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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Best of Davis: Late Night Snack

Winner: In-n-Out

It’s 2 a.m. You’ve been eating salad all day and you’re lying awake in bed thinking about spread, grilled onions and American cheese. You have been trying to eat healthy, but In-n-Out calls. Next thing you know you’re in the drive-thru, burger in hand, happy.

In-n-Out has been widely acclaimed for its quality food combinations, classic menu and affordable prices; therefore, it comes as no shock that it has been named best late night snack in Davis. The Davis community, especially students, rely heavily on double-doubles and animal fries to get them through stressful times and satisfy their late night cravings.

Fourth-year sociology major Justin Kern — whose In-n-Out order is a triple-triple with pickles, grilled onions and a side of animal fries — feels In-n-Out is set apart from other late night fast food restaurants due to the higher quality experience.

“What makes In-n-Out better than a lot of other places is its consistency, friendly staff and quality of food,” Kern said.

The famous fast food restaurant has also caught widespread online attention due to its signature look. The simple yet visually pleasing packaging has made it a staple on the Instagram feeds of many — there is nothing a millennial loves more than a burger, a solid aesthetic and a great photo-op.

“I think the reason so many people love In-n-Out is its overall look and aesthetic,” Kern said.

Third-year cognitive science major Daniel De la Calle — whose order is a triple-triple protein-style with extra spread — has turned to In-n-Out in times of need. He feels comforted by the always reliable food as it brings back some of his most cherished late night memories and most shameful cheat meals.

“In-n-Out had been there for me when others haven’t, late at night, after prom,” De la Calle said. “It’s my dirty food.”

De la Calle believes In-n-Out is so popular amongst college students because it is one of the few places with decent food that is open later at night.

“They make a good midnight snack because there are not a lot of options out there that are open late,” De la Calle said. “In-n-out is better and healthier than many other fast food places.”

Second-year global disease biology major Tishtar Daruwalla — whose order is two hamburgers with grilled onions and regular fries — has been going to In-n-Out since she was a little kid. As a California native, In-n-Out has always been a staple in her life, accounting for some of her favorite food-related memories.

“Growing up as a kid in California, In-n-Out is your life sustenance,” Daruwalla said. “One time after a concert I forgot to bring my lactaid pills, and I cried because I wanted an In-n-out milkshake so bad.”

Now, as a college student, Daruwalla has a new-found appreciation for the affordability of In-n-Out’s food and believes this is the reason it is so popular amongst the student population.

“As college students we spend so much money on our education and other outside expenses that we really need to keep our budget tight, especially with food,” Daruwalla said. “When you’re really craving that late night snack and the grocery store isn’t open, you can always go to In-n-Out and get a burger for $3.50.”

Kern feels that while juggling many responsibilities and commitments, the convenience and cost of eating at In-n-Out relieves some of the pressures associated with collegiate life.

“The price and quality of food is unparalleled for college students who need something on the go,” Kern said.

Consistency is key with any popular food item and the harmony of flavors which In-n-Out achieves never fails to impress. While its menu is limited, the famous flavor patterns make it stand out.

“In-n-out is the best because of the combination of flavors. I don’t really see that thousand islands inspired flavor at any other fast food restaurants,” De la Calle said. “I also love how juicy everything is.”

The best food places have not only maintained their status on the basis of quality of flavor, but on quality of experience. In-n-out is no exception. The red-cushioned benches are always lined with smiling faces and the positive atmosphere is unparalleled. Because the In-n-Out in Davis borders the university, it has become a central part of Davis restaurant culture and is always a place to see a friendly, familiar face.

“I think it really brings people together,” Daruwalla said. “The Davis In-n-Out is always packed with students so anytime I go there in the middle of the night I know I will see a friend or two.”

Written by: Miki Wayne –– features@theaggie.org


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