credit: CN Digital Studio

After dark, pizza reigns supreme. In every city except L.A., pizza took the top spot for late-night orders, which should only be surprising if your spaceship just crash-landed on earth. But during dinner hours, the top Seamless orders in every city were some type of Asian food--Thai/Vietnamese in S.F., L.A., and Chicago, Chinese in D.C., and Japanese/Sushi in New York.

Image Credit: Jupiter Images

L.A. was by far the most consistent of the cities, with its choice of cuisine staying constant between dinner and late-night hours: after Thai/Vietnamese, Angelenos went for Chinese, Italian, pizza, and Indian, though Indian and pizza switch spots after 10 p.m. Unless there's a secret culture of late-night stuffed shells and chicken cacciatores in L.A., the fact that "Italian" is more popular than "Pizza" seems kind of baffling, but share some local knowledge, if you've got any.

Image Credit: Getty Images

D.C. is the only city where Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food makes both the dinner (at #5) and late-night (#3) list, and Mexican food only squeaks on at fifth place for late-night Chicago eaters, but doesn't make an appearance anywhere else.

And only in New York does the Diner food category come into play, but it shoots to second place for late-night orders, right after pizza. Which means that, yes, New Yorkers are lazy enough to order food from the deli down the block at night. We've seen it happen a million times, and not having to even get up does, in fact, make those cheese-oozing hot sandwiches and Styrofoam fries taste all the sweeter.

Image Credit: Getty Images

The data from Seamless is skewed, of course, towards businesses that have actually signed up for Seamless and people who would think to use it, but it does give an interesting snapshot of each city's food culture. And if there's some kind of Council for Pizza Proliferation out there, lurking in the halls of power, we think we know your next step towards world domination: turn LA into a late-night pizza city, thus securing your hold over the hearts and stomachs of after-dark America. Nefarious, but delicious.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Pizza is the most popular of all late-night delivery food varieties. Check out this slideshow for delicious pizzas you can make yourself!

Thai Pizza

This recipe merges two popular late-night food categories: Thai food and pizza. We love its sweet, spicy and nutty flavor.

Get the Recipe: Thai Pizza

Mediterranean Grilled Pizza

This time, our pizza combines a D.C. late-night favorite, Mediterranean food, with pizza. Hummus tops each slice, and you can choose your favorite flavor.

Get the Recipe: Mediterranean Grilled Pizza

Polenta Pizza

This pizza is sure to please those who are gluten-free as well as those who are not. The crust can be made hours in advance. Keep it wrapped and refrigerated, and bake it when you make your topping of choice.

Get the Recipe: Polenta Pizza

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Béchamel Pizzas

These decadent individual pizzas have velvety béchamel sauce with goat cheese, freshly grated nutmeg and dollops of sautéed mushrooms.

Get the Recipe: Mushroom and Goat Cheese Béchamel Pizzas

Sweet Potato, Balsamic Onion and Soppressata Pizza

Top this clever prebaked-crust pizza with yummy soppressata, along with mashed sweet potatoes and mozzarella cheese.

Get the Recipe: Sweet Potato, Balsamic Onion and Soppressata Pizza

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By Sam Dean

There's always plenty of anecdotal evidence about how America's biggest cities do food differently: San Francisco's all burritos and fresh ingredients, Chicago's big on meat, New York's big on everything. But it's nice to get some cold, hard data every once in a while. Seamless, the online delivery ordering service, just released some numbers on how Americans eat late at night, and there are some surprising little factoids in there.

Check out the slideshow above to find out which city orders the most food and get some amazing pizza recipes to sate your late-night hunger.

Image Credit: CN Digital Studio

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