In the real world we have three meals — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — but in college there’s a seductive fourth that happens usually sometime between 10 p.m. and dawn.
We sought opinions from alumni and current college students for the best late night food joints that cater to that enticing fourth meal.
Maybe it’s fuel for a midnight study session, or maybe it’s the drunk munchies. It’s ok. We don’t judge.
Popular with: Carnegie Mellon University/University of Pittsburgh
Be forewarned: Fuel and Fuddle gets ridiculously crowded between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. when drunk food dream items -- like the smashed potato pizza with bacon and buttermilk ranch dressing -- are half price.
Popular with: Colgate University
Colgaters only know this place as 'Slices,' and it's the go-to place for late night eats in Hamilton, New York. Their slogan is 'slices come plain only,' so don't even try asking for anything fancy.
Popular with: Columbia University
An average piece of pizza from Koronet Pizza is about the size of a human face, which is one of the things that makes this late night slicery so great. And for a pie-sized slice, you're spending $US4.50 -- less than an actual pie, and perfect for a college budget.
Popular with: Cornell University/Ithaca College
Right on the edge of Cornell's main campus, CollegeTown Pizza (no relation to Ithaca's Collegetown Bagels) is conveniently located and quick. Pizza comes with a number of different toppings, and the place also serves decent wings.
For late-night dessert, students are sweet on Insomnia Cookies.
Popular with: Duke University
The food at this Mexican eatery is made with pink Himalayan salt and mountain water, because Cosmic Cantina 'is committed to providing healthy food at a time when it is sorely needed (especially after drinking).' And the soft, homemade tortillas are built for absorbing alcohol.
Cosmic Cantina is open until 5 a.m., and also has a location in Chapel Hill.
Popular with: Emory University
With locations throughout the Atlanta metro area, Fellini's is a clear favourite when it comes to late night pizza. Nothing is better than grabbing a Fellini's slice after a night out at MJQ.
Popular with: Gettysburg College
Known for their enormous, blueberry pancakes that students like to indulge in on Sundays, local greasy spoon 'LD's' is open late, which means it's never too late for pancakes either.
Popular with: Harvard University
Good and cheap, late into the night, 'Noch's' has been proudly serving up great pizza and subs to Harvard University students for over 30 years. They're known for their thick, Sicilian-style slices, but if you're not in the mood for pizza grab one of their mouthwatering sub sandwiches.
Popular with: Michigan State University
Crunchy's is a favourite dive bar and burger joint with satisfying combos like bacon and avocado, or bacon and blue cheese. You can also customise your own with whatever toppings you crave, and get your Crunch Card punched (every ninth burger is free!) for your loyalty.
Popular with: New York University
Pommes Frites is the popular Belgian-style fry shop that makes a classic late-night food -- fries -- super classy. In Belgian fashion, fries are served double-fried in a paper cone. You can have them with ketchup, sure, but if you're doing it right you'll dip them in curry ketchup, mango chutney mayo, or peanut satay sauce.
Popular with: Northern Illinois University
Tom & Jerry's serves all kinds of fast food items -- burgers, subs, wings, gyros -- to students and locals alike. They even accept Husky Bucks (NIU's meal plan currency) and deliver until 3 a.m.
Popular with: Ohio University
Big Mamma's Burritos isn't just a late-night eatery, it's a right of passage for Ohio University students. Those daring enough (and hungry enough) to complete the Mega Mamma Challenge -- 4.5 lbs of burrito in 20 minutes or less -- get their burritos comped, free t-shirts, and instant campus stardom.
Popular with: Penn State University
If you see convenient comfort food in your future, Are U Hungry is the place to get it at Penn State. You'll find a number of 'fat sandwiches' -- big hoagie rolls filled with meat, veggies, cheese, and French fries -- which are made to pair with any of the items on the 'munchies menu.'
Popular with: Rutgers University
RU is known for its 'grease trucks,' particularly RU Hungry, which serves up massive sandwiches overstuffed with meat, cheese, and, sometimes, veggies. Like Are U Hungry at Penn State, RU Hungry also fills their 'fat sandwiches' with fries.
Popular with: Tulane University
With over 50 varieties of crepes to choose from, Crêpes à la Cart is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late dinner (or early breakfast, depending on when you go). Get your 4 a.m. crepe fix with savory toppings, like ham and cheese or smoked salmon and eggs, or sweet ones, like fruit and Nutella or s'mores.
Popular with: University of Alabama
Once the clock strikes 11 p.m. Surin of Thailand has a line out the door until its close at 3 a.m. This late-night eatery is made popular by its midnight sushi special, where all sushi rolls and menu items are $US1.
Popular with: University of Colorado -- Boulder
Boulder Baked is designed for those who crave comfort food later in the day. Open every day from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Boulder Baked makes its all-natural sweets from scratch and offers gluten-free and vegan options. Be sure to try one of the baked-to-order cookies.
Popular with: University of Connecticut/Eastern Connecticut State University
The Bidwell is a Saturday night hot spot for college students who want to split a pitcher or two, but it's also hailed as the premiere late-night munchie spot because of its selection of over 35 different types of wings.
Popular with: University of Illinois -- Urbana-Champaign
Open until 3 a.m., Fat Sandwich Company serves college students huge sandwiches with the sides inside. The Big Fat Ugly sandwich features 24 toppings, including mac and cheese bites, mini corn dogs, hash browns, and four cheeseburger patties. If you eat the Big Fat Ugly in under 15 minutes, it's on the house.
Popular with: University of Massachusetts -- Amherst/Amherst College
Though it may be a chain, nothing beats WINGS Over wings after a night of partying. Order the C-5 Galaxy (120 wings!), The Zeppelin (6 lbs of boneless wings), or any of the other options at this Amherst favourite until 2:30 a.m. on the weekends.
Popular with: University of Miami
Casola's is a pizzeria and a sub shop all rolled into one. Not only can you enjoy free pizza samples while you wait for your order, the University of Miami go-to is open until 5 a.m. to meet your late-night cravings.
Popular with: University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor
This University of Michigan pizzeria is open until 3 a.m. and offers both pizza and subs. They even have a number of vegan options to make sure everyone is happy and well-fed.
Popular with: University of New Hampshire
Dubbed one of the coolest places on campus, Kurt's Lunchbox, a food truck, is where you'll bump into just about everybody after a long night out. The food truck offers a wide array of fried foods and encourages students to stop by to 'develop your french fri (sic) chi' every weekend.
Popular with: University of North Carolina -- Chapel Hill
Open until 4 a.m. on the weekends, (B)Ski's has revolutionised the idea of the standard wrap sandwich. (B)Ski's offers an assortment of grilled wraps to satisfy all your tortilla-wrapped cravings.
Popular with: University of Texas -- Austin
Kerbey Lane Cafe is open 24/7 for UT students to enjoy everything from Tex-Mex to comfort foods. The cinnamon bun pancakes are a popular, and decadent, favourite dish here.
Popular with: Virginia Tech
Benny Marzano's offers too-big-for-a-plate 14-inch slices of pizza for only $US4. One slice is plenty for two people, and serves studiers and partiers alike until 3 a.m.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.