Food

What Are College Kids Eating At Midnight? This App Has It Down To A Science 

by Leah Kirts

September 27, 2016

Ever wondered about the after-hours feeding habits of our leaders of tomorrow? Whether they’ve been hitting the books or barhopping with friends, the sleep-deprived munchies of college students are now in the spotlight, thanks to Foursquare.

The travel check-in app just launched a new interactive map called Late-Night College Eats, featuring the most popular late-night establishments on 58 college campuses. The greasy eateries and the campuses they feed were chosen based on three factors—imagine a three-ring Venn diagram with a mound of crispy french fries in the center. First, Foursquare looked at U.S. News & World Report’s 50 best-ranked college campuses and the Princeton Review’s top party schools of 2016. Then, it dug into data from its 50 million users to find the most popular spots on each campus for 17- to 25-year-olds, based on their check-ins using Foursquare and Swarm between the hours of 12 a.m. and 4 a.m.

The eating habits vary based on the location, though pizza and burgers are constants throughout. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) students fill up on In-N-Out burgers and a plethora of local taco joints such as Taco Fiesta. In Harvard Square, they slurp down bowls of wonton noodles at Hong Kong Restaurant and get their late-night sugar rush from Insomnia Cookies. Students at New York University (NYU) love food trucks like The Halal Guys and $2 slices from joints like Joe’s Pizza about as much the Big Apple itself.

Eating trends among hungry, tipsy, and sleepy students aren’t exactly stellar and involve a lot of sugar, salt, and fat. This late-night feasting can pose worrisome health problems, such as increased risks for chronic diseases and long-term unhealthy eating habits. But even the wee hours of the morning provide healthier choices than you might expect from the average bar and street fare. Most of the menus featured have veggie burgers, guac-loaded black bean burritos, and falafel sandwiches—it’s not all just gooey pepperoni pizza and shawarma dripping in grease.

Students, don’t throw out all of your ramen packets just yet. There are currently only 10 restaurants featured for most of the colleges listed on the map, though Foursquare plans to build out the database to include more. Don’t see your campus or favorite diner on the map? You can tag @Foursquare to add it. Rest assured that, whatever your late-night shenanigans entail, you can always end the night (or greet the morning) with a full belly.

Header Photo via Flickr 

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